The marketing landscape changed significantly with the introduction of social media – new avenues that didn’t exist a few years ago have presented marketers with a spectrum of powerful tools to support and strengthen their marketing strategies.
Every day, there are 500 million tweets, 52 million Instagram posts and 10 billion daily video views on Snapchat – these figures clearly illustrate how enormous the social noise ratio is at the moment; social media is no longer simply about generating Facebook likes, it’s a world full of insights and opportunities for businesses.
But with great possibilities comes great responsibilities.
How do brands ensure they’re sharing the right content, at the right time, and reaching the audience they need to engage with?
Defining great content
Social media content comes in many forms; it can be anything from an infographic to a video, an image or a blog post, and even the simplest tweet can be categorised as content.
No matter the channel or the medium, the overarching aim of content remains the same; to drive the audience through the sales cycle and turn awareness into purchase.
Once you have a good sense of what content works for your audience, you need to identify the best time of day to reach your audience
On social channels, brands are interfering with people’s lives and competing with their friends and family for attention. For content to break through the noise, it needs to tell a fresh story and deliver a new experience that entertains and/or educates the target audience, tapping into passion points to hook initial interest.
Failure to do so can result in content having the adverse effect, irritating or offending the audience and driving them away from your brand.
Equally, it can be both tiring and frustrating for people to be bombarded with huge quantities of content, which can push them into the arms of your competitors. Content must be shared at the right frequency and in digestible amounts.
Driving ROI through social content
Just because a piece of content generates thousands of views or social shares doesn’t mean that it drove impact.
Knowing which content and which channels drive the best results from social spend is crucial to ensuring your content is working to help hit wider business goals.
To truly engage your audience and turn prospects into loyal customers, it’s critical to repeatedly surprise and delight your audience.
The success of your campaign will be determined by your ability to accurately predict which content makes the most sense, what language and tone should be used and where to promote it.
Understanding the mind and wants of your audience is always the first step. You can then understand exactly what makes them tick…or not.
So how do you pick the right channels for your brand to focus on? A good starting point is to analyse your historical content to determine what spiked the highest number of visitors and engagement on each social platform.
A new digital footprint is created every time someone posts something on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram – and every time someone else consumes it, that impression grows.
Collecting, processing and analysing this data can revolutionise your media planning and make sure you invest in content that will maximise return on your social spend.
Timing is everything
Once you have a good sense of what content works for your audience, you need to identify the best time of day to reach your audience.
To be successful here, consider the rhythm of the day for your audience— lunchtime or before and after a meeting are when people are likely to be taking a quick glance at Twitter or Instagram, so by timing your posts for the lunchtime hour and the time just before or after this period will help you cut through the noise and increase your chance of engagement.
Knowledge of exactly when to publish your content and how much more reach and visibility each piece of content is receiving through the strategic approach will help you to prove the impact of social investment back to the business.
Once the content is created and out there, marketers need to measure its success in real-time. If something about the content or the time of posting isn’t driving engagement, it’s better to know and rectify immediately rather than wait for days to pass before making adjustments.
Marketers need social media analytics tools that enable them to respond rapidly to ever-changing social conversations. In turn, this empowers them to start having more informed conversations about the value of social with their stakeholders at every level of the business.
Companies use social media to help achieve a variety of end goals, from pushing people through the sales funnel, to increasing customer satisfaction, or simply understanding why customers act in a certain way.
However, the core principles of successful social media marketing will always ring true; deliver what your customer wants, when and where they want it.