Social media marketing is all about connecting directly with your customer. The internet has been a gift for businesses wanting to target specific customer demographics without the big bucks needed for a traditional ad campaign across TV, magazines and billboards. With social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you can make sure that your marketing campaign is reaching the right people via the most convenient medium for everyone. All this, without shelling out for print adverts or screen time on TV.
It does feel like the whole world has moved online in recent years. You can now access everything from the comfort of your own home, and most of the time from a smart phone held in the palm of your hand. Whether you want to find your next flight on SkyScanner, relax with a few spins at Pokerstarscasino, or even learn to meditate with Calm, it can all be accessed via the internet. Therefore, it’s no surprise that people turn to online channels for ideas and advice on which products to buy, and then to complete their purchases through the same medium. The rise of the so-called ‘influencer’ on YouTube, Instagram and beyond provides a more organic marketing method too, with products and services demonstrated and recommended by real people along with well-known actors or models. Whilst social media marketing campaigns still use an aspirational approach to endorse products, there is now a marked crossover between ‘real life’ and the glossy world of advertising. So, let’s take a look at the top tips to have in mind whilst planning your next social media marketing campaign.
Know Your Audience
This is, perhaps, the most important aspect of any marketing campaign. If you don’t know your audience and what they will best respond to, then you’ve fallen at the first hurdle. This doesn’t mean that you can’t take a calculated risk with your social media content (see the next point), but it does mean that you should take note of who you’re speaking to. For example, if you are targeting the millennial generation, don’t use the language of baby boomers. Unless you’re being ironic.
A great way to gauge what your tone should be before you publish anything is to take a look at what’s already out there. Which brands are your target audience already interacting positively with online? Which ones have missed the mark completely and been mercilessly transformed into a meme? Popular social media accounts from the demographic you wish to appeal to can act as a great indicator of what’s working right now and what isn’t.
Be a Trendsetter
Attempting to remain relevant and up-to-date online can feel like a losing battle if you’re not one of the frontrunners. Ideally, you want to be setting trends rather than limping along behind everyone else, using hashtags and branding that were popular two years ago. However, this can be difficult to pull off.
Part of being a trendsetter is tapping into current movements and zeitgeists then incorporating the topic into your advertising campaign. Again, it pays to be sensitive to your target audience before you decide on anything. In 2017, super-celebrity Kendall Jenner teamed up with globally successful drinks brand Pepsi to create an ad campaign featuring young people on a political protest. The mounting tension between the protesters and the police is then resolved by Jenner offering up a can of Pepsi as an olive branch. It doesn’t take a marketing expert to see how tone deaf Pepsi’s campaign was. Whilst it’s a great idea to use current trends in your social media marketing, make sure that they are relevant to the product or service you are promoting, and that you remain sensitive to your audience. Even for Pepsi, it’s a stretch to imagine their drink will solve political unrest.
Use the Tools You Have
Social media platforms are well aware of the advertising power that they wield and, as a result, are constantly releasing new and improved ways to interact with them. As a marketer, you need to take advantage of this. Audiences are excited when their favourite apps release new features, so they are likely to use them more. This provides the perfect opportunity for you to demonstrate how well you know your audience at the same time as remaining informed on the latest craze.
Take Instagram for example. With the debut of Stories features like questionnaires, Q&A boxes, top picks and countdowns, the app has opened up dozens of new ways for accounts and followers to interact. You can run a 24-hour Q&A in your brand’s Stories asking your audience their opinion on your new product, or even asking for input on where they’d like to see your company go next. This is a great place to update customers on upcoming releases, highlight the overlooked positives of your brand, and gather feedback on existing products.