A multi-channel social media strategy is a crucial aspect of modern marketing campaigns, but as the number of social networks continues to rise, is it beneficial for brands to try and have a presence on each of them?
The first challenge is to understand what differentiates each channel. With the social media landscape as vast as it is, the powerhouses that are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube each have their own focus and specialities.
Measuring a multi-channel strategy is another challenge as each channel will offer up different data results – so the trick is to build a framework encompassing all the metrics with set goals such as reach, engagement, web traffic and lead generation or sales.
We’ll be discussing this topic in detail during a free webinar on April 1st (click here for details), but to help get the conversation started we’ve put together these 8 tips:
Focus on your buyer personas
Before you even get near posting content, you need to have a decent understanding of your target audience. Who are the people that need your products or services? Once you know more about your buyer personas you can then focus your efforts on the channels and content most relevant to them.
You have to know as much as possible about what makes your prospects tick.
Identify the channels that your target audience is most likely to use
When you start to take an in-depth look at the demographics of various social media platforms you can start to see interesting trends, such as Pinterest is overwhelmingly used by women. Unsurprisingly, Facebook is pretty much ubiquitous but once you dig down into the research you might find some valuable revelations. Facebook use is growing fastest among users aged 65+: more than 56% of internet users in this age bracket now have an account.
Adapt to the platform
The next step, as mentioned above, is to think about the nuances of each platform you want to use. Instagram is about beautiful photos and short videos. Whereas Pinterest might be the answer for an e-commerce business with research suggesting that each Pin is worth roughly 78 cents. Reaching out with Facebook and Twitter? Facebook posts with a photo generate 120% more engagement than simple text, while tweets with images see an 89% increase in Favourites and a 150% increase in Retweets.
The key takeout is simple. Be prepared to adapt your message to the platform you are using. Square pegs in round holes won’t cut through the social media white noise.
Don’t be afraid of experimenting
Just because your primary target audience can’t be found on a certain channel doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it. An example is; Snapchat. Its user-base is primarily teenagers. That’s not to say your golf resort shouldn’t be all over the platform with a well-planned campaign running up to Father’s Day, it could pay off.
Provide value to your audience
This is a non-negotiable. If you want to contribute to the social media conversation, do it in a way that provides value for your target audience. Be useful, engaging and timely. Be sure to offer genuinely interesting, entertaining or helpful content in addition to the occasional voucher, competition or flash sale. There’s way too much white noise out there already for you to be adding to it.
Create a congruous experience
Adapting to the platforms you are using is important, however, so is staying true to your brand identity. Be cohesive across your social media channels; have a consistent look, feel and tone of voice. Follow it through when you are interacting with users on a one-to-one basis too.
Create a single social media dashboard
Tools such as Hootsuite, Shoutlet or Sendible allow you to monitor multiple channels and engage with users from a single interface. Not only does this help save time, it will also help track conversations and keep things organised. Increasingly, brands are looking to integrate social media into CRM systems and this is particularly important for brands offering social customer service. Rather than having to start the conversation again everytime a customer speaks to a new agent or uses a new channel, the process would be much more efficient if the entire history was visible.
Monitor your analytics
Social media analytics tools such as Shoutlet or Socialbakers make it easy to stay on top of your analytics from multiple channels in one place, allowing you to use social media to extract a wealth of customer insight. Measuring is equally as important before a campaign, as during. Defining what would represent success and capturing the right metrics before and after your campaign will allow you to see what’s worked, what hasn’t and how to fix it in future.