Fred owns a custom personal care company. Customers on Fred’s business profiles on social media complain about late deliveries and damaged products. Fred does not care much for social media, chooses not to resolve the issues, and leaves the comments unanswered. Business dwindles for Fred over the next quarter, he goes bankrupt, and is forced to shut down his shop.
Nobody wishes to end up like Fred. The rapid changes in social media and digital marketing realms have brought the two pretty close together. In fact, social media is now an indispensable part of a larger digital marketing picture.
Nearly 3 out of 4 businesses invest in social media practices as part of their marketing plans, studies have found. So, it is time you got a refresher course on social media and digital marketing (to save yourself from being a potential Fred). Read on to find 10 ways that you can increase your knowledge on social media, digital marketing, and the impacts of the two on your business.
10 ways to boost social media and digital marketing knowledge
1. Align social media and marketing goals
Set your marketing goals at the very outset. Unless you know what you are aiming for, there is no way of attaining the knowledge to achieve that, right?
Each of your goals should follow the S.M.A.R.T. goals philosophy. It stands for:
- Specific: Be specific about what you want to achieve (such as user engagement).
- Measurable: Metrics like bounce-back rates and click-through rates are measurable, for example.
- Attainable: Do not set goals that you possibly cannot achieve, despite your best efforts.
- Relevant: This one is a no-brainer, for your goals must have relevant elements like channel-specific measuring tactics.
- Time-bound: Your social media activities over a week can be a good example of a time-bound goal.
Once you have these goals in mind, you will find it easier to measure success and R.O.I. through your social media efforts.
2. Know your metrics
Vanity metrics like retweets and shares work well when you are trying to end a meeting with your boss quickly. But those barely scratch the surface when it comes to social media metrics you should be watching out for. The Internet will come in handy when you are on your search to find meaningful metrics that help you successfully track social media and digital marketing progress. Ensure that you know all about metrics like amplification rate and post reach. Begin with the four crucial social funnels, for starters.
3. Get into the minds’ of your target audience
Forbes reports Netflix knows every time you hit play or pause, and run about 250 A/B tests per year. They have reached the zenith of personalised marketing for their customers. And so can you. First, you must know what they are thinking, what their buying preferences are, and of course, a little about their spending habits.
Create buyer personas that help you think of potential followers on social media. You need to brush up on your knowledge regarding digital marketing before you think of turning them into potential customers. The more you gather real-world data, the more you will get to know your target audience.
4. Check out the competition
You will be surprised at how much you can learn from a simple analysis of your competitors’ profiles on social media. The chances are, they have effective social media strategies in place already. So, in addition to knowing what you are up against, you will also be able to see the effects of a good social media strategy for yourself.
Get a grip on what is expected in your business niche. A closer look will help you pick out opportunities as well. For example, you can focus on the channels that your competitors don’t seem to be too active (given that you will get a good chunk of your target audience there).
5. Review your performance so far
Having a social media profile is not the same as having a social media presence. That is the first step in knowing where to start reviewing your efforts so far.
You need to ask yourself the following questions before you can get to the bottom of the matter.
- Which efforts seem to be working, and which are not?
- Who are choosing to connect with you on social media?
- Which social media channels does your target audience mainly use?
- How is the comparison between your social media presence and that of your competing brands?
It is best to collect the information at a single place. Create an audit sheet that lets you keep track of how your strategies are shaping up.
6. Know how to optimise your social media accounts
After you determine which social media network to use, you need to know all about optimising your accounts for a brand like Myassignmenthelp. If you already have an existing social media profile, the chances are that you would need to refurbish them all. You will also have to determine which posts go where. While Facebook may be awesome when you are targeting the Baby Boomers generation, millennials are more likely to move around on Instagram and Snapchat. But before you tweak your profiles, it is best to learn your way around the newest features and functions on social media (a la polling on Instagram).
7. Get a voice and style guide for your brand
Top brands have a way of words when it comes to social media. Since the entire fan base (read: target audience) is on social media, what better way to gain exposure than to engage in witty comebacks? Check out JetBlue Airways extends their support through customer services on social media.
Merriam-Webster, among others, rules the roost when it comes to cool social media conversations. Their humorous tweets are pretty popular among the followers with engagement rates shooting through the roof. Each brand has its own voice and style of putting out its content. If you want to identify yours (and hone it to perfection), my advice is to hire a voice and style coach.
8. Research extensively for inspiration
Not every brainstorming session with your creative team is bound to yield positive results. But do not lose heart if you are feeling short-changed for inspiration. You can snoop around social media to find inspiration for your upcoming posts.
For example, the business section of a brand’s Facebook page is likely to contain their journey along with the highs and lows. The Shorty Awards recipients section is also a great archive of what you can do for your brand, with the power of social media. Finally, you can always take a leaf out of the books of your favourite brands on social media.
9. Know what your content mix is
An ideal content mix should work towards making everything you post turn into a productive one. So, here are the elements that it should ideally contain.
- How much traffic you want going for your blogs?
- How much content you need to curate from other sources?
- How much content will support enterprise goals like generating leads and selling?
- How much content will deal with brand culture and HR?
Once you know how you want your content mix to look like, half of your job is done.
10. Learn all about a posting schedule
From the tentative dates when you want to put up posts (blogs, tweets, videos, etc.) to the times they go live, you will get it all using scheduling tools. The following tools can be a good place to start.
Learning your way around the tools will also help you get a grip on how it works when you combine the best social media practices to drive digital marketing results.
Plan and strategise better with the tips discussed above. Not only will you be able to measure success metrics a whole lot better, but the improved knowledge will help you make informed decisions as well. Once you know your way around the latest developments in social media and digital marketing, you can use that to your advantage. Take your business to a whole new plane using that enhanced knowledge. May the force be with you!