A mediocre marketing message in the right place can outperform a great message in the wrong place every time. Marketers figured out long ago that men who like football usually like pickup trucks and beer too. The “Soap Opera” moniker stuck to those daytime TV melodramas because audiences were  mostly women who also owned the task of doing the household’s laundry. These ideas should make you start thinking about joining the conversation.

Where do your buyers hang out? What engages them when they are on the internet? You’ll be glad to know that with a little effort, you can add your marketing message to those “right places” in appropriate and creative ways that sells. Building a fan base on social media isn’t as easy as it once was, but the competition for attention has only made things better for the consumer. 

Join the conversation

First ask why

What do you hope to get out of joining the conversation? Is it followers or likes? Clicks? Phone calls? Maybe you simply want greater brand awareness- a noble goal. Or maybe you really need more revenue and will use any channel you can think of to get it done.

Whatever your reason for joining the global conversation on social media, the point is to HAVE ONE. Dabbling in it won’t work, but a goal-driven strategy will. Go in with a problem that social media will solve.

Possible goals:  

  • Increasing brand awareness and personality
  • Better targeting of potential audiences for a higher percentage of sales qualified leads
  • Driving in-person engagement in your store, showroom, etc.
  • Improving marketing ROI. Costs involved in social media marketing are low compared to many other modes
  • Creating brand loyalty by delighting current customers
  • Better intelligence on your market and customers

Now Establish your metrics

… and there are a lot to choose from. Which metrics you want to track depends on your goals of course, but here are some ideas:

  • Impressions- the number of times a post is displayed on a user’s screen
  • Reach- number of unique users who actually saw your post
  • Engagement- number of people who did something on a post, like clicked a link, liked or retweeted.
  • Clicks- counts how many clicked on a link to your website or other content.
  • Hashtag performance- answers what hashtags were most associated with your brand or created engagement
  • Profile visits- people who clicked on your profile section to check you out
  • Followers- people interested in seeing your posts regularly

Use these or other social media metrics to measure what’s working or needs to be changed.

Research your Social Media Audience

Find out what your valuable channels are. Facebook’s users are different from Twitter’s, so do some exploring before jumping in. Did you know that almost 90% of Facebook users are women? And almost 90% of them are 18-29 years old? Those numbers may have you thinking about your message already.

Beyond understanding the demographics of each channel, there’s a need for a deeper dive on your own marketing audience. Track your followers- see what your message is attracting. There are many social media dashboards available that take the pulse of all our interactions. Some examples are the venerable and established Google Analytics, Quintly for Facebook, Keyhole for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and Klout. More social media analytics tools here.

Spy on your competitors

See what they are up to in social media. Find out what keywords or phrases they use, photos, taglines, offers, etc., with the goal of narrowing down what works. Find the most socially active companies in your space and get a taste of how they get their message out.

Create engaging content

And by engaging, we mean NOT overtly promotional or irrelevant. Think visually- videos and photographic content will beat text-based messages most of the time. Develop brand-related themes, or base content on customers’ pain points and how you solve them.

Don’t ignore your audience

That’s the point! It’s social media, which requires some give and take. Build a respected online personality by interacting with commenters and actually answering questions. Not interacting is worse than not having a social media presence at all.

So Join the conversation. It’s honestly so much more satisfying than old-school mass messaging.