Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Optimising social media marketing

The success of any social media marketing campaign is determined by how well optimised it is. Optimisation in this context refers to the process of fine-tuning the elements of a campaign in order to achieve business goals.

The most important part of a social media marketing campaign is strategy. This is the plan of action or roadmap that will be followed to achieve the set goals. A good strategy produces good results and a bad one leads to failure.

In order to be effective, the strategy should focus on specific objectives like building brand awareness, increasing sales or enhancing customer loyalty. A focused campaign is easier to execute, manage and measure.

Once the strategy is in place, it becomes easy to optimise the social media marketing campaign. However, it is important to note that the marketing efforts should be monitored using reliable tools that are either part of the social networking platform or external.

Marketers should monitor their customers’ conversations and behaviour online. This extends to studying their competitors as well. Critical intelligence is gathered in this way and it can be used to sharpen the company’s social media strategy.

By tracking their customers’ online behaviour, marketers are able to understand which platforms they prefer, the times when the majority are active on them and they kind of content they love most.
Each customer segment has its own platform preferences. For example some customers like videos and spend lot of their time watching online videos on platforms like Youtube or Vimeo. It makes sense therefore that the most effective way to connect with them is via video marketing.

It is also important for marketers to understand that visual content is very effective in social media marketing. Creative and compelling visuals are highly shareable, induce virality and lead to word of mouth marketing.

Another critical success factor that needs optimisation is the frequency of posting and the times to do it. Marketers should endeavour to post content when most of their customers are online in order to increase the reach of their posts.

If the posting frequency is too high, it results in spamming. Ultimately, customers will start to ignore the messages. Conversely, infrequent postings minimise a brand’s share of voice. The visibility of the posts will be drowned by those competitors who have excellent campaigns.

Companies engaged in social media marketing should open up the ownership of social media strategy. It must not be owned by one department in the company alone. Everyone within a company should be involved.

Companies should endeavour to be truly social and not just be good at social media. A social company communicates in a personalised way with its customers and believes in creating dynamic relationships with them.

Social media marketing processes need to be optimised if brands are to achieve their business goals. Brands should track and monitor social chatter and use the metrics to fine tune their marketing initiatives. Visual content is key and should be created and posted on the relevant platforms.

Once this is done, then using social networking platforms for business becomes effective.

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