Let me set the scene:
During my internship, I made it a goal to schedule as many 30-minute long interviews with my managers and co-workers as possible. My thinking was, "maybe I will say something smart and they will want to hire me,” the typical intern mentality. I prepped questions, mustered the courage to send the Outlook meeting request, and hoped I wouldn't say anything to get me fired. Thankfully, I never got fired, but I felt like throughout my months there I had ruffled a few feathers with some of my fellow colleagues, especially in regards to how I thought social media marketing should be handled. I had my supporters as well as my fair share of opposition on the issue, but I was determined to get my point across. So, during my last week I sent one last nervous Outlook meeting to a newly-appointed upper-level manager and I was going to ask the most direct, hard hitting questions I could think of. At the conclusion of just one question, I had cemented the ideals that I carry through into my career today.
So here it is, at the risk of mimicking Upworthy: The 3 Goals of a Successful Social Media Campaign.
Drive Traffic to Your Website
No matter how much we think we can control Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and bend it to our agenda, they are just mere tools for content. With the generally slow adoption of “Buy Me” buttons on social media platform, it is vital that you lead your audience to a location where they are fully aware that you are trying to sell to them - your website.
“Driving traffic to your website not only directs potential customers to more information about your products, but it also gives them the means to make the purchase. I can supply all of the product information, have the best blog, and have the coolest layouts, but if I can’t sell anything, it doesn’t really matter.”
What I really got out of this tip is that all of the posts on Facebook, all the Tweets, and even the best Instagram photos need to serve a purpose, and it should be to drive the potential reader to some sort of action. Of course, you want to avoid spamming your audience with “buy me,” “buy me” posts, it can make your business sound like a jerk or out of touch. Keep posting those glamour shots on Instagram of your product during the “Magic Hour,” but make sure to put in the caption to click on the link in your bio for more information.
Provide Real-Time Listening
Note the word “listening.” Most of the time when you are talking social media marketing, you refer to this as social media monitoring, not listening. So why did she say listening? Well, she went on to explain that, “monitoring sounds like your audiences are zoo animals, listening makes them human.” That one funny, but totally accurate, statement completely changed my terminology.
Don’t monitor your audience, listen to them. Acknowledge their comments, whether good or bad, and respond with a helpful, thoughtful, appropriate answer or suggestion. If you can do this effectively, you have just won a potential customer or brand advocate. People may forget what you have done, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
Engage With Your Audience Quickly and At Scale
If you have read any of my blogs before, you are probably rolling your eyes and thinking, “dude, I get it, engage with your audience, listen to them, don’t just throw posts at them, blah blah blah…” And to that I would say, “oh my God, you have actually read more than one of my posts?! Thank you!!”
But in all seriousness, we could have all guessed the part about engaging. What about doing this at scale? I think my boss said it best with:
“Think about the traditional way of marketing. You pay $5,000 to print a half page ad in a trade magazine, 3,000 magazines will be printed, 1,500 of them will be read, 750 will see your ad, 375 will read it, and 3 will act on it.”
“Advertising on social media can have the same numbers, if not better, per post and costs you very little. Also, it is so much easier to segmentate your audience and give them content they will actually care about and act on. So, yes you are able to listen and create one-on-one relationships with people, but you also have the ability to appeal on a macro level to the masses, all on one channel.”
Although these are not new, flashy, life hack concepts, they are major concepts to consider when planning a social media campaign or overall strategy.
I understand these are not the sexiest thing to read about and yes, it is a long term game. However, I hope you remember these goals and they make as big of impact on your digital marketing philosophy as it did mine.