Five Tips For Smarter Social Integration
Social media doesn't switch off, which is why it's a vital part of your integrated marketing campaigns. Follow our five tips for better social integration to see improved results across all channels.
In a consumer-driven world that never switches off, it goes without saying that your brand’s social media presence is extremely influential. But all too many marketers treat social media as little more than a broadcasting channel when they should be using it as part of a joined-up approach across all marketing channels – from email to web to point-of-sale.
By using social media the right way – properly integrating it with your wider marketing strategy – brands can enjoy not only increased visibility but also a better return on investment. Social media can push your content further, giving it a wider audience by encouraging sharing and peer recommendation. An engaged and opted-in online community is invaluable to any brand – and social provides the immediacy and the human touch that other channels lack.
Here are our top five tips for weaving social media into the fabric of your campaigns:
1. Give people a good reason to get involved across channels
Social media should be considered a crucial part of every piece of content and every campaign you produce. So a good place to start is making sure it’s included in your editorial calendar.
For every offer or digital property you create, think about how that content can be pushed further on social to get your audience talking, sharing and signing up to hear more. This doesn’t need to be anything fancy or budget-busting – one of the great things about social is how friendly it is on the wallet.
The hardest part of succeeding on social media is retaining those hard-earned followers, so be creative and stand out from the content overload. And don’t head to each set of followers with the exact same message; each social network needs its own approach, and a sense of exclusivity can go a long way to building customer relationships.
2. Make it easy to share
It’s a no-brainer really, but to make it social friendly, your content needs to be as shareable as possible. Don’t just encourage your customers to follow you with your social media buttons – let them share emails with friends via their social network of choice. If your followers can share your Valentine’s menu at the click of a ‘Pin It’ button, they’re far more likely to do so. And you’ll be seeing more traffic to your booking page as a esult.
Another good tip is to prioritise your sharing buttons according to which platforms suit your audience. Don’t list every social network under the sun, but do offer a wide enough range to please everyone — and don’t forget the sharing tags.
3. Be in the right place at the right time
The beauty of social lies in its immediacy and its mobile nature. Where other channels are unable to get the most out of the moment, social is a real-time, on-the-go method of communicating with consumers on a local level.
Facebook’s dark posts, for example, can allow you to geo-target consumers so your post is only pushed to those its relevant to. This will immediately improve its effectiveness. You can promote regional offers or bandwagon on a local event for better targeting, or you can use social listening tools to keep an eye out for conversation opportunities.
Remember there are also plenty of social opportunities at point-of-sale, where online and offline worlds collide. From flashing an Instagram voucher in-store to asking for photos with your product in the style of Nando’s and Emmi, social should be integrated into real-world experience as much as it is across digital channels.
4. Make the most of social proof
It might be seen primarily as a brand awareness and customer service tool, but social channels can play a huge part in driving conversions. A social plugin on a booking page showing how many people like a brand on Facebook can help build trust at a vital stage in the buying process. Buttons showing the number of social shares can demonstrate how popular a piece of your content is (though do be warned that this can work against you if your number of shares is low).
A good tip here is to make sure you’re all over Google My Business. Not only will keeping your account updated with fresh content boost your performance in the rankings, customers will also be able to leave you reviews and ratings. These then appear in search engine results. Rich snippets like Google’s star ratings can boost click-through ratings by 30%, so although it trails behind after Facebook and Twitter, it’s worth persevering with Google+.
5. Have a plan beyond awareness
Even if your level of social engagement is through the roof, conversions won’t necessarily follow. You need to have a strategy in place that dictates what will happen after that touch-point. What will pull that follower further down the funnel to becoming a converted customer?
With Facebook introducing call-to-action buttons on Pages, brands are able to to drive more traffic to their website from the social network.
With a variety of options including Book Now, Sign Up and Play Game, a three-week test of this new feature delivered a 2.5x higher conversion rate than other comparable social placements, showing social media’s starring role in the modern buying process.
The new Twitter Cards also give brands the ability to promote a visual call-to-action without asking followers to leave Twitter. And by pinning it to the top of the page, you can guarantee some eyeballs.
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