Article

Swapnil Bhagwat
Swapnil Bhagwat 21 March 2017

5 Step Approach To Drive Customer Engagement On Social Media

Companies are spending a marked amount of their budget on social media marketing, but it often lacks a goal-oriented approach. The following insights focus on a five-step strategy to optimize customer engagement and your presence on social media.

Nearly one-third of world’s population is now engaged on social media.  Studies conducted by PQ Media found out that an average internet user spends about 33 hours on the web per month and out of those 8 hours are invested on social media websites. 

With this percentage of time spent by consumers on social media, it becomes imperative for companies to be present on different social networks. Out of the various social media websites, Facebook scores the most and then comes LinkedIn and Twitter. Of course, major networks like Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram have already made a significant mark.

In this ordeal of customer engagement, having a loyal brand of customers and being advocated by them seems crucial. Companies are spending a marked amount of their budget on social media marketing, but it often lacks a goal-oriented approach. The below insights are focusing on a five-step strategy to optimize customer engagement and presence in social media.

A five-step approach to social media marketing

1. Establish a SMART goal

2. Review the brand’s social presence

3. Introduce a strategy for content marketing

4. Measure the progress

5. Tune in the social media tactics

Creation of a SMART goal

As there is a need of a social media goal, it’s equally important that the goal aligns with the business objectives. Social media marketing is a part of the overall marketing strategy. Defining the goals and setting up the key performance indicators can help to create a better impact. The goals could include website visits, likes, followers, or leads from the social networks.

By SMART, it means the goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. An example of a Smart goal set by a marketer would be – to generate a 100 qualified leads in 30 days from a Facebook Thanksgiving campaign. Most of the companies are defining the objectives for social marketing to get better results. The progress needs regular monitoring, and you should be able to identify the tactics that are working.

Social media audit

A review of a company’s social media presence is essential to know what the target audience wants and what will engage them better. The analysis would answer questions like preferred social media channels by the target audience or response to the paid campaigns. It should also provide insights into the demographics, higher engagement time or liked the content.

Keeping an eye on the competitors’ activities and finding out what they are doing on social networks is also one of the imperatives. You can also include a short and quick survey for analyzing the customers better. Understanding of the competitors’ activities and industry influencers should also be a part of the audit.

Finding out the key insights from the competitors’ content strategy and what is working well with their followers would make things much easier. An analysis of their strengths and weaknesses can also be a useful step for implementing next steps.

Develop a content strategy

A proper content strategy is cardinal to social media success. Once you have a fair understanding of your competitors’ strategy and preferences of the audience, an approach should be easy to formulate. As the goals already set, the content strategy should aim at meeting the objectives keeping in mind the preferences of the audience. The plan should include:

a) Steps for customer engagement

b) Setting target audience for different content assets

c) Frequency of sharing

d) Diligent plan for content promotion

e) Comprehensive content execution plan

The content plan should invariably include the resources you would need for its implementation. It should also include content assets like infographic, blogs, eBooks, cheat sheets, presentations, whitepapers, case studies, videos or others that you would need for promotion and engagement.

The types of content will certainly vary according to the business objectives and the defined goals. It’s recommended to create a content calendar and schedule the posts in advance. Understanding the different content impact and higher user engagement hours can make a big difference.

Tracking your success

Tracking the analytics regularly and keeping a watch on whether the strategy is working is one of the sure ways to success. By analyzing the trends and the type of contents, the frequency can be varied to increase engagement levels. Social media channels like Facebook and Twitter gives you analytics on the content and audience engagement.

Matching this data with the web analytics tools like Google Analytics or Moz can help to get expected results. The data should be used to understand the impact on the customer and areas of improvements. The progress needs to be tracked based on the available data to achieve the required business goals.

Experiment and adjust the tactics

Social marketing is about innovation and experimentation. The progress needs review at regular intervals to reach the final goals. If results are not generating according to the plan, then the tactics should be updated, and the analytics would guide marketers in this aspect.

With the general understanding of the audiences’ preferences and the analytics, it becomes easy to resonate more with them. Adjusting the methods and techniques can help you to drive the desired marketing success. Customer behavior is dynamic and so is social media marketing.

Understanding the emerging channels is also vital to reach to the audience. It is an evolving process, and the new challenges need to be addressed correctly. As the business grows, there may be a need to expand social media presence for different regions. When the situation changes, there would be a need to rewrite the social media strategy that reflects the latest gathered insights.

Few key factors:

The usage pattern of the internet users has changed drastically over the recent years. A considerable number of users access social media using mobile phones. In this context, the business website should be mobile compatible. It’s a platform to establish your brand, increase loyalty and retain customers.

Another vital aspect is, there may be negative comments or feedback, but it’s important to answer all kinds of queries and comments as fast as possible. Social media is a quick channel for any customer to reach to any brand. Whether you are a B2B or B2C enterprise, make sure that the each feedback should be carefully reviewed.

On a concluding note, social media marketing is sure to produce fruitful results steadily. If someone is new to social media or has incorporated it recently in the marketing plan, things may seem clunky at the onset. Once the rhythm catches up, results would start flowing in as it takes time to get into the swing of customer engagement. If efforts are put in consistently with an eye on the audiences’ reactions, steady results can be achieved.

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