What if we said the easiest and least-time consuming content you make for social media delivers the best results?
That would be amazing right!? Well that actually could be the case, but if you’re not setting out the purpose of your social media campaigns and the results you expect it to deliver then you’ll never know what’s really working.
By creating more meaningful and measurable social media you’re more likely to use your time and resources more effectively and deliver real results for your organisation!
To share real-life examples of how successful this is, we invited Lizzie Dixon, Global Communities Manager of RICS to join us on yesterday’s webinar. Big thank you again to Lizzie for sharing her insights and experiences! We hope those of you who joined us live enjoyed the session as much as we did!
If you want to catch up on the full webinar you can find it here. But for today’s blog we wanted to share our round up of the key points you need to know to start your journey to more meaningful and measurable marketing!
The 5 Steps to Success
Ensuring that your social media activity is effective starts with knowing what questions to ask and what factors to consider when building a social media campaign.
1. What are your business objectives? Everything you do should feed into these objectives and inform your pipeline of activity.
2. How do our products and services feed into our business objectives? There’s no point in doing anything on social media unless it helps you meet your business objectives.
3. How can our marketing strategy support the success of our business objectives? Consider what you’re doing from a Communications and Marketing perspective that helps to feed into those objectives.
4. Is our output measurable? All marketing needs to be measurable otherwise there’s no way of telling whether what you’re doing is working or not.
5. What does this mean to our audience? You might think the content you’ve created is great, but you’re not necessarily your organisation’s target audience. It has to be meaningful and relevant to your fans and followers or it will never be successful!
So how can you make sure that everything you’re doing is meaningful?
Understand your people, processes and objectives
Often the first step in ensuring your social media is more meaningful is to look at your internal structures and who’s involved in communicating messages to your audiences and at what stage.
You might discover a common problem that Lizzie calls the ‘missing middle’ – where senior management determine what success looks like and set the business objectives, but aren’t able to communicate this vision in a way that resonates with the organisation’s audience. While the teams on the ground managing the communications have a fantastic understanding of your audiences but might not know how this feeds back into the business objectives or even what the objectives are.
To remedy this problem it’s crucial everyone is informed, and knows what’s happening and why! So review your current processes and consider how you might improve stakeholder management to close any of these knowledge gaps.
Align your marketing activity with your business objectives
Once you know what you’re aiming for, it’s time to look at how you get there. This is where your marketing funnel comes in to help you outline the journey that you want to take your audiences on to reach your objective. This funnel also helps to reinforce the fact that social media is just one channel in your marketing arsenal and should be part of a wider marketing strategy, not stand alone!
In the example Lizzie showed, we can see the ultimate goal is to convert people into brand advocates because it’s at this point they will start to actually market your product/services for you by amplifying your messages, and influencing their own communities. While this is the aim for RICS, your organisation may have a different end goal so it’s just a case of tailoring the funnel to your needs.
Once you have your end destination work through the following to complete your funnel:
- Plot where your marketing activity fits and at what stage of your buyer/audience journey
- Identify any sticking points where you find people don’t move through to the next stage and consider what content or activity can be added to bridge the gap
- How long are your customer’s buying cycles and what prompts entry into the funnel and what prompts exit?
- What do you have going on when? Do you have any complementary activities that you can cross-promote to make your marketing more efficient?
Get to know your audience and target them accordingly
Once you know your objectives and the activities you already have to utilise or are planning, you need to think about which of your audiences this is meaningful and relevant for.
To do this you have to monitor the behaviour of your fans/followers and understand their interests in order to start segmenting them into groups of people with similar interests.
This is an ongoing process, so when you put a piece of content out, look at who’s clicking on it, who’s taking action or engaging? You then know that these people will likely be interested in further information related to this topic.
To put this insight into action, you can use the LinkedIn and Facebook targeting tools to show different content to different segments of your audience based on a set of demographics. As RICS found this often means you need less different individual social media accounts as you can actually drive people to one page but tailor the content so much that people only see the content that’s right for them.
Related Content: Why You Should Be Using Organic Social Media Targeting
Make it measurable!
So we know how to make marketing activities more meaningful but they also have to be measurable! This quote that Lizzie shared perfectly sums up why this is so important…
In order to improve we have to know what impact our activity has had otherwise we’ll end up doing the same things regardless of whether they work or not.
To do this Lizzie recommends ranking your social media metrics from least important to most important to help you determine what content is effective and what content might be doing well in other ways, but isn’t valuable to you if its the wrong metric. For instance likes are great as an indicator of mild interest, but shares and clicks are more involved actions that demonstrate a greater affinity with your ideas and content so you might say a piece of content that was shared 5 times is more effective than another that received 10 likes. Generally quality always beats quantity!
So consider where you would rank each of these actions and use this to inform your analysis of social media activity!
Another great tactic that Lizzie shared for measuring the total outcome of a campaign is to work through the following:
- Input – identify what time, money and resources have have gone into creating the campaign.
- Output – identify what you did, i.e. how many posts or tweets you created.
- Out-take – the response and reactions of your target audience to the activity, how attentive were they? Did they engage and do what you wanted them to? This is your qualitative sentiment analysis.
- Outcome – the effect of the communication on audience behaviour or attitudes, how have you influenced thoughts or feelings about your organisation? This is your quantitative data.
- Organisational impact – What effect has this had on your business objectives as a whole.
Using UTM Links:
UTM links (Universal Tracking Mechanism) are also a great way to identify where different clicks on your own-brand assets have come from. It’s just a case of adding the UTM to your existing links so that regardless of whether you’re promoting it on a banner ad, in an email, or on social, you can look in your Google Analytics and know where each click has come from.
You can see an example of one of RICS’ UTM links below. The source of the click was LinkedIn, the medium was social media, and it’s part of RICS’ 150th anniversary campaign – it’s as simple as that!
Using Campaign Tags:
And finally, don’t forget to measure your campaign end-to-end, not just your outgoing post stats! Tracking all the conversations that surround your campaign as well as the activity from your website is just as important.
Lizzie talked us through how she uses the Campaigns tagging tool in CrowdControlHQ to add content to a campaign ready to analyse and report on later in conjunction with information in Google Analytics. You can see an example of this below – their diversity and inclusion campaign is tagged in CrowdControlHQ to provide a complete picture of the social interactions around that campaign.
That completes our round up of the key takeaways from yesterday’s webinar, big thank you again to Lizzie for sharing her process for planning and delivering truly strategic social campaigns! But as always we want to hear from you – how does this process compare to your own? Let us know @CrowdControlHQ or drop us an email to email@example.com!