Top Tips for Using Social Media as a Marketing Tool

Top Tips for Using Social Media as a Marketing Tool.

Content marketing has shifted hugely over the last decade. Technology has led to huge advancements, in both distribution and measuring success. However, the fundamental concepts of good marketing remain the same. And this is what people forget. 

Here are some top tips for using social media as a marketing tool from Katy Howell, CEO of Immediate Future, and all-round geeky girl and smartypants. 

Know Your Audience

Good Marketing applies to social media. Knowing your audience is key. What message are you looking to communicate? How do you communicate that message? Regardless of what direction Social Media has taken, you still have the same audience. An audience that is still driven by emotions, emotions that trigger intent, or a behavioural change. Marketing may have new ‘buzz’ words but customers are still motivated by the same urges. If a ‘product’ appeals to me or frightens me the trigger will motivate me to act (or purchase). 

Katy stresses the importance of creating personas. Each message must be relevant to a persona. 

Social media is the voice of your company. You are in the palm of every hand, of every customer. 

Create Valuable Content

It’s an easy mistake to make, putting out content for the sake of filling a ‘space’ every day. But ask yourself, what do you stand for? What is your purpose? What are you doing to try and make an impact on the world? Focus your content on more than just platitudes. Go back to your personas and ask yourself, what would you, as them, want to read? Invalid content will just lead to the wrong impression, panic discounts, and let’s face it, a margin that’s been nailed. 

Katy stresses the importance of grabbing your customer’s undivided attention. Entertaining, eye-catching, informative content that isn’t a ‘chat’ with someone but, hits them straight on.

The only time a customer wants a chat is when they’re complaining!

You have to Pay to Play

Social Media is cheap. Cheap means easy. Easy means you can fire off content as and when you please and you’ll hit someone along the way. No. In doing so, you’ve forgotten about the foundations of marketing that remain rock solid. You’ve forgotten your customer. Social can fly in all directions but marketing is still anchored in the same principles as in the ’80s. A whopping 72% of marketers use social media advertising or promoted posts.

Channels such as Facebook strangle the organic reach you put out. Only approximately 5-10% of followers will see your post. 

Spend more and be clever.

Katy highlights the importance of having a strategy, a content ‘tilt’. And you need to own that tilt. It might be your CEO’s voice, it might be the way you talk, whatever the ‘tilt’, own it.

Chose Advocates Over Influencers

What’s the difference between an advocate and an influencer? Influencer marketing is partnering with individuals who have significant audience and influence. They are chosen to reach a wide audience, require payment, (often vast amounts), and by sharing a brand, they are rewarded. They are not always trusted though. They drive awareness but not necessarily, behaviours.

Instead consider working with advocates, who have a genuine passion for your brand. They’ll be an existing customer/member/consumer. This is who you want in your corner. View them as your biggest cheerleader. An advocate wants to genuinely share how amazing your brand is. Payment isn’t monetary, (although it can be), payment is recognition and engagement from the brand they advocate. Katy explains that the issue with influencers is that their lack of impact will unravel.

If that influencer has no affinity for your brand, the bubble will burst. It adds to this weight that brands are trying to fool the customer. 

If you’re still stuck on which method to use, Sharespring sums it up in figures. Brand advocates are 50% more likely to create content that influences a purchase, and are seen as 70% more likely to be seen as reliable sources. 

What is an Example of Advocacy?

Katy explains her favourite brand is the ever so glamorous Brabantia Bins! Incredibly expensive, replacing a broken bin would make a dent on finances. So when the lid broke, Katy’s husband reached out to Brabantia Customer Services. Did they pass the buck back to the consumer breaking the bin? No. They sent not 1 but 5 new lids! Now Katy has a house full of Brabantia bins. Their approach won her over and here we see a perfect example of brand advocacy!

If you’re struggling with your social media direction and strategy or merely want to bounce an idea around, sistr has a whole host of experts like Katy. Get in touch, let us know what you need help with and you’ll benefit from the power of an hour with an expert.