Digital transformation has shown us a new face of marketing.
With the increased use of electronic gadgets and the IoT (Internet of Things), the gap between businesses and customers have reduced to a great extent. Finally, businesses realized the importance of digital marketing and started hiring in-house digital marketers.
Marketing mostly deals with the advertisement and promotion of products. Marketers should make a continuous search for the platforms where they can interact with more people. In this context, social media evolves as the next big advertising platform after television and print media.
And in reality, it goes beyond them.
Social Media Marketing and Strategies
Nicholas Lamphere of Harvard University defines social media as:
- “A media for interaction using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques.”
Social media acts as the nexus that connects around 2 billion netizens worldwide. It would seem that social media is a treasure trove of potential customers.
Leveraging the social media networks for business is called social media marketing.
If you are a blogger, you can generate traffic for your business. A service or product-based business can advertise and promote their services and products. These are the ways that businesses can use social media.
Your specific strategies, however, depend on the niche of your business. There are so many social media networks available. Each platform allows marketers to function in different ways. So, you have to determine which platforms serve you the best.
Social Media Integration in Business
Social media is the perfect place for:
- Brand promotion
- Lead generation
- Customer support
- Customer relations management
The number of social users increases rapidly as the business invests more time and resources into social media.
As per the recent reports of the CMO’s survey, the social media spending of businesses is above 10%.
And it seems that spending may rise dramatically. According to the report, the spending will see a 3% rise in the next 12 months and will be doubled in the next five years.
In the below infographics, you can see the social spending of B2B in 2016:
In the below table, you can see the social spending of B2B and B2C businesses:
If you observe the table, B2C services are investing more on social media marketing when compared to other businesses. This reason is due to more exposure to their audience.
Well, the overall spending is in a healthy state.
But when they were surveyed about the integration of social media marketing with their current marketing strategies, the results are not as encouraging. CMOs are still failing in implementing strong social media strategies.
Here is the report of the CMO’s survey where they inquired the chiefs of around 289 businesses in the US about the integration of SMM strategies with their business.
They scaled up the answers from 1-7:
- 1 being not integrated.
- 7 being well-integrated.
- The mean level of the integration is 4.2.
As per the social media marketing industry report (Michael A. Stelzner, 2016):
- 23% of social marketers strongly agreed that they have integrated social media strategies with their traditional marketing strategies.
- 58% marketers simply “agreed”.
- And 40% of marketers feel that SMM has become harder than it was a year ago.
In such a case, social CMOs should hone their strategies to get the best outcomes from social media.
What should the CMOs do?
The younger generations are more familiar with social media networks. A junior employee can know more about social media sites when compared to the CMO of the business. We can call the junior staff digital natives.
Digital natives can create good business pages on various social sites. Digital natives can make outstanding content. But digital natives may not know the best marketing route to get the desired effect. They need guidance.
It is an undeniable fact that marketing, be it traditional or digital, deals with strategies. And this is why a social CMO, whose primary responsibility is to make strategies, is good for social marketing.
So the CMOs should keep three things in mind for better social media outcomes:
1. Give a break to the figures
Most marketers are thinking about their social media figures:
- Facebook likes
- YouTube views
- Twitter retweets
- +1s on Google Plus
Of course, these figures are important. But they are not the most important.
The count of people you have doesn’t matter as much as what you do with those people.
Simply guide your digital natives around increasing the amount of likes. They will take care of it.
Once you get those likes, you have to focus on how to turn your social audience into your loyal customers.
2. Enhance the social skills of your staff
As a CMO, you are the driving force of your business’s social media success. But you can’t do everything.
As said earlier, your junior staff are likely already very active on social media. So nurture their skills with proper training on how to use social media for business.
There are many social media management tools that can manage your campaigns and help in generating leads for your business. Train your staff on using these tools effectively. Let them know how to determine targeted users and make conversions.
This mix of strategy and social media skills can do wonders for your business.
3. Measure performance
Now you have some great social media strategies and a well-trained team. And you are making good campaigns on social media. But how do you analyze your performance?
Different businesses have different goals in social media marketing:
- Some marketers want to increase their brand awareness.
- Some want to generate leads.
- Some want to make more conversions.
As a CMO, you have to maintain a checklist of what outcomes you want from your social media campaigns. We can call the checklist points key performance indicators (KPIs).
There are many such KPIs to help you check whether you are making any difference in your marketing. Let’s have a look at them:
Key Performance Indicators
1. Rise in engagement
As said above, different marketers need different things from social media. Facebook likes matter for some marketers and YouTube views matter for others.
The increase in each parameter indicates your success.
If you are a retail marketer, measure CTR for your content on social media and for your sponsored posts. A rise in these parameters can indicate the increased visibility of your business on social media.
If you want to use social media for CRM, measure the feedback for the support you provide on Twitter and Facebook.
In terms of digital marketing, getting someone to perform the desired action is known as a conversion. In a social media context, getting a response from your call-to-action is the conversion (a key performance indicator).
For example, you want to increase registrations on your website. You use the call-to-action ‘Register’ in your campaigns. The number of registrations you get from the campaigns is the measurement of your performance.
You have to measure two types of conversions:
- Conversions on your website.
- Conversions on social media.
You might want to try different types of content on your website to attract your users. Determine what kind of content gets you more conversions and make more of that content.
On social media, you may have tried different kinds of campaigns. Measure how much budget you have allocated for each campaign and plan how you want to manage your budget depending on each performance.
3. Sentiment analysis
As people are so expressive on social media, you can easily measure the sentiment.
Knowing what the public is saying about your brand is a very important thing.
As a CMO of a business, you are responsible for the reputation of your brand. So, you have to know what your users are thinking about your brand. There are many tools available that analyze sentiment.
ROI is possibly the most important KPI.
When you are investing valuable time, money, and effort, it is so important to make sure you are getting worthy returns. As per the social media industry report:
- Only 41% of marketers said that they are able to measure ROI.
- 37% of marketers are still uncertain.
But social media is not just for posting content and getting likes.
It’s a great place for generating leads and driving more traffic to your website. But this doesn’t happen so easily. It costs you time, money, and resources.
You have to get the best possible outcomes from social media. So, CMOs need to measure the social media ROI.
Awareness, targeting, and lead generation (the trifecta of marketing), have become easier with social media marketing.
As of now, there are around 2.35 billion social media users in the world. And it is predicted that there will be 3 billion by 2020.
Integrating social media marketing with your traditional marketing strategies should become the most prioritized task of CMOs. They should utilize their young talent and implement potential strategies to make a prosperous business in today’s digital era.
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