If your social media campaigns seem to be delivering fewer results recently, you aren’t alone. Even large brands (reportedly) reach as little one in every 50 of their own followers, i.e., a mere 2%.
This isn’t surprising with content being shared more than ever. The space in our news feed is at a premium and content from friends and family gets preference. Brand campaigns, on the other hand, don’t make the cut very often.
Gone are the days of being able to engage with users for free through “organic posts.” But it doesn’t mean that businesses should give up on social media altogether. The need of the hour is focus.
Instead of blasting out updates, brands can now focus on followers as well as non-followers with a higher degree of accuracy. The rich social data with networks enables targeting not just specific demographic groups but also “lookalike audiences,” alike that of the competition.
More focused, simpler to use and more effective than before. Here’s how you can achieve that:
Go for Pay
Industry analyst Gartner is uncharacteristically blunt In its new report: “Sustained success in social marketing now requires paid advertising.” With more than 80% of companies planning to deploy a social ad campaign this year, paid ads are increasingly becoming the foundation of social strategies.
Most major brands run their own “native ads,” – promoted posts or updates designed to look just like the real thing (with tiny disclaimers). Once you get over the initial hesitance of groveling for Tweets and posts, paid ads for social media does come with several advantages for businesses.
The returns on this social media investment can be tracked and quantified. Paid social media analytics gives real-time access to results, with instant feedback on parameters like costs per view, clicks, etc. While the work of creating and bidding these ads was considerable in the past, several online platforms have simplified the process.
Enlist your own Social Army
There’s another critical and often overlooked way to get the message out that entails no considerable cost: your employees and customers. You get to expand your reach, more so in the case of large companies. Besides, messages are being shared by personal accounts (rather than the brand), they manage to reach a higher percentage of followers.
Employee advocacy – inviting coworkers to share brand messages on their own social media accounts – comes with a host of benefits. In general, content shared by employees reportedly gets eight times more engagement than that by brand channels.
Be warned that there’s a right way and a wrong way to encourage employee sharing. It should never be obligatory; employees should actually want to share company news.
User-generated content is a powerful way to engage with customers along with the benefits of crowd-sourced inspiration and creativity. But the challenge remains to incentivize users to generate this clickable content. An old-fashioned contest never hurts. And the easier it is to share, the better.
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