Examining the secrets behind optimising the efficiency and quality of your social media marketing team
Managing a social media marketing campaign can be incredibly difficult
primarily because the landscape is always changing and so are the prevailing methods which advertisers use in order to attract and engage their audiences.
There are a number of advisory guides online which posit that the key to social media marketing is regularly posting high quality and unique content to a targeted audience. Whilst such sentiments are undoubtedly true, I believe that they are too simplistic and uninformative to provide people with a real idea of what it takes to market your brand successfully on social media platforms. The reality is that a successful social media marketing campaign is unbelievably hard to maintain and incredibly complex in nature because it requires the efficient production of valuable & relevant content each and every day, which then needs to be marketed properly, optimised for engagement and monitored on a frequent basis. When you consider that these requirements need to be strictly adhered to on a daily basis and you can see how strenuous and uphill running a top-quality social media campaign would be for your business.
However, as the famous words of former American president Teddy Roosevelt go: “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty”, and never does this ring truer than when it comes to social media marketing. This comes down to the stone cold fact that social media marketing is a concrete part of the business world today and should be a mandatory part of any online campaign. According to Social Media Examiner, businesses which utilise social media platforms for over three years almost universally experience a rise in the search rankings, which whilst cannot be directly attributed to social channels nevertheless contribute heavily to higher brand awareness and site traffic worldwide.
Social media is here to stay – as is its users – and this means that it is vital that your company focuses its efforts in this area and determines how to use its accounts on these platforms optimally to raise its profile and establish a loyal following which promulgates its positive reputation. And what better way to learn how to modify the infrastructure of your company and the way it operates for optimal social media marketing results than a clear guide on the topic which addresses everything you would need to know. Enter this guide, which will seek to bolster your prowess on how to use social media platforms to market your brand to new heights, and take it to the very top of its industry.
Before we look into the techniques you can deploy in order to optimise the efficiency and quality of your company’s social media marketing campaign, I feel it is worthwhile delving into the vital areas you should address right from the start of advertising on social media channels, so that you are well positioned to take the market by storm and expose your brand to interested audiences all around the world.
Select the social media channels you want to market on
Just because you decide you want your business to have a presence on the social media, doesn’t mean that you have to set up an account on every platform available to you. Conversely, being selective with where you want to expose your brand via social media is far more important to your eventual success, and having too many watered down profiles releasing material of inconsistent quality will actually serve to undermine and lower your profile. You should however create profiles on the following channels, because they hold the largest user bases for you to attempt to connect with and target your posts towards.
- Google +
If your company has an individual (s) who is able to create infographics and supplementary images for your posts and content releases, then you should definitely contemplate using Pinterest and Instagram for promoting such material, directing higher traffic levels to your site from consumer interest from your graphics and acquiring links from impressed viewers all around the globe. You should also look at Imgur, Stumble Upon and Tumblr as potential image share platforms to use, because some carefully posted high-quality graphics could actually send your brand to a new level of exposure if it were to attract global interest and attain viral status.
Any other platforms that you hear about and are considering using should only be focused on after you have optimised your presence on the above, and have created clear and effective strategies to nurture and engage your audiences from these channels.
For more information about which platforms are the most appropriate for different styles of marketing and agendas, we recommend you read our article: An Essential Social Media Guide to Stirring up a Storm Online
Set out a clear goal
Running a social media campaign is only useful if you have a clear agenda set out right from the start of embarking on one, and indeed you can only measure the success and failure of it if you outline clear key performance indicators (KPI’s). Shockingly, only a third of marketers are estimated to actually measure their return on investment from their social media campaigns, which quite frankly is appalling considering that they take so much time to run and manage.
Before starting your campaign, you should ask yourself what you want to achieve from it. Do you simply want to establish a loyal following? Are you trying to raise awareness of your brand across the globe, or are you trying to use this awareness in order to generate more business? Make such identifications will help you make better use of the analytical figures available to you over the course of your campaign and will allow you to make meaningful and accurate value judgements about the success or failure of your endeavours.
For example, a 30,000 follower base on Twitter would be regarded as an unadulterated success by any business which set out to raise awareness of their brand within the consumer world and get the word of their business out there for people to start talking about. However, the same follower attainment would not quantify as a success for a business which set out to establish a loyal and interested customer following, if the followers never engaged with their posts and shared their material. Instead, the following figure would represent a cosmetic feat, which in reality does very little to show that their social media marketing campaign has been a success.
According to Social Media Examiner’s 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, over 64% of marketers have social media marketing as an essential part of their digital campaigns, and a staggering 84% have seen positive benefits from doing so and putting the hours in. So without further ado, let’s look at the ways your company can optimise its efficiency, production and quality in order to make sure it is maximising the potential rewards it attains from social media channels.
As utopian as it might seem to readers who enjoy having control over all their company’s affairs at all times, sometimes you have to accept that you simply do not have the resources, energy, motivation or time to do so. When it comes to running social media accounts, doing it yourself will inevitably wear you down as you come to grips with the reality that it involves far more than quality content production and appropriate sharing to make it. However, hiring some motivated but cheap content writers, and a social media team to establish your presence online is a hugely cost-effective way of making sure that your company optimises its presence on these platforms and produces the volume and quality of material that is necessary to run an effective social media campaign.
There are a number of account manager services which cost as little as £99 per month, and can assist you to save a huge amount of time and money, whilst you can spend time doing what you do best, which is managing your company and figuring out strategies to get your site coverage and your material exposure. Moreover, doing so could save you money training in-house members of staff who will of course start the process without any real idea of how to use social media channels in order to promote your brand and content. Instead, you can rest confident in the knowledge that your campaign is being managed by people who know how to promote work optimally on different channels, and have a wealth of experience adopting the tones necessary to truly engage and nurture audiences on ranging social media platforms. If you’re outsourcing, you should think about hiring a contract manager to take care of this for you.
Schedule Ahead + Install Management
Structure and timings are a vital part of social media marketing and you should have tools at your disposal which allow you to plan out your posts and content releases in an ordered and contrived manner. There are currently great scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer and IFTTT which can allow you to compose and schedule your posts to your various social communities. You can also determine the best times to make your posts by analysing trends via the programme Tweriod.
For all B2B advertisers who frequently release content on social channels, using something like Oktopost could make it really easy for you to manage your various profiles at the same time and will automatically identify which platforms are inducing the highest return on investment for the money you are spending on them.
Selective content production
A great way to make your social media marketing campaign more efficient is to focus on the nature of your content, rather than the volume of your releases. Google is keen to emphasise that they want to deliver their users the best quality and most relevant search results for their queries, and a huge part of that is the quality of material you feed them for them to rank. As such, you should focus on the timings of your releases and producing content which is valuable and interesting to your readers, rather than overbearing them with an overload of material.
You could also use tools such as Swayy to provide you with suggestions about what type of content is worth devising at the time for your audience and is most likely to get engaged with. You can then utilise its internal analytics and attain insights into important metrics such as mentions, shares, clicks, organic followers etc.
Content with Aesthetic Appeal
Sometimes, the cliché “a picture tells a thousand words” is undisputedly true, and this certainly applies to content releases on the internet. It appears that both Twitter and Facebook have realised the digital marketing world’s propensity to create intriguing graphics to augment the appeal of their releases, with Twitter recently enabling bigger header images on its platform whilst Facebook’s decision to add a timeline to their page 3 years ago has resulted in 65% higher engagement on their channels.
You could also use a program like Compfight, which functions as a zero-cost Flick search item which simplifies image sourcing immeasurably. Essentially, it pulls every photo you choose under Creative Commons for Commercial usage license. With Compfight, you can perform rapid searches for emotions, items, concepts and select an image which is most representative of the material on your content. The programme is quick and easy to use and could be used for all your content releases to raise their quality, appeal and overall engagement as they attract the attention of those who have overlooked your writing.
The key to optimising the quality of your content is to embrace the values of user experience and relevancy and enshrine them into every infrastructural aspect of your business. This means enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your content by using sites to generate appropriate images and continually thinking about the production of infographics and video posts in order to achieve this aim. You should also be selective with your content productions and make them genuinely valuable to their viewers so they feel implored to do your marketing for you, and spread the word of your brand and its material.
This brings me to how you can optimise the efficiency of your social media marketing campaigning. The key to achieving this is to accept that a functional team is better than a spectacular individual, and remembering that using technology to manage your campaign is essential. Using tools such as Sprout Social in 4 single hour sessions a week will actually bring a professional and orderly element to your marketing campaign, allowing you to focus on the areas which need the most work on whilst technology ensures that the efficiency standards are upheld to the maximum.