Down the lineby Coralie Dalcq - August 11, 2015
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Social Media Summit at The Hotel in Brussels. More than 20 speakers, spread over three rooms, shared their views on social media. The presentation that lingered most in my mind compared social media to art. It was a well thought out talk that included a lot of points that came back in other presentations, which is why I would like to elaborate on it here.
Social media marketing means more than following the ‘business as usual’ routine. People expect to see interesting content from you, especially on social media. Why would they be interested in your brand proposition if you don’t have anything interesting to share with them? There has to be added value in what you offer, and mastering this is an art.
The golden ratio
Many brands tend to forget that their social media content shouldn’t focus solely on their product or service. The golden ratio of content marketing is applicable for most brands: for every commercial post on your social media timeline, there should be nine non-promotional posts. Of those nine content items, three should be first party content (i.e. educational content, tips, brand and campaign messaging) and six should be third party content (i.e. curated content in line with your brand and your values – all from trusted sources – educating or entertaining your customers while helping to support your own page as a trusted source). Of course, this ratio isn’t set in stone, but it’s a good guideline for a majority of brands.
Unfortunately, this is something that is often forgotten when short-term objectives (such as direct sales) get in the way. But it’s important to remember: social media marketing isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Of course, we have to keep our (long-term) objectives in mind at all times when we create content, but we can’t be blinded by this.
There might not be a direct ROI right now, but it’s all about conversions down the line.
Take our client SCOOORE! (National Lottery, www.scooore.be) as an example. It’s easy to expect social media to deliver direct conversions (plays on the gaming platform), but why would potential players convert if they don’t know anything about the brand? We recommend first making people familiar with the brand with more appealing content, before trying to convert them. You need to have a first date, then a second and a third before you score, right?
Think for a minute… Are you focusing on the right things? Content shouldn’t always be tied to a sales objective. This is because the main objectives for your social media marketing are awareness and consideration: i.e. finding a way for your brand or organization to stand out content-wise. The key is consumer-centric thinking. If nobody likes your content, then they won’t buy from you. You need to share stories that are both attractive and credible on your social channels. This creates a relationship between your brand and your (potential) customers, which eventually leads to sales. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…
Once you have reached your target audience with your content, you need to hold their attention. You want to be first in mind when they are considering a purchase. How? By continuing to provide them with content they will enjoy or learn from, such as life hacks, fun facts or cats… Consider what your brand can do to improve the lives of your (potential) customers. What added value can you offer them? If they relate to your content in any way – or even better, engage with it – you have an advantage over your competitors. When your target customer has to make a buying decision, the chances are, if they liked what you shared with them, they will remember you. And it’s clear that this should be your objective when thinking about social media marketing for your brand.
Remember, it’s not winning the next point that counts, but winning the whole match. And social media marketing is the teammate that will help you in the long run. Your numbers might not match your expectations right now, but if you’re patient and constantly optimize your content, you will get the results you deserve.
So if you would like to learn more about managing your brand’s long-term ROI-driven social media strategy, you know where to find us.