Modern advertising has evolved greatly with the emergence of social media culture. Never has it been easier to engage directly with your customers. This advancement has come with some drawbacks and many benefits. It has forced businesses to adjust approaches fundamentally to target audiences directly and specifically.
This direct engagement can open a lot of doors for businesses. Social media can allow a business to reach a high number of potential customers. This can essentially allow for capitalization on all the benefits of word of mouth, only on a vastly larger scale. In this article, MAXBURST, a premier New York digital agency goes through the many advantages:
- Reduction in expenses compared to traditional marketing budgets
- Provides easy access to valuable customer feedback
- Allows for networking opportunity
- Increased traffic to your website
- Can build to higher rankings in search engine results
- Far reach across international markets and customer bases
- It is a valuable tool for market research
- Can bring great opportunity to offer direct rewards to customers for engagement, encouraging further interaction and the sharing of content and customer’s experiences with your business.
Social media marketingmay not be a suitable focus for every business. While the potential benefits are vast, it is a large investment in time and effort. This is now an area in which almost every business competes. If you don’t have a clear design and proper planning, you could waste resources on something that doesn’t pay off for you. There are potential pitfalls, risks, and disadvantages for which you should be prepared:
- Strategy is key, a failed approach can actually hurt your business beyond not showing success or benefit.
- Can open you to unwanted behavior on your platform. Monitoring activity can be important to avoid associating with bullying, harassment, and defamation.
- Your business can run the risk of negative feedback or attacks.
- Requires your constant attention and management to see the benefits. Daily updates and immediate response can be the difference between success and failure.
- You can be liable for false or misleading claims about your products, or against other competitors. This can be both from your business or through customer interaction on your pages. Constant monitoring is required.
- The amount of monitoring and presence required to function effectively could require additional resource investment.
Careful planning and clear goals can help manage the risks and maximize the benefits of your social media involvement. Preparation and design in your approach is critical to the success of social media marketing and to assessing the investment necessary to ensure you are investing your effort wisely.
Business to Business Marketing Campaigns
B2B marketing involves selling products and/or services to other businesses to use within their own company framework. This includes ad space to drive traffic, promote, and to encourage engagement.
Specific targeting and market knowledge play a huge role in the efficacy of these strategies. Small consumer demand can create a domino effect throughout supply chains. This means that marketing through related or complementary businesses can support and bolster your own business’ reach and customer engagement.
Twitter for Targeting Competitor Customer Pools
Though Twitter has a few limitations that differ from platforms such as Facebook, it does offer a key feature to businesses for marketing purposes. Twitter allows access to and targeting of your competitors’ followers. This can be direct competitors or just businesses that offer similar or related experiences, products, or content. The more closely related to your business, the better results you’ll obtain for your own targeting.
Twitter allows you to search for what it calls, “Follower look-alikes.” You can search for customers following accounts related to your industry and use this to target more readily available and interested customer pools. This can really lessen your workload when looking for prospects.
Social media usage can mean presence and engagement, but all social media platforms also offer advertising options. To understand which of these options can benefit you most, it’s important to understand what has performed well, and when.
Something that can be very important to designing your targeting approach is comparing social media platform audiences and demographical engagement levels to those of your business. This means if your business targets younger audiences, then knowing which platforms draw in younger users can be key to knowing which ads can be targeted where. Using age as an example, through data analytics it is easy to see that younger audiences engage heavily with platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram. So, designing your plan around these platforms becomes more viable. This approach through analytics can provide incredibly valuable and detailed information on where your specific business’ attention will be most rewarded.
Most platforms offer some way to view your company’s personal data analytics as well. Knowing who you are accessing, and where, can help to show where you are already hitting, and how effectively.
There are also many agencies, such as the Pew Research Center or Hootsuite, that offer yearly and sometimes quarterly summaries of important data figures across social media platforms. Pew Research Centercovers Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, and Reddit.
These breakdowns can include such data points as:
- Country specific customer interaction
- Age demographic of involved audiences
- Education levels (high school, post-secondary, student, graduate)
- Economic demographics (income ranges)
- Areas of population (urban, suburban, rural)
Knowing your own targets, as well as knowing the targets of your competitors, is important. This can be gained through corresponding with the analytics showing who is engaging with your content.
Using Facebook To Target Job Titles
Facebook has had some rocky history with targeting options, but they still offer many valuable tools for targeting across their platform. Facebook has over 2.2 billion users. That is quite the audience to access. Through Facebook’s Detailed Targetingtool, you can specifically target many user qualities and interests to focus your advertising efforts.
Targeting job titles and employment history can be a valuable strategy to getting your business to the customers who will be most likely to engage in your content and in driving customers directly to your website.
Job title targeting was removed over a year ago, but Facebook has recently reimplemented it and even expanded these options. By targeting users based on employment and other criteria, you can capitalize on engaging with important areas of peoples’ lives. One example is how they earn a living and provide for themselves and their families. Interests are great but connecting your product to vital parts of a viewer’s life can be even more effective.
Targeted Advertising with LinkedIn
LinkedIn offers very advanced, yet easy to use, systems of targeting advertising content. They have an advertising system that immediately accounts for demographic focus. You begin with broader demographic target points and then are given many subsections within each broader section. Demographic, interests, or education can be specifically targeted with subcategories. This can allow you to target consumer bases more closely and specifically. Allowing targeting across so many specified areas gives valuable test information on what is being effective where.
Capitalizing on Discovery and Word Of Mouth
One of the biggest benefits offered to businesses through social media is how it has changed the landscape of how content is consumed. There is a discovery culture to social media. What used to be propagated through seeking, targeting, and delivering, is now more largely consumed through discovery, engagement, and promotion. That doesn’t at all mean that targeting that discovery isn’t both effective and critically important.
Understanding who is engaging with your content is important. Understanding who is engaging with those engaging in your content can be just as relevant. Customers like being able to share and view close experiences with a business, whether it’s a product, service or experience. Sharing recommendations and encouraging friends is a large part of how social media accessibility can drive customers to you.
The influencer market is also growing more and more. This area allows you to gather info about aggregates of potential customers being engaged on your behalf. Influencers can be a great asset in targeted marketing.
Social media feeds are waiting for your ads to show up and meet the eyes of users. Users are waiting to see shared content from their friends and followed pages. Demographic analytics are readily available to understand who will be most interested, and many other features exist across all platforms to let you specifically target those groups. Streamlining marketing and advertising in this way can greatly enhance the efficiency of the social media space and how it can benefit your business.