By Joe Gagliese
Years ago, convincing potential clients to adopt the forward-thinking strategy of social media marketing was like trying to sell fairy dust. Companies really wanted to stick to their roots and avoided change. Slowly over time, marketers began to step out of their comfort zones and realized the value in social media, which had the potential to reach targeted audiences.
Now, users are more likely to gather their news from and make purchasing decisions based on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. More and more brands have begun allocating their media budgets to support social initiatives.
Promoting your brand’s message through social channels must be done properly in order to be effective. After founding a top social media agency, the experience has opened my eyes to exploring opportunities to help elevate your social campaign:
Integrating brands into social media has become increasingly effective with the rise of influencer marketing. Once your social media strategy has been developed, turning to experts to scout appropriate, on-brand influencers can elevate your campaign.
With influencer marketing, 21st century celebrity endorsements are given a whole new meaning. What once appeared as forced, paid advertising now translates as organic, relatable content that is affordable and manageable. In fact, according to data from Think With Google, 70 percent of teenage YouTube subscribers say they relate to YouTube creators more than traditional celebrities.
In addition, these influencers paired with the appropriate social media platforms have the potential to expose brands to a more targeted and impressionable market. Social media analytics can provide insights and demographics on your influencer’s following to help gauge their compatibility with your brand.
Influencer personalities often develop a close relationship with their followers; however, it’s important not to rule out the prospect of using theme pages as well. Increasingly on social media, especially Instagram, theme pages are gaining incredible engagement through views, likes and comments. Due to their relatable and organic content, integrating your brand into a theme page could be an effective method to reach your demographic.
Creating appealing visuals and interesting captions is important to any social campaign; however, remaining on-brand and developing authentic content is key. First, evaluate what you hope to gain from the campaign. Who are you trying to reach? What message are you trying to communicate? What is your overall objective?
Once you answer these questions, you’ll better determine the direction of your social campaign and ensure your strategy is in line with your brand values. Users want to engage with a real brand — and can easily identify inauthentic content. Tell an interesting story and make the content relatable. Hootsuite asked its Twitter followers the common mistakes brands make on social media. They include, but are not limited to:
- Focus on self-promotion, rather than engagement
- Excessive use of hashtags and emojis
- Exploiting any and every trend, including memes
Make sure that your presence on social media isn’t clouded by posting what you think users want to see. Stay true to your brand and create conversation with your followers to actually find out what they’re interested in.
This applies to influencer content as well. Integrating the appropriate influencer will affect the success of your campaign exponentially. Finding the right fit will generate more organic content, which will lead to more organic engagement.
While some marketers may be hesitant to invest money into promoting posts and social ad spend, this tool is becoming more widely accepted. Initially, marketers feared inauthenticity; however, boosted posts prove to have effective results. With their advertising algorithm, users are 2.5 times more likely to click on Instagram ads than users on any other social platform.
When you have the right content, directing your post to your target demographic through paid ad spend can generate a more efficient marketing tactic. With insights and data to support your efforts, your ad can reach the right people and actually influence purchasing decisions.
Of course, promotional tools on social media must be reinforced with a strong social strategy. Social experts can walk you through the process of choosing the most suitable content to invest in and how to target your ideal audience. When strategized properly, social media paid ads have the ability to bring the best out of your social media campaign.
While each of these pillars can stand alone, they’re most effective when integrated together. Social media experts can effectively develop a 360-degree campaign that utilizes these strategies together to exponentially grow the results and the reach the objectives of your campaign. This means investing time, money and critical thinking behind your social strategy is necessary to create a successful campaign.
Joe Gagliese is the co-founder of Viral Nation Inc. and an industry thought leader on all things social and influencer marketing.