Social media is big, so is social media marketing. As brands begin to realize the immense potential of social media, marketing departments are increasing their spending on platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Weibo and Twitter. Social media is one of the most effective marketing channels for companies of any sizes but the key challenge that many brands face is figuring out how to convert investment in social media into effective marketing that makes sense.
Brands are already using social media for advertising and marketing purposes but many brands are still struggling to grasp the full potential and usage of these platforms. There are so much more that social media is offering beyond running ads and promoting products/services.
Today we are going back to the basics – no fancy ideas on how to create the most viral or creative campaign but rather, how can you make use of the immense reach of social media for your daily marketing efforts?
Brand awareness and brand building
One of the top reason for brands to employ social media – the ease of getting on social media, its immense reach and viral nature offers brands one of the fastest way to increase brand awareness and exposure in a short period of time. As users are exposed to increasing amount of ads, it seems like they have a natural instinct to skip through them on the various social media platforms. When usual ads like Facebook Ads or even Instagram Carousel Ads no longer work as well as before, influencer marketing is the next best bet.
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Some of the best examples are Hallmark #KeepSakeIt campaign featuring family friendly influencers for their 2016 collection and Tarte Cosmetics’ #TrippinWithTarte which features several top fitness and make up influencers on a trip to Hayman Island. Influencer marketing can create some of the best success stories but choosing the right influencer can be a challenge to most. Influencer search engine and analytics platform Popular Chips offers one of the most comprehensive approach to understanding and selecting the most tailored influencer for your brand.
Introducing (new) products and services
Users, especially Millennials (who are also the largest group of consumers), are looking for more genuine form of advertising – something on a more personal level and influencers provide just that. When it comes to introducing existing or new products/services, these influencers are the best ambassadors to spread a brand’s message to their network through a more intiate experience, much like a friend’s recommendations based on personal experience.
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One example is how Dyson Singapore has been actively engaging in influencer marketing and beauty/lifestyle influencers are sharing how they are incorporating the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer in their daily routine.
Many brands are moving away from traditional medium to host various promotions and contests through social media platforms. As opposed to traditional medium such as printed lucky draws, hosting contests online (Instagram, Facebook) is comparatively cheaper and fuss free. Also, the reach of the contest can extend to a wider reach online.
Some brands are hosting contests/giveaways that involves contribution from users in the form of sharing a post, following the brand’s IG account, liking a Facebook page or leaving a comment. All these helps to not only increase brand awareness but also increase users’ participation and engagement with the brand. As brands encourage users to tag their friends in comments or share a post, these users in turn provides a form of publicity for the brand to their own social network.
Another frequently employed promotional method is by using customized discount codes for each influencers. With influencers, the brand is able to reach a wider group of audience by leveraging on the influencers’ appeal and engagement to his/her audience. By customizing codes for each influencers, it provides a more personalized experience and allows brands to track the conversion rate of the each influencer that is engaged.
Acquiring and retaining new customers
All of the above strategies are key to acquiring and retaining customers by introducing them to the brand/products while enticing with engaging contests or promotions. In addition to these, brands should also always strive to drive traffic back to their own brand (IG account) for every marketing efforts and channel. This can be done by having influencers to also tag the brand account and redirect interested followers to the feed.
Example of brand’s Instagram feed
What happens after all the steps have been taken to attract customers to your brand account? Retaining them to your feed is a challenge that most brands feel. First and foremost, brands have to create engaging and interesting content on their own feed frequent enough to remain relevant to followers. Finding the perfect style of content could take a few trial and error as every brand’s mix of audience are different. However, with a little analytics and content analysis, brands can figure out which are the style of content/posting that engages their followers.
Also, links are a strong asset for a brand’s IG account. As Instagram still does not incorporate link in images/caption, the link the bio is a brand’s only avenue to redirect followers to any other platform – websites, campaign, webstore etc. Brands can make use of services such as Lnk.Bio (multiple links on bio) because why settle for one when you can have more?
This is perhaps one of the most overlooked aspect of social media marketing – market research to identify industry trends and key opinion leaders (influencers). Social media and its users are ever changing; there is always something new happening on this space, be it a new viral music video challenge, movement or even just a trending hashtag. This is a space where many new market trend started and what other better places could brands be to identify the next big trend in their industry?
Brands can identify new trends, competitors or disruptions in their industry and be quick to adapt and remain relevant to the changing needs of consumers. One key tool to achieving this ability is the social listening tool which basically allows brands to monitor every conversations about their brand/competitors on social media platforms. It provides real time access to latest talk and trends that consumers are participating in the digital space. There are various social listening tool available that monitors different medias like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
In this aspect, Popular Chips’s social listening feature is able to track all content on Instagram through the use of hashtags. Simply input the relevant hashtags that you would like to track and the platform will display every post featuring the relevant tag.
In this case, we did a social listening using the hashtags #SingaporeChangiAirport and #ChangiAirport and here are some of the top posts with the tag in the past 3 months, according to number of likes (this can be selected to your preference). Users can not only view all the posts with the tag but also the influencers who have participated in the conversation and how many times/amount of engagement they receive for that (below).
Not only can brands look at the type of content that are being posted, they can also identify the influencers who are already talking about the brand/topic organically. These influencers are one of the best to engage as they are already genuinely interested in the relevant topic/fan of the brand.
There is so much more that social media is presenting us to explore for digital marketing; to ensure that every spending on social media translate into substantial performance gains, brands should explore a more comprehensive approach towards integrating social media across various marketing activities. Social media marketing is here to stay so get on it now!