Social media marketing describes the strategies and tactics to use different social networks in order to achieve the company’s goals related to digital marketing.
Social media keeps on growing. At the end of 2018, 95% of adults aged 18 to 34 were following at least one brand through social media.
More than 2/3rd of the consumers who have had a positive reaction on social media with a business are likely to recommend it to friends and family.
At present, social networks are the principal communication tool between the client and the business.
Any consumer has the ready means to communicate with any major company and with much of the rest of its customers through the use of this route.
In order to correctly manage this brand-client relationship, the companies implement a strategy whose main objective is to increase their level of engagement and rapport.
The engagement could be seen as the power of attraction that the firm exercises over consumers, hence the importance of a good social media strategy, developed in parallel to the primary marketing actions generated by the company.
A well-defined plan in social media marketing is the basis for the success of a company in the digital realm.
Social media marketing involves more than setting up a Facebook fan page and occasionally publishing some photos on Instagram.
Successful social media managers use an objective oriented plan to approach the selection and use of social media channels and rely on the constant measurement of their successes in order to achieve the goals previously set.
An inescapable part of the social media strategy, the analysis of social media activity is too often neglected by companies. Yet, this is the surest way to track your performance and verify that it is aligned with your business or retention goals.
1. Analyze activity on social networks
The tools of analytics are inseparable from the activity of a company on social networks, even for SMEs. Whether using a community manager or internal skills, being active on social networks is an investment of time or money.
The activity must be profitable, and this is what is proposed to be measured by several simple tools.
2. Define performance indicators on social networks
The performance indicators will allow the company to know where it is in relation to the objectives assigned to social networks, and adjust its strategy accordingly.
It is up to the company management to set the general goals of the social networking strategy – is it to increase the sales volume, builds customer loyalty and e-reputation?
Each of these objectives must be translated into performance indicators, or metrics, which are quantifiable and measurable.
In concrete terms, metrics can be used to evaluate:
- Visibility on social networks (number of impressions of Facebook content, a Tweet, number of views of a YouTube video)
- The commitment of internet users (number of retweets, favorites, comments, likes, shares)
- Track the conversion from engagement on social networks to sales. Using Google Analytics, you can measure traffic from Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network and calculate the share that has turned into a sale.
Since each tool addresses a particular need, before integrating management platforms around your digital communications, you need to understand what are the key marketing goals that social networks enable you to achieve?
Essentially, the objectives are –
- Real-time acquisition of market data and understanding of critical factors that affect brand health
- Optimization of advertising campaigns
- Development of strategies to promote products and services
- Collaborate with your current customers and acquire prospects in real time
To date, there are more than 200 social media monitoring platforms that offer management tools, monitoring tools, analytics, or all three combined for an individual, small business, or large enterprise accounts.
The majority of these tools are paid, but most also offer free trial periods with fewer features. Of this lot, here are a few social media marketing tools for business that should hold your attention.
For medium and large businesses, Hootsuite is the perfect social networking platform that supports more than 32 social platforms, including Instagram. It allows your business to –
- Target content and search for conversations by location and language
- Access all your interactions with a contact (at all levels of your organization)
- Automatically suggest relevant content
- Present engagement schemes and popularity analysis of contents
- Locate opinion leaders
- Analyze public opinion towards your brand
- Organize the team workflow by region
Mention is a multichannel search tool. A reliable tool for analysis and search of phrases and expressions, it makes it possible to identify all the media and forums where someone speaks about your business.
- Mention integrates Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram networks, allowing you to take part in conversations and connect directly from the platform. The tool also takes into account YouTube, Pinterest, and other social networks. It has a mobile application, so it is accessible from everywhere.
- It allows you to share alerts and mentions, assign tasks to team members, e.g., customer service, create reports and share them
- Mention offers a real-time search tool for specific keywords everywhere on the web – blogs, news sites, forums.
- As soon as an online conversation concerns your interests, it is presented.
- The tool integrates with Slack (an exchange network that optimizes internal communications in an organization)
A tool that follows Mention closely – Brand24 has a wealth of features available for management which allows the monitoring and analysis of social operations. The platform offers, among other things –
- The automatic identification of the feeling resulting from a comment or reaction (positive, neutral, negative)
- A stream of mentions which are well organized to interact faster.
- A dashboard about the chatter volume
- Avenues for reflection to make decisions based on the data presented more quickly
- A popularity index calculated for each participant in a discussion
- An index of popularity of contents, which means that you see how good content is and what kind of commitment it offers, without going directly into the content.
In terms of watching competitive posts, Rival IQ simply and quickly offers a good inventory of the community management of a brand versus its competitors on a multitude of platforms. It provides –
- A dashboard that sorts and displays content by taste, comments, type of content and more, to analyze the most and least appealing messages efficiently
- Identifying the type of content in your market that gets the most commitments
- The analysis of each social message coming from your competitive landscape filtered by hashtags, keywords and even emojis, the type of communication channel, the kind of content, the time, etc.
SproutSocial is very well designed for all types of businesses, small or large, for community managers or for customer service, for the following reasons –
- Multi-account management and customized access to the platform to team members based on their role and what they manage.
- Watch activity on multiple social channels, hashtags, keywords, engagement, etc.
- A smart box that presents all social messages (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram) in a single stream to ensure you do not miss any conversions
- An image resizing tool that allows you to crop images and produce optimized sizes for social media profiles, messages, and campaigns.
It is a less multifunctional tool which is more focused on managing content publishing for smaller businesses Buffer is an excellent alternative to Hootsuite if you want to start managing your social marketing.
The tool focuses on the analysis of contents rather than the complete analysis of your social networks. However, it allows you to track engagement, conversions, and trends to prioritize your marketing efforts. In addition, Buffer recently launched its new inbox for managing your Twitter customer service.
It is essential to be able to understand if interacting on social media is producing the desired results. Since it requires an investment of time and energy, the results have to be clearly visible and interpreted.
With the vast amount of tools that are available for measuring the success of a social media marketing campaign, there is undoubtedly no lack of inputs based on which every type of business can take an informed decision.