At a recent roundtable discussion comprising marketing professionals from a range of industries (including hospitality, music and banking), we investigated the challenges faced regarding social media marketing. We asked marketing professionals what their single biggest problem was when it comes to marketing their brand on social media. We expected responses such as “understanding algorithms” or “measuring return on investment”. Instead, the leading answer was (surprisingly): getting approval for a social media budget. Some marketing managers had difficulty getting sufficient funds allocated towards social media activities, while others struggled to get a budget at all.
Most of the marketers surveyed attributed this problem to their organisation’s decision-makers’ lack of understanding regarding the business value offered by social media. The rest simply didn’t know where to start in terms of approaching their business’s CEO/Director/Owner/Financial Manager about investing in social media. Based on the insight provided by this focus group, we have put together some tips to help marketers when it comes to getting your social media budget approved.
Getting your social media budget approved – tips for marketers
Before approaching your company’s decision-maker about social media budgets, make sure that you have the required information and insight at hand. These are some tips and techniques designed to help you motivate your case for social media investment:
Take an integrated approach: Instead of approaching social media as a separate marketing component, integrate it with your overall marketing plan. Social media has the capability to support virtually any other marketing activity. For example, driving foot traffic if you have an in-store sale or boosting awareness and ticket sales for an event. It should therefore form an integral part of your marketing mix. Presenting a well-designed marketing plan that includes social media may be more favourably received than a separate social media plan in isolation.
Do the research: Social media is able to support your brand’s needs, wants and priorities. Shortlist your company’s business objectives and look at how social media can promote each of these goals. This includes tangible factors such as sales generation, as well as promoting goals such as increasing brand awareness or positive affinity. Both short- and long-term company goals should be taken into account when ascertaining how social media can be used to benefit the business.
Do the legwork: Consult with social media specialists to gain insight into solutions that would work best for your brand. Speak to more than one expert so that you can get a balanced idea of the options that you have. Thereafter, get quotes that are in line with an appropriate social media strategy for your brand. By doing this, you will be able to explain how the requested social media budget will be spent, as well as the underlying rationale of the plan. If hiring an in-house team is not a viable option, look at outsourcing this function. That way you can get the benefit of excellent social media management without the hassle of employing more people. This will save time, effort, money, company resources and other overhead considerations. Read more…
Rands and Sense: Social media has the potential to provide high return on investment. Again, this is both in terms of bottom-line results as well as factors like brand positioning or customer satisfaction. It is an efficient, cost-effective marketing method. A well-executed social media strategy is one that is highly result-driven. This means that funds allocated towards social media should be viewed as an investment in the business, not as an unnecessary expense.
It’s all in the numbers: Most decision-makers are fans of reports and statistics. While traditional marketing does provide some data, social media does not shy away from the numbers and is rich in qualitative and quantitative metrics. Social media platforms are able to provide measurable results, accurate data, comprehensive reports and even information like insight into consumer behaviour and market trends. Emphasise the science behind social media, and how it can improve the business in general – not just marketing tasks. This alone may be the key to winning over the financial gatekeeper.
Re-allocate Marketing Budgets: If your company has budget restrictions and simply cannot increase marketing spend, consider re-allocating existing budgets. Analyse the returns you are receiving from your current marketing platforms (e.g. billboards, television and print). Then look at re-allocating some of these funds to social media activities.
Additional points to support social media investment:
To substantiate your “pitch” for a social media budget, these are some of the additional benefits offered by social media:
> It offers custom audience targeting – meaning that there is little to no wastage on unsuitable consumer segments. This makes it a highly targeted and cost-efficient marketing method.
> It is versatile and supports different media types (image, video, slideshows etc). You can also provide value-rich content (such as tips, articles, insight) in addition to marketing content.
> You can interact directly with your clients as social media supports two-way communication, which is great for improved customer support services.
> In today’s digitally rich business environment, it is imperative that brands have a strong social media presence and are active and agile to respond to comments, queries and complaints which assist in reducing risk for the company.
The key to getting senior decision-makers to invest in social media lies in demonstrating the business value offered by social media. Also, social media is not a passing fad – it is here to stay. Therefore, not being on social media leaves a business at a disadvantage. This is both in terms of competitors, as well as business progression. Social media is no longer a “nice-to-have”, it is a “must have”.
We hope that the above points help with the challenge of getting social media investment – both in terms of finances and interest. For additional insight and advice, get in touch with the Social Media 101 team. We can also assist with effective social media strategy planning and execution, as well as platform management. CLICK HERE to contact Social Media 101.
With the ever-increasing use of social media, comes an ever-growing list of social media related words and phrases. In fact, the sheer volume of these use-specific words is enough to warrant the compilation of an entire dictionary dedicated to this field! Such a publication may be a bit overwhelming to us mere mortals at this point, though. So instead, as a starting point, we’ve put together a glossary of key terms related to social and digital media. To keep you in the loop, here’s our:
A-Z of Social Media
Analytics: Social media analytics refers to data generated from social media platforms and activities. This data (including both bottom-line stats like sales, as well as elements like customer sentiment and brand affinity) can then be collected and analysed to track performance and ROI. Read more…
Bots: A bot is a social media “robot” that generates an automated response or behaviour. For example, sending a message like “How can we help you?” when someone visits your site.
Crisis Management: This refers to a plan of action in response to a social media scandal or crisis, such as a situation that attracts bad publicity. Crisis management usually entails internal processes, as well as the involvement of third-party specialists such as social media, public relations and legal experts.
DM: DM stands for “Direct Message”, most commonly used on Twitter and Instagram, for an instant message that is sent privately to another account and is not publicly visible. On Facebook, the term “private message” is used instead.
Employee Amplification: This relates to the process of harnessing the influential power of your employees on social media as “ambassadors” for your brand. Key employees are positioned as thought leaders and trusted advisors to boost both positive sentiment and reach for your business via their personal accounts. Read more….
Followers: Followers are people that opt in to view content from your account in their Newsfeed. They form a page’s audience and contribute towards valuable organic (free) reach. They are also generally more engaged than other users, which is great.
GIF: GIF stands for “Graphics Interchange Format” and refers to short video clips, generally without sound. GIFs are often used to convey emotions and can be found on most social networking platforms including Facebook, Twitter and even Whatsapp. Here’s an example of a GIF (courtesy of giphy.com):
Me trying to meet my writing deadlines:
Handle: Your handle is your social media “ID” or username per platform and begins with “@” e.g. @Social101SA. You can have the same handle on different platforms, but no two users can have the same handle on the same platform. Its best to have a handle that describes you or your brand rather than some clever but unrelated word like @Hotstuff (unless you’re an Indian curry restaurant 😊).
Impression: Impressions are the total number of times that your post has been seen by social media users. This differs from reach, which refers to the total number of unique users that have seen a post. For example, if a 100 users have each seen your post twice, your reach would be 100 but your impressions would be 200.
Join: Joining a group on social media is another way of opting in for content. Most people join groups to engage with people with some sort of shared interest or viewpoint. Getting users to join a group is another great way for businesses to gain organic reach and grow core target groups on a platform.
Keyword: Keywords are commonly used in relation to Search Engine Optimisation, and refer to primary words that relate to a topic. On social media, keywords are often used with a hashtag (#) in front of such a word or phrase. It is used to group conversations about a certain topic e.g. #Christmas. Large scale use of the same keyword by many users at the same time leads to a trending keyword or “trending hashtag”.
Live Stories: Live stories, such as those on Instagram and Snapchat, are photos or videos posted by users that last only 24 hours. As it disappears after this time, it does not form part of profile content. It prompts immediate views of content by users that “don’t want to miss out”. It can be used for content that is only relevant at a certain point in time, or by people that have a lot to share but don’t want to “clutter” their feeds or profile.
Mentions: A mention is just that – it is a mention of you or your brand on social media. This is generally done using your handle (also referred to as “tagging”), and a message is sent to you notifying you that you have been mentioned. You can then respond to the mention if desired.
Notification: Social media notifications are messages sent directly to you by a platform, informing you of an occurrence or event (such as someone tagging you in a post). Other (highly useful) notifications include reminders of birthdays of people you are “friends” with on that platform, and upcoming events.
Organic Reach: This refers to content seen by users through free reach (i.e. not paid promotion). On Facebook, this is often restricted to views by your own audience and group members. On other platforms like Twitter, this reach can be a lot wider, especially with the use of hashtags.
Paid Reach: Paid reach relates to paid advertising on a platform. The reason for using paid promotion is so that you can reach your core audiences through targeted campaigns. It allows you to find and serve content to key segments within their newsfeed, as opposed to waiting for them to find you.
Quote Tweet: A quote tweet basically a retweet on Twitter, with the difference being that you can add your own comment before sharing. This allows you to share your views when sharing curated content. Below is an example of a quote tweet:
Reach: Reach is the total number of unique users that see a particular post. In other words, the number of individual people who have been exposed to your brand’s post. This is a figure that should be viewed objectively and considered in relation to your industry market size.
Share: Reposting content from another account is called sharing on social media. This includes clicking the “share” button on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, and the “retweet” on Twitter. By sharing, content from another page is added to your timeline on a platform, allowing your own audience to view the post without going to the source page itself.
Trending: When a topic gains extensive attention and engagement on social media, it is said to be trending. It refers to widescale popularity at a given time, which can be for both positive and negative reasons (although usually when it comes to the latter, its called a crisis or scandal). The use of a hashtag associated with a topic allows for it to trend as more and more people join the conversation.
UGC: UGC or User Generated Content is content created and posted directly by users (as opposed to crafted, promoted content by businesses). For example, a user posting a photo of a new pair of designer shoes purchased and raving about how awesome they are. UGC is closely tied to customer influence the user becomes a sort of ambassador that the mentioned brand can tap into.
Vanity Metrics: Vanity Metrics are figures such as the number of page likes and followers which can be easily inflated and misleading. Although these figures make a social media page look successful, it does not necessarily equate to business value or ROI. For informed decision-making is best to look at more tangible data sets such as Engagement Metrics. Read more….
Webinar: A webinar is basically a web-based or online seminar. It refers to a live or recorded presentation, and can include video, audio or combined content. Webinars are very popular when it comes to disseminating business, educational or informative content in particular.
eXperience: Ok so maybe we cheated a bit here. But “X” stands for “experience” when used in relation to CX (customer experience) and UX (user experience). Both refer to the move towards more client-centric approaches by businesses. It’s all about creating an amazing experience for the user throughout their journey with the brand, and is becoming the primary focus of social media strategies globally.
YouTube: YouTube is a video-based social networking platform. Users can watch content on virtually any topic, as well as upload their own videos. The monetizing functionality offered by YouTube also makes it an ideal advertising platform for certain brands, and even users themselves can make money if the videos they post generate enough views.
Zealot: Social media zealots are users who are highly engaged and often emotionally invested in a brand online. They interact with the brand itself, as well as other users that engage with the business. There is a potential for such consumers to be harnessed as ambassadors for the brand, but this should be approached with caution due to their “zealous” or passionate nature.
And there you have it – our A-Z of social media! We hope that you find this guide useful and informative (you can even show off your knowledge around the coffee machine). Feel free to get in touch with us should you require more insight into these or any other social media and digital concepts.
CLICK HERE to contact Social Media 101 – we look forward to hearing from you.
The phrase “All social media agencies are not created equal” is not just an accurate statement, but an understatement – given the current state of affairs. This is due to the vast disparity among the many social media service providers in terms of quality level and expertise. But how do you know a great agency when you see one? Well, we at Social Media 101 are here to tell you a bit about ourselves and what makes US a leading social media consultancy. And we sincerely hope that by the end of this, you understand what makes Social Media 101 different, and why we would be a great agency to partner with.
Why Social Media 101 – what makes US a great consultancy? Here are some of the things that sets us apart in this highly competitive industry:
OUR SOCIAL MEDIA & BUSINESS ACUMEN
Strategic, result-driven approach
We are a social media business consultancy and take a strategic approach to all services. We speak your language – we know that it all comes down to return on investment and positive business impact. Social Media 101 works with you to understand your business, industry, customers and competitors. We then look at what your primary business objectives are, and structure a social media strategy in line with these defined objectives. Our social media activities are result-driven and focus on your business goals: whether its driving sales, increasing brand awareness, boosting desired customer affinity or other objectives based on your needs. We also integrate social media activities with your existing marketing and business endeavours (e.g. by promoting live events or traditional marketing campaigns).
At Social Media 101, we pride ourselves on being agile, responsive and adaptable. We take a client-centric approach and craft a social media solution that works best for you. Our service offering is flexible as we understand that a “one size fits all” style just does not work when it comes to social media. We are also available outside of normal business hours and have an open and approachable management structure. This customer-centric approach also applies when we manage your clients on social media i.e., we are responsive and provide excellent customer support that further positions YOUR brand as client-focused.
We provide in-depth reports so that you can keep track of our performance as well as your investment returns. These can be customised based on your priority measurables. We also explain what the data means so that you are empowered to drive informed business decision-making.
Full Service Offering
We can supply (or source) services to meet all your needs: from Search Engine Optimisation to animation to live event social media coverage. We also have a network of partners equipped to handle all social media and digital requirements including legal and business advice. This assists not only with service excellence, but risk mitigation and crisis management (should the need arise) as well.
OUR SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERTISE & KNOWLEDGE
Team of Experts
Each member of our team is a specialist in their field, as well as in social media. For example, our graphic designers are skilled at creating visual content for social media. Our copywriters know social media best practices for written content for each platform. Our strategists are experienced when it comes to the algorithms and rules that govern the social media sphere. And all of our social media experts have a high level of business acumen that ensures professional execution of tasks. The diverse backgrounds of our team members include experience and qualifications in: Business, Sales, Marketing, Law, Communication Science and Psychology (to name a few). From a social and digital media perspective, our team of specialists include data analysts, media booking specialists and content producers that are able to create high quality material to suit different media needs, including articles, videos, GIFs, animation clips, carousel-type content etc.
Advanced Social Media Knowledge
On the surface, social media platforms appear simple enough to use. However, behind the curtain (or in this case, the screen) are complicated systems driven by complex programs and algorithms. This affects the performance of all social media content – both paid and unpaid. At Social Media 101, we understand the inner workings of the different platforms, and take a scientific approach when planning activities. This includes content, media type, audience targeting and even the timing of uploads. By using best-practice methods, return on investment is maximised based on the strategy behind each message.
|Sidebar: Have you noticed that your personal Facebook feed now has more family & friend posts than marketing? This is a practical example of an algorithm change affecting content delivery.
Constant Industry Upskilling & Tools
Social media platforms, as well as digital technology, are constantly evolving and advancing. Social Media 101 team members continually upskill themselves to keep up with technical changes and market trends. Not only does this help keep your online marketing content relevant, but feeds into your overall marketing and business activities as well.
| Quote: “Social media is an ever-growing and changing platform, with algorithm adjustments happening constantly […] and without dedicated monitoring and adjustments, your business could be missing out.” (www.thumped.co.uk)
We also invest in tools and partnerships to provide our clients with a superior service offering. These include reporting, tracking and insight applications. We stay in the loop with regard to emerging software and tools that can further boost the level of service we provide.
At Social Media 101, we have a proven track record across numerous industries, business types and regions. Since inception, our business has grown threefold year-on-year. Our clients base includes local, global and international brands, and continues to expand. Despite this growth, we take a personal and dedicated approach to every client and strive to exceed expectations always. We believe that this ethos, along with our expertise and experience, makes us a leader in the social media field. Put us to the test – we are confident that you will not be disappointed.
If you are looking for a great agency to partner with, or if your current agency simply does not match up, give Social Media 101 a call. We look forward to hearing from you. CLICK HERE to contact Social Media 101.
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How to choose a social media agency