Data and Analytics - Social Media 101
7 SOCIAL MEDIA WINS EVERY BUSINESS SHOULD FOLLOW

7 SOCIAL MEDIA WINS EVERY BUSINESS SHOULD FOLLOW

Over the years, businesses have enhanced their digital footprints tremendously. Social media is undoubtedly one of the best vehicles that brands can use to drive their business objectives and achieve their goals. With that being said, not all businesses achieve success through social media. Here are a couple of things that you can do to gain an edge over your competitors.

CONTENT THAT DRIVES BUSINESS OBJECTIVES

Social media is not fluffy, it is a strategic tool that can be used to drive tangible business value. These objectives could include (but not limited to): brand awareness, building a database, increase app downloads, registering for an upcoming event or driving traffic to your online store. Whatever your objective, it is important to create content that provides value to both the business as well as the customer.

UTILISING THE RICH PLATFORM DATA

The various social media platforms have gathered an incredible amount of user data, by utilising this data you are able to communicate directly to your ideal customer with little to no wastage. You are able to target your ideal customer based on demographics, interests or behavioural data. Thus, allowing your business to speak to the right person, at the right time, with the right message – at scale.

SUPPORT THE ENTIRE CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE

 
Social media can support the entire customer life cycle all the way from brand awareness through to the actual sale and even after sales support. With the data contained within the various social media platforms you are also able to track and retarget users with customised content based on where they are in the sales cycle and to support them throughout their customer journey.

CUSTOMER SERVICE THAT DELIGHTS

Customer service online should not just be a box that needs ticking. It is important that when your customers reach out to you online with questions, queries or complaints you are able to respond quickly and effectively. There is nothing more frustrating than reaching out to a brand online only to be redirected to a dusty email inbox. It is important that your community managers are empowered to solve issues in real-time.

PEOPLE DON’T HATE ADS

People don’t hate ads; they hate irrelevant ads. Social media allows brands to connect and advertise directly to their ideal customer solving real problems, offering solutions and adding value. Make sure to customise your content and messaging based on your target audience.

CONTENT SCHEDULE

It is important to keep track of your digital marketing strategy. A good way to do this, is by preparing a monthly / weekly content schedule. Not only is this for time management, but this allows you to have a bird’s eye view of your key messaging, content and publishing dates.

LESS IS MORE

The saying ‘less is more” is oh so relevant on social media. The notion that businesses have to post every day is flawed. Content creation is expensive and takes a lot of time and resources, thus you have to ensure that you’re getting the most value out of the assets that you have created. Focus should be on quality over quantity. This is where utilising paid adverting can be useful in terms of extending the longevity of your posts.

If your business needs support with its overall digital strategy, paid media booking, content creation or community management schedule a free call with one of our digital specialists.

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7 SOCIAL MEDIA SINS EVERY BUSINESS SHOULD AVOID

7 SOCIAL MEDIA SINS EVERY BUSINESS SHOULD AVOID

Social media has increasingly become a powerful tool that businesses in various industries have tapped into as means to drive their business objectives. With that said, some businesses are unaware of the social media sins that they are inadvertently committing that could be hindering their success. Here are Social Media 101’s 7 social media sins that every business should avoid.

WASTING TIME GROWING FOLLOWERS

Over the years, social media platforms have throttled the organic algorithm. This means that the organic reach is now limited to 1-5% of people who follow your page and have opted in to hear from you. The days of posting and expecting your entire audience to see your posts are in the past. Paid advertising is a must for every business on social media. It allows you to reach a wider audience than just the people following your page. The advantage that comes with paid advertising is the ability to target your ideal customer based on their demographics, interests and behaviours. This ultimately gives your business an edge over others that have not yet tapped into this social media function.

ONLY FOCUSING ON ENGAGEMENT

While engagement looks good on your business and personal page, does it drive business values? Engagement is a vanity metric that gives the business social clout however there are other metrics that you should be focusing on to measure true business value. Tracking metrics that drive business objectives should be the number one focus. Metrics such as ‘Traffic’ lead potential customers to the website, and more often than not turn into sales, while ‘Reach’ helps businesses get more eyeballs on their content. It is important to track the metrics that directly relates back to the business objective that you are looking to achieve with a post. Ask yourself the question “does this metric support my business objective.”

TRYING TO NOT LOOK LIKE A BRAND

Several businesses try to slide into social media timelines trying to not look like the brand to feel more relatable, but all that does is confuse the user. If you are a brand, brand like a brand and add value. The key here is to be a brand that posts content that adds value to both the business as well as the end user. As business you have access to a wealth of industry knowledge use this opportunity to inform, educate, inspire and convert the user.

NOT UTILIZING RICH DATA CONTAINED WITHIN SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

Spraying and praying is one of the biggest sins businesses make on social media. If a butchery would not waste time trying to sell meat to vegetarians, there is no reason for you to speak to people who are not interested in your products. When it comes to social media, businesses should be razor focused about who they want to speak to through ‘Targeting’.

NO STRATEGY

Winging things may work in other things but certainly not on social media, especially when running a business. Social media has the ability to drive tangible business objectives, not #MondayMotivation & cat pictures, this is why it is crucial to have clearly defined business goals that can be supported through social media. Some common business goals that can be supported through social media includes website driving traffic to your online store, event registration, ticket sales and even customer service.

TRYING TO BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYBODY

Trying to be everything to everybody is never a good idea as it leaves users feeling confused. In a world with limited resources it is vital that you use your time and money optimally to drive maximum bang for your marketing efforts. Having a clear picture in mind of your niche audience, you are better able to create content for them that speaks to their needs.

NOT RESPONDING TO CUSTOMER COMMENTS

Leaving customers high and dry is a recipe for disaster. If you wouldn’t turn your back on a customer if they walk into your shop, why do that online? What happens when you do not respond to customers? In the world of business word of mouth is everything! If customers can give good reviews about a wonderful experience they had with customer service, they will most likely give a bad review too should they feel ignored. After using their hard-earned cash on your business, people expect a response. Don’t lose your business credibility because you failed to respond to a customer.

If your business needs support with its overall digital strategy, paid media booking, content creation or community management schedule a free call with one of our digital specialists.

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COMMON MISTAKES BRANDS MAKE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

COMMON MISTAKES BRANDS MAKE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Running a successful social media campaign can be tricky. Below we have highlighted the most common mistakes that brands make on social media and how to avoid them.

INCONSISTENT POSTING

When it comes to social media marketing, consistency is key. Similar to traditional marketing efforts brands still need 6-8 touch points on social media in order to convert their prospective customers. It is therefore important to share regular updates that help build brand awareness and trust – so that when your customer is ready to buy, your product or brand is top of mind.

POOR QUALITY CONTENT

Social media is all about snap judgments and just like in real-life first impressions matter. Before a customer will buy from you, they will do some product research. Whether that is checking out your catalog, website, or social media pages. If you content is badly sized, not legible on mobile, pixelated, or blurry it will leave a negative impression. Business owners spend a lot of time making sure that their in-store experience is positive, but often forget that the same principles and attention to detail is required for their online presence.

ADDING NO VALUE

There is nothing more annoying than brands that take, take and take. When building an online brand it is important that business’s focus on a healthy value exchange. Content shared on social media should add value to both the customer and business. Successful brands keep their audience updated and engaged with valuable content.

OBSESSING OVER PAGE FOLLOWERS

Historically having a large audience allowed you to share regular updates with customers who have opted to follow and hear from your business. Unfortunately, as the platforms have evolved organic reach drastically decreased and social media now is a pay to play platform. Page followers have become a vanity metric. Having a large audience makes you look good, but contributes very little to your overall marketing success, because you are no longer able to speak to them.

NOT RESPONDING TO QUESTIONS, QUERIES AND COMPLAINTS

You would not turn your back on a customer in real-life, so why do it online? We are always shocked to see how many customer questions go unanswered. Customers are the life force of any business, without them there is no business. It is important that brands respond to customer questions, queries and complaints timeously.

If your business needs support with its overall digital strategy, paid media booking, content creation or community management schedule a free call with one of our digital specialists.

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The Power of Customer Influence

The Power of Customer Influence

Online influence can take many forms, the most well-known being Celebrity Influencers, Employee Advocacy and Micro-Influencers (click here for more on influencers). In this article, though, we are going to look at one form of influence that is not talked about as often, namely, Customer Influence. More specifically, we discuss the power of customer influence for your brand.

 

The Power of Customer Influence

What makes something trend online? A high level of online engagement (likes, shares, comments) by people. What turns something into an online crisis? Widespread negative sentiment, again, by people online. This illustrates the power that customer influence has on a brand’s image online. This, in turn, effects business results such as sales and customer retention. Customer influence is closely linked to the Customer Experience (or CX) approach which is increasingly becoming the primary focus of business strategies across all industries.

Quick Stat: 61% of consumers said they would be more likely to research a product or service recommended on social by a friend [Sprout]

Types of Customer Influence

Online activity can take the form of both unpaid and paid influence:

  • Unpaid influence is simply users voicing their feelings about a product, service or brand. This could be either positive or negative, based on their own experiences. Some users will comment on a brand’s business pages while others may post on their own pages either recommending or trashing a brand to their own network.
  • Paid influence is when a brand enlists the services of a micro influencer to post positive messages about the brand, usually via their social media pages. For example, a new mother raving about a baby product brand. Since the influencer is not an actual celebrity or brand ambassador, the messages appear to be their own personal opinions. Also, such messages are posted organically and don’t have the tell-tale “sponsored” tab that accompanies typical paid advertising.

Importance of Customer Influence

Quite frankly, customer influence could potentially make or break a business. People tend to react more strongly to posts from their contacts or trusted sources over brand-based messaging. Large scale negative sentiment on social media often leads to a crisis that could seriously harm a brand’s reputation. On the other hand, happy customers generate a brilliant form of word-of-mouth marketing on social media (aka marketing-on-steroids). This not only boosts business goals like sales, but ever-important positive brand affinity as well.

Quick Stat: According to a study done by Forbes, 81% of consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by their friends’ social media posts [Social Media Today] 

How to Drive Positive Customer Influence

It’s a no-brainer: simply provide great service and products to your clients both online and offline. It’s all about creating an excellent experience throughout the client’s entire journey with the brand. From a social media perspective, here are some ways to boost positive customer sentiment:

  • User-centric content: Post good quality, engaging content that has high user value, like blog articles, tips and how-to guides. Such content is likely to delight users. User reaction to content will indicate what your audience likes best (or doesn’t care for).
  • Be adaptable: Take your cues from your customer, and adapt content and/or service based on their demands. This may mean adding or removing posts. Effectively manage online conversations for maximum client satisfaction.
  • Be responsive: Respond to client queries quickly and professionally. Remember, people often turn to social media after failing to get service via telephone or email. Even a complaint can be transformed to a positive experience for the customer if handled efficiently (click to read more). Engage with your clients when it comes to positive feedback, “likes”, etc.
  • Crisis Management: Have a process and plan in place to tackle negative commentary before it becomes a crisis. In the unfortunate event that it does, have an available network of experts at hand to mitigate risk. Read more…
  • Use paid micro-influencers: Use carefully selected micro-influencers that are relevant to your brand and audience. Ensure that they are well vetted, and that all content is approved before publishing.
  • Employee Amplification: Assist your company employees to be active on social media on behalf of your brand. Provide them with digital tools and resources to share on their social media pages should they come across a relevant question or query. Also, support them to report and provide feedback on negative online commentary. Read more….

Basically, people will complain about poor service, and rave about excellence. Social media typically amplifies and extends these messages. The key to driving positive customer influence is to constantly and consistently exceed expectations. Ensure that your social media content and platforms are managed by experienced and skilled social media specialists to help you achieve this.

Need help driving business goals? Social Media 101 offers custom solutions to suit your brand.

The pharmaceutical sector, in its pursuit to connect with broader audiences, has increasingly embraced digital marketing, especially social media platforms. However, this digital shift doesn’t come without challenges. The world of social media, with its real-time interactions and viral trends, brings with it a plethora of potential risks for pharma brands. Let’s delve into these risks and provide actionable strategies for effective risk mitigation.

Potential Risks In Pharma Social media Marketing

 

  • Adverse Events Reporting: One of the most significant concerns for pharma companies on social media is the potential reporting or discussion of adverse events related to their products. These can range from mild side effects to severe medical reactions.
  • Misinformation and Misinterpretation: The real-time nature of social media means information – or misinformation – can spread rapidly. Misinterpreted data, incorrect usage details, or misguided advice can have serious implications.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Pharma brands operate under stringent regulations. Ensuring that every piece of content, interaction, or campaign aligns with regulatory guidelines is crucial.
  • Brand Reputation: Negative feedback, public complaints, or controversies can escalate quickly on social platforms, potentially tarnishing a brand’s image.

Actionable Strategies For Risk Mitigation

 

  • Comprehensive Social Media Policy: Establish a robust social media policy that all employees are familiar with. This policy should define permissible content, response protocols, and escalation procedures for issues like adverse event reporting.
  • Active Community Management: Maintain an active presence on your social media profiles. Quick, appropriate responses to comments or messages can prevent misunderstandings from escalating.
  • Regular Training: Regularly train your social media and customer support teams on the latest regulations, brand guidelines, and adverse event reporting procedures.
  • Monitoring Tools: Implement social listening tools that alert you whenever your brand or products are mentioned. This enables you to respond swiftly to potential issues.
  • Clear Communication Channels: Ensure there’s a clear line of communication between your social media team and medical or regulatory experts within the company.

Community Management Best Practices

 

  • Pre-approved Content Library: Maintain a library of pre-approved responses for common queries, comments, or situations. This ensures that your team provides accurate and compliant information consistently.
  • Rapid Escalation Protocols: In case of an adverse event report or a serious complaint, have a defined protocol for rapidly escalating the issue to the relevant department.
  • Periodic Review: Conduct regular reviews of your social media interactions to identify potential areas of improvement or recurrent issues.
  • Engage, Don’t Ignore: Engaging with comments, whether positive or negative, demonstrates that your brand values feedback and is committed to patient safety and satisfaction.
  • Patient Privacy: Always prioritize patient privacy. Move detailed discussions, especially those involving personal health details, to private channels like direct messages.
In conclusion, while social media offers a valuable platform for pharma brands to connect with their audience, it’s essential to approach it with caution and preparedness. By understanding potential risks and implementing a comprehensive risk mitigation strategy, pharma brands can confidently and safely navigate the digital realm.

If you’re keen to elevate your social media presence while ensuring robust risk mitigation, our experts at Social Media 101 are here to guide you every step of the way. Get in touch today for tailored solutions and strategies that align with your brand’s vision.

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Getting Your Social Media Budget Approved – Tips

Getting Your Social Media Budget Approved – Tips

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: ocial 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Final thoughts:

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.

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