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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
READ MORE: 7 SOCIAL MEDIA SINS EVERY BUSINESS SHOULD AVOID
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 CLICK HERE or mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
1. 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.
2. 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.”
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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 CLICK HERE or mail us at: email@example.com
Customer Service Versus Customer Experience: The term “Customer Experience” or CX is often mentioned in business – more so over the last couple of years. But what exactly does it mean? Is it just another way to describe customer service or is it something else altogether? In this article, we look at what Customer Experience is all about, what sets it apart from customer service and what significance it holds for business. We explain why your organisation should adopt a CX approach, and also provide practical solutions, like social media techniques, to help kick start this transition. Intrigued? Let’s get started.
CUSTOMER SERVICE VERSUS CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Customer service, customer experience – Aren’t they the same thing? Not quite. Both concepts deal with the interaction between brands and consumers, but the way in which this takes place differs from one approach to the other. Customer service generally refers to actual tasks and actions related to serving and servicing customers. Customer experience, on the other hand, focuses on public perception of the brand in its entirety. It is important to note that customer service remains a key component of customer experience. The difference is that with a CX approach, customer support activities form part of an integrated client-focused business strategy as opposed to being an independent department or set of tasks. Each term can be defined as follows:
> Customer service refers to support provided by a company to its clients. It generally includes services such as responding to queries (e.g. product price and stockists), sales support (e.g. sales consultants in-store) after-sales assistance (e.g. technical support) and complaint resolution.
> Customer Experience (CX) encompasses the entire journey or sum total of experiences that a client has with a brand. It includes everything from the first point of contact (such as seeing an advert on social media or a product in-store) to post-sales customer relationship. It not only includes physical factors such as the quality of a product, but also emotion-based elements such as customer perception and brand sentiment.
Customer Services versus Customer Experience – As a quick reference, here’s a comparison between customer service and customer experience, highlighting key characteristics of each approach:
WHY CHANGE TO A CX-BASED BUSINESS APPROACH?
The answer to that lies in understanding why the CX approach emerged in the first place. The customer experience approach was developed as a response to changing consumer demands. Recent changes saw purchasing behaviour being influenced by client-centric elements at an increasing rate. This shift in consumer behaviour led to companies changing their business models to suit these demands. The result was a highly customer-centric approach that not only catered to these client needs, but also the changing business landscape in terms of digitisation and alternate media. This was termed the Customer Experience approach. In the current market, convenience, user-value, personalised communication and brand image are slowly overtaking price as decision-making factors by buyers. In fact, according to statistics, 86% of buyers will pay more for a better brand experience (www.qualtrics.com).
So back to the question: Why change to CX? Well, it simply comes down to supply and demand. Customers demand a CX approach – and the better a brand supplies this demand, the higher their success potential. Studies show that this shift is not just a passing fad – they indicate that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator (www.econsultancy.com). This is further backed up by Deloitte who state that a consumer’s decision to buy a product or service is impacted by their overall enjoyment of their experience. (www.econsultancy.com). In a consumer-driven business environment, failing to meet customer demands will not just lead to unrealised sales potential, but inevitably, losing market-share to competitors that satisfy said demands.
HOW SOCIAL MEDIA CAN HELP YOU TRANSITION TO A CX-BASED APPROACH
By design, social media platforms are ideally suited to a CX-based approach. Below is a list of business characteristics for a strong customer centric approach and details on how social media supports each element:
> Convenience: Consumer research shows that the preferred brand platform for communication is social media. This communication includes sales & marketing content, as well as customer-service-based interactions such as queries, complaints and technical support. Most web-traffic being mobile-based, and as social media is highly mobile-optimised, this increases convenience for customers.
> User Value: Customers support brands that provide some sort of value for them. Social media supports value-rich content such as articles, blogs and surveys. The ability to upload different media types (e.g. images, videos and slideshows) also boosts entertainment and enjoyment levels for consumers.
> Responsiveness, adaptability & interactivity: Clients expect quick turn-around times, responsive service and personalised two-way communication. Social media promotes all this and more. Brands can interact on a one-on-one basis with clients, as well as provide personalised marketing messaging to different client segments. By nature, social media response times are much faster than most traditional customer service methods. Brands can even change their native content in minutes should there be a serious negative response by consumers.
> Positive Brand Image & Affinity: Social media allows brands to position themselves in a desirably manner to boost sentiment. This can be done by increasing user-value through content (as mentioned above), as well as by highlighting positive elements such as a business’s community work or social responsibility projects.
> Customer Journey & Relationships: Social media supports the entire customer journey – from the first point of contact to every other interaction thereafter. This includes brand awareness, sales, marketing, technical support and after-sales communication. It also allows for consistency of experience throughout this journey.
> Quality Service: The combination of the above factors, along with other related functions, means that social media helps improve the overall quality of service that a business offers. This ties in to the overall experience that a customer has with a brand, which is what CX is all about.
To summarise, the core goal of the customer experience approach is to promote positive brand perception that leads to long-term customer relationships. This in turn helps achieve brand objectives such as sales generation, customer retention and business growth. CX is rapidly becoming the primary factor influencing purchasing decisions and customer loyalty. For business success, it is imperative for companies to implement a CX-based approach as part of overall business strategy. Social media is excellently suited to support customer experience and business goals. It is also a cost-effective and non-disruptive way to transition businesses from a purely customer service approach to a customer experience approach. And in a relatively short period of time.
Need assistance with your CX-based activities? Social Media 101 can help with customised solutions to suit your unique business needs. CLICK HERE to get in touch with Social Media 101.
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.
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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