Is social media marketing worth your time? Here are some stats for thought.
- Social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate.
- 21% of marketers say that social media has become more important to their company over the past six months.
- Social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC.
- 27% of total U.S. internet time is spent on social networking sites.
- 59% of Twitter users have visited B2B tech brand sites, compared to 40% for the average internet population.
- Approximately 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision.
Social media can increase awareness, improve conversions and help make more sales – but only if you can direct your social media marketing tasks so you’re getting the biggest return for your time.
For many marketers, that means focusing social media marketing time on the platforms that make the most sense for their goals and their target audience. Contrary to (what seems like) popular belief, your organization doesn’t need a strong presence on all major platforms in order to make an impact with social media.
Most companies that have a strong presence on several platforms have that because they’ve built it up over time. You need to do the same. Focus on where you’ll have the biggest impact and then branch out from there once you see initial success.
Here’s how to direct your social media marketing time and energy for the best impact.
1. Develop a complete persona for your target customer.
You might know the general demographics of your typical customer – but do you have a fleshed out persona? A persona takes you one step beyond demographics to define a personality and figurehead to represent your target market. Instead of young professionals ages 25 to 32, you have Ted – a purchasing assistant who lives in Cleveland and spends his spare time rebuilding old computers.
2. Figure out where this persona is spending their time.
If the Teds of the world are on LinkedIn, that’s where you need to be. Or Google+. Or Twitter. You can even drill down further and find niche social networks that might be off the radar for people not in your target audience. Where ever your audience is spending their time, you need to be there.
3. Define your goals for social media marketing.
Once you’ve considered who you’re trying to reach and where you should do it, you need to focus on what you’d like your audience to do next. This can help you further refine where you should spend your social media time.
For example, you’d like to increase leads for your tech company. You need to educate your audience about a complex problem many of them are facing, yet don’t know how to solve it. With the goal of educating your audience and converting them into leads, where is your time best spent? Will it be on Twitter where information comes fast and furious? Or is it on SlideShare where people tend to stop, read and absorb? Obviously, in this case spending time on SlideShare is going to be more valuable for your business goals.
4. Track, evaluate and repeat.
Doing the front end research to determine your audience, where they spend their time and how you can best reach them is important to social media marketing success. However, you also need to evaluate as you go and make changes based on your performance. Having an integrated inbound marketing analytics system can help you see exactly how your social media usage ties to your business goals. You can make changes in your platform, types of posts and approach to get better results.
How are you using social media marketing to reach out to potential customers? Do you have a preferred platform?