Your Social Media Strategy is Bigger Than Just Collecting Likes and Shares
Welcome to week #5! I hope you are loving this series as much as we are. If you didn’t catch last week’s post, go check it out. We talked about the impact social listening can have on your customer service efforts. Today, I am going to talk about how social listening can significantly improve your social media strategy.
First, I would like to explain the context in which I use “social media strategy.” In many cases, when we think of what a social strategy looks like, we think of the frequency of posts, how long the headlines should be, what kind of picture to use in the post, and so on. However, your social strategy is bigger than just accruing likes and shares. While it is nice to be able to show your boss that your Twitter account has 14k followers, if none of those people actually engage with your content or participate in online conversations, then it isn’t really creating value for your company. Social media can be an incredibly effective tool not only for communicating with your audience but also as a monitoring instrument. And when we talk about a social media strategy, it is not merely as a way to get likes and followers, but it is an incredibly powerful research tool into the mind of your audience.
It is in that mindset that we begin today’s post. Today, we are going to look at four ways you can use social listening to optimize your social media strategy.
Learn more about your target audience
You may remember a few weeks ago we talked about using social listening to define your target audience. Any effective use of social media requires at least a basic understanding of your audience. Social media monitoring can help accomplish this in a number of ways.
- First, social listening will help you understand how your audience communicates. Social media can be an effective tool for content creation by helping you understand the words your customers use, the way they describe your product and service, as well as the complaints or problems they have. Many of us go to social media to brag about a good experience or complain about a bad one. As you collect this social data, you will have a better sense of the way people talk, what they talk about, and you can then use that information to inform your content.
- Second, a robust social listening tool can identify the most active regions talking about your product or service. An understanding of region will help as you prepare to launch your various marketing campaigns. As I mentioned earlier, it is important to understand how your audience communicates and knowing region and language goes a long way to understanding how people in those areas communicate. Region is also important because it should inform your marketing for that area. For example, using the term “flood” in an ad campaign (This new product will flood your inbox with customer purchases) would probably go unnoticed in Utah; however, that same message in say, Houston, would be terribly insensitive and would create a PR nightmare.
- Finally, it is important to know who is sharing and engaging with your social media. This tracking can obviously be done manually, but the time and hours devoted to it would be better spent doing other, more productive tasks. A social media monitoring tool such as NUVI will help you identify the profile that is most actively engaging with your content and then you can track those specific profiles to see what else they are sharing and with whom they are engaging. You can then reach out to those profiles to expand your audience of potential customers.
Identify when and where your audience is most active
One of the features our customers love about using NUVI is the ability to track spikes in conversations, sentiment, and platform. This data helps them identify which platforms people are more likely to use as well as when their audience is the most active on social media.
As the monitor pulls in data, you will see peaks and valleys as more keywords are being used and as mentions subside. You can correlate the spike in mentions at a certain time with specific content or events. In most cases, when you haven’t published anything new and there isn’t anything newsworthy at the moment, a spike in mentions will indicate when customers are more active on social media and more likely to see your content.
Another important tool is using a comparison to identify trends. For example, this is week 5 of our series. If I wanted to know when was the best time to publish this blog I could create a comparison using data from the last 4 weeks to identify when my audience is most likely to be online and engaged. I can also track which network gets the most shares and use that information to determine when to publish and which network to use for paid ads promoting the new post.
Shape brand voice
Part of your social media strategy ought to be building brand awareness. You do this by maintaining a constant voice in all your messaging, all the way down to tweets and Instagram comments. Social media listening can help you shape this brand voice. The more you share and engage with your audience, the better you will be able to recognize what resonates with them and what doesn’t. This doesn’t mean that you should be constantly altering your brand to match the tide of public opinion; you should always strive to stay true to your established voice. However, one thing you can learn from a poor reception is that either your messaging is way off the mark, or that you are pursuing the wrong people and need to go back to the drawing board to identify your actual tribe. For many companies, especially startups and entrepreneurs, voice is a matter of trial and error. Social media can be extremely effective in this iterative process.
Tracking various campaigns
Finally, it is likely that at least part of your social media strategy involves tracking marketing and influencer campaigns. Maybe you have a hashtag campaign that you are using to promote a new product or track shares. A social listening tool like NUVI can save you countless hours in manually tracking, organizing, and analyzing data. For example, from the Apple Event, the most trending hashtags reveal that people are more interested in the FaceID than in the release of the iPhone8. An Apple marketer might also be interested in the 72k people tweeting about iPhoneTH and what that means.
Furthermore, NUVI tracks Trending Keywords. Trending Keywords are not part of the original monitor, but were used in conjunction with keywords we monitored. In this case, we were monitoring terms like “iPhone8” “iPhoneX,” “Apple Event,” and so on. Below are the top 10 trending keywords that appeared in the same mention as our tracked keywords. “Apple employee” was the most common term social media used when talking about Tuesday’s event. Apple marketing might be interested to know why this was such a popular topic and whether or not they need to build a campaign around it.
In conclusion, your social media strategy is bigger than just analyzing likes and new followers. Social media is (should be) a crucial component in your overall marketing strategy and using it solely for basic communications is negating its full opportunity. As a part of your marketing strategy, social media should be leveraged not only to communicate and establish relationships with customers, but to monitor public perception of your brand, product, and service; track campaigns, learn about your target audience, and build brand voice. A robust social listening tool such as NUVI will facilitate these goals and empower your team to do more with less. Curious what social listening can do you for your brand or agency? We’d love to give you a demo!
Next week, we are looking at how social listening can help in product development and if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, check out our new guide on using social media and data to optimize PR results.