As we near the end of 2015 I wanted to avoid a ‘social media trends for 2016’ style blog piece. Of course everyone will be eyes on for what is going to happen over the next 12 months, how the platforms will adapt and technology updates will take place.
However, having taken many companies on their digital and social journeys this year, there are still so many things that are evidently not happening in organisations all over the world. I am not talking about having a ‘fancy Facebook profile’ but more around commercial market tactics that can be deployed to better use budgets, see return and measure efforts.
1) Integrating social from day one
All too often social is an afterthought – companies will spend millions on huge above the line campaigns without effectively integrating their digital channels – building dedicated landing pages, having digital assets to match the above the line creative and generally joining the dots to ensure a consistent experience for the user. It seems odd that in 2015 I am still harping on about the basics of ‘integrated marketing’ but it is shocking how separation of teams, poor internal comms or lack of emphasis on digital still make this a real issue.
2) Utilising social data
With the exception of, possibly, your own customer data – social is your best and most reliable source of data. The best thing about it is that people voluntarily offer up the data and keep it updated for you. If their interests change, their preferences, their contact details – they’ll let you know! How many organisations have spent thousands on buying dirty data that gets you nowhere? Why not utilise social.
3) Not thinking about ‘behaviours’
Marketing has moved beyond demographics – whilst pen profiles have their place and the traditional principles of marketing will always be relevant – the fact is that we know so much more about people than we ever did before. We have access to so much more data and ways to crunch that data. If someone buys organic bananas – is the fact that they like bananas important or is the fact that they are organic more important? What does this tell you about a person? The way we move online, the choices we make builds a pool of behavioural and cognitive data that most organisations are just not thinking about.
4) Playing the ‘pay to play’ game
We all know that the main social channels are moving to a pay-to-play model where an amount of paid content investment will be required to reach even your own following. However, large budgets are not necessarily required to get the desired cut through and effect that you may want. We have achieved results as good as half a penny on video views on Facebook, but you need to know the system, understand your audiences and make your targeting super tight.
5) Analysing and comparing channels
I ask a lot of organisations which marketing channel performs best for them and for the most part they cannot tell me. This is usually down to people not having defined ‘success’ or how they will measure it, different departments responsible for different activity in silos and not joining up or comparing results. When we do this exercise we often find that social is the most successful channel – bringing in the most leads at the best price and creating the highest ROI.
So before you jump on the trend train – take a look at the above and see what you can do to embrace social and improve your organisation’s marketing.