Have you ever looked around during a rock concert? It may have seemed like utter madness. You’ve got roadies in the back setting up, technicians working on the sound systems, the stars on stage putting on a performance, and people in the crowd from all walks of life.
Navigating the social media landscape can sometimes feel like a rock concert as well, with 1.71 billion monthly active users on Facebook, 313M active monthly users on Twitter, and over 450 million registered users on LinkedIn—all with different demographics and preferences.
So how do you become a social media rockstar to engage and delight your different target audiences? Here are five ways to make your social media marketing rock:
1. Understand Your Audience
Before you jump into the tactical details and start rocking out your social media plan, you need to take the time to understand your audience.
Rock concert attendees come from different backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common: they’re there to watch the rockstar perform. That rockstar needs to know how to appeal to all these different demographics and personalities. The same concept applies in social media. Users from different social platforms are diverse, but they’re all on there to interact and engage with their network and brands. As a social media marketer, it’s your job to find the harmony that draws in these users, which consist of your target audience, to keep them coming back for more.
To understand who they are and what they care about, develop audience personas by answering questions like these:
- What is their background? For B2B marketers, where do they work and what are their responsibilities?
- What are their goals and how can your products or services help them achieve their goals? What are their challenges and pain points? This is a great place to start-looking at how your solution can alleviate their pain points…exploring how YOU can help THEM.
- Where are they consuming content? What social platforms are they on?
- What kind of content do they interact with? Do they have an interest in a particular solution or product? Does a particular type of messaging will speak to them directly? And more broadly, what other topics are they interested in?
Developing audience personas requires an initial investment, but it pays off throughout the customer lifecycle—not only for building brand awareness, but engaging buyers, converting them, and then developing them into brand advocates.
2. Make Your Lyrics Memorable
Once you have a thorough understanding of who your audience is, you can start mapping out your social media marketing strategy by determining how you’ll engage your audience across the different social platforms.
To develop engaging campaigns for social, it’s critical to:
- Set the tone, style, and delivery strategies for your content. Just like how some concertgoers might respond best to a light, soft jazz while others are looking to really rock out, your content needs to be tailored to your target audience’s preferences. Should it be conversational, prescriptive, or authoritative? What form should your content take: a text post, an image, or an asset?
- Research what topics your buyers are most interested in and develop content around it. Rockstars need to determine whether they’re going to perform songs about heartbreak, medleys about a day in the life, or a little bit of both. They might factor in what their talents are and who they’re performing for. For social media, the topics you should be writing about will be determined by each persona’s interests and how you can appeal to them. And if you ever get stuck on wondering what your audience wants to see, just ask! You can always pose a question like, “What would you like us to cover or address?” within each platform.
- Understand where buyers get their information and how they want to consume it. Social media platforms are plentiful, with new platforms emerging and existing platforms updating their features all the time. So, you need to understand how to reach your target audience and with what type of content. For example, on Snapchat, your audience may be looking for light, fun conversational content, whereas on Linkedin, your audience may be looking for more substantial reading. Does your audience like behind-the scenes videos or Q&A? Do they spend their time streaming on Spotify, or are they searching for videos on YouTube or with Twitter’s new #nowplaying hashtag? The key is to be consistent. When you’re consistently showing up in someone’s feed, you’re more likely to influence their next plan or purchase. In fact, did you know that 60% of Twitter followers purchase from a business and 86% say they plan to purchase in the future because of something they saw on Twitter, according to a Twitter report? That’s a pretty staggering number.
3. Set the Beat
You can be all hard rock (hard-selling) and pound customers with sales pitches, or you can present a variety of options to set a steady beat and show them the heart of your music. Building a relationship with your audience is really what social media is all about.
What are some of the different types of messages that you can deliver over social media? At Marketo, we not only aim to create valuable content for our customers, but we focus on educating first, and selling second. Because of this philosophy, we follow a 4-1-1 rule, originally introduced by Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute. For every four educational or entertaining assets (think infographic, blog, or industry news article) we share, we then offer one soft/mid-level promotion (a more solution-focused asset) and one hard/late-stage promotion like a demo.
This steady mix allows us to engage with our audience to build awareness, credibility, and trust. Posts that keep a pulse on industry trends and offer updated, relevant content, give your followers value, so they are more welcoming to the later stage messaging that speaks to your products or services.
4. Create a Brand Voice
This is the fun part. Just like every rockstar has their unique sound, your brand should have a voice that embodies its values.
For both B2B and consumer marketers, social media has become a go-to channel for brand development and audience engagement. It’s an easy way to stay in touch with your buyers, creatively market your products or services, and most importantly reinforce your brand voice.
The songbook is blank, ready for you to create a masterpiece, so here are a few key ways you can utilize social to create an rockin’ brand voice:
- Get to know your company values and incorporate your culture into your tone and language. Think about who your company is and how you want to be perceived, then go out and have fun with it!
- Personalize—put the ‘social’ in social media. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Don’t just speak at your audience—have 2-way conversations with your followers. When they tag you, reply and let them know you’re really listening and appreciate their interaction. Express personality in your responses to set yourself apart from other brands. Be real.
- Create a community. Talking about nothing but your brand is boring. Listen to your audience so you can understand just what it is they’re looking for from you, then give it to them. Learn to speak their language and go where they are.
Rockstars listen for cues from their audience to see whether their material is resonating with their audience, and social media marketing is no different. Like all good communication, it’s a two-way street. Conversations about your brand can take place almost anywhere, so it’s important not to make assumptions about where you will find critical conversations taking place. Listen as broadly across different platforms to for conversations around your brand, your competitors, and your industry.
Here are a few other ways you can use social listening to your benefit:
- Use social media as a customer service tool that adds transparency and provides real-time responses to your customers. Questions on social platforms are often answered for all to see, leaving little room for brands to shrug off or ignore requests. So don’t sweep them under the rug—responding to complaints is a phenomenal way to turn a negative into a positive.
- Inform hundreds and thousands of followers with just one post! On social media, you can often see if repeat questions are being asked. Cut down on emails, calls, and chats, and address them in a post. We’ve found this to be especially useful during service outages, product releases, and events.
- Concentrate on engaging with your customers. Continue to show your customers love after they’ve purchased from you. Increased engagement often leads to increased customer retention. The more you can get your followers to chime in or click through, the more likely they are to return and continue engaging with you.
- Listen for product feedback. User conversations can be eye opening. Listen to what people are saying and figure out a way to incorporate feedback into your business/product roadmap. Customers often willingly provide insights into ways you can improve your products.
Social media can feel like a rock concert sometimes, with all the different noises and personalities clashing together. However, with the right strategy, you can hone in on who your audience is and how you can appeal to them to create an epic experience.
Writer: Lisa Marcyes