Joe Heinl first applied the power of social media marketing to his own rock band in the 90s, using Myspace to promote his group and landing a record deal.
He later moved onto cause-based marketing to make a deeper impact in the world, using his social media expertise for the non-profit Blood Systems, Inc., one of the oldest and largest blood suppliers in the U.S., serving 1,000 hospitals in 28 states.
From rockstar to digital marketer, Heinl has leveraged social media for finding new audiences and gathering customer feedback to produce powerful results. Last Thursday, he shared some of his favorite social media marketing methods that can help generate massive ROI.
If the people at the top of the company don’t understand the value of investing in social media, then how can you explain to them why it’s important? You speak their language at the 35,000-foot level.
They care about the operating margins and revenue more than anything. Is it costing you more or costing you less to acquire a new customer, and what is it doing to affect revenue?
With social media, you already have all of the information you need to compile into an elevator pitch to the C-suite and upper management:
- Customer data
- Personal preferences
- Buying behavior
- Needs assessment
Social is a treasure trove of information about your audience. The more time you spend there, the more data you can mine. When you have the data on hand, you can justify why social media deserves a budget.
2. Validate that your social media channels are active.
This can be done in any major social media network.
Leverage your database. Take your current customers and match them with a social ad platform in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.
See how big the market is and how many people are participating on what social media network. Whatever network the majority of your target audience is most active on is the one you want to spend the most time on and spend the most advertising budget on.
When talking to the C-suite, explain to them that the majority of your database is spending a significant amount of time on a particular social platform. That’s how you justify the ad spending on Facebook, Twitter or any platform at all.
This testing method is quick, cheap and effective.
3. Find your customers on social.
You can create a whole buyer persona just by running your database through audience insights. Social networks are your real-time census for everyone interacting on them.
For examples, Audience Insights on Facebook can give you all of this data about the customers you have on Facebook:
- Relationship status
- Education level
- Job title
If you owned a small sandwich shop in a particular part of town, for example, wouldn’t it make sense to advertise the most in the part of town where the people most like to buy from you live? This data can help you better target people in that part of town and get more out of your ad spend.
Here’s more information on the audience insight tools for other major social networks:
One of the best features of social media tools like Hootsuite is social listening. This is the practice of tuning into what your customers are saying about you.
The discussions your customers are having in relation to your business can map out major company decisions in the future.
- Do your customers want new features?
- Are they unhappy and listing off a lot of complaints?
- Do they have questions related to your business that are being left unanswered?
If you’re reading the actual conversations people are having about your business, you have the fuel you need for all sorts of strategies, tactics and initiatives.
Social listening also doesn’t make a huge dent in your budget. By just compiling social data, you can save big on operating costs and efficiency, all while making your customers happier.
Heinl, for example, found that Blood Systems’ customers wanted a mobile app just by looking at the daily messages and comments that their brand pages were receiving. The mobile app they developed ranked in the top 100 utility apps for Apple, and 10% of their daily website traffic comes just from that app–all without a focus group.
5. Use social media to find new audiences.
Do you have a potential audience in an entirely different age demographic? In a different location? Does a potential audience speak a foreign language?
Lookalike audiences give you the data about this.
When you take persona information and plug it into lookalike audience tools, you’re given the details of an entirely new audience that’s similar to your already existing customers, giving you the opportunity to find new buyers.
Once you have the data about this lookalike audience, you can actually start marketing to them in your content and advertising initiatives.
Here is more information on the different lookalike audience tools for popular social networks:
- Facebook: Lookalike Audiences
- Twitter: Tailored Audiences
- LinkedIn: Audience Expansion
- Instagram: Engagement Custom Audience
Bonus: Install a conversion pixel.
Want to really track the ROI of your Facebook advertising? Install the conversion pixel.
This pixel is a snippet of code you can place on your website that monitors what actions a person takes on your website and gives you the data about their moves.
This data lets you better narrow your social advertising groups down to the people who are most likely to buy. Some groups may be people who have visited your website within a certain period of time or who have visited a specific page on your website.
The conversion pixel also tells you when conversion events have occured after people have clicked on your advertisement.
Want to learn more about social media marketing? Read our post about using psychology in social media marketing.
If you want to start the year off strong and begin growing your career and network with other marketing professionals, attend our upcoming events, like the Hispanic Marketing Update.
Blog post compiled 01.18.18 by Zander Buel, Director of Communications, American Marketing Association, Phoenix Chapter | https://www.linkedin.com/in/zanderbuel/