For many, social media marketing may be so far off their radar that it isn’t even registering, while for others, their social media campaigns are simply missing the mark. Two different cases, but the same unfortunate result – social media marketing fail.
Despite all the actual rockets you may see on your social feeds, social media marketing isn’t rocket science. Effective social media marketing really comes down to 3 things – getting the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Easy, right?
Let’s go over what makes a social media campaign successful and what can cause them to crash and burn.
Not all social media channels capture the same audience. There are some stark differences in where Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X like to hang out. While the two older generations still prefer Facebook, dynamic platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are rapidly increasing in popularity, particularly with the under 20 crowd.
So before posting, think about the audience you want to appeal to, and then tailor your message to them. Even a well-thought-out ad targeting young adults could miss the mark on Facebook, where user activity in that age group has seen a significant decline. Likewise, if you are looking to increase engagement among middle-aged professionals, you may be better off on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram than on Snapchat or Tiktok.
Make your ad count by using eye-catching visuals and sharp copy. Skip the stock images and the overly promotional language and instead focus on sharing your brand’s unique personality with users. Use original images and write engaging copy, whether humorous, friendly, or professional; just make sure it is consistent with your brand image and targets the right audience.
And don’t be afraid to mix it up. Social media users are increasingly turning to online videos. 85% of users in the US report that they regularly watch online video content, and 64% have made a product purchase after watching a branded video content.
So, while static ads can and should remain part of your overall marketing mix, video elements are becoming increasingly important. But before you worry too much about directing a short feature, your video content doesn’t have to be overly creative; it could be a live interview, an instructional video, or real behind-the-scenes footage, as long as it’s original, authentic, and engaging.
So far, marketing professionals have been quick to pivot their marketing strategies. When asked where they plan to invest in their budgets in 2021, video platforms like YouTube accounted for the largest dollar increases.
What’s important to remember is that it doesn’t matter how you feel about a particular social media platform, your marketing strategy needs to engage your audience on their terms.
Social media advertising often fails because it’s boring, it looks like a paid ad, or offers nothing of interest or value. Facebook is great for lead generation, but the message needs to resonate, or users will simply scroll by. But how do you become more than a flash on the screen? The best Facebook ads have three things in common: a great hook, an educational element, and a compelling call to action. Are you looking to expand your audience and increase brand awareness? Make your ad interactive, incorporating quizzes, questionnaires, user polls, and calculators. Stickers and filters are popular as well. Following up on this trend, Starbucks recently released an Instagram story filter that tells users what drink they are.
Do a little research to see what’s trending with your target audience on whatever platforms you intend to use, and then incorporate that material into your ad campaign. For example, throughout the pandemic, working from home became a huge source of frustration for many people. Who hasn’t had to tell someone to turn on their mic repeatedly? Slack turned this frustration into a successful meme-worthy ad campaign.
Timing is everything in advertising, especially with how quickly social media trends come and go. Remember baby Yoda? 2020 could not get enough, and now it has all but disappeared from the internet. Whether you are capitalizing on a popular trend, or simply posting a new visual, staying active is vital to keep your social media content fresh. This may seem like a lot of hats to juggle, especially if you are active on more than one social media platform (which you definitely should be). However, sticking to a regular schedule, repurposing existing content, and prioritizing the platforms used by the majority of your audience are easy ways to maximize your engagement without sucking too much time.
And the actual time you post matters too. Get the most user engagement by posting when users are most active. These times vary across social media platforms and by product type. But, as an example, the best time to post on Facebook generally is Wednesday to Friday between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm, whereas the best time to post on sites like Twitter and LinkedIn tends to be earlier in the day.