Guest Blog, Hannah Kimuyu – Social media: A world of opportunity for marketers…

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Social media is constantly evolving and, in turn, can become bewildering for brands and marketers to use to their advantage. Consumer expectations are difficult to measure when it comes to social media, but its wide audiences and reach means that it can’t be ignored.

This year, it’s predicted that social media will continue to advance, adjust and diversify; making it easy for some marketers to get left behind. Therefore, if a brand not only wants to keep u and thrive, changes need to be incorporated into marketing strategies as swiftly as possible. Marketers need to be sure that the content they produce is going to engage their target audience – is it desirable or a waste of time and budget?

Earlier this year, Twitter announced its plans to offer a ‘recommendation tab’. Personalisation is always important and when it works, it works brilliantly. However, a user may have tweeted a complaint about a restaurant, but this doesn’t mean they’ll be interested in receiving recommendations from this restaurant and others like it. So, how can they ensure their content is being seen by their desired audience in the appropriate way?

One size does not fit all

Greenlight discovered that 55 per cent of FTSE companies’ have fake or inactive followers. Even some of the biggest brands with the largest marketing budgets aren’t reaching ‘real’ users with their content, highlighting that quantity shouldn’t come before quality. To ensure their team doesn’t spend too much time and resources speaking to no one, brands should invest time digging a little deeper to check where their audience is actively engaging with content. They must remember that Facebook will not reach the same audiences as LinkedIn for example, so they need to find out where their audience really is.

Marketers need to take an attentive approach to this targeting process. A first step is to remember that there is often a demographic behind each social media platform. Facebook users aren’t as young as one may think, however the demographic of Snapchat isn’t as low anymore either, as parents are now inclined to join. Different ages and locations will have very diverse interests; therefore relevant content should be served up to individual audiences and consumers.

By carefully developing these insights, marketers will have a greater understanding of target audiences in order to choose the channels that are relevant for their brand and audience. Brands will then be able to attract and grow their customer base, in addition to influencing and enabling consumer purchases and sign-up rates.

Data driven tools

Marketers can’t stretch themselves across a number of platforms and just hope for the best – they must determine what the best approach is for their brand to reach their customer. For example, if they work with a visually pleasing brand targeting consumers, Instagram and Pinterest could be suitable platforms. If marketers want to target B2B clients, and keep them informed, Twitter might be right, but arguably LinkedIn could be more relevant.

Marketers have to take the plunge and make the most of data analytics to stay on top. Whilst one may think Burberry, with 6.1 million followers on Twitter, is a social media king, research from Greenlight Digital showed that 65 per cent of their users are inactive. Tools like Hootsuite and Glow can manage and listen to audiences – very helpful for the brands that aren’t sure what platform is right for them. Not all tools are necessarily best for all brands, marketers have to do their research to get the most from these data driven tools to gain the greatest insights. When marketers find their match for social media monitoring it will ensure they won’t be left behind by the constantly evolving social media sphere.

The marketing industry will have to wait and see what the major social media players introduce to keep their users on their platform, but in the meantime taking the time to really understand where their audience is and using social media tools to their advantage, can ensure marketers brands don’t become a nuisance.

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Jack Wynn

All stories by: Jack Wynn