Engaging customers, make social media work

In the retail sector the countdown to the end of the year has already begun, complete with sales and marketing campaigns designed to get the most out of consumers before Christmas. An integral part of this strategy, for retailers and small businesses alike, is the social media component.

Organisations are using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter more and more to engage with customers, identify prospects and foster relationships. Even more so, social media can be used to raise a brand’s profile, improve customer service or gain insight into competitors and even generate sales.

However, the key to success in using social media is having a comprehensive strategy that guides the actions of those involved and aligns the objectives with the overall marketing and operational targets.

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Objectives and target audience
The first step in developing your social media strategy is determining what the objectives of the campaign are. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Do you want to increase your followers? Do you want to improve sales? Once the aims are defined, you need to identify your target audience. For example, if your ultimate goal is to generate more revenue, are your target customers and prospects likely to be active on Twitter, Facebook, both or another platform?

Measuring success
It is also important to have a way to measure the strategy’s impact and results. Going forward this information can be used to tweak and tailor better, more effective campaigns. As a result, you can look at a number of metrics. For example, if your objective is to increase brand awareness you can look at shares, retweets, views, comments, and sentiment and audience growth.

Having a social media marketing management platform or set of tools can assist in evaluating the success of your strategy in that the options on the market provide detailed analytics and reporting capabilities. In addition, these platforms can also assist in implementing and managing the strategy itself, from scheduling messages and providing automated responses, to analysing and classifying prospects.

A social media management platform
Using a management platform or set of tools can be particularly beneficial to small businesses that don’t necessarily have the large budgets or staff resources to dedicate to social media monitoring. Such a platform provides a cost and time efficient option in this regard and depending on which software is selected, a number of other features can also be enjoyed, including monitoring competitors’ social media activities, analysing what’s trending and searching keywords specific to the industry, which can deliver significant competitive advantage.

Content and engagement
Content plays a crucial role in every social media strategy and needs to be tailored depending on the audience, campaign objectives and network used. In addition, it is the nature of the content is crucial. The key word for any social media endeavour is: engagement. Communication should be interesting and spark a conversation, something that can be achieved using items such as hashtags, videos and infographics.

Conclusion
While a number of factors influence a social media strategy’s success, it is important to remember that it doesn’t operate in isolation and needs to be an integrated part of overall marketing efforts. In addition to meeting its objectives, a successful social media strategy can also help differentiate your business from competitors and make it stand out in a crowded marketplace

OSM was offered an introductory chat with Sendible’s CEO, but we were too busy to oblige. But Gavin Hammar, founder and CEO, Sendible, gave us more insight. So, we would like to say a massive thank you for the news published above.

Engaging customers - make social media work