Social media use has become standard operating procedure for companies who operate as a B2B or B2C entity. Some consider it a replacement for email use in direct marketing campaigns. While social media marketing is definitely something to add to your arsenal, it provides greater effect when used in conjunction with other methods instead of alone.
Consider the following five methods for integrating social media with your direct mail efforts:
1 – Engagement Rather Than Size Is Important When Building a Community
Whether you call the people interested in your company followers, contacts, or future customers, you need to engage them in the overall process of learning about your company and appreciating what it has to offer. The first step is understanding who these people are. Your community can include both existing clients or customers and once you hope will do business with you in the future. Targeting businesses or consumers for an invitation to this community is essential for future success.
In email and direct mail marketing, using a reputable list broker to source a physical address or email list helps. The end goal is not a massive list or social media marketing community. Instead, the goal is to have people 100% interested and engaged. Of course, the larger the group of engaged followers, the more chance you have of high sales volume.
2 – Start With S.M.A.R.T Goals for Your Company
These goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time sensitive.
When your company first adopts a social media marketing plan, check to make sure that its goals match these criteria. Too many people and companies start out using social media with a vague idea that they will attract attention. Professionals need to know what they are aiming at. Start with one or two goals and take the steps necessary to meet them before your self-imposed deadline. Then, choose your next two social media marketing goals. Some examples of S.M.A.R.T. goals include reaching a certain number of Twitter followers. Or perhaps you want to reach a certain to click through rate on Facebook ads.
3 – Always Track And Analyze Results
As with any direct mail or another advertising campaign, you need to track what efforts are working and which are a waste of time in order to streamline the process and receive a higher ROI on your investment and time. Email marketing does this all the time with open rates, click through rates, and conversions. Perhaps a direct approach in your call to action works better than a friendly suggestion. Try out different methods intelligently so you can compare and contrast and track the data.
Part of this process is finding out what type of social media posts are most effective at getting attention and clicks. For example, a corporate B2B client may respond better to professional text while a consumer may appreciate an eye-catching graphic instead. The tone of each post should also be considered. Do you want to portray your company as humorous, all-business, motivational, or educational?
4 – Keep an Eye on the Competition
Direct mail, email marketing, and social media marketing all benefits from close attention to what competing companies do. While you will not have access to their analytics and click through rates, the overall success of a company can give a clear picture of whether there marketing methods work well or not.
Follow two or three companies that compete with yours and look at the following types of information:
- Social media platform of choice
- Posting schedule including days and hours
- Content types and how often they are used
“Likes” and comments on social media posts are visible to anyone following them. These give you an educated idea about how well they are doing with the businesses or consumers that company is targeting. One of the most important things to decide early in the social media marketing campaign planning is what platforms to focus on. Competition’s choices can greatly influence your own.
If a successful company posts five times more on Facebook than Twitter, it may indicate a higher percentage of targeted audience members use it. Nothing wastes time and resources more than posting regularly on a site that does not attract the type of people or businesses you market to.
5 – Use Specialists Within Your Company for Each Task
While most people use the various social platforms these days, personal posts vary greatly from organized and ongoing marketing campaigns. Part of the strategy consists of defining a budget, time spent, and the goals mentioned above. Identify resources needed to achieve them and decide who is going to use them. Assign different employees to different aspects of social media marketing just as you would for direct mail and direct marketing in other ways.
A team dedicated to social media use will work together to create an overall benefit. Meet every week or month to report progress and tweak efforts to keep the goals in sight and the progress strong.