If your current social media marketing strategy is geared purely towards generating new followers and generating on-platform engagement, this is not the post for you.
The social media marketing industry has a huge problem on its hands - since literally everyone with a smartphone has access to social media, many people think that they know what goes into building a brand, and selling products using those tools. They're good at taking pretty pictures and using clever hashtags - however, there's much more to social media marketing than getting a few Likes on a picture.
With that in mind, I felt compelled to create a piece of content explicitly meant to confuse the uninformed, and bring value to those who already know that “content is king." But before I get started, I do want to acknowledge that there is a need for attractive creative and engaging content. However, the road doesn’t stop there - an engaging content strategy, attractive creative, and interactivity are table stakes.
To truly see business impact from marketing on social media channels, there's much more to learn. Here are five advanced social media marketing tips to help boost your efforts.
1. Leverage Your Own Data
First and foremost, you need to leverage your data.
Take inventory of how many email addresses you have in your CRM, and segment them into useful groups. Then, upload them into Facebook to match those email addresses to users on the platform – this also works for Twitter and LinkedIn.
When that data lives in the social platforms, you can use tools like Audience Insights to learn about the interests, demographics, and more of the people included in your CRM. This is huge when trying to decide where your social media strategy should go.
Furthermore, you can use this information to prospect for new business by creating a Lookalike Audience. This is a new audience based off users that look and behave digitally similarly to the CRM list you uploaded to start with. Keep in mind that the barrier to entry on using this data is that you need to run social media advertising to serve content specifically to these users.
However, the data from audience insights is free. Outside of your CRM, you can mine data and insights off your own website, as well by installing social pixels. Leverage your own data and give your social strategy a springboard to success.
2. Track Content with UTM Codes
Most people, including marketers, judge the success of social media content by the amount of engagement it gets. Statistically speaking, the more someone engages with a brand, the more likely they are to buy from it - however, it's incredibly easy to obsess about engagement and forget that getting all the Likes in the world doesn’t mean you're going to end up selling more products and/or services as a result.
Assuming you're mixing a number of content pieces into your content plan which link off to your website, there are ways to tell what kind of activity each content piece activated with visitors. Through UTM codes, you can create a custom URL that's trackable in Google Analytics. The use of UTM codes can tell you the amount of sessions, unique visitors, pages per session, time on site, and goal completions that each individual piece of content triggered.
Not every brand will need to track content in this amount of detail, however, if you're ready to truly see how successful your social media content is, look deeper than just engagements and track content with UTM codes.
After all, if people click links and visit your site via a post, they're extremely unlikely to go back and leave a comment.
Need proof? Look at a news outlets' Facebook Page and check out the amount of people who leave comments but clearly haven’t read the article to which the post links.
3. Install and Embrace Social Pixels
This is where the soft and cuddly social media marketing the public thinks exists morphs into a deadly serious data-driven platform for business.
Social pixels are a snippet of code that you place on your website which enables the social platforms to peek into your site and share data back and forth. By installing these pixels, you can create remarketing campaigns to serve ads to users who've recently visited your site, or even learn more about website users through the Audience Insights dashboard.
Social pixels should be at the heart of everything you do from an advertising perspective. For example, the more you leverage Facebook’s Pixel, the more it learns about the audience you're going after, and it self-optimizes to get the best results.
Our own campaigns show that when we run campaigns leveraging the pixel, we see a drastic drop in our cost per objective, and an increase in our overall conversions. Social pixels are your friends. Use them.
4. Set up Conversion Events
Piggybacking off the social pixel conversation, as an advertiser, you can set up specific conversion actions by adding more code to your site to track different actions triggered from your campaigns.
For example, once you have the Facebook Pixel installed on your site, you can then add additional code to tell the system which actions you want to track. This will enable you to track Leads, Registrations, Page Views, Downloads and more.
Furthermore, you can optimize your campaigns for these specific actions, and Facebook’s system will auto-optimize to serve the ads to users who are most likely to take those actions that are important to you.
The end game with this strategy is to be able to assign direct ROI to your campaigns so that you know exactly how much it's costing you to drive business. A far cry from cute cat pictures, right?
5. Pay Attention to View-Through Attribution
The capabilities provided by social pixels are exciting, but the cherry on top is the bonus view-through attribution they provide.
View-through attribution enables advertisers to see the number of users who saw an ad on the way to convert. Normally, you'd only be able to track conversions if a user clicked an ad and immediately converted, but by using the view-through attribution method, you can track users who click an ad and convert much later through a different channel.
This gives you a much clearer perspective on the impact of your social media efforts. Without view-through attribution, you may think your social media marketing isn’t doing anything for your business when it comes to conversion. This advanced tactic gives you a deeper level of tracking.
Social media marketing may start with fun, cute images and videos, however when you grow in sophistication, you realize there are highly effective tools used to build brands and sell products, advanced capacities that require a deeper understanding of marketing principles and consumer behavior.
There's no end to the ways in which this can be used to benefit your approach - take a look at your strategies and consider whether you're getting the most from your social efforts.