“You’re standing face to face with the vast wilderness. The past month was spent setting up baits and traps. You’ve done your research on their preferences and behaviours, creating the perfect lure to attract this elusive creature. You lie in wait…
You scramble to slap an electronic tag on the critter before releasing it back into the wild. Now comes the time to monitor and track their movements to gain a better understanding of their species.”
This isn’t Animal Planet’s latest documentary. It’s social media marketing. Just like the untamed wilderness, social media is a massive jungle, home to many different kinds of animals. As a social media marketer, you will need to traverse the social media landscape like a seasoned zoologist, stalking your target and learning everything you can about them. Here is a quick guide to social media marketing.
1. Identify & Study Your Target
Identifying your target audience is the first step of social media marketing. Create a user persona or customer profile based on your research on existing customers, or secondary research on the social media profiles of potential customers. Don’t limit yourself to only one user persona. Try to create at least 3 personas with different traits to widen your net, accommodating all possible leads.
Like a tiger stealthily moving through blades of long grass, creating your user persona or customer profile requires a fair bit of stalking. Visit online forums and explore hashtags to single out the people who represent your typical user. Zero in on specific individuals and put your social media stalking skills to work.
Your user persona will form the basis of how you approach social media marketing. The more details you have, the more informed your efforts will be. Here are some questions you might want to address in your user persona:
2.Setup Your Capture Points
It would be quite unusual for a fisherman to be dangling his bait from a tree in the middle of the forest. Don’t go looking for your target in the wrong places. Do they spend more time on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit or YouTube? Figure out where they like to hang out and set up your capture points there.
If they love fashion and luxury, lurk around Facebook groups that cater to luxury fashion and the #OOTD hashtag on Instagram. If they’re nuts about travel and adventure, partner up with travel influencers and get them to talk about your brand on social media. Use hashtags associated with their interests so that your content can be discovered. Pick out high-traffic areas where your target likes to hang out and concentrate your resources there.
You don’t need to limit yourself to social media. Consider setting up automated emails, search ads, display ads as well as native ads on content websites to drive your target back to social media or straight to your website.
3. Lure Them In With Something Delicious
Bears eat honey, rabbits eat carrots and wolves eat sheep. What do your targets find tasty? Perhaps they all share a common disdain for the lack of vegan options in their city. Or maybe they idolise Barack Obama. You could try luring your target audience with delicious content like a video tutorial on creating your own vegan lasagne or an analysis of Barack Obama’s contributions to healthcare.
Don’t just rely on clickbait titles, trending hashtags and celebrity names. Create something that will truly benefit your customer, and they’ll definitely come back for more. Guides, infographics and creative thought-provoking videos are great examples of content that’s sure to entice your potential customers. If content generation is not your forte, try something as simple like discounts, promotions, contests or giveaways.
4.Capture and Tag
Like any good zoologist, the main purpose of capturing your target is to tag them and to learn intimate details about their lives. When it comes to social media marketing, capturing targets means acquiring leads through website visits.
The process of tagging for social media marketing involves the implementation of Facebook Pixels – a piece of code for your website that lets you measure, optimise and build audiences for your advertising campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. The pixel ensures that every audience who lands on your website gets properly tagged, allowing you to segment and analyse them.
The Facebook Pixel gives you useful information like how they discovered you, what specific content and platform led to their capture, as well as record their behaviour on your website or app. Make sure that to implement Facebook pixels in all pages of your website and your social media ads to capture every possible lead.
5.Track Movement and Behaviour
Similar to how zoologists observe the migration patterns across the Serengeti, social media marketers need to be able to identify commonalities and patterns in their target users’ behaviour. Segment your captured targets into different groups based on the platforms they were captured on, the type of content they enjoy, and their demographics.
Every target on social media has their own unique set of traits, quirks and habits. Learn what types of content they consume from you after their initial capture. Observe how they interact with your website and your emails. Figure out how many messages it takes for them to lose interest and run off. Identify the ‘push’ message you need to get them to become a customer. You’ll be able to gain tons of information from your captured targets which will allow you to identify behavioural traits that you didn’t notice before.
6.Refine Your Methodology
With all that information, what’s next? Here’s the biggest step in the entire process – putting the information you’ve gained to good use. The multiple segments you create through Facebook Pixel tracking can be used to craft messages and content for specific audience segments. Their behaviour on your website will help you in refining the user interface to make it more user-friendly, guiding audiences to take specific actions on your page. The best performing content will determine how you generate future content pieces.
At the end of the day, you want your target audience to eventually become a loyal customer. Use the information gained from your tracking to figure out what lures and baits work better. Focus your efforts on the channels that give you the best results.
Social media marketing isn’t just a one-off spend on advertising. It requires a certain level of commitment to truly understand your target and decide on the best course of action. There are tools to help automate some of the processes described to make things easier for you. Don’t lose heart if your efforts don’t seem to reap results immediately. Remember, in the jungle, the best hunters lie in wait, knowing when and where to strike.