SalesForce “State of Marketing” reports social media as a 2015 marketing imperative; Tips to ignite your social media marketing.
By Glenna Wiseman, Identity3, Gwiseman@Identity3.com
Social media is a 2015 marketing imperative for marketers around the globe. Over 5000 marketers contributed to findings in the recently released SalesForce “2015 State of Marketing Report” (free, opt in). The report shines a light on social media as a top concern and spending priority.
Globally social media took the top 3 slots for increased spending allocations:
Of those marketers using social media, the report charted these insights:
- 66% of marketers believe social media marketing is core to their business
- 66% have a dedicated social media team
- 64% believe social is a critical enabler of their products and services
In the U.S. social media also ranked in the top considerations for 2015 spending:
Considerations of marketers using social media in the U.S. included:
- 78% have a dedicated social media team (was 57% in 2014)
- 67% of marketers believe social media marketing is core to their business
- 70% believe social is a critical enabler of their products and services
- 45% rate social media traffic as the most important social marketing metric
Social media proved second only to a company’s corporate website in effectiveness related to digital marketing channels and strategies:
Finally, social media saw a 39% leap in importance as a critical enabler of products and services between 2014 and 2015.
What steps can we take in the solar and clean energy sectors to ignite our social media efforts?
Let’s use the 5 W’s out of a journalist’s handbook as a structure for ideas to ignite your social media success.
Identifying your company “voice.” The most important place to start is articulating the social media voice of the company. This includes the tone of the public voice (humorous, factual, informative, friendly, etc.) and how social media supports the brand image (style guide, image selection, graphics, video, etc.)
Who inside the organization? Content, news, conversation, and social media applicable information exist at every level of your organization. The trick is building a discipline to ferret out the information, ensure timely news worthy information is dealt with quickly and funnel team communication to the social media point of contact on a regular basis.
View the social media function as a pivot point for information going in and out of the company via social media sites. Who is responsible? Who approves? How long does it take to get approvals? What types of information need legal approval? Do you have enough people to power this function properly? Who are key employee ambassadors?
Who outside the company are you targeting? What stakeholders are important to your online conversations? When you are doing a post schedule around a topic, event or news item, who is involved outside the company? Including stakeholder and market place partners in the planning and posts will broaden the reach of the efforts.
What kinds of information can be leveraged for social media? Some ideas include:
- Helpful tips of interest to your target audience
- Client projects and case studies
- News within the industry
- News from industry organizations
- Press announcements from your organization and from your key marketplace partners
- Employee achievements
- Charity work by the company
- Product updates
- Industry advocacy efforts
Cataloging the types of posts needed for a good mix and tracking what creates the best return on investment are all part of the “what.”
Creating a posting schedule that includes a “repository” of upcoming company events, press announcements, industry happenings and client news will help catalog the content available for sharing. When creating the content be sure to tie in applicable hashtags and partner Twitter handles.
A critical anchor to your posting is the company blog. The blog creates the place to house key content and serves a critical role for lead generation.
There are many sources as to how often and in what time zones posting should be done. In general post information in the time zones of your key constituents. Services like Hootsuite can help your team schedule posts.
Be aware “new data shows that consumers are most engaged on social media during weekends — which is when brands post the least frequently,” reports the SalesForce study. If you are B2C facing you need social media coverage on the weekends.
Stay on top of relevant industry happenings including events and their respective hashtags to leverage live conversations to reach a broader audience.
Frequency Per Channel – How often at minimum do you need to post?
- Facebook – most brands post once per day (how frequently to post)
- Twitter – 4-5 tweets per day
- LinkedIn – once per day at most for each business day
- Google+ – 3X per week
At minimum your company presence should be felt on:
- LinkedIn – particularly for B2B but also a vital area for attracting new talent
- Twitter – Twitter represents an invaluable tool for conversing with key constituents and gaining visibility with the press particularly during live events and chats. Twitter also represents an insightful tool for tracking trends and broadening your audience by communicating trending news related to them.
- YouTube – Video is so important in our social media and digital campaigns.
- Facebook – particularly important if you are B2C facing. If you market to other businesses you can use Facebook to pull through leads to your channel partners and dealer networks.
- Google+ – Google+ has over 300 million users. It is also commonly thought to be an important aspect of boosting search results.
Here is how the SalesForce survey ranked social media channel importance:
Outline your objectives and the metrics for measuring success early in your social media strategy.
Recommendations, including from the report itself:
- 2015 is the year to turn your social media marketing activities into powerful customer touch points, high company visibility and high quality lead generation.
- Invest the resources — both headcount and budget — to support social as a viable channel, because it is. With 66% of marketers rating it as core to their business, it’s no longer the fringe marketing outlet it once was.
- As further proof, the jump in marketers who view social media marketing as a critical enabler for products or services (from 25% in 2014 to 64% in 2015) tells you that it’s working. If you’re not yet seeing significant business results from social, start small. What’s the one channel where your social audience is most responsive? Direct more resources to growing that space instead of spreading your efforts too thin.
P.S. Email marketing continues to be a very important opportunity to keep your visibility high, as borne out by this report. Get the full report here from SalesForce (free, opt in).