Make Social Media More Valuable to Your Online Marketing

Social media is becoming much more utilised in the online marketing mix now, so if you’re looking to use it in yours – make sure it’s valuable. By valuable I mean, know what the value is you’re getting from it.

In its early days social was a buzz tool, marketers and start ups were using it because they were being told to (everyone else is so we should too) or they thought it was a good free way to get some marketing done. We are not in these early days now – there are plenty of great social campaigns that are adding real value to brands, there are also plenty of tools out there to use in order to measure this greatness.

Here are ways that you can make sure you’re getting the best out of social:

1.Take inspiration from others
If you’re new to social or just stumped for ideas then why not take inspiration from other brands who are well away with it? They’ve probably learnt their initial lessons and as long as you’re not a direct competitor or are mimicking their campaign word for word, you can benefit from their knowledge.

2.Integrate it with other channels
Social is not a great marketing tool when just used in silo, you at least need to be sending people to a campaign landing page. Even then its best role is a supporting act, whether you have an event you’re promoting, a sale on your website, a basket abandonment or purchasing campaign or email newsletter. Use social to support all of these things and let it give value without being the leading role.

3.Don’t just measure its direct attribution
By this I mean it is now possible to not just look at a single channel’s attribution to a sale or other goal, you can now see every channel that contributed on the way. It doesn’t have to be expensive, Google Analytics has multi channel funnels and you can see how social has contributed, at no cost to yourself.

4.Use all tools available
If you’re the only person responsible for your social activity it can quickly become overwhelming with keeping everything up to date and exciting. There are tools out there such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Rockmelt that allow you to schedule posts for the future and track keywords/competitors/mentions in easy to view columns. There are lots of automated tools out there which should save you time but do bear in mind that the point of social is to be personable, so your followers or friends won’t want to think it’s not you behind the scenes. You need to find a balance.