Content and social media are a match made in heaven. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn are specifically designed to publish and distribute all sorts of content. From microblogs and lengthy articles to photos and videos, social media allows these types of content to spread like wildfire and reach a wide demographic of people. Even in the far reaches of the globe, a social media user will feel as though the content it consumes from its feed is made especially for him or her.
It goes without saying that the volume and quality of engagement you get depend on how good your content is. And with social media having billions of active daily users of all digital channels, standing out can be a huge undertaking as even the most accomplished businesses struggle to get even a few likes and shares. But those campaigns that succeed have one thing in common. They have mastered the art of gathering customer data to develop insights, which then inform their social media content strategies.
Using Customer Insights to Craft Content
First, let’s get this straight: customer data is any form of information held on file about customers by businesses. These could include basic information like names, contact details, and locations to more in-depth details like buying habits, spending patterns, interests, and individual preferences. You can use al these to finetune your social media content, be it your daily posts, videos, ads, and promotions. Here’s how:
Leverage User-Generated Content
One of the best ways to get the pulse of your audience is by reading the content they write about your brand or similar products you offer. User-generated content comes in many forms, including mentions, testimonials, audio/video reviews, images, and blogs, all of which are a gold mine of customer insights. By compiling as much data as you can, you’ll be able to identify what your key customers use, consume, and purchase, and what they think of your brand. You should then use these insights to craft your content.
Use Social Media Listening Tools
Listening to what people say about your brand is a crucial part of social media. Use tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Social Mention to view all your messages, comments, and brand mentions across all your social channels. Determine which pieces of content get the most engagement and positive reactions and amplify these campaigns. For example, if your video clips got the most likes and comments, create and publish more videos moving forward. By doing this, you’re not only making sure your efforts will reach the right people, but you’re also telling your customers that their opinions and sentiments matter and that you’re listening.
Understand Consumption Communities
Social media is basically an echo chamber. Communities are formed by like-minded consumers who have similar likes, interests, or preferences. Marketing your brand with communities in mind could be a more efficient and effective way to cement your brand and create a loyal following. Dive deep into these consumer communities and craft your content in such a way that resonates with these groups. Reinforce this sense of community by collaborating with influencers, running contests and promotions, or setting up events. Plan separate campaigns for the three types of consumption communities, namely consumption subcultures, brand communities, and brand tribes.
Measure & Monitor Your Performance
Even the most experienced social media managers can’t precisely pin down what customers want. Marketers still wrack their brains every day, identifying which works with whom even with the abundance and real-time nature of social media data. This is why it’s vital to keep measuring and tracking your campaigns’ performance so you can gather significant data to synthesize. Instead of just measuring MQLs, SQLs, and CPCs, keep track of buying behaviors and patterns, as well.
It’s also wise to test your content strategies to know exactly what makes them effective. For your Facebook ad campaigns, perform split tests every now and then using Ads Manager. Split tests let you compare two or more ad variations and isolate features that make the top-performing ads stand out. Be careful and thorough when performing split tests so you can obtain more conclusive results and use an ideal audience and time frame for the test.
Collect Trends to Nurture Content Creation
Trends easily pick up and catch like wildfire on social media. Whenever there’s an upcoming trend, you’re sure to find it first in the confines of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Instead of waiting to jump on the bandwagon, craft new campaigns around a trend in your niche or see which products you can reinvent to supply this growing demand. This way, you’ll gain the first-mover advantage, instead of scrambling to catch up with competitors.
Keep in mind that today’s well-informed, nitpicky consumers seek more demand from brands. Instead of just posting ads and explicitly selling your products, go back to the whiteboard and think of other content campaigns that will add value to your customers’ lives.
Whether you’re looking to expand your business or kicking off your entrepreneurial goals, think of the core principles of inbound marketing: attract, engage, and delight.