According to a recent study released by Salesforce, 70% of marketers plan to increase social media spending in 2015, a sign that there is a growing level of confidence in social media as a key marketing strategy.
With many teams now deeming social media to be a core business strategy, and with an increasing number of companies investing in social media professionals to create internal teams, the issue of where to invest is a popular topic of discussion. Should you focus on targeted social media ads? Should you invest in the organic side of social media to engage your users?
“One of the fears I had was that since social media advertising grew, you might see some brands fail to recognize you have to support the organic side of it as well,” said Jeff Rohrs, Vice President of Marketing Insights at Salesforce. “Otherwise, those advertisements won’t perform. But it looks like the advertising will be complemented by the organic side.” (Source: Adweek)
Rohrs brings up a great point — companies can’t lose sight of the importance of the organic side of social media. Real engagement and relationship building occurs through your posts, content and connections with users. Without this, brands will have more difficulty buying into and trusting ads.
Where Should You Invest Your Social Media Dollars in 2015?
- Content to Fill in Your Feeds
Do you want your posts to go viral? Don’t we all?
Producing exceptional content should be at the top of the list for companies seeking to make a splash on social media this year. Creating high-quality, original and engaging content based on user data will help you create a better overall experience for your user.
People are interested in brands that have something different to say, and brands that can offer something unique. Stop regurgitating, and start creating great content specifically designed to support your social media marketing strategies. Every blog post, article and image you create should be developed with social media in mind.
- Google+ and LinkedIn
While most companies tend to put most of their effort and resources into Facebook and Twitter, ramping up your investment on other major platforms — namely Google+ and LinkedIn — can provide you with the ROI you are seeking for your investment in the organic side of social media.
Google+ is not a ghost town as many people claim. If you have been buying into this myth, then you are probably missing out.
Why should you invest?
- Your posts will immediately be indexed by Google
- Your Google+ Business profile will show up on SERPs
- The people who use Google+ have completely bought in and are very actively engaged
- Google+ communities provide you with a new place to engage with your users
- It provides you with another touch point online where people can be exposed to your brand
LinkedIn, on the other hand, continues to refine its platform to make it more user-friendly and is offering more features that make it attractive for content marketing. It’s not just for networking anymore.
Why should you invest?
- You can publish articles directly on the platform, helping you get more exposure for your content
- LinkedIn Pulse offers a new opportunity for your content to be shared
- You can use your network of connections to share content
- The "Showcase Page" feature allows you to create a dedicated page for each aspect of your business
- Social Login
Hate sign up forms and registering for websites? So do your users. Investing in social media is not just about what happens on your platform, it’s also about creating engaging social experiences and interactions through your website.
The truth is that most users would rather abandon a website and find an alternative option rather than go through the account sign up process. Plus, the majority of users prefer to log in with their social accounts.
Social login allows website visitors to seamlessly log into your website using their preferred social media account. The best part is that it can be fully customized to meet the design and branding elements of your website, and it can be combined with traditional user registration. Stop losing out on new users and online sales, and consider social login for your website.
- Social Analytics
You need to know as much as possible about your users if you want to make a true organic connection with them. Social analytics is the key to better understanding who your users are, why they are visiting your profiles, what they are looking for and how you can better serve them and help them accomplish their objectives.
Think about it — how much do you actually know about your social media followers? If “not much” is your answer, then it’s time to invest in social analytics and get to know your users better, so you can develop more targeted social media marketing strategies.
Your social media budget is only as good as what you do with it. Make 2015 the year you put it to good use by trying out some of the strategies mentioned above.
Where do you plan to invest your social media dollars this year?