September 21, 2015

4 traits of successful social media marketers

social-media
Photo by Yoel Ben-Avraham (Creative Commons BY ND)

Target audience: Businesses, brands, digital marketers, PR pros, advertising agencies, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, educators, Web publishers

Post by Taylor Tomita

taylor tomitaSocial media has grown to be a very fruitful resource in the digital marketing world. As it grows, its roots are expanding into the world of customer service, public relations, sales and content marketing, suggesting that a business’s presence on social media is a significant contributor to its online success – 78% of it, to be exact.

So there’s a lot riding on the shoulders of those social media managers who design online campaigns and build the programs that turn stodgy companies into social businesses.

A social media manager’s main job is to monitor results and fine-tune a social media campaign while also measuring the results to see if the underlying business goals are on track to being achieved. With the rise of social technologies, social media managers are able to automate a majority of the campaign, but it is important to keep a strong focus on the driving force behind social media – engagement. All too often, there’s a disconnect between the campaign’s goals and how it’s being executed, causing the whole thing to crash and burn – sometimes before it even takes off.

With this in mind, let’s talk about four traits that social media marketers must exhibit to achieve business success.

The ability to identify a target audience

1Uncovering a campaign’s target audience is generally the first step in a social media campaign, but when researching campaigns that have failed, it is common to find that many projects are seemingly skipping this entire step.

The most successful social media managers work tirelessly to find exactly where their target audience is communicating and interacting online. This is the key that unlocks all the rest that follows, because inbound marketers must find ways to grab the attention of these audiences – no one wants to go searching for a business’s services.

  • Where is the conversation taking place: Twitter? Facebook? LinkedIn?
  • What specifically are they talking about?
  • What do these individuals need that your service, product or client can provide?

These are the types of questions that a social media manager will ask when zeroing in on this elusive target audience. Undertaking this little exercise will allow them to design a well-thought-out game plan. To help kick-start this search, here is a list of the 10 most common social media outlets.

Understand how to cater to this audience

2Once a target audience is identified, it’s important to figure out the best way to reach them. Analyze this community and find out how they like to view or consume their content. Are they more responsive to a video rather than an article? Then make a video. Is SEO and content marketing a good approach?

Successful marketers understand how to stand out within a sea of other messages and content to portray their brand as the answer to the community’s concerns. Take advantage of tools like Google Trends to keep your finger on the pulse of fast-moving industry trends. Successful marketers always seem to be two steps ahead of the competition, and that is what customers want to see.

Recognize the origin of campaign results

3Social media campaigns all attempt to move the needle for your business, but they can vary in significant ways: Sales, subscriptions, sign-ups or an increase in brand awareness are all legitimate outcomes of a social marketing campaign.

Anyone can identify whether or not a social media campaign has succeeded or failed, but a true social media manager will have the ability to monitor the campaign throughout its life cycle to identify where exactly these results came from. Here is a list of tools compiled by Buffer that will help measure social media analytics throughout a campaign. Being able to identify these small “wins” early will allow marketers to replicate this tactic as the campaign unfolds.

Retain the ability to pivot

4Social media campaigns can fail for a number of reasons, but no matter what, a successful social media campaign manager must be agile and change plans quickly as events warrant. If an assumption falls flat, if a tactic fails, there’s no point in riding it out: Change plans in mid-stream and try something that could well work better.

Successful social media marketers seem to share an ability to pinpoint potential failures before they even happen. This ties back to the previous topics, because creating relevant content and tracking it heavily plays a major role in success. However, being able to rebound from a setback, learn from it and improve the campaign as a whole is a must-have trait in the online marketing world.

Whatever the size of your budget or campaign, as long as you’re determined to improve and continue learning at every turn, you’ll start achieving positive results.

How about you? What have you accomplished in a social media campaign that you’re proud of?

Taylor Tomita is a creative writer and musician residing in Boise, Idaho. He loves all aspects of marketing and social media, and spends too much time researching these topics. In his free time you can find him creating music or exploring the town in search of good pizza. Follow him on Twitter.
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