In many ways social media has become one of the many ‘must have’ components of a business, and this can put undue pressure on the growing organisation who’s marketing department is already stretched keeping up with email campaigns and trade events. I’m always sceptical about the ‘shoulds’ and encourage you to re-think your approach to this message.
Focus on What Makes Good Business Sense
The reality is that some social media platforms are more relevant for your business than others. Does this sound familiar? We need to have a LinkedIn Company Page, Facebook Business Page, Instagram account and what about Twitter? In 2015 I wrote this LinkedIn Article asking Is Social Media All That, in response to the feedback I was receiving from some of Think Bespoke’s clients, who were thinking about spending more time on LinkedIn and feeling a bit disenfranchised with social media channels. If you are also starting to question your investment in social media as a tool to help grow your business, then your thinking needs to start with your clients and where they spend their time online.
Today I’m going to share with you how to work out which platforms will drive the biggest result for your business. And if you’re keen to report on and measure your efforts, then you’ll also value my suggestions on the two metrics we use with clients to gauge our content marketing results.
How to Develop a Client Profile for Social Media
Developing a client profile is essential because it enables you to think like your potential clients think and understand how your content marketing and social media channels can influence them. People do not buy the first time they discover you. In fact, there is quite a long process involved in how people make purchase decisions. The more valuable and relevant content you can provide at the right time, in the right place and with the right message, the more likely it is your organisation will be considered as the right solution to meet your client’s needs.
The key to developing a client profile is to understand that there’s probably more than one set of individuals who you wish to reach and they will have a different profile, depending on the industry you are in and the products or services you offer. When I did my marketing degree at RMIT, we called the people we wanted to reach and influence our ‘target market’. These days you will hear this group of people referred to as ideal clients, avatars, influencers, stakeholder and lots of other buzz words.
In Think Bespoke’s case, we have at least 3 ideal client profiles and the role of referrers and influencers (people who know about our services and actively recommend us) plays a significant role in our Content Marketing Strategy.
At the very least, you need to know the following information* about the target groups you are wishing to influence.
- First Name
- Family & Marital Status
- Role Description
- Industry Type/s
- Geographic Location
- Daily Activities
- How they make decisions
- How they use the web
- Their challenges / pain points
- Their goals / aspirations
- What are their most pressing needs?
Once you know this, you will start to understand the key narratives or storylines you can develop as part of your Content Marketing Strategy to reach out to your potential clients.
Where to Find Your Ideal Clients
But where do you find potential clients online? It depends, and so you need to do your research and understand which platforms attract which age groups and types of individuals. A good start is the Australian Sensis Social Media Report – Chapter 1, Australians and Social Media, although I am yet to confirm whether 800 Australian consumers interviewed by phone over 4 weeks of one of the hottest months is 100% reliable, but it’s certainly a great starting point. Each social media platform in their Help sections should also be able to supply their user statistics for you. Social Media News (an Australian-based website) provides another source of user statistics that may also be helpful for your research.
And please do not overlook the importance of face to face networking and events as an invaluable tool to meet people, bring your community together and build relationships. You can then continue the conversation online.
Tips for Testing & Measuring your Social Media Performance
While sales and new enquiries are always your best measure of success, here’s some other ideas on how we measure results. These measures are about going beyond engagement within the platform (followers, likes, clicks, reach) and reviewing two other key metrics to demonstrate the success of your efforts.
- Quantitative Measures – track website traffic and conversion goals via Google analytics to measure the referral traffic from LinkedIn and social media platforms and the conversions achieved (e.g. newsletter sign ups, online survey completions, etc).
- Qualitative Measures – this is the feedback you receive from our internal team stakeholders and external clients.
Think Bespoke’s clients report there is a ‘tipping point’ they experience after around 3-6 months of consistent content marketing. Comments such as ‘I know it’s making a difference’, ‘I’ve had clients and colleagues comment on the increased professionalism and value of our content’ and ‘We’ve had the biggest year ever’ are some examples of what our clients have told us are the results of developing and then consistently implementing our tailored content marketing approach.
*This list was adapted from an Ideal Client Profile template originally created by Of Kin.