Minnesota hosts some of the top consumer brands in the country: Target, Best Buy, General Mills (Betty Crocker, Wheaties, Cheerios, Yoplait) 3M, Toro and many more. Social media is also a hot topic here in the land of the north with a vibrant interactive marketing community and the always awesome Social Media Breakfast, Minneapolis, St, Paul.
SMBMP holds monthly get togethers each month covering a variety of topics (not just marketing) that attract anywhere from 50 to 300 bacon and coffee hungry social media enthusiasts
As a provider of social media marketing services to major B2B brands, TopRank has been a long time supporter of SMBMSP. Recently, several of our team attended a SMBMSP presentation from local agencies space150, Bolin and Spyder Trap on consumer brand social media case studies: Buffalo Wild Wings, Carmex, and Michelina’s. The presentations were diverse in style and content, which, like the photo of tasty bacon above, appealed to just about everyone.
Here are 15 social media insights our staff gathered from the SMBMSP case study presentations:
1. The target you want for your brand may not be those who are having the conversation around you in social media. Look outside of obvious networks.
2. Paid Social advertising is often the quickest way to gain some eyeballs for your social content. But be sure that content is interesting and engaging enough to make consumers want to participate.
3. Want to see a great example of social media content? The Buffalo Wild Wings game is fun, but hard. It’s a fantastic promotion, as it’s very socially sharable and interactive content.
4. Sometimes success with social media marketing is about getting lucky. Regardless, keep trying new things to find what resonates and what doesn’t.
5. The voice of your brand can have a big impact on how well your messages connect with customers. Find it and use it.
6. What to do with digital marketing data? “Get nerdy with it.” And be proud of your nerd status. Pay attention to data and use it to constantly grow, evolve, and improve. In marketing speak, that means analyze social data so you can optimize messaging and performance.
7. You can’t get lucky with social media campaigns unless you’re active. That means participation before the campaign and after. The more engaged you are with a growing community, the luckier you’ll be.
8. Drill down into data to discover untapped circles that overlap with your current audience. As SEOs drill down into variations, synonyms and permutations of search phrases, so should social media marketers when researching audiences to engage with.
9. Boiling bacon doesn’t work. Literally and figuratively as a metaphor for taking shortcuts to getting things done on the social web. Shortcuts might technically achieve task completion, but who wants soggy social media content?
10. With a new social media campaign, where can you find people to target with social media ads? Analyzing Facebook insights will reveal relevant users to target based on the content they like/share. A relevant ad to a targeted audience will result in better experiences and outcomes.
11. During a social media promotion or campaign, make sure you engage with supporters AND detractors . Addressing the issues of a reasonable detractor can often turn them into your biggest fan.
12. What if you get stuck? If audience growth hits a plateau, consider identifying and targeting a secondary or tertiary audience that influence your buyers. In fact, don’t wait until you plateau, plan for related audiences and influencers from the start.
13. Even if your brand isn’t active on social networks, take advantage of conversations already happening in social around the brand. Listen and be useful to people already talking about you.
14. Create a social media content editorial calendar, but be ready to deviate from it for real time engagement opportunities. Adapt or die!
15. Remember, social media marketing is not just about getting more fans, it’s about getting more from the fans you already have.
Overall, I think there were three major themes offered in the presentations from Craig Key, Mathan Eide, Michael Kraabel, Steve Retka:
- Luck is a factor, even if it’s impractical to plan for
- Look outside of immediate networks
- Optimize opportunities and performance
While luck is a factor, it’s pretty impractical to forecast it into your social media strategy. But there’s something to the notion of “luck” when you think of it in terms of “opportunity”. And for that, I’ll cite Ashton Kutcher: “Opportunity looks a lot like hard work”. By that I mean doing the hard work of planning, research, execution and attention to KPIs will reveal opportunities to get lucky and tap into things on the social web that are much larger and impactful than what any one brand marketer could achieve on their own.
Immediate networks are the low hanging fruit for social media campaigns, but the magic doesn’t really happen until your network’s networks are on board: engaging, sharing and amplifying. That means planning promotions outside of the first level of topically relevant communities and conversations.
Nothing goes as planned and that’s where the magic of being adaptable comes in to play. Especially with social media promotions, opportunities will reveal themselves and brands must not only be monitoring and open minded to real-time change ups, but they need to be prepared to act on them in a substantial way.
A big thanks to space150, Bolin and Spyder Trap for sharing their case studies and also to Mykl Roventine and the Social Media Breakfast MSP volunteers for yet another great event.
If you’re a BtoC company or targeting consumer audiences with your social media marketing efforts, what are some of the lessons you’ve learned? What are some of the questions or challenges you have?
Photo source: Shutterstock