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By Gemma JoyceMay 16
Social media marketing is unique. Now, I’m not just saying this because I work as a digital marketer. It’s true.
In comparison to traditional forms of marketing, this reasonably new method allows for a much more engaging and personal approach.
Instead of sending out one-way messages, marketers can interact with their target markets in a conversational and friendly way.
Marketing teams who can locate the conversations that matter are likely to find a receptive audience and attract potential customers into interacting with their material.
But how do you connect with this audience and understand their wants and needs?
Social listening allows you to monitor online conversations that are already taking place and use them to your advantage.
It is a must-do for brands that want to build brand perception amongst a consumer base. You have to be engaged and understanding of your target audience first before you can approach them.
But social lead generation isn’t just about getting your message right. It’s also important to find out where your target audience is hanging out! You may have a preconceived idea of where to find them but, in the ever-expanding online landscape, meaningful discussions can pop up anywhere.
Whether you are a B2B or B2C marketer it is important that you invest your time and energy into understanding the industry that you are in and where your target audience is present.
When it comes to social platforms, a recent study by Webmarketing 123 found that B2C marketers focused most of their attention on Facebook with 75% of marketers being active on this platform.
In comparison, B2B marketing is spread more broadly across social networks (34% Facebook and Twitter 25.5%). It’s all about finding what works for your brand and monopolizing on that effectively.
Here are some top tips for going beyond your brand and understanding your target audience.
If you are only monitoring your own reputation online, you are missing out on a whole host of insightful information. Think about it, your brand mentions are just a grain of sand in a whole ocean of in-depth data.
Now it is the savvy marketer that goes beyond their brand and implements effective buzz monitoring. Spotting emerging trends puts brands in the prime position to get ahead of the competition.
A great example of this is Sony’s use of social listening for its Sony Reader product. They monitored industry and brand terms and saw the word “moms” was constantly popping up.
With this new information, they changed their marketing campaign to focus on moms. This was different from the rest of the industry who focused on young males. They were the first to truly engage with a whole new market group and gained impressive loyalty figures as a result.
Competitor benchmarking is useful in so many ways as it can affect all different levels of an organizations. From a CEO to a product developer, understanding what others are doing is essential to make sure that your brand is delivering a product or service that is exceeding all others in your market place.
Take Sony for example. If their competitors had been benchmarking against their marketing campaigns they would have seen that targeting moms was an effective process and in turn could have used this to their own advantage.
You may not necessarily like your competitors, but monitoring their brand perception will allow you to play against their strengths and weaknesses.
Once you have an overview of your audience it is now time to start interacting with them. You want to add value to your potential customers timeline and not become a nuisance.
Being informative without selling is essential for creating content that will entice a user to interact with you. Building this relationship on social is just the start of a consumer’s journey and first impressions can be everything.