Social media for the omnichannel age
by Sen Wang
April 25, 2018
Social media can feel overwhelming. It’s an ever-churning spectacle. News, frivolous musings, showbiz bombast, and intense reactions to social issues and personal slights float in relative proximity.
Hovering within this haze, however, are possibilities for deeper connections with customers and prospects. No surprise, then, that marketers have been devoting themselves to plotting the perfect social roadmap—the seamless, yet elusive, user journey.
For the omnichannel marketer, approaching social media today calls for a change of perspective. It helps to zoom out a little.
Social is critical to customer engagement and conversion, but it must be considered in the context of a broader omnichannel marketing strategy, one that attends to the channel-agnostic customer, the itinerant across touchpoints. They are always on the move, and you have to be ready, wherever and whenever, to take the journey with them.
Here some ideas to help you get the most out of social, omnichannel style.
1. Strategize across channels
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat, Line… The list goes on. But it’s important to pick your channels wisely and well. After all, omnichannel doesn’t mean omnipresence. It’s about devoting efforts to channels that work for you and your customers. Look at the opportunities and challenges each platform offers. What works wonders for another brand might not do much for yours.
For example, if your content leans towards the visual, you might want to leverage Instagram and its live video function. Is Linkedin where your target audience gathers? Will it be worth the money and time to cultivate an audience there?
Whatever the answers, keep in mind that social cannot flourish in isolation. Map out the individual customer’s multiple identities and track their journey across your offline and online channels to ensure smooth handoffs and contribute to your campaign objectives in general.
2. Ensure a consistent, continuously evolving narrative
In omnichannel marketing, mere presence is not enough. Context and continuity are just as critical. What your customer wants is a conversation that is seamless at every intersection, supported by social content consistent with your overarching brand narrative.
Start by adopting the same tone and visual style across channels, adjusting them to your social channels only if necessary. Use consistent hashtags, too, to add continuity to your social presence and create a quick way to join relevant conversations. And remember to design your content to be mobile friendly.
Leverage trends, but only if they’re relevant to your brand and speak meaningfully to your campaign initiatives and target audience. Done smartly, it’s a good way to prove you know what your customers care about most.
3. Take timing seriously
The omnichannel customer likes content delivered at the right place and right time. Perfect timing can make a huge difference. Scheduling is important. Leverage insights such as channel and day part propensities to identify the best time to send out your social content.
An ill-timed message can at best be fruitless; worse yet, it can weaken your hard-earned reputation. Test the effectiveness of your content by shuffling the time of posting. With the help of marketing analytics, find the combination that yields the best results and implement a content delivery mechanism to match.
4. Measure omnichannel results
Review social performance in an omnichannel context. Your specific social KPIs should connect to broader objectives. A surge in your Facebook book followers might not mean much if you’re plagued by low click-thru rates. Identifying the right mix of channels—machine learning, predictive analytics, and more—can simplify your assessment of whether those customer journeys are succeeding in speeding top-line growth. As you finesse your grip on conversion and attribution of customers, transfer those insights into even more refined social tactics.
5. Make data work harder
Omnichannel marketing runs on the traces of data left behind by the customer. Introduce a suitable data platform to consolidate and augment those diverse data points to obtain a unified view of the customer. This determines the context and focus needed to incorporate social into brand interactions that occur at the right place and right time.
But a consistent brand story and cohesive interactions might not be enough. People are worried about their privacy online, and as GDPR approaches, these concerns and their legal protections need to be taken seriously. implement data security solutions and ensure regulatory compliance. Demonstrate to your customer that when they click on your links, a reliable, rewarding experience awaits, not one that will leave their privacy in tatters.
As Instagram closes in on one billion monthly active users, and Facebook has already surpassed the two-billion mark, opting out of social seems like less and less an option. With the right arsenal of strategy, technology, and data, marketers can take their social game successfully to the omnichannel environment and write a new chapter in social media marketing.
Want to see how other marketers are approaching omnichannel marketing? Download our Marketing Flab to Fab report to find out more. Resulticks provides a dynamic arsenal of solutions to help you orchestrate omnichannel journeys to conversion and beyond. Request your demo now.