Intro to the Top 6 Social Media Marketing Strategies Used by Top Agencies
Social media strategy is a realm that combines both art and technical skills for the specific purpose of shaping campaigns to suit the diverse aspects of the social media marketing objectives of each company.
To understand how social media strategy works, this review will look at three exemplary social media companies to gauge their unique approaches.
What’s more, we’ll take a look at some of this year’s winners for the Shorty Awards – an annual awards ceremony that honors the best cases of social media marketing strategies. Our look into the Shorty Awards will show just how creative and influential social media campaigns can be.
Three Awesome Social Media Marketing Firms
The 10 Best Seo has provided a list of companies that have excellent ideas on social media marketing strategy. The following companies have been chosen in regard to quantitative and qualitative outcomes – that is, these companies are known for extending awareness of a brand or message to more audiences, maintaining a positive light, and promoting traffic and click-throughs.
Image source: Pixabay
This company emphasizes customization as key to a social media marketing strategy. The company put its fundamental approach this way: “When you partner with us, we don't give you a generic, cookie-cutter solution for your company's needs – we make sure you get the social media marketing package that works for you.”
As can be seen on its pricing page, the company provides many ways for customers to tailor their own marketing strategies for social media.
Though WebpageFX provides many ways to customize a social media marketing strategy, it follows a simple yet systematic approach in its social media marketing tactics:
- Create a prominent social presence in the major social media networks and channels
- Continuously interact with users to promote long-term relationships that will encourage sales and recommendations to new users
- Create effective content that adheres to expectations and needs through a sustainable pricing plan
With highly customizable social media strategy, WebpageFX prides itself on being able to reach specific targets, whether based on language, gender, age, location or interests – or a mixture of all these aspects. It claims to be an expert with the following social media platforms: Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and Houzz.
This group of marketing professionals works with business owners to develop and sustain their online presence and social media marketing plans. SocialFix effectively aids business owners to advertise their brands on major social platforms, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Terry Tateossian, one of the founding partners, has highlighted key fundamentals of social media marketing tactics:
- Engage and interact
- Adhere to the social media etiquette of each platform
- A social media marketing plan should be promoted on and offline
- Provide useful and pertinent information
- Keep account profiles consistent
From the above list, interacting and engaging with the public and providing useful information is a key social media strategy.
Maintaining both shows that a company has a real personality open to the public – a personality that listens to its supporters rather than force-feeding information. Maintaining consistent interaction shows people that they are not being ignored in a social media marketing plan.
Thus, according to SocialFix and its fundamental social media strategy, using social media goes beyond simple habits, such as setting up automatic Tweets or throwing a few pictures up on Pinterest.
Rather, an exceptional social media marketing strategy promotes fluid interactions between a business and the public, which enhances brand character, presence, and loyalty in the long term.
This company believes that social media marketing strategy should have multimedia content that draws viewers’ attention upon the first glance.
What’s more, the ads to be displayed on social media platforms should include interactive features for the best results. For example, this company believes that target audiences should be able to provide feedback on social media ads.
Directive Consulting also espouses the ideas expressed above by the previous two companies – that is, effective social media strategy needs to reach specific target audiences, a high degree of interaction with the targeted audience needs to be maintained, and, perhaps most importantly, a social media marketing strategy needs to be meaningful.
The company’s marketing strategies for social media, however, does focus on some unique aspects – re-targeting, in particular, which the company uses to cultivate valuable content for interested audiences. In a nutshell, re-targeting is when a website using pixels or cookies tracks visitors and what they peruse. Then, that website will send out ads that suit the visitors and what they’re interested in.
An example would be when a person visits a website online and then closes the tab or effectively leaves. Then, this same visitor signs into his or her Facebook or goes on YouTube, and an ad from that previous website pops up.
Directive Consulting is a fan of using re-targeting as part of its marketing strategies for social media because the company believes that most sales are not made after a single encounter between a business and an individual. In the company’s opinion, most people need to see an ad several times for the ad to be effective – in other words, to encourage and complete a sale.
Using re-targeting, companies such as Directive Consulting can ascertain which groups of people or individuals are interested in a social media marketing plan, create an ad campaign for these interested groups, then target them – rather than wasting time on uninterested people.
Re-targeting leads into other aspects of Directive Consulting’s social media marketing tactics, such as aggressive persona development for advanced targeting. Essentially, this focuses on identifying the personalities of target audiences. This concept is important because when a social media marketing plan is tailored to these identities, the viewers will no longer see them as an ad or sponsored post but rather as relevant information.
After looking at these three well-performing social media marketing companies and their social media marketing strategies, obvious themes become apparent. However, let’s look at some unique social media marketing campaigns that occurred throughout the past year – those which have been recognized by the Shorty Awards – to see what these heralded campaigns can tell us about social media marketing techniques.
#BallotBriefcase: Business-to-Business Winner
PwC, a multinational professional services network, came up with a simple social media strategy: the BallotBriefcase (which will carry the winning Oscar ballot nominations to the Academy Awards). The network wanted to increase public awareness of PwC's Oscar-related activities and involvement, appeal to a demographic of younger talents by repositioning the brand, and energize the employees of the PwC vast network to generate enthusiasm.
Thus, the BallotBriefcase travelled across the United States. Along its way, it made celebrity appearances, signed autographs, posed for photos, and inspired employees to play along – all for the sake of spreading awareness of PwC’s decades-long involvement in the Academy Awards.
Many, many people have gathered around or supported this social media marketing plan on its trip to the Academy Awards, whether in person or on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook.
According to PwC, the target audience is the Millennial population. More than 80 percent of its enormous staff comprises Millennials. PwC decided to combine an energetic, unique campaign and to use Snapchat as the main medium.
Image source: Pixabay
This social media marketing strategy did quite well. The BallotBriefcase generated many Twitter impressions – 136x more, in fact – when compared with the PwC’s Academy Award campaigning that did not implement the briefcase.
During the first three weeks, thanks to this social media marketing plan, Instagram saw 406 mentions and 126,000 impressions. Twitter saw 1,062 mentions and 12.3 million impressions.
On Snapchat, the Snap Story grew within the first two weeks to receive over 700 views. The BallotBriefcase averaged about 8 to 10 direct Snaps per day, coming from both employees and fans.
The marketing strategy was successful in rousing PwC’s employee base: a little over 2,000 employees have waited in long lines to meet the BallotBriefcase, sometimes upward of 45 minutes.
Casper Is Back: Small Business Winner
Casper provides a simple yet effective social media marketing strategy for small businesses: personality.
According to the Casper mattress company, the industry wastes millions on real estate, advertising, and pointless songs, so the company set out to inject new life into the $13 billion industry, with only a limited budget.
To develop its own unique social media marketing strategy, the company turned to social media; within the first 10 months or so, the company raised about $20 million in sales – an impressive feat, considering all the other massive corporations. However, Casper’s social media strategy was rather simple.
Casper’s approach focused on a fundamental concept: cultivating unique, dynamic interactions with its audience. According to the company, “Users shape the Casper brand as much as we do.”
Casper was essentially tired of the same boring, regurgitated sleep tips and sales announcements plaguing the mattress industry, so the company decided to implement comedic, entertaining content, along with its valuable sleep content, into its social media marketing plan. To do so, Casper created a personable, genuine voice that is friendly and memorable – one that is lacking in conventional mattress salesmen.
The company’s social media marketing strategy goes the extra mile to respond to its audience. If some of the fans Tweet that they’re tired, Casper will Tweet them back a coffee. If a fan provides a resonating review, Casper will send a gift of sorts. The company, during the last holiday season, went to the offices of its fans, who had been Tweeting about their hangovers; Casper brought them egg sandwiches and coffee to help ease their agony.
An individual only has to take a quick peek at Casper’s Twitter to get a feel for the personality it exudes in its social media strategy. One Tweet provides a humorous letter for fans that had overslept to give to their bosses, another Tweet tells fans how to say “goodnight” in several languages, and another Tweet is a link to a very relaxing song to listen to before bed.
#MyPlayoffsMoment: Winner in Sports
The NHL wanted to use the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs to increase public interest in professional hockey. The NHL’s social media strategy was to promote not only social conversations but also digital engagement, in order to reach the friends of die-hard fans.
In this social media marketing strategy example, the NHL sought to put people first and hockey second, knowing that people find the emotional rollercoasters of any game highly contagious. When people catch on to the drama in any sport, they are likely to share on social media channels.
The NHL did a little investigating and found that fans often uploaded to social media videos of themselves watching hockey games. The NHL chose to develop this behavior in its social media strategy, seeking to make fans feel like documentarians.
The NHL came up with #MyPlayoffsMoment as its social media marketing strategy and asked die-hard fans to document their point of view during the playoff games. Once fans shared such footage online, the NHL gathered it and spread it on the social media channels of the NHL. In this social media strategy, the spotlight was put on fans, giving them incentive to promote the NHL on social media channels.
The NHL launched the hashtag with broadcasts and sought to spread the idea not only before games but during them as well. It asked fans to capture their experiences of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and to use #MyPlayoffsMoment when they shared these moments on social media. The NHL displayed the experiences on its website, NHL.com, and made the videos mobile-friendly. Also, promoted tweets were implemented which helped to spread #MyPlayoffsMoment.
During each playoff game, the NHL used a specific strategy that focused on gathering, creation, and magnification. It crafted real-time videos that mixed actual in-game footage with fan footage. Each game night, a great number of clips (numbering in the thousands) were closely examined and incorporated into videos that highlighted the perspectives of fans. These videos were injected into social media platforms soon after each game’s conclusion.
The results of this social media marketing strategy were impressive. The hashtag received 1.5 billion digital impressions. The followers on Twitter grew by about 17 percent (which translates to about 500,000 more followers). On Instagram, followers jumped up by about 20 percent (which is about 195,000 more followers).
The content of this social media marketing strategy example actually inspired five BuzzFeed editorials which ended up reaching 11 million people that weren’t fans of hockey. What’s more, the social media marketing strategy attracted global media coverage from well-established companies such as Forbes.
Seventy-one compilation videos were crafted from the moments submitted by 119,000 fans. These compilation videos collected 34.6 million views. Finally, compared to the previous year, participation in the NHL increased by 2,059 percent – not bad, to say the least.
Conclusion: Social Media Strategies
Social media marketing techniques will thrive on uniqueness and audience interaction.
As we can see from our brief review of three successful social media marketing companies, they all strive to offer highly detailed customization in their social media marketing objectives. However, this customization should be focused on two important aspects of social media marketing techniques: the personalities of the brands and potential audiences.
Thanks to social media (and a little bit of research), advertisers no longer have to waste their efforts or funds on advertising to uninterested people. Genuinely interested audiences, due to all the tracking technology (such as pixels and cookies), can be easily delineated and developed for a social media marketing strategy for small businesses. Finding interested audiences is crucial because they are the ones who will be willing to interact.
Interaction is a paramount ingredient in social media as well. Gone are the days where advertisements were pitted against viewers. Now, the audience plays an important role in shaping brands and spreading information. Thanks to social media platforms, it is much easier for brands and consumers to find common ground.
The Shorty Awards highlight the importance of these themes (uniqueness, personality, and interaction) to social media strategy. The BallotBriefcase was, after all, just a briefcase, but how it was used to incorporate storytelling made it so much more.
Casper Sleep Inc. was just a small mattress company seeking to find its niche among other mattress behemoths, and all it did was attach an eccentric personality to itself using popular social media platforms. Just that bit of personality did wonders in gathering the attention of the public, showing that a social media marketing strategy for small businesses don’t need to be overly complicated.
The NHL’s social media strategy essentially put its advertising in the hands of its fans, and the #MyPlayoffsMoment campaign shows just how much people love to tell stories about what they care about.
All these examples go to show that clever social media marketing objectives can create an interesting symbiosis between brands and customers, in which interactions are based on storytelling and adventures – not on prescriptions.
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