Easy ways to get the most from your social media activity

By Sarah Stowe | 10 Feb 2016 View comments

Work with your franchisees to get social media activity right for your business. Image: marketingland.comGaye Steel, GM of marketing at Mad Mex Mexican Fresh Grill explores how to work with social media.

A brand’s social media presence is one connected ecosystem that can allow each store to be community-driven. The potential for slightly diverse messaging and local flair makes a brand authentically local.

Social media is an engagement tool with real-time communication channels that provide the ability to engage with your customers in a meaningful and dynamic way.

Understanding your customer is extremely important in determining your social media content and keeping customers engaged.

An effective strategy with cross platform content integration can develop deep brand advocacy, retain customers and strengthen your relationship, reach new customers and grow your followers organically, drive traffic to your store, educate your customers and establish your business as a thought leader in its field.

Engaging content becomes the fuel that drives growth and extends the customer relationship beyond a simple purchase in-store or online.

To succeed and integrate your individual brands efforts, you need to understand which platforms and what type of content perform. This is the imperative.

The three social networks reporting consistent growth are Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Snapchat’s appeal and simple service hasn’t worn off and over the last year has added around one million active Australian users sitting at approximately two million active Australian monthly users.

In Australia Facebook is the largest online social network, there are over 14 million users, many using the platform regularly. Facebook has become a key platform for driving localised consumer-brand interaction and the platform has options and strategies available specifically to retail to showcase and sell products directly on Facebook.

Twitter with nearly three million Australian (mostly mobile) users has launched a ‘Buy Now’ button which gives retailers a new tool to engage with customers and drive purchases. A ‘Buy Now’ button on Twitter Social commerce is obviously a key part of an overarching strategy to shorten the gap between social engagement and shopping.

Provide a social media toolkit for franchisees

It is important to maintain the integrity of your national brand identity and positioning in the market.

Providing brand guidelines which local markets can follow will assist you optimise your social media strategy for localisation.  Consider including the following:

A visual and verbal toolkit for franchisees, covering tone of voice, a content review system, frequency of posts, cross platform content integration strategies.

Identify your community manager, ensure they are skilled to monitor the platform and handle customer service in a timely manner with a friendly and personal response. This does not only help the customer resolve issues but also leaves them with a positive impression and helps build trust in the business.

Show local operators how to repurpose Instagram photos taken by local patrons for added consumer engagement and content creation to develop an interactive social community.

Localised marketing via social media channels is less expensive than traditional platforms.

Mobile is dramatically changing everything

Mobile phones aren't just a more convenient way to access the Internet, they’re changing people’s fundamental connected behaviour. Connectivity is becoming the norm, shifting our social media habits to a more one-to-one private conversation with people and things we care about most, and accessing M-commerce whilst we’re at physical stores, to paying for things directly in those physical stores and on public transport using mobile wallet.

If you’re still wondering about how to optimise your website for mobile, you’re being left far behind; success tomorrow won’t just be about a mobile web presence, but about optimising your entire organisation for a mobilecentric world.

Measure success

If you’re using social media you should be measuring it. You need reliable and consistent analytics that help you track your success on your key channels like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

It’s critical to measure and analyse the effectiveness of your social media activity and identify areas needing adjustment.

The two main types of social media measurement are:

  • Ongoing analytics – Ongoing monitoring that tracks activity over time
  • Campaign-focused metrics – Campaign or event analytics with a clear beginning and end

Social analytics makes everything accountable, providing the power of insight to drive business value.