Social Media represents the next step in one-to-one direct communication for brands. As such, social media success, we believe, is closely tied to the adherence of these core principles of direct marketing:
- Define and understand your audience
- Create a compelling and relevant message
- Deliver that message at the right time and at an appropriate frequency
- Measure, analyze and refine along the way
Audience: With whom are you communicating? Direct marketing best practices begin with knowing as much about the recipient of your message as possible; social media marketing should be no different. In addition to demographic data, you need to know where your target audience engages online and why? What motivates their social media engagement with a company, brand, non-profit, etc.? What have they responded to in the past and why?
Messaging: To create the kind of messages that compel actions, a critical factor is being relevant. How can you effectively translate what is known about customer motivations about your product and category? Ask how do consumers think about a particular cause, their money, what they wear, higher education or their health-care? Now, what do they believe to be true about your non-profit, financial institution, retail store, university, medical center, etc.?
Delivery: Relevance can be delivered subtly or more forcefully. A successful message (blog, tweet, post, pin, etc.) can be repeated over time once you understand why it was successful. Reshaping and then re-posting that message is the social media translation of a direct marketing A/B test. Once you have a message that works, you’ll want to know if there is a better message. You want to know how often it can be delivered and still be effective – to understand the relationship between response and actual goal completion (purchase, donation, visits, etc).
Measurement: A direct marketer would never create a campaign without a clear understanding of success metrics and associated business goals. The same is true for social media. Determine which metrics make the most sense for your business and then commit to monitoring the impact of your communications over time. Analyze your results, incorporate the learning and allow it to inform your messaging.
To maximize opportunities presented by social media for deeper one-to-one communications, marketers must adhere to the direct marketing fundamentals.
Want to learn more? Contact BroadStreet Partners and let’s work together to maximize your digital marketing investment.