“In a competitive marketplace, the number of fans and followers you have does matter” – Click To Tweet
That tweet is sure to spark up a debate among your followers on Twitter. Don’t believe me? Go back and click the link and you’ll see what I mean.
I feel like it’s become trendy for agencies and consultants to latch on to the ‘quality over quantity’ position when talking about social media marketing and fan and follower counts.
For me though, that argument dies when you decide to use social media to market your products and services to new or untapped segments of consumers.
No matter what anyone tells you, the number of fans and followers who pay attention to your marketing channels on social media will directly effect the total number of them who take an action that benefits your business.
This action could be as simple as having fans and followers sign up for your brand’s email data base, having them share their own content to a hashtag you’ve promoted, downloading a bounce-back coupon or even buying something from your eCommerce site.
There are essentially three methods that allow a brand to accomplish and scale these, and similar types of conversions using social media:
- Increase the conversion rate. This means working out strategies and tactics that will improve what percentage of your fan base actually onverts. For instance, if you have 1000 Facebook fans and 20% down load a coupon, you can potentially get 200 people to walk hrough your restaurant doors and claim the discount. At 40%, your total customer potential doubles to 400. Your conversation rate on social media channels is typically related to the type of content and offers you publish, how frequently you or your team are updating and responding, and whether or not your content aligns with the needs, wants and lifestyle of your audience.
- Increase the size of the channel. A lot of brands find it difficult to move the needle on the average conversion rate. A second method of increasing the number of prospects and customers who take action is to increase the total number of targeted fans and followers, thus increasing the size of your brand’s social media channels. Using the same scenario above, if your average conversion rate is stuck at 20%, your next option is to grow the Facebook fan base to 2000 targeted fans, thus giving you the same 400 potential customers through the door. While maintaining the same conversion rate during the initial stages of adding fans and followers can be difficult, networks like Facebook and Twitter have hinged their revenue models on providing advertising tools that have been designed to help brands support and maintain social media channel growth. We’ll get to more on why size matters to social media advertising next.
- Do both at the same time. The ideal situation for brands and marketing teams is to be masters of each camp in social media marketing and grow each aspect of their channels at the same time. But, doing so takes a more significant investment in terms of dollars for tools, human time and attention. Most brands today are simply not ready or able to make that type of investment into disruptive technology without more proof cases that show hard ROI.
Why Size Matters on Facebook – Promoted Posts
Brands are beginning to take advantage of newer versions of advertising products like Facebook promoted posts.
With promoted posts, your brand has the ability to reach higher percentages of your Facebook fans with paid media that’s delivered right to their newsfeeds along with the updates they see organically from their family, friends and ex-high-school girlfriends.
This newer Facebook ad product also allows marketers to choose incremental budget investments based on the number of fans reached.
Used wisely, promoted posts can help keep your brand positioned top of mind with potential or existing customers.
But, one simply yet powerful truth remains — the effectiveness of using advertising products like promoted posts increases along with the size of your Facebook fan base.
Where Competitive Analysis Fits in Social Media Marketing
Understanding the competitive landscape for your category will help you determine how much of your effort, time and resources should be focused on building up your fan, follower and subscriber counts, and how much can be allotted to promotions that are are intended to drive sales.
Most brands today make the mistake of looking at these two aspects in reverse. Sold by the luster of creative promotions, contests and pretty custom tabs, the brand chooses to launch promotions to an oftentimes small and inactive channel of fans and followers.
When crickets happen, the decision maker is left asking: “What exactly did we get out of this? And how am I going to make this look good to my boss?!?”
Click To Tweet –> “The success of any social media promotion depends on whether the channel touches enough of the right people.”
Simply Measured – Our Weapon of Choice for Social Media Competitive Analysis
At TKG, we use a variety of tools to collect and analyze data for our clients, one of which being a neat dashboard called Simply Measured – a social media monitoring tool designed with competitive analysis in mind.
By using Simply Measured to benchmark our clients’ social media marketing efforts against their direct and category competition, we can easily see where opportunities exist to find the ‘path of least resistance’ for growth.
This sometimes means putting efforts into pulling their customer base to a channel where their competition has opted not to participate in full force, or even watching adoption trends among younger demographics that can key us into newer social networks where where the brand’s audience is suddenly spending more time.
In either case, the goals is to create a competitive advantage for our clients against other brands who may be more established, have bigger budgets and serve larger market areas.
When used correctly, tools like Simply Measured can help speed up time time it takes to collect and organize competitive data so that customer insights can be derived. These higher end tools also give us piece of mind that the data we are collecting is accurate and up to date. That said, Simply Measured comes at a price that ranges between $500 per month and up to $11,000 per month.
Is Your Brand Conducting Competitive Analysis
Tools like Simply Measured are excellent for competitive analysis. And, used on an ongoing basis they can help your brand established channel growth and activation benchmarks that can lead to more share of voice online and more successful promotions offline.
Are you doing this now?
Tell us in the comments how you go about looking at competitors and what tools your brand has invested in.
Photo Credit: Business Insider and AP images