5 Ways to Boost Sales with a Data-Driven Social Media Strategy

Data is the new oil. Hardly anything defined Facebook’s success more than its access to user data and its capability to turn it into advertising dollars. With that in mind, let’s explore how proper data use can help you boost sales through social media.

Five ways social media data can take your strategy to the next level

Unlike years past, driving revenue from Social Media now requires more than just boosting your top posts. Thankfully, many different data sources can help with this and there are techniques you can implement to improve social selling. One of which is by utilizing data to craft a better media strategy for your brand. 

1. Improve data quality

It’s no secret that data drives most of our decisions in the social media world. Every day, social managers involved in the social listening struggle with questions like “Are positive sentiments towards our brand growing or going down?” or “Which age cohort is sharing our content?” The quality of the supplied data will define the quality of such decisions, the media strategy, and the correct understanding of data and trends, resulting in better responses. 

The following five metrics define data quality:

  • Accuracy: the data should correctly reflect facts.
  • Completeness: a full range of data that is required to make a decision should be present.
  • Consistency: the data should be consistent over time and with different datasets.
  • Relevancy: the data reviewed should be relevant to the issue at hand.
  • Timeliness: the data should be available at the time when making decisions and reflect recent changes.

When a media strategy is built based on data not fitting the above requirements, it can have disastrous consequences. As IBM estimated, the impact of using bad data in the US is $3 trillion per year. 

In its recent update, iOS 14.5, Apple allowed users to block tracking and now requires them to explicitly agree to data sharing with apps such as Facebook for ad targeting. In this sense, having multiple sources of user data is becoming even more important.  To get better-quality information, you should use all the available sources of robust data, including SEO. For example, we all know about Google Analytics and Search Console to get the SEO data on the websites. However, marketers usually use all-in-one SEO software like SE Ranking that consolidates data to provide a complete site performance report. In addition, these tools can track the ranking of your social media profiles, for example, Youtube channels, and provide you with versatile and relevant SEO data for a better social media strategy.

2. Use cross-channel marketing

The main reason to use cross-channel marketing in your media strategy for business is to ensure your audience is constantly seeing content from your brand. Not convinced? 73% of marketers say that cross-marketing has a great impact on conversion rates. 

For example, if you advertise just on one channel, say, Facebook, you can be seen by customers only when they’re on Facebook. And even then, you’ll get limited frequency as the platform doesn’t want to spam its audience with the same brand’s messages.

However, if you include other media in your campaign, say, Google context ads, Instagram, and Twitter, you can reach more potential customers and thus produce the effect of being “all over the internet” thereby increasing brand recall. 

Using social media analytics for cross-channel campaigns

Social media analytics can deliver some ideas for your cross-channel media strategy. For example, you may see that generally, your offers advertised on social media are converting better within specific age ranges. You can then set up targeting in other channels for exactly these specific segments to not waste your impressions on poorly converting audiences.

When analyzing the performance of a cross-channel campaign, it is very important to understand the campaign’s impact in different channels and adjust when necessary. Pay attention to these social media metrics:

  • Post ranks across all channels: you could start with checking how well your posts are ranking on different platforms and what your best posts are.
  • Posts per channel: most likely, you have a different number of posts and other media content per channel since it could be OK for Instagram to have ten stories per day, but having ten tweets per day may be considered spammy.
  • Post engagement and engagement rate (ER): these metrics are calculated as the number of engagements divided by impressions or reach (per post or overall). Usually, a post with a high engagement rate means that the content went viral. Besides, this metric helps you define the optimal number of posts per day, the best time to post, the type of content that receives the most interactions, etc.
  • Total engagement by platform: identifies which platform your most active audience visits most.
  • Cost-Per-Click (CPC): The price a marketer pays per individual clicks on a paid social media post. Keep in mind, that the average advertising cost differs due to the selected platform. For example, the average CPC in Facebook is $0.97 per click, while LinkedIn CPC is $5.26 per click. So don’t focus on your total spending when choosing the social media platform, but look at CPC to weigh investment efficiency.
  • Social Media Conversion Rate: all in all, this is what we work for. Comparing conversions will indicate the effectiveness of the tested platform to identify your most profitable one for the next campaign.

Optimizing content for different channels

While you may be pushing the same message across different channels, it may bring different outcomes by platform. For example, you may create an interesting post with a lot of textual content with a great engagement rate on Facebook but that doesn’t fit your Instagram. The solution here is to change the format – for example, if you have a text post, you can make infographics out of it or a video explainer. Tools such as Lumen5 convert text into videos, and it’s really easy to do.

Sometimes you may have a great piece of content, like a blog article, but posting it again may seem not such a bright idea. The core of your audience has probably already seen this post before, and viewing it again wouldn’t push them further into the funnel or make them like/share it. In this case, repackaging may be the solution – which simply refers to the process of changing the form while keeping the main message intact. Tools such as Haiku Deck allow you to create an engaging presentation out of your old blog post and share it on socials.

3. Prioritize brand awareness

Generally, it is thought that increasing brand awareness is about building an overall brand image. And for the most part, getting more impressions on your posts will certainly help your targeting audience become more brand-aware. 

However, real brand awareness comes from two sources:

  • Native social media:
    • your brand’s posts;
    • other people’s mentions of your brand.
  • Paid social media:
    • your brand’s ads;
    • PR campaigns;
    • influencers’ posts.

Therefore, the sentiment of mentions or comments should also be measured (as detailed below) to ensure you’re building a positive brand image:

  • Brand mentions: keep track of what’s being said about your brand on social media and manage the brand reputation. A brand monitoring toolkit comes in handy as it helps marketers monitor and react to new mentions in real-time, compare brand analytics to competitors, and convert more leads. It is also helpful during the promotion period as you can collect both positive and negative reviews to analyze the success of users’ interaction with the brand.
  • Brand Sentiments: check what sentiments were in those mentions – positive, negative, or neutral. The easiest way to track brand sentiments is via social listening analytics by Keyhole that collects information about hashtags and keywords and monitors online conversations. It incredibly helps track mentions of the brand, measure the sentiments, and evaluate overall brand health.
  • Audience Growth Rate: tracks how quickly your brand gains followers. This rate divides new followers into the total audience. 
  • Impressions vs. reach: how many times brand mentions appeared in people’s timelines vs. how many people made a click.
  • Social share of voice: percentage of your brand mentions in social media to the defined group of competitors in the market. It helps to determine competitive advantage, evaluate campaign effectiveness, and measure customer engagement.
  • Conversions: measure how many desired actions resulted from traffic brought in by brand mentions.

4. Focus on personalization

Personalization has come a long way since we were putting – Hi, {first_name} – into our emails and were calling it a day. 

Nowadays, specialized AI algorithms evaluate people’s behavior, the sites and social media communities they visit, the posts they like, comment, or share. Such a data-driven approach can help AI understand the underlying interests of each person and their probability to click or convert on certain offers. 

When you add a social media pixel onto your site, it can track how visitors are engaging with it, what types of products were of interest, and how much time they spent before making a decision or leaving. Here are two ways you can use pixel data:

  • Remarketing/Retargeting – sending targeted campaigns to people who have taken actions or shown interest in your brand. For example…
    • They’ve engaged with your ads or community before.
    • To lookalike audiences who have similar profiles to the ones who converted. 
    • To people who were interested in a product but didn’t buy it
  • Up-selling –  offering potential customers newer or more advanced versions of the product they’re about to buy.
  • Cross-selling – offering complementing products to people who have already purchased another. 

These are just some basic scenarios, after all, creativity is your only limitation! For example, KLM airlines ran a campaign called KLM Surprise. Their special team of psychologists and gift consultants scanned personal profiles of people who checked in on social media at Schiphol airport and provided them with personalized gifts chosen for each person, specifically based on their profiles. Following up, they created a mini-documentary showing people receiving their very special gifts. The campaign had massive traction on social media resulting in huge reach and engagement volumes.

One of the ways to get more personal with your audience is to stay on top of what’s happening in your niche, and BuzzSumo is a perfect tool to help with that. It can help find the most popular content in your industry and pick relevant influencers. 

While implementing personalization ideas, you may enhance your site with pop-ups, forms, and other types of content, helping to increase conversions. You may use OptinMonster for that. 

Still, all eyes on social media metrics

Personalization can really help sell, but you surely need to track your social media referral traffic in Google Analytics or other social media analytics tools as well. 

When analyzing data you get, pay attention to the following data-driven marketing metrics: 

  • Reach: some personalization options in social ads may quite narrow your audience. Therefore, you need to check the reach of your campaign to ensure a reasonable amount of people see it. Otherwise, your campaign just won’t be effective. 
  • Social media referral traffic: the whole point of using personalization is to improve the campaign’s effectiveness. You need to check the quality metrics of the social traffic to ensure you get relevant customers:
    • Bounce rate: what percentage of visitors leave the page without interacting with it.
    • Time on site: how much time visitors spend on site on average. 
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): is a customer satisfaction metric that measures customer loyalty, satisfaction, and the chance customers will recommend you to others. Unlike other customer satisfaction metrics (CSAT and CES), NPS improves personalization and overall customer experience.
  • Conversions: check the conversion rate and the number of conversions you’re getting from the campaign and compare it to others to see how well it ranks up.

5. Test your content

Being a marketing professional, A/B testing or so-called content experiments are likely not a new concept. Similarly, testing is the same for content on social media. We never know how the audience will react to different content in comparison, so it is best to test the content ideas of one versus the other. Initially, it was only available for social ads or promoted posts on most platforms. Facebook includes a new feature allowing for organic social content testing and organic video post-testing tools. However, this new feature may still not be available to all since it seems to be rolling out gradually.

Social media profile analytics can give you some ideas about what to test. If you look into the Insights page of your Facebook page, for example, you will see the breakdown of your followers by age or region. So it may be worthwhile to test your content across different age groups or your main locations. 

The key to successful content testing lies in selecting the correct and objective tests according to your current business goals. For example, you want to test the virality of two different videos. Then your objective could be the amplification rate, i.e., the number of shares divided by the number of followers. Or you may want to test the interest of a particular article among two different audiences, and then your objective could be a scroll depth on that article. 

For example, Kettle & Fire has run a social test to determine which video version sells better and found out that the shorter one was 1.5x more effectively converting.

When testing different types of content on your socials, keep track of the following marketing metrics:

  • Reach: make sure that all variants of your content reached enough eyes so that your evaluation of what worked better is statistically justified. 
  • Followers: check the followers’ inflow from your campaign to ensure it is steady, and your campaign does not create too many unfollows (may happen with way too experimental content and lead to short-term effects).
  • Scroll depth: It tells how well the landing page is connected to the tested content and how well it corresponds to readers’ interests. 
  • Amplification Rate: ratio of shares per post to followers, which is an important indication of how shareable your posts are. People mostly share viral content, but how to create it? When you know your customer, it could be easier than you think. For example, a socks manufacturer shares on its Instagram profile a ridiculous video of the most popular places where their customers lose a second sock (yes, you could even make a quiz to get this information and create data-driven content).
  • Applause Rate: this is a percentage of total approval actions to the post divided by the total followers. Any actions that the user makes in social media are a signal of how valuable your content is. While likes and comments became common, sharing and adding the post to favorites indicates you did a great job creating this content.
  • Conversion Rate: measures the number of visitors who took actions on a page against total visits. While testing your content, mind all three rates to analyze the efficiency of a social media campaign.

Tools such as HubSpot can help you track the correct social media metrics described above.

Summary

The key to successful sales anywhere is to show your content to the right people. The big win of social media is that they have quite a lot of data on people’s interests and behaviors. They can personalize your ads or split-test your content to make sure you’re getting great results. So follow the guidelines from the above and see your social sales boost!

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