Look at the marketing budget for any association or nonprofit, and it’s a safe bet that you will see a strong reliance on social media. With the continued explosion of social, along with shrinking budgets, marketers are counting on this media for very real returns.
To share their perspective on the evolving nature of social and what organizations can do to capitalize on the opportunities, we invited Kate Marlys, owner of Philly PR Girl, to participate in this month’s edition of “5 questions”. Philly PR Girl works with companies from a diverse set of industries on their PR, social media and events. Prior to owning Philly PR Girl, Kate spent a number of years working directly in the association management industry as an executive director in a Philadelphia based association management company.
TVDA: Kate, what trends do you see on the horizon in social?
Personally, it’s still all about the big three: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I recommend at least all three for my clients. A big trend now, especially for special events and conferences, is the Twitter and Instagram walls. Also, since the launch of Instagram and Pinterest, image-based media has really taken over user engagement. In 2014 you will start seeing more branded pictures.
TVDA: Too many tout “likes”, “friends” and “connections” as evidence that their social program is successful. How should an organization measure the ROI of their efforts?
Social is supposed to be interactive, and people forget that all too often. If no one is engaging with your Facebook posts or actively responding to on Twitter, you are not using these valuable sales and marketing tools correctly.
Facebook Advertising is definitely makes it easier to measure your ROI. Facebook Ads can take users directly to your website and track the clicks.
Lastly, don’t forget to track your website’s analytics. You can tell if they are finding your site from your social media channels. SEO is a large part of measuring whether or not your social is successfully tying your brand together as a whole.
TVDA: How important is paid advertising to a successful social strategy?
With Facebook’s constant algorithm changes, unfortunately, it’s important. You have to be strategic with your advertising however. It’s not just about getting likes, it should be about gaining potential customers so targeting is important.
If companies are not innovative and creative with their online social advertising strategy or do not use it at all, they are very likely to fall behind their competitors.
TVDA: What are the three things you think any marketer should be doing to ensure their best chance for success with social?
- Create relevant content – Know your audience and find out what’s important to them and how you can provide them with the information they want.
- Identify your goals and plan ahead – Scheduling your posts in advance is one of the best ways to manage social content. Consider tools like Hootsuite and Buffer if you are not using them already.
- Be interactive – Creating good content takes time. You want your audience to share your posts and retweet your messages.
TVDA: What websites and resources do you recommend for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge and abilities in this area?
I love Mashable and Fast Company. Also I recently downloaded the Feedly app on my iPad. You can integrate content from all of your favorite websites and blogs and read it all on one site. It makes browsing industry articles from your favorite blogs, magazines, and journals very efficient.
To help organizations that want to strengthen their social presence, Todd and Kate have teamed up to offer a simple and affordable, yet comprehensive social media audit. Email Todd at todd<at>tvdassociates<dot>come to learn more.