There’s no doubt that social media marketing is a must-have for any modern business. 98% of digital consumers are social media users and figures are consistently high among 55-64s, with 94% of this age group actively using the platforms.

But with the increased popularity of these channels comes a need to stand out from the crowd and target these social users effectively.

This is why consumer insight derived from robust survey data is crucial for a well-rounded and trustworthy social media strategy.

Determining the key platforms to engage on.

Each social media giant attracts a different audience and inspires different actions, making a one-size-fits-all engagement strategy impossible.

To have an effective social media strategy, you need to determine what platforms work for your business.

This is done by identifying the audiences and behaviors that reign on each platform, matching them up with your brand metrics and objectives.

Using deep consumer data, you can get reliable information telling you exactly which channels your target audience spends their time on and why, so you know how best to engage them.

For example, our latest research reveals 95% of the Generation Z population regularly visit YouTube. Our data also reveals 4 in 10 follow brands they like on social media with 1 in 4 thinking of buying from these brands. An insight like this tells you if targeting this audience, this is a channel worth investing in, and for good reason.

Creating your social media strategy using tailor-made insight.

Consumer insights can be shaped to fit your brand, making them an ideal foundation for every social media strategy.

But before you can begin creating your strategy, you need to learn exactly who your targeted social users are, and how they travel through your sales funnel. This is done through deep segmentation, following the first fundamental steps of audience profiling.

Data-driven personas

It’s now possible to get a complete understanding of your consumers’ attitudes, behaviors and perceptions in order to know how, when and where to engage them.

With all this insight at hand, you can create data-driven personas which will enable you to truly get into the heads of your target audience. Using and updating these consistently will ensure you’re engaging them the way they expect you to, and when they want you to.

Consumer journey maps

According to Aberdeen Group research, consumer journey maps help to generate a 54% greater return on marketing investment.

These maps provide a detailed overview of the customer experience and what touchpoints really matter along every path to purchase. This allows you to pinpoint where social media is most important throughout your sales funnel, and how you can leverage these key points of interaction to improve your reach.

Getting familiar with platform-based analytics.

Simply knowing what platforms to focus your time on is no longer enough.

Globally, Facebook remains the dominant social platform when it comes to membership, with 90% of internet users being members of at least one of its four main services. But for visitation, it’s YouTube that claims the top spot.

These figures make these attractive platforms for every business to invest in. Despite this, many marketers remain unsure whether they’re getting the right return. Part of this struggle lies in an over-reliance on real-time analytics.

While analytics of this kind play an important role in your marketing, using them exclusively to inform your strategy is a grave mistake. Here’s why:

    • They track devices instead of people. Tracking your social media users using real-time analytics means you’re only getting part of the story. The real truth comes from combining this with deep consumer research that reflects real people.
    • It’s impossible to pinpoint the motivations behind the actions. In-platform analytics don’t offer any insight beyond actions – you can only track what users are doing but not why they’re doing it.
  • You could be missing key target audiences. By only analyzing social interactions and content, you run the risk of only catering to active social media users. This means overlooking more passive social media users who are equally as important to target.

The secret to success lies in combining social media analytics with deep consumer insight. This is the only way to get the clearest possible understanding of your social consumer base, identifying not only what your target consumers are doing but why.

What consumer data brings to social media marketing.

While social media analytics offers useful passive data, ideally used to guide daily decisions and react or respond in real-time, reliable consumer insights are built using a solid panel of real-life consumers.

This kind of active consumer data is collected continuously and dynamically, giving  you trustworthy insight into the attitudes, perceptions and motivations behind your target consumers’ behavior.

With this information at hand, you can create a powerful social strategy that drives visible results.

Consumer data can also be used to:

    • Continuously assess effectiveness. With access to reliable data, you can tweak and optimize your social media strategy as and when it’s needed to ensure you’re always communicating in the right places, at the right times.
    • Identify the optimal influencers. By analyzing which topics, content and people your target consumers respond well to on social, you can find the influencers you should be collaborating with to enforce your brand message.
    • Understand what social users really want. With deep consumer insight, there’s no longer a need for guesswork. Via active data collection, social users are telling brands exactly what they expect, which creates a reliable foundation for any social strategy.
  • Discover new opportunities as they appear. Social media is anything but static. You need to constantly tap into new trends and platforms that appear to make sure you stay clued into your consumers.

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