Brands can’t just stand on the mountaintop and broadcast their messages, says Australian director of media intelligence solutions company Meltwater David Hickey who told B&T that social media marketing involves listening to the right people and doing your research.
“It’s becoming harder and harder to cut through and get your message to the right people,” Hickey said. The huge variety of social media platforms means that a brand firstly has to identify what channel their target audience uses.
According to Hickey once a brand has found that channel, “it really comes down to drilling into find who are the key thought leaders or key drivers of discussion around the kinds of topics you want to engage in.
“You need to make sure you can connect with people who are going to drive the message that you’re trying to push out to their connections and their network.”
As B&T reported earlier this year, people are much more likely to make purchasing decisions when it’s recommended by their peers.
However the term ‘peers’ is a broad concept, that social media has blurred. “It’s no longer your friends, it’s no longer even your Facebook friends, it’s probably the people you would aspire to be friends with. That can be anyone that you follow on different social channels,” said Hickey.
Social media marketing is about recognising who the peer influencers are in your space and finding out what kind of content they react positively to.
“It’s about looking at what kinds of people are already writing about those topics, and then trying to engage with them because they’re probably going to be more likely to pick up your messages, engage back with you and spread your message out to their network.”
Hickey’s number one tip for social media marketing is to do your research first. “Start by listening, you can’t formulate any good strategy without first compiling data and understanding exactly what’s happening in that space or that particular subject area right now.
“Those social media horror stories that you hear are when people are going in blind and starting by engaging directly with influencers without doing a bit of data retrieval to understand what kind of messages are cutting through.”