Social Media Marketing has become one of the most important skills that NZ businesses need to master, for several very important reasons:
Not only that, but Social Media is good for business, as the following stats demonstrate:
Image: Pryton Technologies
Key Social Media Marketing Skills Required
So, if we accept that Social Media Marketing is important for New Zealand businesses, exactly what should you be able to master to take full advantage of the social medium?
Try these five on for size:
1 Truly Understand Your Customers and Prospects
It’s a process that marketers have been obsessed with for a long time.
It’s still valid, nearly a century later, but it’s no longer enough. Now, there’s a whole lot more you need to know.
Here, courtesy of the British Government’s Businesslink website, is a useful summary of ten things you need to know about your customers (we’ve enlarged the descriptions of each item listed to reinforce the points shown):
1. Who they are
If you sell directly to individuals, find out your customers’ gender, age, occupation, where they live and other demographic data. It can make a significant difference in terms of how you market to them. For example:
Gen Y brains have been trained on “more and faster” and consequently process visual information quickly and get bored more easily. (from “Gen Buy” by Kit Yarrow and Jayne O’Donnell, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco 2009).
“Men don’t shop; they buy,” according to Federico Marchetti, chief executive of Yoox Group, one of the major companies that offer high-end men’s fashion online. “Men spend 30 percent less time browsing online than women, viewing fewer pages before purchasing, which shows why online shopping is the perfect solution for them.” And why product detail means more than emotional copy.
2. What they do
If you sell directly to individuals, it can be helpful to know their occupations and interests. If you sell to other businesses, however, it’s essential to have an understanding of what their business is trying to achieve (and know what buying authority the individuals you’re dealing with are able to exercise).
3. Why they buy
If you know why customers buy a product or service, it’s easier to match their needs to the benefits your business can offer.
Blogger Irv Brechner offers up five reasons why consumers shop online (and how to encourage that behaviour):
A: Consumers believe they get the best prices and deals online
Capitalize on it: Reinforce your deals and prices in emails, on your site, in search, etc.
B: Consumers like shopping from home
Capitalize on it: Every chance you get, pound away at this convenience.
C: There are no crowds to avoid online
Capitalize on it: Show long lines of people waiting to pay in stores.
D: There’s better inventory and selection online
Capitalize on it: Use dramatic numbers to drive home this point, including the benefit of greater online inventory, which is a better chance for the consumer to find exactly what he wants.
E: They get better customer service online
Capitalize on it: Promote the availability of online chat, your online store being open 24/7 and other customer service advantages.
An IRCE survey reinforced that advice, confirming that price and convenience are the main drivers for consumers to shop online.
The survey, which was conducted amongst 1,044 consumers, had the goal of finding out what the most important factors that people take into consideration when buying online are. Here are the results given on each factor measured:
4. When they buy
If you approach a customer just at the time they want to buy, you will massively increase your chances of success.
How can you do that? By ensuring that:
5. How they buy
For example, some people prefer to buy from a website, while others prefer a face-to-face meeting.
6.How much money consumers have
You’ll be more successful if you can match what you’re offering to what you know your customer can afford. Premium, higher priced products are unlikely to be successful if most of your customers are on a limited budget – unless you can identify new customers with the spending power to match.
7. What makes consumers feel good about buying
If you know what makes them tick, you can serve them in the way they prefer.
The IRCE survey (noted above) also identified other contributing factors that mattered to prospects:
8. What they expect of you
For example, if your customers expect reliable delivery and you don’t disappoint them, you stand to gain repeat business.
9. What they think about you
If your customers enjoy dealing with you, they’re likely to buy more. And you can only tackle problems that customers have if you know what they are.
10. What they think about your competitors
If you know how your customers view your competition, you stand a much better chance of staying ahead of your rivals.
2 Start Listening
Social Listening (also known as Social Media Monitoring) has been cited in a recent survey of marketers as THE most important marketing trend of the next 12 months.
Actually, it’s a topic that’s been of vital importance ever since Social Media became a thing, and for good reason: consumers, as they do, may well already be talking about you and your company or brand online, and if you don’t know what they’re saying, they could do significant brand damage.
As Forbes notes:
When it comes to marketing, data has always been of utmost importance; because if you want to succeed at marketing, then you need to know who you’re marketing to, what your competitors are up to, and where your market is heading. With this knowledge, you gain the power to make better marketing decisions and create better marketing strategies.
The question is, how do you get this data for your social media strategy?
The answer: with a social listening tool (we recommend RepWarn).
There are several things that you can learn by monitoring relevant conversations happening online, depending on what your own focus is. Here’s what you can do with a good social listening strategy:
3 Know how to write for the web
Different media require different approaches. The headline that might have looked wonderful in a newspaper or magazine probably won’t fit within the constraints of Facebook or Instagram character counts.
And the few seconds that represent the average time-on-site for typical web browsers means that we simply don’t have the luxury of indulging in long paragraphs.
Yes, writing for the web requires a whole different approach — and you can either learn that the hard way, by discovering it for yourself, or learn from us.
A couple of years ago, in response to this need, we developed a popular half day workshop to take marketers through the requirements of writing for the web.
Now, in response to demand from New Zealand businesses, we have repurposed that workshop as a full-blown online training course, complete with content that’s been refreshed and updated to reflect today’s needs.
4 Know which Social Media options are appropriate for your target audience
As you’re probably aware, all social media networks are not alike — they typically have specific features and characteristics that differentiate them from each other, so it’s extremely important to understand which is which and to identify those that are right for you.
The seven major networks that are most relevant to NZ marketers:
Facebook – an online social networking site that allows users to create their personal profiles, share photos and videos, and communicate with other users
Twitter – an internet service that allows users to post “tweets” (short messages of up to 140 characters) for their followers to see updates in real-time
LinkedIn – a networking website for the business community that allows users to create professional profiles, post resumes, and communicate with other professionals and job-seekers.
Pinterest – an online community that allows users to display photos of items found on the web by “pinning” them and sharing ideas with others.
Instagram – an app on mobile devices that allows users to send and share photos of themselves doing their daily activities.
Snapchat – a mobile app that also allows users to send and share photos of themselves doing their daily activities. Snapchat differentiates itself from Instagram because most Snapchat messages expire after one viewing.
Google+ (also known as Google Plus) – alas, not destined to be with us much longer. Google has announced that Google+ will be closed down in August 2019.
Our Social Media Marketing course will tell you what you need to know about each of the key social media (as well as YouTube and the main messaging apps).
5 Master online video
Video is central to Facebook’s vision for the future of the platform. In 2014 CEO Mark Zuckerberg was quoted as saying “In five years most of Facebook will be video”. Well, here we are, five years later, in 2019 — and online video is indeed becoming, if not quite dominant, then certainly extremely important.
One of the reasons why video is so important for business: after watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online.
To learn more about Online Video Marketing, check out our course on the topic.
So — those are the five skills you need to, at a minimum, master for 2019.
How do you get there? Glad you asked. Check out our online training courses:
Upskilling Yourself for 2019
Our online training courses cover social media and a range of other digital marketing topics.
These are some of our most popular courses (click through for more information):
The Principles & Practice of Social Media Marketing
This is a thirteen-part eCourse providing a comprehensive introduction to Social Media Marketing, from the Basics to detailed instructions on how to build and run a Social Media Marketing programme.
For more details of the Social Media Marketing online course, .
Digital Marketing 101
Digital Marketing 101 is a 26-part online training course designed for students who may know very little about Digital Marketing, touching on a wide range of Digital Marketing topics over a six-month period.
For more information about Digital Marketing 101, please click here.
Facebook Accelerator Programme
So you have a few hundred (or a few thousand) followers on Facebook but now you want to know how to get to the next level? Our Facebook Accelerator seven-part online course will lead you through the steps necessary to supercharge your Facebook presence and get Kiwi consumers engaging with you and your brands.
For more details of the Facebook Accelerator programme, .
The Complete Facebook Marketing Course
For those who wish to master Facebook Marketing in its entirety, we’ve created a ten-week online training programme which will take you from absolute beginner on Facebook to highly effective Facebook communicator.
For more details of the Complete Facebook Marketing programme, .
Mastering Facebook Advertising
This is a nine-part eCourse providing a comprehensive introduction to paid Facebook Advertising.
For more details of the Mastering Facebook Ads online training course, .
Instagram Marketing course
If your target audience is Under 35, Instagram absolutely must be one of your marketing options. This course will give you a solid introduction to this fast-growing social medium.
Influencer Marketing course
Our Influencer Marketing online training course is a nine-part course which covers the importance of Influencer Marketing, helps you to determine the smartest and most effective strategies — and to explore how to identify effective Kiwi micro-influencers who will be good ambassadors for your brand.
For more information about our Influencer Marketing course, please click here.
Writing for the Web course
Effective writing has become an absolutely core competency when communicating online. Not just any writing, however. Different media require different approaches. The headline that might have looked wonderful in the newspaper probably won’t fit within the constraints of Facebook or Instagram character counts.
Our Writing for the Web course covers the key elements you need to know to communicate effectively to online audiences.
For more information about our Writing for the Web course, please click here.
Our online course, “Mastering eCommerce”, tells you what you need to know about selling effectively online in a seven-week programme that steps you through the principles and practices of eCommerce in New Zealand.
For more details of the Mastering eCommerce programme, .
How to Prepare an Effective Social Media Brief
Even if you don’t intend to become directly involved in social media yourself, you may still need to understand the principles, practices and opportunities of social media — for example, if you need to brief someone about running a social media campaign. This programme is designed to provide you with the insights necessary to prepare an effective brief.
For more details of the How to Prepare an Effective Social Media Brief programme, .
How to Use LinkedIn Effectively – For Your Business And Your Career
This is a seven-part online training eCourse providing a comprehensive introduction to LinkedIn, from the basics to detailed instructions on how to use LinkedIn to promote your organisation, build your personal reputation, find a job, recruit prospective employees and even make sales.
For more details of the How to Use LinkedIn Effectively programme, .
Online Video is no longer an “up-and-coming” marketing tactic — it’s here, and it’s a powerful way to communicate your brand story, explain your value proposition, and build relationships with your customers and prospects.
It’s well past time for you to upskill yourself in online video marketing, with our seven week course on Online Video Marketing. For more details, please click here.