Are you still struggling with finding innovative ways to get noticed and be heard on social media? After all, even the most established brands find themselves in a constant virtual battle to cut through the clutter and noise to remain relevant. According to Exact Target’s 2014 State of Marketing Report, more brands are including the “fine art of listening” in their social media strategies.
The report, which analyzes marketers’ responses to a variety of questions about their future strategies and how they’re gauging their success, found 60 percent of marketers were using social listening strategies in 2013 and 24 percent plan to do so in 2014. The sad news is that only 31 percent of marketers think their social listening is fully effective. The key to effective social listening strategies, however, is to go beyond your Hootsuite account. It’s all about hearing what your various publics (customers, business partners, constituencies, employees, etc.) have to say and collaborating internally and externally to meet their expectations.
So who should be actively listening? According to the report, social media teams are becoming more common, with 57 percent of respondents having a dedicated team to strategize, execute and steward social media initiatives, including using social listening strategies. Over 45 percent of survey respondents said their social media team size was one person, compared with 40 percent whose team size was 2-3 people. Over five percent had a social team with 4-5 people, and just 8 percent had a team of 5 or more. On smaller social teams and bigger teams alike, efficiency is crucial.
That is to say that it’s no longer good enough to have the office intern dub as the social media specialist. Making the investment in hiring a team dedicated to increasing your brand’s presence on social media now will reap social marketing success later. Typically, your social media “dream team” should be composed of at least three people or fewer. Once you set up your dream team and develop your social marketing strategy, remember to include a section on content marketing which has become “the king” of reaching your target audience.
According to Harsh Ajmera, owner of Digital Insights, you need to follow the 80-20 rule; 80 percent efforts in content marketing and 20 percent in duration. In addition, you should never consider social media marketing trends without evaluating broader trends in digital marketing and content marketing in particular. Content marketing fuels success in social media marketing and is crucial to many other digital marketing techniques like SEO, SEM, E-mail marketing, and CRO.
For more social media trends that will ensure your brands’ success in 2014, check out the following infographic by talkwalker: