The Customer Acquisition Approach to Social Media
When you think social media, the first thoughts that may come to mind are TikTok dance videos, Facebook political flame wars, Twitter memes by amateur hour comedians, or the Insta video of the skate rat that mashes his face on a steel handrail. Sometimes you just can’t unsee these. Alas, there is gold (or Doge Coin) in these hills.
For companies, social media has become a must-have communication tool for blasting out breaking news, providing support services, and injecting themselves into the daily view of their customers. Additionally important, social media is the new branding medium. It’s the place where a playful persona can be conveyed and deemed acceptable. And for companies that dare to participate in social and political commentary, they can dramatically shape the perception of their organization. But let’s not talk about Basecamp right now.
What’s the Point?
Communication? Check. Branding? Check. Those are worthy goals that require specific execution. But what about gaining new customers? How ‘bout ecommerce? Can I get a sales lead even?!? If the goal is customer acquisition, you need to be thinking bigger than just “we need to be on social.” Unlike Kendrick Lamar who “just went viral,” you’re likely not, so it’s time to get a better understanding.
There are indeed great success stories of selling products we apparently didn’t know we couldn’t live without – but most of those success stories are the result of careful planning and strategy. They are an iceberg. You can see 10 percent at the top, but unless you dive down deep, you will never see the 90 percent of work that went into the foundation of the success. There are fantastic uses of social, however acquiring customers on these platforms needs its own plan.
The Results Are In
We analyze traffic to many clients’ websites from social channels, and the rate of conversion to sales, leads, or meaningful actions is brutally low. Like almost nonexistent. In fact, a high percentage of this traffic results in a “bounce.” Meaning the visitors who did actually make it to the website from social then left from the same page they entered, without ever navigating to another page or taking an action. This tells us they either weren’t interested, weren’t expecting the content they landed on, or simply weren’t the target demo.
When we compare social media website traffic to other digital marketing channels, it often ranks dead last when measured against the same customer acquisition and conversion metrics. Why is this?
What’s Wrong with Social?
Social media efforts can yield millions of impressions, hundreds of likes, and many clicks, but when not focused on customer acquisition, it’s unlikely to deliver sales-related results. That’s not a social media problem. That’s an expectation problem.
When we audit clients’ social media performance and practices, we see a few common gaps as it pertains to customer acquisition:
No Content Strategy
Organic posts often skew to a re-posting of blogs, random attempts of canned branding, or dominated by reposts of things the admin likes.
Organic posts with no links to their website or links to a web page that would not entice anyone to take action or explore further.
Underutilized Platform Features
Methods to reach beyond your base is either not leveraged or done so without a customer acquisition focus.
The takeaway is that there cannot be an expectation to gain new customers without a strategy and plan to accomplish this specific goal. Likes and views are nice but do not directly correlate to achieving sales results.
Arc’s Approach to Social Media
Social media agencies can create beautiful, engaging posts, but their directive is often something other than costumer acquisition. They likely aren’t focused on the direct business impact and therefore may not report on these metrics.
We think about social differently than most and wouldn’t call ourselves a social media agency. Rather, Arc Intermedia is a digital marketing company sharply focused on customer acquisition. With an end goal of producing meaningful, revenue-driving results, we look at social media as an additional tactic, instead of the sole tactic, in our digital marketing arsenal.
If social media is to be a factor in customer acquisition, it needs to be integrated into the overall digital marketing program. Social media can support SEO, provide retargeting for other channels, amplify content distribution, offer look alike programs, and feed marketing automation. It can target, nurture, and drive the prospects we want. This doesn’t occur when social is conducted separately, where impressions and other vanity metrics are the focus. Because we are commonly seeing this lack of focus by many companies, Arc has developed its Social Media Customer Acquisition Program.
Who is This For?
Our approach can be applied to both B2B and B2C companies and doesn’t require them to offer tangible, consumer products, like ab wheel rollers, fake eyelashes, or athleisure apparel. We develop programs for all types of services, software, and solutions. While the tactics and plan will differ greatly across these, the fundamental principle of bringing a strategic customer acquisition approach to social media does not.
Our approach is based on four key pillars:
- Develop a strategy and integrated plan first.
- Leverage a blend of social features that work together.
- Make conversions simple but definitive.
- Measure. Pivot. Repeat.
Blended Social Tactics
Different platforms offer different features, audiences, and opportunities. Social affords a variety of messaging formats, video, audio, visuals, and more. Here is what we include in our mix:
- Organic posting with the right blend of messaging and enticement
- Amplify what’s working with fee-based tools
- Compound efforts with paid advertising, promotions, sponsorships
- Consider Influencers for the end goal, not strictly vanity
- Keep the company directly engaged for content that’s best coming from them
Sign Me Up
A company that is serious about this very different approach to social media with the goal of customer acquisition needs to make commitments. They need to participate in discovery and planning sessions to define what is considered a success and how it will be measured. There needs to be a financial commitment for no less than six to 12 months in order to produce engaging assets, run appropriately-funded ad campaigns, post ample organic content, and collect enough data for meaningful assessment. And lastly, continue to participate in social directly within a framework of the larger plan.
To have an initial review of what you’ve been doing and how our Social Media Customer Acquisition Program could benefit your company, please click here to contact us.