Thursday, June 25th, 2015 | 8 min read
It’s common practice for brands to create and manage their content and social advertising efforts with a variety of internal stakeholders and agency partners. The challenge? The speed of social media, combined with a multitude of stakeholders and platforms, can result in an environment where it’s difficult to quickly and efficiently get the information needed to optimize campaigns.
The most effective way to make real-time decisions based on performance is to be closely involved with the day-to-day management of your social campaigns. Without full visibility, it’s difficult to ensure that your paid campaigns are aligned with your true business goals.
The solution is to make the switch to an integrated social media management platform and take full control of all your social media activity. However, this doesn’t mean you have to drop all your agencies and manage everything in-house. It just means that organic content, promoted content, and every other social touchpoint with your customers are managed within a single software platform that all stakeholders have access to. Your agencies can continue to run your paid campaigns, but from a platform that you control.
Here are five benefits of managing organic social content and paid media within the same social media management platform.
An integrated platform brings visibility and control to paid social advertising. Brand managers can see exactly how organic and paid content perform across all social channels at any given time. There’s no need to wait for results to be shared. Instead, you can track performance and optimize when necessary. You can also see how people engage with your content – paid and organic – across all social channels.
Internal content teams can also learn from the success of paid campaigns and put insights to use immediately.
Paid activity on Facebook performs better when brands promote their best organic content. After all, Facebook has said that its algorithm updates favor high-quality content (News Feed actually looks at thousands of factors related to each user).
Brands that rely solely on non-promoted organic posts will find it very hard to generate acceptable levels of engagement or reach with their day-to-day content. Every now and then a post will break through, but without paid support only one or two percent of the people who like a page will see its posts.
Simply promoting every post with paid media won’t work, either, unless your content is high quality. Treat non-promoted posts as a test to find the most engaging posts before amplifying them with paid.
First, content has to perform well organically, and then it can be promoted. With an integrated platform, the process of testing organic content and boosting the best performers with paid media can be automated. In fact, there’s no need to review test results and decide which content to promote; brands can create a rule that specifies that, as soon as a post achieves a certain level of engagement, it becomes a paid post. And, when performance drops below a certain level, the platform can automatically pause spend.
Sprinklr’s rules engine doesn’t just handle the promotion of organic posts; it makes responsive real-time ads triggered by any data source a possibility. Trending Twitter topics or a change in the weather can also be used to trigger real-time advertising.
It also allows you to automate manual tasks that don’t require human skill (such as pausing ads or increasing spend), saving the social team valuable time and brainpower.
Where is the performance data from your paid activity stored? It’s likely that you receive weekly Excel spreadsheets, which are filed away somewhere. Data is a valuable asset, and it shouldn’t be hidden away on a server or even stored with Facebook or Twitter. Your data should live in an environment that you control, where it can be easily accessed and shared.
Using an integrated platform also makes big data marketing techniques a reality. It gives brands the power to enrich their existing customer databases with social data, then target those existing customers with content based on their social interests.
As Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms become increasingly saturated with content, effective social marketing has become more and more about being relevant – putting the right content in front of the right people at the right time.
Facebook’s new relevance score gives advertisers a measure of the relevancy of their ads to the targeted audience as well as the ability to track how relevancy performs over the course of a campaign. Better relevancy means more efficient ad spend, as Facebook gives priority in the News Feed to ads with a higher relevancy score.
Twitter has been forced to respond to the sheer weight of content and devise a solution to show users the most relevant Tweets. The platform is experimenting with a more Facebook-like timeline that throws chronology out the window and shows users the content that’s most relevant to them.
This progress is also mirrored by the evolution of social media management technology. Almost all the benefits of using an integrated platform link back to relevancy – real time responsive ads, easy access to a wide range of user data, custom audiences, audience profiling, integrated customer services – and are all designed to maximize the relevancy of the content shown to each user.
On paper, this sounds great, but how does it work in practice?
Castrol launched the Castrol Moto Facebook page in April 2013 to engage with a community of motorcycle enthusiasts in North America. Initially, the numbers looked promising, with a reach of over 2 million users, but analysis of the audience using Sprinklr’s Social Reporting Module revealed that only 20% of followers were from North America.
Using external partners to manage the promotion and targeting of their content garnered superficial results – effectively, they were chasing the wrong audience.
Castrol decided to run everything in-house, using the Sprinklr platform to distribute its organic content and manage its paid campaigns. This ensured that paid strategy was specifically aligned with their business goals (engaging North Americans) rather than just targeting any user in any location.
The Sprinklr Rules Engine was used to profile and tag fans based on the types of content they engaged with. This allowed Castrol to understand its audience’s interests and create tailored content. During the campaign the Social Reporting Module was again used to closely monitor and optimize performance.
Eight months later, reach had grown from 2.7m to 14m, and the proportion of followers located in North America had grown from 20% to 50%. In addition to the uptick in raw numbers, the quality of engagements also improved. Instead of just liking posts, users began actively communicating with the brand by reaching out for advice and sharing stories.
Also, comments on posts increased more than tenfold over the course of just six months.
If a brand doesn’t have full visibility of its paid social activity, what looks like success can actually just be accumulating an audience that has no real interest in their content or products.
(Or, worse still, an audience that doesn’t even live in a region where the brand’s products are sold!)
Using an integrated platform gives brands visibility and control – whether they manage paid social in-house or oversee external agencies who use the platform on their behalf. It also puts elusive big data marketing techniques directly in their hands, which allows them to show more of the right content to the right people at the right time.
Author: This post was co-written by Jessica Gioglio, who is the head of Sprinklr’s Creative Lab and co-author of The Power of Visual Storytelling.