Social media gives you an opportunity to reach and impact the lives of consumers in ways that are more personal than any marketing medium in history—and it pays big dividends when you do it right. High-impact, relevant recommendations from trusted friends are up to 50 times more likely to result in a purchase than low-impact recommendations, according to McKinsey Quarterly. If this statistic doesn’t demonstrate the power of personalization, then what would?
Business leaders should be asking, “How do I create a more personal experience with my customers using social media?” Social media marketers are still learning what works and what doesn’t, due to the young and ever-evolving nature of the medium, but there are proven ways to create more personal social experiences.
Depending on your organization’s human resources and budget, you can hire a social media marketer, contract these services to a freelancer or retain a PR agency. If you decide to tackle this yourself, keep in mind that effective social media marketing often requires updating at odd hours and on weekends. You can stay on top of posting, tweeting and pinning with T-Mobile cell phones, or leave the up-to-the-minute personalization to the agency pros.
5 Tips Brands can Follow to Create More Personal Social Media Campaigns
Take a look at some of the major social media outlets, and learn a few tips to create a more personal experience at each:
- Facebook. Facebook ads are one of the most powerful marketing avenues available on the entire Web. The power lies in the precision with which you can target ads: within a certain radius of a city, by zip code, people with birthdays within a specified date range, or even by their personal interests.
- Google+. Not surprisingly, the key to personalization here is to create content with search in mind. When people are signed in to Google+ and they search, the “show personal results” option is selected by default. This means that public Google+ posts and photos from Google+ pages within your user’s Google+ circles are more likely to show up when they search on any given term. If you know what your market searches as it relates to services and products your business offers, you can create content about those products and services using the search terms your market enters most frequently. Google+ is ideal for developing a niche following.
- Pinterest. This visually driven site is personal by nature. Consider adding photos of what you’re doing at the office that day or an employee’s birthday celebration. You could also use a tool like Viralheat, which allows you to access detailed pinning statistics, helping you discover the right personalization approach for your page.
- Twitter. Twitter has a field for a bio, and if you’re a brand, consider putting the name of the person(s) behind the logo who does all the tweeting. You can also add a header photo, background and profile photo. The profile photo works well for a headshot, and you can add in your logo or other appropriate company imagery behind that. That way, followers know your company and have a personal relationship with someone working at it.
- LinkedIn. Like Facebook, LinkedIn allows for precise targeting, but this time for B2B marketing purposes. You can target markets based on groups they’re involved in, gender, specific work skills, job title, company name and industry.
Personalization in Action
You can read social media marketing tips all day, but these real-life examples demonstrate the value of personalization.
- Facebook. If any major brand does social media right, it’s Oreo. They celebrated their 100th birthday on Facebook by creating 100 days of unique pop culture events. These events spanned many different verticals and appealed to a wide audience. Visit Oreo’s Facebook page to check it out.
- Google+. Daria Musk, an unknown singer/songwriter living in rural Connecticut, used Google+ Hangouts to grow her audience literally from zero to 2 million global fans in under a year. Daria started streaming her music live with Google+ Hangouts, and word simply spread from there.
- Pinterest. Journalist Robert Anthony, who grew his following to more than 1.2 million in under a year, attributed his success to using original photos and wording not found on similar Pinterest pages (his page is related to tech gadgets). He also knows Pinterest users as a whole are tech savvy and enjoy content related around that topic. In a nutshell, he knows how personalization works at Pinterest.
- Twitter. In the banking sector, Wells Fargo has practically invented the concept of personalization for banks on Twitter. They created a personal profile name (@Ask_WellsFargo), developed proprietary methods for measuring customer sentiment with its brand and quickly fixed a broken ATM that initially rejected service to a hearing impaired customer who notified them of the incident over Twitter.
- LinkedIn. Hewlett-Packard does a nice job with its cover image. Not only is it graphically pleasing, but it has a personal message: “If You’re Going to Do Something: Make it Matter.” Impactful, no? An additional personalization factor that comes into play is the fact that company pages speak to the audience of LinkedIn directly – other businesses. Simply because they are present, businesses serving B2B like McKinsey & Company and Deloitte lead LinkedIn, averaging 33 and 48 likes per day, respectively.
Ultimately, social media success is determined by creating a distinctly memorable experience. Take these ideas as inspiration for your own social media profiles. Research your competition and learn what works, and then develop your own unique approach to your next social media campaign. Tools like Viralheat make monitoring your industry and competitors on social media an easy and effective way to understand what you’re up against. To learn more about each social media platform, download our Unique Benefits of Social Platforms guide today!
Author bio: Dan Stelter is a freelance business/finance web writer and currently runs his own web content firm.