In the early days of social media marketing, gaining more followers was the name of the game. Then, we realized that pumping up our follower count wasn’t enough to generate real business results. We needed to engage the people fitting the profile of our ideal customers. So, we started filling our social channels with content which was optimized to inspire shares and click-throughs; — in other words, optimized to increase our social value.
As we stare down the challenge of growing social value in today’s overcrowded, deafeningly noisy social marketplace, the older, tried-and-true approaches just don’t work like they used to. We need a new strategy, a new weapon for a new social media world. And with intent monitoring, we have one.
What is Social Value, Anyway?
If you’ve ever attempted to measure the effectiveness of your activity on Facebook, and on other social networks, in terms of website visits, conversions, and other KPIs, you’ve looked at social value.
Your overall social value is made up of all of the “next actions” users take when they see a social post which resonates with them. If, for example, a prospective customer sees a post promoting your next webinar, and clicks the link to your landing page, that adds to your social value. If the person signs up for the webinar, that adds even more to your social value.
All this was fairly simple when there were just a few thousand brands on Facebook. Today, there are millions of brands competing for attention, and whatever actions we take seem to be like drops of water added to an ocean. But they don’t have to be.
The secret to building social value on today’s overcrowded social channels lies in elevating our approach to the users we want to engage.
Increasing Social Value: The Old-School Approach
The idea of engineering social media activity to increase social value is nothing new. Maybe you’ve looked at Facebook Insights to find out when most of your followers are online and scheduled your posts accordingly. Or maybe you reviewed your current customer base and discovered a large population of millennials, so you used that intel as a springboard for exploring Snapchat, or for posting about topics that “conventional wisdom” tells us will interest millennial audiences.
Marketers have been using this approach for years, mainly because they had nothing better to go on. But guesswork can only take you so far, and today we have a far better tool for boosting our social value: intent monitoring.
Finding the “Holy Grail” of User Intent
“Wouldn’t it be great,” marketers used to muse back in the day, “if we could find out what those prospective customers were actually doing online, rather than making guesses based on the limited information we have?”
Fast-forward to the present day, and that dream is now a reality. Through intent monitoring technology, we can discover in real time:
The insights we obtain from intent monitoring give us a powerful arsenal in developing a strategic approach for attracting and engaging prospective customers, based on actual online activity.
Using Intent Signals to Drive Social Value
Armed with insights from intent monitoring, we can now add a layer of deep personalization to our social media activity. To cite just a few examples, we can:
How Intent Monitoring Increases Social ROAS
Most of us have realized that our social media content won’t get very far if we just put it out there. The occasional boosted post or promoted tweet has worked its way into the toolbox of any marketer hoping to make an impression in today’s overcrowded social-media environment.
This means that we’re not only spending time and effort on building social value. We’re spending actual budget dollars, which means we need to demonstrate return on advertising spend (ROAS). Would you rather be spending your social advertising budget to boost content based on guesswork… or content based on actual intel about what resonates with your potential clients online?
Breaking Through Social Congestion
In today’s noisy, crowded social channels, the competition for attention and engagement is more intense than ever before. If we are to grow our social value, we can no longer rely on guesses about what will engage our potential customers. By leveraging the power of intent monitoring, we can get a glimpse into what those users are actually doing online: how they search, what they click on, how long they stay, and what they do next.
Intent monitoring lets us can stop guessing and start creating content that cuts through the clutter and speaks directly to the people we want to reach, in the way that resonates with their preferences. So no matter how much noisier and more crowded the social web becomes, we can rest assured that our content will build our social value and deliver the results we’re looking for.