Ranieri’s social media guide for consumer tech brands
That’s right; social media. The Facebooks, Twitters and Instagrams of this world. It seems like everyone’s on at least one platform, and it has quickly become one of, if not the, quickest and easiest ways to communicate with a global community.
Getting social media marketing right however requires specific expertise. Understanding how to best leverage each channel to benefit your business, managing paid activity and staying on top of new trends takes a know-how and persistence most brands have little time for.
To help you navigate the minefield that is social media, we’ve put together a few tips in a social media guide consumer tech brands can use as a starter for ten. So have a read through, and in no time you’ll be on your way from total newbie to a pro at all things social media.
Tips to maximising your social media
Despite what Wetherspoons might have you think, social media continues to be a key part of most companies’ marketing strategy. With nearly 2.62 billion predicted to have active accounts worldwide by the end of 2018, it’s where you’ll reach the most people, but your campaigns will need to cut through plenty of noise.
To make your brand heard, maximising the effectiveness of your social media campaigns is key. Each platform has its own pros and cons with each changing and updating at a frightening pace. The recent introduction of IGTV by Instagram allows users to upload videos up to an hour long, before which the time limit on a video post was just one minute. This is just one example of a major update to a platform that opens a world of new potential.
So, without any further delays, let’s get stuck in. Here are five key points to consider for making the most out of social media for consumer tech brands.
Develop your communities
The term ‘social media’ didn’t come out of nowhere. The whole point of having a social media platform is to engage with and build communities, while increasing your brand awareness along the way. Using and developing groups that will love and interact with your consumer tech brand will result in an army of followers singing your praises to the high heavens.
For our client AfterShokz, one such way we have engaged with its running community is by organising a series of takeovers with running influencers.
A recent example of this is our work with the UK’s most influential running community on Twitter, UK Run Chat. We teamed up with them for three takeovers of their channel to coincide with the London Marathon, each one hosted by a key running influencer.
These resulted in nearly half a million impressions around takeovers and added plenty of new followers across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Stay on top of trends and use different types of media
With so many tech brands on social media and so much content available, standing out from the crowd is key.
Keeping up with trends allows for brands to engage with their audience in different ways. The introduction of IGTV for example on Instagram means that longer videos can be posted alongside the shorter stories, lending itself to the likes of ‘how to’ uploads.
Although not strictly consumer tech, Nasa is one brand nailing IGTV. Its high definition tour of the moon is an example of the company using the extended time allowance on IGTV to great effect, creating an immersive and visually stunning piece of content on the platform.
Video in particular is a form of media that continues to grow and grow, and if done well is a great way of engaging with your audience creatively. GoPro is one of the standout brands regularly posting videos, creating content that resonates with its fanbase and positions itself as a leader in the market.
Have an efficient community management system in place
Looking after your audience on social media is a simple way to maintain interest and satisfaction. Research by Groove shows that happy customers might tell nine friends about their experience while unhappy customers, on average, tell sixteen. Keeping your audience happy has a direct link to sales and brand perception.
As your consumer tech brand grows, it’s inevitable that the volume of requests will also increase. This doesn’t have to be a daunting task initially however, with the option to either hire someone new internally or pass on to your communications agency.
At Ranieri we look after a number of our clients’ accounts and handle their community management, and have seen first hand the importance of consumer tech brands on social media maintaining a dialogue with their audience.
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Tie it in with your wider communications campaigns
Social media for consumer tech brands should be seen as part of a much wider communications strategy. Services such as content marketing, PR and influencer marketing should fit seamlessly into your social plan, aiming towards the same goals and all benefiting the business as a whole.
One way of ensuring alignment is by repurposing content across each of your services. Assets from PR campaigns will often lend themselves to social and should be used, not only saving time but also resulting in brand consistency.
Influencer marketing is another service that will provide plenty of content for your own social campaigns. Posting assets from relevant influencers, such as our sharing of imagery from running influencer Ben Parkes on the AfterShokz social accounts, will allow you to add a new personality to your pages, tying in two separate services and maximising your impact overall.
View this post on Instagram
It's a very special #MedalMonday. We wanted say a huge congrats to everyone who ran a very melty-hot @LondonMarathon yesterday. In soaring temperatures, under a burning London sun, all you brave runners – including our very own @benparkes – got out there and showed how it's done. There's no such thing as an easy-won marathon medal and yesterday that was more true than ever. Here's to you inspirational runners… #VLM2018 #BeOpen
Monitor your performance
Monitoring performance is about more than just compiling a report at the end of the month and sending to the client. You need to be continually analysing what works and then amending campaigns so the effect is maximised.
Using tools such as Sprout allow brands to easily track how social campaigns are running, offering insights into metrics such as impressions, engagements and clicks. These tools also enable users to respond to messages received from its platform, an incredibly useful tool when trying to stay on top of your community management.
Continual monitoring also allows brands to be more reactive. The social space is continually changing, and keeping a close eye on what’s working means you can be more flexible and keep up with trends much more fluidly.
The social media trends you need to stay on top of
Snap this, gram that, Tweet them; the world of social media is forever changing. There are times when it feels like trends are setting in for the sake of having a new trend. I mean, how many hashtags and stories do you really need?
Despite the social overload however there’s no need to fear! For every baffling new thread that crops up, there are more that can prove incredibly useful for your consumer tech brand. To break it down a bit and make the whole thing a little more digestible, these are the recent social media trends to get your head around to stay ahead of the game.
Investing in long-form…
The jury is still out on whether milenials do indeed have a shorter attention span than their elders, though there’s one thing that certainly isn’t up for debate; the ways in which people, and young people in particular, are consuming content is changing.
One of the main changes in this space is the continual rise of video. According to Facebook, there is a 60% increase in time spent watching videos year-over-year, and Instagram’s stories feature continues to go from strength to strength.
The recent launch of IGTV is a prime example of one of our key social platforms reacting to the change in consumer behaviour, as Instagram made its move to provide its audience with longer video content alongside its primary short-form footage.
The ability to invest in longer, more immersive video content on IGTV provides a different avenue for brands to reach their followers. Examples such as GoPro, which has uploaded a number of fascinating videos to its channel, showcase the potential to turn your Instagram account into more than a page of brief, aspirational insights.
You can become educators and guides, providing your audience with a more consuming form of escape.
As with every new venture, IGTV isn’t perfect. For example, the inability to search for specific content means that, currently, only the channels themselves can be searched. For all of its plus points, it isn’t quite up to scratch with platforms such as YouTube, which it’s seemingly taking a swipe at with the launch.
Regardless, there’s no doubt that being able to present long-form video content to your Instagram audience is a huge opportunity for brands.
…and live video content
One of the other main recent social media trends is the development of live video content. According to Livestream research from 2016, live video is particularly appealing to brand audiences: 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.
Whereas IGTV immerses your audience in content that has been carefully edited and managed, live gives your audience the chance to get behind the scenes. BuzzFeed are masters of the viral video, and their live video content is the king of getting its audience in the moment and using the feature to really build its engagement.
With over 11 million views and 17,000 shares, take a look at its live video of two employees exploding a watermelon by putting elastic bands around it and tell us you weren’t immersed.
Watch us explode this watermelon one rubber band at a time!
Posted by BuzzFeed on Friday, April 8, 2016
We’ve worked with a number of clients on live videos, and there are a couple of things you do need to bear in mind.
Firstly, is live really the best option? How important is it that your audience is in the moment? Often an image, slideshow or other video content is enough, and is much easier to manage.
Secondly, are you comfortable being on live? You don’t need to be super funny, but you do need to be engaging. A few pre-runs never hurt anyone, and is sometimes a life saver if you’re a little uncertain.
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Getting on board with the bots
Bots may sound like a dirty word, though it’s one that consumer tech brands should be looking to get familiar with regarding social media.
In short, they’re automated responses to customer requests. You might be thinking of lazy customer service and pointless feedback, though in reality they’re a really useful tool to keep your customers happy.
Let’s start with the basics; providing a good customer service is of paramount importance. As is highlighted in this Salesforce article, it can cost five times more to get a new customer than keeping an old one, and by increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits up to 125%. Streamlining your customer service should be towards the top of your to-do list.
Chatbots should, in theory, be a step in the right direction.
The support by major companies such as LinkedIn, Starbucks and eBay is helping drive this expectation that bots will succeed. Providing quick responses as well as knowledge around a service or product on social can be tricky, and chatbots help mitigate those kinds of challenges.
Let’s take a quick look at an example to see what we mean.
Spotify uses its Facebook Messenger chatbot to help its customers search for, listen to and share music. Over time, it will learn what kinds of playlist recommendations you might be interested in, cutting down on Spotify staff hours while remaining responsive and intuitive to your needs.
Basically, it’s an efficient way to manage your customer service and a social media trend that offers real value.
Listen to the (digital) world around you
Listening is an important part of any kind of social arrangement. Social media, in this respect, is no different.
Popular social media management platform Sprout describes social listening as: ‘’The process of tracking conversations around specific topics, keywords, phrases, brands or industries, and leveraging your insights to discover opportunities or create content for those audiences’’.
In short, it’s tracking and acting on topics your audience is talking about.
One of the most useful features of social listening is sentiment analysis. You might not be able to please every customer all of the time, but being able to respond to issues that crop up time and time again is an incredibly useful skill.
Sprout’s research actually found that social media is the most popular avenue for people that have an issue with a brand to turn to voice their opinions, surpassing email and the phone. Without attentive social listening, you might miss a lot of this sentiment, and so losing out on the opportunity to rectify your mistakes.
Social listening is also capable of highlighting the good in your brand. 96% of people talking about your brand apparently do not follow you, meaning you’re missing out on a lot of the noise. Losing out on these potential avenues could be a game changer, making social listening all the more important.
Having used Sprout for a number of our clients, we’d certainly recommend it as a fairly simple but really insightful platform to try your hand at some social listening.
Alternately, free options, such as TweetDeck, are also a great place to start.
Social media shopping is only a click away
The struggle to get consumers from checking out your latest product to actually buying it is real. Success varies from platform to platform, though maximising the rate at which people are buying your stuff direct from your social pages is a focus whether it’s Facebook or Pinterest.
Unsurprisingly, our social media overlords are totally aware of this. The launch of Shopify, the Facebook Shop, back in 2015 was the start, as Facebook began its move to become a go-to site for shoppers. Allowing users to sell their products on Facebook, it nonetheless wasn’t as easy as most consumers would like to simply buy on demand. Safe to say, everything changed earlier this year.
The launch of Instagram shopping capabilities and Pinterest’s ‘Shop the Look’ finally allowed users to go direct from photo to purchase in one fell swoop, as they can click on certain images to take them straight to the product to buy.
Instagram’s feature requires a business profile and has to be connected to an ecommerce business on Facebook, such as Shopify. As a platform with one billion monthly active users worldwide as of June 2018, this feature should be gobbled up by brands in the consumer tech space and beyond, encouraging users to make the purchase as soon as they are won over by your beautiful imagery.
Pinterest is the other primary social platform that is monopolising this trend, and is arguably the platform that brands should be using the most. Despite having far less users than Instagram, at around 175 million, Pinterest nonetheless is really effective when it comes to converting them.
According to Pinterest research, 90% of weekly Pinners use Pinterest to make purchase decisions, with 78% of the people surveyed saying they find brands’ content on the platform useful.
The specific usefulness of Pinterest above other platforms is also fairly stark; again according to Pinterest’s research, the platform drives 33% more referral traffic than Facebook, 71% than Snapchat and 200% than Twitter.
Although we’ve got to be careful around using Pinterest’s data alone, selling directly on the platform is another of the recent social media trends consumer tech brands should be considering.
Despite all of the trends, platforms and updates that are constantly evolving on social media, it doesn’t have to be complicated. You just need a team on board that have the skills to look after it for you.
That’s where we come in.
Whether you want a number of channels totally managed, a single channel alongside PR or purely a social media marketing campaign planned, we’ve got you covered. Our in-house experts will advise you to make sure you get the best for your business.
If you’re looking for a consumer tech agency to help you improve your social media presence and make a real difference to your brand, get in touch here and we can discuss how best we can work together.