Instagram ad revenue is growing rapidly. In 2021, IG ads generated over $21.6 billion USD. By 2023, that figure should reach $39 billion. Facebook (or Meta) generated more than $114 billion USD in 2021.
Both of these platforms are pillars in the digital marketing world, but still, so many brands don’t know how to really engage or keep track of their social media followers outside of ad click-throughs and email sign-ups.
While it’s important to have key metrics piloting your marketing strategy, growing and leveraging a social media network is even more important in today’s fast-paced, tech-reliant industry.
We recently got the idea for this post after our own Slack discussion shifted to the concept of owned data and how valuable it is for businesses actively converting customers online.
Let’s say you’ve just gotten a crazy response to your latest social media campaign.
Then the platforms go down.
Relying entirely on these platforms to host your core data and analytics leaves you vulnerable. This means that you want to expand your channels and learn how to leverage social media followings to ensure you always have the best data available for your marketing team.
At Growth Gurus, we’re interested in how social media and owned data intersect, and how companies across the world can use their presence to grow their consumer base.
That’s why we’re covering how to shift the strategic use of your social media content to convert and collect more customer data without paying a fortune for another ad campaign. Here’s how you can build your brand’s social following and collect their data for your other platforms.
What Is Owned Data?
Owned data tracks your company’s social media performance across platforms. This includes the content you make and publish as well as content you pay to sponsor or promote.
Owned data helps you gain a detailed perspective of your company’s entire social media outreach, which can help you identify consumer trends and audience preferences on a much larger scale.
Through owned data, you can visualize different metrics in one location to see how your audience is behavior across all your profiles. This can be helpful when attempting to track growth, measure your success against competitors, and explore how successful a campaign has been in expanding awareness and increasing engagement.
Owned data is important because it measures how your unique content performs on separate channels and then makes it easy to identify trends across these platforms. For example, you may realize through analyzing your owned data that people on Twitter are far less receptive to your educational content than followers on Instagram.
Benefits of Owned Data
There are a number of reasons why owned data matters in social media and email marketing. Let’s take a look at two of the most important ones.
Understand Your Customers Better
Owned data relies on analyzing your business’s existing audience to assess how they feel about what you post. This is the easiest way to tell whether they’re buying what you’re selling (literally).
This information usually links to data related to customer management, like email addresses and phone numbers. By evaluating owned data, you get a deeper understanding of what your audience wants, what resonates with them, and what you may be doing that’s hindering your business’s growth both online and off.
Craft More Engaging Content
When you understand what consumers want, you can set better standards within your company. Any good content strategy is always open for improvement. Your voice should stay the same, but what you talk about should differ as you learn more about what drives conversions.
Social media is the place to learn what people expect in your industry. Owned data allows you to definitively discover what’s worked for you so far and what people are most likely to respond to in the future. You can then build strategies that will simultaneously build your brand’s social following and use social media as a platform to gain data for other areas of your business. Two birds, one stone!
Align Your Marketing Funnels
With greater insight to your audience’s preferences, you can refine your strategy per platform for higher conversions. This means less money spent on ads for reach and more organic conversions through high-performing content.
Tips for Growing Your Social Media Audience for Growth
We know that it’s easy to get caught up in a numbers game online, but that’s really not what social media is about. More followers doesn’t automatically mean more business, which is why you need ongoing analysis to track how successful you really are online.
To build your brand’s social following and start leveraging growth, start by setting objectives and aligning them with targeted content and the right audience. Here are some of our top tips for making the shift work.
Time Your Posts for Maximum Visibility
Make sure you know the best times to post on different platforms and adjust your posting schedule accordingly.
Here’s a pro tip: don’t just look up the best time to post on Instagram and run with it by default.
Use data to see when your posts get the most engagement, then target your audience around that time. Your goal isn’t to show up on everyone’s feed, anyway. You want to establish yourself as a reliable presence among the right people, that is, the ones who are most likely to become customers.
Create a Story
We love exploring the story behind brands and the ways they turn this into a liveable experience for their customers. Take Patagonia, for example. We recently explored the inner workings of the $1-billion brand’s email marketing strategy.
Stories matter online more than ever. The days of generic sales and promotional ads are gone, and customers want to feel like they’re a part of something meaningful. Use social media to craft stories intimately connected with your products or services.
Contests with strong participation guidelines, for example, can encourage customers to share, engage, and connect with your brand. They also offer a golden opportunity to send them to your website or join your mailing list.
Stay on Top of Trends
Trends should be relevant and close to your audience’s heart. Make sure you always engage within your community to find interesting talking points. People don’t want an out-of-place meme or off-hand internet fad. They want to see a brand that’s deeply engrossed in its industry and reflects its passion through authentic content and relevant media.
Being able to build your brand’s social following is the first step toward converting leads into customers. Once you identify your brand’s needs, you’ll be better equipped to meet the needs of your target audience. If you’re not sure where to start, Growth Gurus can help. Contact us today, and we’ll help you start growing tomorrow.