How to Personalize Your Social Media Strategy

The number of active accounts across social media platforms is staggering. Facebook alone has 2.4 billion active users.

Statista most popular social networks

Each of these accounts represents a unique individual — who they are, what they’re looking for, what motivates them, how they respond.

So, how do you make sure that the content you’re sharing and the community you’re creating aligns with their needs? On an individual level, it’s nearly impossible, but there are ways to help ensure your content is timely, relevant and of interest to users through personalization.

Here’s how it can enhance your social media strategy and how marketing automation tools can support those efforts.

Marketing personalization is a strategy where brands use attributes and behaviors to target audiences with relevant messages.

Although much of social media doesn’t involve interacting with a single follower, users don’t want to be seen as faceless consumers. They want to view content and interact with a brand in a way that ties to who they are and what they are looking for. Taking this into account, you can create content based on specific likes, habits and personalities to help drive engagement and action further down the sales funnel.

Social media also allows for two-way communication. According to Smart Insights, 90% of social media users have already used social media as a way to communicate with a brand or business. You can take advantage of opportunities to connect one-on-one when a user comments, tags or interacts with you in another way — strengthening that relationship on an individual level.

What are the benefits of personalization?

Personalization in digital marketing — and social media, specifically — is becoming more important due to the sheer number of ads and messages we see daily.

Users are more likely to interact with content that is tailored to their interests and stage in the sales cycle — which can lead to higher conversions and sales. A study from eMarketer saw that 56% of CMOs experience higher response and engagement rates with personalized content. 47% found that they experienced more timely and relevant interactions.

Conversely, if content is ill-suited for an audience, it will be ignored, at best, or at worst, a catalyst for the user to disengage completely.

Sharing personalized content on a consistent basis will help your audiences develop brand affinity and eventually, can lead to greater loyalty to and advocacy for your company.

How do you personalize?

Not every action can be personalized, but social media audience segmentation can help identify commonalities between a group of users.

There are several ways to group users into categories, including demographic data, identified interests or stage in the customer journey. This information can be culled from the groups they are members of, the other accounts they follow and their interactions with your brand. Customer personas used in other marketing efforts can also be analyzed to see how they align with your social media followers.

There may be options for further customization within a marketing automation platform. With VantagePoint 365, you can create a custom audience by exporting your customer list and loading into appropriate social media channels.

What tactics can you use to personalize social media?

Once you have a target audience identified, you can determine how you are going to reach them. Here, we touch on five personalization-friendly tactics that can be integrated into your strategy.

Social media advertising

Social media channels’ algorithm changes mean that branded content needs to be paid for in order to be seen by a larger audience. This is why 64% of respondents to HootSuite’s 2019 Social Trends Survey say that falling organic reach and the need to add more to social budgets is one of the biggest challenges for the year ahead.

The good news is that by paying to promote social posts, you are given greater options to specify who you want to see your message. Organic posts are seen by your followers and those that see it via social interaction, hashtags or other means.

Ads that feature personalized messages will generate more positive feedback from users, meaning they have a greater return on investment. For example, this sponsored post from GlobalWebIndex appeared in the LinkedIn newsfeeds of marketing professionals who manage social media accounts, a key target audience with interest in this content.

GlobalWebIndex LinkedIn Ad

Stories and video

Video continues to be a viable tool for encouraging audiences to act. Smart Insights shares that 74% of people more likely to make a purchase after watching a video on social media. This tactic continues to develop, such as the growing popularity of Instagram Stories — 500 million+ accounts use it every day.

Integrating personal data and past actions into these videos is the next step. Tools like Idomoo and Vidyard have added features for personalization within your video content. Vidyard allows you to input variable data, such as customer name, company name, email address and even LinkedIn photos.

For other ideas, check out Vidyard’s Video Inspiration Hub.

Vidyard Video Inspiration Hub

Messaging apps

Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Skype have almost five billion monthly users combined, and Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp handle 60 billion messages a day. With this in mind, almost half (46%) of marketers have implemented messaging apps into their social media strategy or intend to do so within the next year.

Consumers use social media messaging services to reach customer service with issues, comments or questions. Responding to these messages is an opportunity for a positive one-on-one interaction. Brands can also use messaging apps to send offers, discounts or other alerts to specific groups of followers.

Retargeting

Retargeting is the practice of displaying ads to visitors to your website, using cookies to target them after they leave. Retargeted ads tend to have a higher ROI because the users are already aware of your brand and you can select the appropriate ad based on the pages they visit and products they are interested in.

For example, DSW advertises shoes to shoppers based on their past purchases and searches through a Facebook retargeting ad.

DSW Retargeting Facebook ad

User-generated content

There is a wealth of content created on social media — for example, 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram per day. Brands can source this content through specific contests, their network of followers and/or via branded hashtags, geotags or mentions.

User-generated content has strong appeal. According to a survey by Nielsen, 92% of consumers are persuaded to make a purchase because of a peer recommendation. Not only does this content encourage more sharing and engagement on social media — expanding the reach of your content — it allows users to feel a greater connection to your brand.

Buffer social media ad

What does ongoing personalization look like?

Personalization is a powerful tool — 88% of U.S. marketers reported seeing measurable improvements due to personalization, with more than half reporting a lift greater than 10%. (Evergage)

But, it’s not a one-and-done strategy. A customer’s journey evolves over time, so personalized messaging needs to reflect those changes in order to stay relevant. Marketing automation will help enhance your social media strategy, improving your ability to segment and manage your audiences over time.

VantagePoint 365 has a social media calendar and monitoring tools, but the real value comes from customer data. You can personalize social media content based on the information that you have about customers and where they are in their buying journey.

The platform’s Content Calendar allows you to create and publish social content right from a point-and-click calendar view. The interactive interface offers a holistic visual of all scheduled marketing content — including emails, blog posts and social posts.

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