By Olga Vazhnichaia, Regional Account Manager MENA at Clipatize
During the last years, the rules of successful social media management have changed dramatically. Yet, most companies in the UAE tend to ignore global trends and play old rules.
They are still relying on the obsolete model of organic reach and constant struggle for bigger fan-base and more likes.
In the UAE only, 89 per cent of the population use Facebook daily, which gives an immense possibilities for brands to engage and convert. So far Facebook was mostly used by companies for social advocacy and reputation management. But, it should be noted that since last year Facebook has grown into a versatile advertising tool.
It is now used by pioneering companies as an e-commerce, CRM and brand building platform. These novel functions create an opportunity to stand out of the competition and also develop business (sales) opportunities beyond widely recognised reputation-focused ones.
Since 2012 already, Facebook has begun limiting exposure and importance of organic content (cause given the amount of published content per second, the user would go crazy).
Now, sophisticated algorithms are blocking most of the organic content, clearing the space for paid formats mostly (or preferred formats like videos for example).
This said, companies really should invest time in strategic, funnel focused planning of campaigns and allocate media budget to deploy these strategies besides hopes for organic reach or viral potential of their content.
The rule is the same for both B2C and B2B clients. When speaking about the B2B potential of Facebook, many people believe that audiences of professionals prefer not to be exposed to “work-related” content on Facebook, it still is a communication channel that – based on our experiences – proves to be efficient and more affordable for B2B than typical B2B channels like LinkedIn for example (which by the way is used only by 16 per cent of UAE population).
Speaking about budgets, there is no need to invest great sums in your social media campaign. The most important is to implement a SMART media support. Which means first to identify your target group (luckily all the social media channels are providing companies with precise audience targeting).
Consider those, who either recently visited your website (through Facebook pixel tracking), geographical facility (geolocation), or those who interacted with your content/brand. This could allow you to create the “snowball” effect when newly engaged people will provide the page with extra organic reach and further visitors.
Second, to A/B test the creatives and copy, and at the beginning allocate a part of the budget equally among all the media you are planning to use and test first. The best performed channels should dominate the campaign.
Talking about the content. As it was mentioned before, Facebook rewards higher quality content supported with media by lower costs and higher reach. So, while developing social media strategy, it is better to plan one attention triggering post per week with subsequent boosting, than flood the audience with mediocre content daily.
In this term, it doesn’t matter anymore whether you post in the morning or evening – right well-thought post will reach the target audience anyway.
I’d like to share a case study to depict how important is to adopt new generation approach to content production. At the end of last year, Sony Mobile reached out to us looking for a way to impress their audience with a “real thumb-stopper” for their Sony Xperia XZ: premium visuals, culturally agnostic, social media post to be deployed in multiple countries.
Just to remind you, Sony Xperia XZ is a premium smartphone, flagship product, therefore we needed something that was in line with the product and SONY marketing strategy.
We’ve experimented with various concepts to find a solution, which will make the content noticed from the very first second. The winning idea was: don’t let the screen separate the audience from the product.
We used a fake 3D effect called split screen, which we know (and love) from viral GIFs, to make real photos come out of the screen.
We used real photos taken by influencers using Sony Xperia XZ from various countries, and created an immersive video experience.
Combined with the bite-sized video length, the content catches our attention from the very second (thanks, Autoplay!) and truly stands out in the newsfeed.
The results exceeded our most optimistic expectations: the video content was watched by 2million viewers in just 2 weeks in Egypt and KSA, UAE, Turkey and South Africa! In terms of ROI, cost per completed view was up to six times lower than ongoing video content performance.
To summarise, no matter whether you are engaged in B2B or B2C business, smart social media approach and strategic planning will help you achieve affordable CPA rates and impactful campaign.
Depending on your goals, think at which part of the sales funnel your audience is and create the content appropriately. If you want to build brand awareness – educational content might be the key.
If you are talking with leads at the stage of consideration – think of unique ways to share with them brand identity and reasons to believe. For conversion – direct sales posts with a strong CTA.
Finally, social media is great for building an ongoing dialog with your existing clients – each reply and comment pay back with better engagement rates, higher organic reach, lower CPA, and greater customer experience.
Clipatize is an international content agency. It supports top global brands and fast growing high-tech companies in the process of launching their products. Its services include development of marketing and sales communication strategies as well as production and media activities at the stage of campaign execution. Learn more at: www.clipatize.com or http://dubai.clipatize.com.
The views expressed by the author are his own and do not necessarily represent those of Gulf Marketing Review.