The internet has 4.4 Billion users. Social media has 3.5 billion active users. Do some quick math, and you’ll find that social media is too big a mammoth to ignore. Even if you are living under the rock, social media is too hard to miss.
It is no surprise that social media is a steady presence in the marketing arsenal of marketers. Even in B2B marketing, 83% of users use social media advertising. It also boasts of a 29% success rate, only next to SEO which enjoys 33% success.
Also, social media attracts prospective customers and cements the relationship with existing customers. Some stats prove that 62% of millennials wish to feel connected with the brands they interact with.
There is one key ingredient in social media marketing that can make a difference to your campaigns. It is personalization.
Social media is all about community. It is a community of people. Personalization appeals to the personal needs and aspirations of people. As a social media marketer, you must care about what people need and aspire for. Personalization is the best way to do that.
Also, personalization helps in two ways:
- It makes your target audience feel they are under the control of what they wish to see and what they don’t want to see, and how frequently
- It spares users from the information overload that clutters their newsfeed
- It also ensures that there is a heightened chance of your users engaging with your content, most importantly sharing it with their network
Given these benefits, social media personalization is not an easy task. You cannot do guesswork with it. It needs proper planning so that you can gain maximum benefit out of it. These ways can help with that.
As a social media marketer, your time could be divided among hundreds of tasks. From managing a budget to strategizing campaigns, there are countless tasks to focus on.
However, all these priorities should not make personalization a lesser priority. Personalization can make all the difference to your campaigns. There are countless ways how you can personalize your social media feed. These 6 strategies can help with it.
- Encourage users to set their own preferences
- Live videos & interactions
- Run campaigns around hashtags
- Quiz, surveys, polls & contests
- Use chatbots for messaging
- Employ retargeting ads
#1 Encourage users to set their own preferences
Like mentioned before, one of the reasons why personalization works is because users feel under control. It gives them the remote control to see what they want to see, when they want to see, and in what frequency.
For instance, Facebook offers users with ‘Follow Settings’ which allows them to:
- Choose how posts from the page will appear on the newsfeed
- See the posts higher in the newsfeed
- See posts in the usual order
- Snooze the posts, that is, stop seeing the posts for 30 days, or
- Switch off seeing posts from the page
This level of personalization enables the user to set the limits with which they want to interact with the page.
#2 Live videos & interactions
Facebook launched a live video in 2016. It opened up a world of opportunities for content creators and users alike. There is no medium on the internet today that is as powerful and interactive as live video. Live video makes it possible for both content creators and users to interact in real-time through the live video chat. It also gives other interactive elements like emojis and stickers which heightens the live video experience.
Now, is it possible to leverage live videos for personalization? Turns out, yes. As a content creator or as a social media marketer, you can structure live videos in such a way that they appeal to the wants and needs of customers. You can also make them participate in live videos by letting them talk, suggest opinions, or even putting the spotlight on them to make the session personalized.
Twitter introduced hashtags in 2003. The pound symbol is today a universal communication medium of its own. Different user personas use it in different ways. Some users create their own hashtags based on the emotions and scenarios that they are undergoing. Brands create hashtags around their products and their mission statements.
If used in the right manner, hashtags can appeal to the target audience in a personalized manner and make them feel drawn to the brand. L’oreal was able to kickstart a tweetstorm of positive messages with its #worthsaying Twitter movement. The global cosmetic brand used the hashtag to invite users to join the conversation by sharing what they thought was #worthsaying.
#4 Quizzes, surveys, polls & contests
Social media quizzes can serve your brand in several ways. They are fun to take, they make the user engage actively, and they can also become a trend of their own. Remember BuzzFeed quizzes, anyone? Furthermore, quizzes can give detailed insights into users, their pain points, their expectations, and much more.
Polls go out on a limb and gather specific insights from users. They act as an information-gathering funnel that can also populate users’ responses into specific buckets.
#5 Use chatbots for messaging
Chatbots in social media shot to overnight fame when Facebook introduced Messenger Bots in 2017. At the F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg showed the world how bots can automate conversations with users and help them conduct business in an efficient manner.
Equipped with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, chatbots are capable of mimicking human conversations and even provide personalized support to users. In fact, unlike human agents who have stipulated working hours and downtimes, chatbots can go on round the clock helping the business take care of its customers without skipping a beat.
#6 Employ retargeting ads
In 2019, on a global basis, internet users spent about 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social media. It is definitely at the forefront of their attention. Hence, it is also an excellent medium to retarget users with ads that they have seen in other channels — like, Google AdWords, display ads, or other social media sponsored posts.
Retargeting is a highly effective strategy as it has the capability to turn skeptical prospects into paying customers. It heightens the brand recall value and makes the customer remember the brand name when it is time to make an actual purchase. In fact, retargeting can boost ad engagement by an impressive 400% (Source).
Social media marketing is not a magic wand. To get the best results out of it, you must imbibe a certain amount of personalization. It can make all the difference to the social media marketing efforts you are exerting. Once you succeed in this endeavor, it will enhance your customer engagement, sales, and revenue for you and the rest of your marketing team.
While devising a personalization strategy, always remember that it’s not really about the content that you create, but it’s entirely about your audience. Personalization is not about addressing your users by their first name. It goes beyond that. It is about understanding their preferences, their pain points, their emotional needs, and addressing it head-on with targeted content. If you do it correctly, it can help you build a great rapport with your customers and possibly end up creating a loyal following for your brand.