If you’re still focused on vanity metrics for your brand, you’ve missed the boat. Vanity metrics no longer matter. They’re useless. And I’ll tell you why.
Now that many social networks have developed reliable, relevant, paid solutions with never-before-seen targeting capabilities, it’s no longer necessary to focus on quantity of audience for social marketing success. Social ad targeting now makes it easier and more efficient to focus on quality of audience.
Prior to 2013 or so, the game on Facebook and Twitter was to collect likes and followers — vanity metrics. The more you had, the better chance your content would be seen by an audience predisposed to respond. But with social ad targeting capabilities available in these platforms today, you can now serve the content to the right audience, not just a broad, best guess group that might include them.
For example, let’s say you’re the marketing manager for Cutter Insect Repellants and you’re focusing on the Citro Guard citronella candle products. You have a Facebook page, but for your entire line, not just the citronella candles which are focused on repelling mosquitoes. You don’t have to post to your page and hope some of your 200,000+ fans see it and just happen to live in mosquito-prone areas.
You can develop a post that doesn’t appear to your entire fan base (a “dark” social post) and put a paid spend behind it that targets only likely consumers in mosquito-prone areas. In fact, you don’t really even need the 200,000+ fans in the first place. Develop your post and target it to your most likely consumers (let’s say women, age 30-65 in the U.S. South and Pacific Northwest.) Then, add a layer of interest targeting with those who like patio furniture, swimming pools and so on. If the social networking tool offers third-party purchase behavior data, lay in those who own a home, bought a pool, have a deck and similar.
Your post is going to appear to a smaller audience, but one that is almost 100% full of realistically relevant targets, rather than a large pool that may or may not include relevant consumers. And you’ll be delivering that post to people who are not your fans or followers, increasing the likelihood you’ll convert new customers rather than talk to current ones.
Yes, you need a Facebook page to serve as the source of the social post, but you don’t need hundreds of thousands of followers or fans to get your messages in front of a lot of people, or even a small group of the right people. Vanity metrics no longer matter.
While it is not wrong to think that building a large organic audience means you more people to speak to, paid social is becoming the primary delivery mechanism for brands in the know. They see the results which include everything from exponential reach to astonishingly effective click through or conversion rates.
One Fortune 500 social media director recently told me, “We don’t even do organic posts anymore. Everything has paid spend behind it.” And the reason is they can serve that right message to the right audience at the right time and the right location.
And that, as you know, means they’ve hit their own Relevancy Bullseye.
Are you leveraging paid social exclusively? Should you? Tell us about it in the comments.