Can Targeting Data Make Social Network Marketing Relevant?


Social doesn’t have to be simply a listening post for brand-centric conversations, it can be a space where advertisers can connect with pre-engaged audience segments, provided that the network has long-term viability and a sufficient subscriber-base to justify resources allocated.

“Targeted social networks are where relevant audiences are already conversing, and likewise, where brands can be part of conversation that’s relevant to their business,” states Jay Hallberg, Co-Founder of Spiceworks, one of the largest SMB technology hubs. ” ‘Likes’ can certainly begin the conversation, but brands need to think about how to make themselves invaluable within the social environment,” said Hallberg. “This happens not by these networks just providing an interactive experience for their audience, but also through their creation of a lasting relationship which eventually directly affects revenue.”
Those lasting relationships, according to Hallberg, are driven by solid analytics. Brands need to employ a data-driven strategy to find out where their most valuable audience segments live online, and then use those insights to create dynamic connections with those audiences via social. Those connections need to have direct links to commerce- driving users from social to a conversion pathway in order to make social network marketing more than a popularity contest for brands.
When strong data identifies the right audience, focusing resources in a targeted social environment will reap greater rewards than a “shotgun” strategy that focuses on brand recognition, not brand value to consumers, Hallberg believes.
“For example, what apps or products are you giving your fans or followers to make their lives easier and better? What content are you providing?” “Beyond the ‘like’,” stated Hallberg, “social networks can become the place where brands and consumers connect and brands can promote and even distribute their products and services. Once you think about it that way, the possibilities are endless.”
The bottom line is that impressions, or likes, which don’t drive conversions are a big waste of time. If a strategy has a significant social element, the biggest names might not be the best reservoir for marketing resources. Online communities with followers that match targeted audience segments may give your brand a more salient voice in a sea of  light blue “please like me” banners.

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