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Social Media Marketing

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

How International Entrepreneurs can Succeed in this Evolving Sphere
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SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING – AS POPULAR AS EVER

Growth in social media usage has continued at a dizzying pace in the last decade. Of all of the major platforms, Facebook and Youtube continue to dominate. 79% of U.S. internet users have a profile on Facebook and 73% say they use Youtube. Instagram and Snapchat are also highly-used, especially in the 19-24 demographic.

LinkedIn is especially popular with college graduates and those in high-income households – 50% of Americans with college degrees use LinkedIn. Overall, 77% of all Americans say they used social media in some form during 2018, and many use a combination of different platforms.

INCREASED BUSINESS SPEND
HAS LED TO A MORE COMPETITIVE ARENA

These impressive statistics have led to massive growth in the amount businesses are willing to spend on advertising on social media platforms. Worldwide, investments in social media marketing are forecast to grow to $48 billion by 2021, and in 2016 the U.S. spend was $14.8 billion.

The high level of social media users and the amount that businesses are willing to spend on reaching them has led to an increasingly competitive social media marketing arena. Developments in the last year or so in how American users, in particular, have reacted to issues with how their data has been used, have also led to some changes in the way platforms such as Facebook function. This has changed the way that savvy U.S. businesses approach their social media marketing strategy.

CHALLENGES & CHANGE IN SOCIAL MEDIA

During 2018, Facebook made changes to the newsfeed, prioritizing organic connections between friends, family, and acquaintances over posts seen from business pages. Further issues surfaced with the Cambridge Analytica Scandal which led to a backlash from Facebook users regarding how their personal data was stored, shared and used.

This has meant that certain functions which marketers used previously to gather data about their potential customers were no longer accessible. This includes Partner Categories – provided by third-party data firms such as Experian, Cambridge Analytica, and others. These partnerships previously allowed advertisers to target offline metrics such as when people buy homes or purchase cars.

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THE DECLINE OF ORGANIC REACH IN SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

At the same time as changes were made to the newsfeed and how advertisers can use some methods of targeting, there has been a decline of organic reach – i.e., marketing and influence you get from posting without paying for adverts. Organic reach on Facebook has now dipped as low as 2% according to some estimates for some very large Business Pages. It is now much harder for businesses to get their content seen without using advertising on the platform.

This might make it seem as though paid content (such as PPC) on a platform such as Facebook is the way forward. However, this is only part of the picture.

PPC is experiencing the same evolution that organic content has been experiencing. This means that ads now need to be personalized, engaging and genuinely add value to the user. They need to spark conversation and emotion. But they also need to link to high-quality content that drives engagement.

That’s where your social media activities on Facebook (as well as other platforms) come in.

ENCOURAGING ENGAGEMENT WITH GREAT CONTENT

Facebook wants to encourage paid advertising AND encourage content that will be seen as valuable to users. Because organic reach is now so difficult to come by, you will likely need to pay for advertising to promote your content. But this content must be high-value and encourage interactions such as shares, likes, and comments.

This is because Facebook wants your business to start conversations rather than just promoting your product or service. The algorithm has changed to reflect this; more weight is now placed on engagement when deciding if your content will be shown in user’s newsfeeds.

This can actually mean posting less content – but making content that’s extremely useful and thought-provoking and that people want to share.

HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT & CONNECTION –
THE LIFEBLOOD OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING STRATEGY

The picture on Facebook is similar to other large platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The high amount of distractions and diminishing attention of American audiences means that users need to have content that will be both of interest and use to them. It also means that they want to be able to connect to your business via interactions and engaging content.

Creating great content is about offering value by starting conversations and generating interest, support, help or other useful interactions. For many social media platforms, this now means using videos and visual content.

COMBING VISUALS WITH GREAT STORYTELLING

This is important because visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. Videos have the highest engagement rate of all.

On Facebook, native videos (videos you upload directly to the platform rather than a link out to a video) have a 186% higher engagement rate and are shared 1000% more than linked videos.

This means that moving forward, connecting with your audience Stateside will be significantly boosted if you create story-driven videos that offer genuine engagement for the viewer.

It’s not all video, however! Written content which also uses relevant images is still incredibly important. Writing posts and adverts which give the user a way to get to know your brand and what you stand for, as well as offering authentic story can help to make your social media effective at brand awareness, and connection.

GETTING THE RIGHT MESSAGE TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE

Developing great stories and sharing them is useful only in so far as you know how to find the right people for your message. As you expand into the U.S., you need to build new channels and relationships with a fresh audience – who may be very different from the audiences you are used to communicating with.

In the world of hyper-personalization, user’s expectations regarding the marketing messages they see are high. This means it’s essential to use features such as segmenting and targeting to increase the chances of your message being seen by the kinds of people who would love to engage with it. And that means choosing the right audiences to target on the right platforms, as well as tailoring your posting style for each specific platform.

Users on Twitter have much different expectations about the way you communicate than users on Facebook or LinkedIn. Different platforms require different tones/styles, and of course, the tone/style you use for an American audience will be much different from how you communicate with European audiences.

HELPING YOU DEVELOP HIGH-VALUE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

With all of the changes that have happened in the last few years on social media, and the vast range of factors to consider when it comes to developing your strategy, you might be forgiven for feeling a little lost. But, Mount Bonnell Media are here to guide you through the process.

Developing the right social media marketing strategy for your expansion into the U.S. is going to depend in large part on how well you can discover how to tailor your message to an American audience.

At Mount Bonnell Media we have a team who have lived, worked and set up businesses in the U.S. for over a decade. We know how to create content that truly speaks to an American audience – because we’ve been using these methods for our own business growth for years!

MOUNT BONNELL MEDIA MARKETING SERVICES

Our team can help you to connect to your new market by assisting you with all aspects of social media marketing:

  • Consultation and Strategy Development. We’ll work with you to identify the right channels for your social media marketing and how to target the right audiences on them.
  • Social Media Management. We’ll help to manage your accounts and ensure that they run smoothly, including posting engagement and effective responses.
  • Content and Copy. MBM work with a range of copy and content writers and designers who can help craft posts that will resonate with your American audience.
  • Brand Awareness and Campaigns. We’ll help you to develop the right messages based on your authentic story that will highlight your business and engage your new audience. We can assist you to create campaigns to raise awareness of business developments and services.

Integrating Marketing. We can help you to incorporate other marketing tools such as video creation, podcasting, PR and PPC advertising to give you streamlined, effective integrative marketing.

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