Every time I log into a social network (yes, I use basically all of them), I feel like Alice doing aerial somersaults down the rabbit hole. I’m mindlessly sifting through what seems like an endless supply of information. Before I know it, an hour of productivity is snatched away from me.
I know I’m not alone in this. Influencer marketing agency Mediakix calculated the average amount of time people spend each day on social media. At first glance, the numbers seem relatively reasonable:
- YouTube (40 minutes)
- Facebook (35 minutes)
- Snapchat (25 minutes)
- Instagram (15 minutes)
- Twitter (1 minute)
But Mediakix calculated that over a lifetime, we will spend a total of five years and four months on social media.
This single data point reaffirms what we’ve known for a while: the need to instantly research, communicate and share is now ingrained in us, making social media plays a critical component of the content amplification equation. Without it, our closest, most natural and personal connection to our prospects, customers, partners and influencers is severed.
As people rely more on social, brands’ eagerness to populate and share through these networks grows. More conversations occur, more campaigns are rolled out and more sponsored posts and ads dominate our feeds.
How can brands stand out, then, when there’s so much noise? Alyson Griffin, VP of Global Marketing at Intel, offered some fabulous words of wisdom in an interview with eMarketer. Here are some of the key takeaways from the interview, which you can view in full here:
- Appeal to audiences at all stages: Although social media is a prime inbound channel that helps buyers research trends and high-level topics, it also can serve as a discovery and educational platform for folks who are further along in their decision-making process. You need to promote a variety of different content assets and leverage a variety of different messaging approaches so you can address these differing needs.
“Whether they are in a leaned-in mindset and actively looking for content or they’re in a more leaned-back mindset, we want to make valuable content easily accessible and discoverable to our audiences,” Griffin noted.
- Test to invest: Your investment in paid and organic social will vary based on your campaign goals and, of course, your target audience. You won’t know how to invest your time and budget, however, if you don’t know what resonates with your buyers.
Griffin and the Intel team see organic social as a way to see what resonates with buyers. “We look at it as a way to test what people are engaging with and help us determine where we should be investing with paid social.”
- Don’t be complacent: When it comes to social media, an “I know it all” mindset will only do you harm. There are always new platforms, ad offerings and networks cropping up, and they are playing a role in your buyers’ lives in some way. Intel is “always evaluating and testing,” Griffin said. “We look at our audiences and determine where they spend their time and how they use the networks. We build our strategies [around] that.”
If you want to get an in-depth look at how Intel sets social media goals and measures success, I recommend you check out the full Q&A. It’s a great read and reaffirms the fact that even the largest brands are still trying to figure this whole social media thing out. It’s a world of constant testing and learning, and brands shouldn’t be afraid to jump right in. You can’t be afraid of failure. You need to take chances and test different methods.
For example, add images to your posts. Craft copy that’s more clever or fun. Experiment with videos and GIFs. The testing possibilities are endless! Over time, you’ll collect enough data to compare your results and spot trends. The more you test, the more you’ll learn about your audience, which will ultimately set you on a path towards social amplification success.