Whether you represent an employer or a recruitment company, the same challenge exists with attracting talent: How exactly do you build and retain an audience online? You should of course create compelling content, not just about specific jobs but about your company culture and beyond.
I recently had a chat about audience building with Jeff Rohrs, VP, Marketing Insights at Salesforce and author of Audience: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans & Followers. Have a listen to the audio podcast on iTunes, Stitcher & Soundcloud (above). Questions by me, answers by Jeff.
The value of your online audience
The value just of an audience is that you have an exclusive right to communicate with a group of folks who’ve given you permission to do so. That’s true whether you’re a marketer or whether you’re a performer or a preacher or a politician. What social media and the web and the era of mobile devices have given brands is the ability to speak to these consumers who are hand raisers.
PR folks look at media equivalency value. What would have been the cost to get that kind of exposure to that size of an audience through a paid third party channel? And then they’ll ascribe that to the value that they’ve created through whatever social or direct channel. So maybe to sum it up, the audience value really is that ability to speak direct to the consumer so that you can reduce your dependency on paid media and ultimately increase the speed with which you can go to market with new ideas, new products or hopefully increase social amplification.
3 Ways to grow your social media audience:
1. Optimise your paid media
First of all is to optimise your paid media. Most companies are already doing some form of advertising, and most are thinking it’s enough to brand or just try and sell in the moment. We’re asking too little of our paid media in many instances. It can also capture the audience for us. And by that I mean to say, boy, if you’ve got a thirty-second commercial, don’t just slap up a Facebook logo or a Twitter logo. That’s advertising for them. Actually integrate into the creative some sort of interaction that gets them to pick up the mobile phone or to go online and register for e-mail. And again, this takes collaboration with the brand side. And this is where the tension is right now in a lot of those organisations because brand wants to use beautiful campaigns, and the digital direct folks want to build audience. And we haven’t really had those two groups get together and understand they’re not mutually exclusive, they can work together.
2. Don’t forget mobile
Second is don’t forget mobile. The vast majority of consumers today, now have mobile devices that basically allow for direct response if only you ask them to do something. And that’s why it’s interesting to me to see so many ads and other things that never have a call to action. When, in fact, if the ad captures a person’s attention and they have interest, give them a way to interact. And that becomes a way that you can get them to subscribe via SMS or scan something or take some step that will actually get them into one of those permission based audience channels.
3. Look at the hybridisation of social and email
And I think the third one is to look at what’s happening in the hybridisation of social advertising and e-mail and online. Really interesting things happening there as social media comes of age. For instance, you’ve got the custom audiences products from Facebook, which allows you to map your e-mail subscribers to your Facebook fans. And what that allows you to do is a number of things. I can now go in, and I can target advertising to the people who are my Facebook fans but aren’t email subscribers. And what kind of ad would I want to put to them? I probably want to incentivise becoming an e-mail subscriber. Because being a Facebook fan is great but we all know as Facebook has grown in popularity, the distribution of our organic posts has dropped. And so to get that Facebook fan to be an e-mail subscriber gives you control of the cadence, gives you another channel, so that you can diversify and you can have multiple points of contact with that consumer.
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