Not all social media agencies were created equal, and while many profess to be experts in the field, at Prohibition, it’s in our DNA.
Our culturally connected, socially progressive team can help join the dots between traditional PR, advertising, influencer relations and social networking, resulting in high-impact integrated campaigns that deliver real business results.
To stand still is to go backwards, and we pride ourselves as being at the very forefront of the market, driving best practice, and relentlessly innovating when it comes to social media and digital.
Our award-winning approach is founded on data and insight: spotting the gaps in the market that give your brand a unique voice, and the ability to engage with your customers in a genuinely meaningful way.
Don’t take our word for it, check out some of our award-winning social media marketing campaigns here.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing refers to the process of attracting attention or gaining traffic through the use of social media platforms. At its core, it involves creating content that resonates with the a target audience across of variety social media channels, driving engagement and growing your audience. Social media marketing provides a direct way for businesses to reach and engage their customers, new prospects and more, it is one of the most effective forms of content marketing yielding impressive returns on investment if executed correctly.
Building a Social Media Strategy That Works
It is vital that businesses include social media marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy. This complements traditional methods of marketing, while helping to maintain a competitive advantage in the industry.
Identifying your Target Audience : Personas
Your social media marketing strategy can only be successful if you target the right people with the right content. To do this, you need to identify, know, and understand your audience. For example, targeting an audience comprised of Generation Z will not work if your business, products, or services are geared towards Millennials of Generation X. Prohibition PR specializes in creating buyer personas by profiling your target audience requirements.
When it comes to creating a social media strategy that works, competitor analysis will give you a competitive edge. These businesses are targeting the same customers as you, ignoring them would be a strategic error. Prohibition PR excels at finding out what works and why, which social media platforms your prospective clients are most active on, studying their content strategies, references and hashtags used, influencers and engagement. This yields the insights needed into what works and what doesn’t. We then use the knowledge gained to plan your content.
Prioritising Channels for your Social Media Strategy
Prohibition PR will focus our efforts on where your audience is and promote there. For example, if you are in the insurance market, using Pinterest and Instagram may not be the best approach. Different channels appeal to different demographics. For instance, LinkedIn is for professionals. But Pinterest users, on the other hand, is 80% female with a high percentage of users from high-income demographics. Prohibition PR will identify the social media channel(s) that best suits your needs.
Of course, you can opt to use all of the social channels available. But it is important to have analytics to demonstrate which of them is more useful for you so that you can focus more of your energy there.
Develop Real Influencers and Strategic Partnerships
In today’s world, influencers play a massive role in the purchasing decisions. People are more likely to make a purchase commitment if people they trust endorse the product or service. Prohibition PR excels at developing strategic partnerships with brand and industry influencers, complementing our clients’ marketing efforts.
Social Content Strategy and Execution
An effective social media strategy is one where every aspect of the social media process is considered, analysed, and agreed on beforehand.
Building your Online Brand
The first step in the process is to develop your online brand. Every medium that publicises your business must do so in a way that is consistent with your brand image, and crucially one you want people to associate with your company.
Building a Content Plan
Your social media marketing efforts will not be effective from the get-go if you don’t have a plan in place detailing your objectives and how to achieve them.
The Five E’s of E-Marketing
Prohibition PR creates targeted content that is:
The idea is for a project to start reading, finish reading and then share your content.
Social Media Images and Videos
One of the most effective ways to engage users on social media is to make use of visual content. The adage, a ‘picture’ is worth a thousand words’ holds true, in the same vein, infographics and video content are worth more still.
Prohibition PR excels at creating visual content for dissemination across social platforms that will resonate with your audience, keeping them engaged to drive time on site (an SEO ranking factor).
Driving Social Engagement
Social engagement is the level of interaction that occurs between your brand and its followers on social media. In simple terms, this means the number of likes, comments, and shares that content posted attracts.
It could be answering a question, providing a solution, or thanking another online user. The potential for content to go viral depends on these mechanisms. Prohibition PR’s job is to make sure that every piece of content posted on your social profiles drives the maximum engagement.
Prohibition PR observes a work-smart philosophy. We make use of the latest tools/processes to achieve the maximum possible impact for our clients.
HubSpot, HootSuite, Buffer, are just a few of the social automation tools that we make use of to update content on your social media platforms, drive engagement and offer the insights necessary to track what is/is not working for you and your competitors.
Leveraging Crowd Culture
One thing social media has managed to do successfully is to join diverse cultures together that were formerly isolated. Today, these once isolated communities have become a part of a more prominent culture, with their formally unknown cultural influences playing a significant role in forming new ideologies and practices.
As a business, it is vital that you keep up to date with the trends and leverage on this new system, to achieve your social marketing goals.
The Rise of Crowdculture
Not too long ago, people had to make do with traditional communication means to talk about topics of interest. The rise of social media has decentralized these subcultures. Crowd cultures now exist all over the internet, these former subcultures grown and merged, interacting, sharing ideas, trying out new products and practices, and effectively bypassing the barrier imposed by location.
Prohibition PR is an expert an understanding these emerging demographics and crafting strategies appeal to the otherwise unknown.
Beyond Branded Content
The story has changed. It is no longer enough to have a marketing system built around branded content, to capture the mindshare of the market; businesses are now looking for ways to pass their message through mainstream entertainment. The combination of advertising and entertainment shifts the focus from the product to the content, which aligns with the brand’s culture and target audience.
Prohibition PR crafts content which demonstrates a brand’s social responsibility, increasing the receptiveness of its message by its intended target. Which when executed correctly results in a significant increase in engagement.
The purpose of social media marketing is to create relationships with your audience, leading to long-term brand loyalty, moving from product-centered branding, to people-centered branding.
Competing for Crowdculture
Social media has made crowd culture more prominent, more accessible, and more usable than ever before. If you look at crowd culture as a group of people who come together because they have one thing in common, who will do anything to protect and promote their interest, Prohibition PR understands the benefits to our client’s overall marketing strategies.
Social PPC Channels
Just like with search engines, pay per click advertising (PPC) has become an essential aspect of social media marketing. PPC for social channels involves targeting users, based on a set of preferences which include demography, interests, and other criteria. The level of user engagement, and other metrics such as click-through rates, impression, and conversion rates, are used to measure success.
Integrating a PPC strategy into your existing social media marketing mix is a proven way to reach the exact people who need our client’s products/services. Starting and running a successful social PPC campaign involves planning, insight, and experience.
Defining a client’s objectives is an essential part of running a PPC campaign on social media. Prohibition PR will work with you to identify your goals.
Whether you are you looking to increase user engagement, drive targeted traffic from your social media profiles to your website, or you are merely trying to raise brand awareness? Prohibition PR can help.
What happens when you have multiple audiences for the same product or service? It may be challenging to target every group of individuals that make up your audience, without a way to separate them. This is where audience segmentation comes in.
Audience segmentation is also critical to your social PPC campaign. If, for instance, your business offering is specifically for mobile device users, it is vital that you segment your ads accordingly; otherwise, you will waste resources targeting people who don’t need or cannot use your products.
Social Platforms We Support
How are the Search and Social Media Marketing Related?
Most businesses make the mistake of using social media marketing in isolation from search engine marketing, and vice versa. This may look good on the expense sheet, but it will mean getting fewer results than you should if you use both. These two marketing mediums are more related than people think. For instance, the insight you gain from your social media marketing research can also be used in your PPC campaign. The relationship is not one-sided; conversely, information gathered from search engine query data can be used to discover new ways customers are searching for your product, and this can be helpful in creating or fine-tuning your social media marketing campaign.
Social Media sites are amongst the most authoritative on the internet, and whilst links from most social platforms are no-follow (do not pass PageRank), they are an essential ingredient in ranking a website and the referral traffic/times spent by users on those platforms is now used by the search engines as an indirect ranking signal.
Barnacle SEO is a process that involves attaching your website, business, or content, to high traffic, high ranking entity (social media platforms like Facebook and directories such as Yelp) and promoting them to dominate search results for relevant terms.
If your business is not using Barnacle strategy as part of your SEO, you are missing out on significant traffic. Unless your website is part of what Google refers to as ‘aggregator sites in domain authority’, trying to compete for search result ranking may be an exercise in futility when trying to get results. You may have noticed that search results tend to carry more aggregate sites or business directories in the first few rows before others; this is Barnacle SEO in action. With Barnacle SEO, you stand a better chance of ranking higher when you attach to websites that are already ranked highly. For instance, your Facebook and Instagram profile will probably rank high where your website can’t.
Defining Measurable Objectives
Measuring the success of your social media engagement is an essential part of social media marketing. Prohibition PR monitors analytics across multiple platforms to find out what is working, and what needs to be improved on.
Imagine a football match where goals are not allowed, how can you tell which team won? The same applies to any social media marketing campaign with no defined goals. You will not be able to know if your efforts are successful or not.
Setting goals for a social media campaign require identifying the milestones for measuring success. However, while it is all right to set goals, your goals have to follow a particular pattern. In social media, this means setting goals that are SMART. SMART goals are goals that are – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based.
The following are common questions people have asked concerning social media management:
Apart from the obvious promotional advantages that social media offers, there are also a lot of ways it can be used in business beyond promotion. Some of these are covered below:
For Customer Service
In a second-quarter 2016 review by social sprout, 90% of consumers surveyed say they use social media to communicate with their favourite brands. Not only that, about 35% of them prefer communicating via social media, compared to other traditional communication means like telephone and email. This means that if you have not been using social media as a tool for communicating with your customers, you are in effect not building the type of relationship they want.
Social media makes it possible for you to interact with your customers, solve problems, appreciate loyalty, and do a lot of other things you may not be able to do over the phone or via email. It also provides the opportunity for you to gather valuable intelligence through feedback, opinions, and reviews. This will help you create better products, better services, and better engagements.
If you eventually integrate social media into your customer service platform, ensure that you are always available to respond. Failing to do so may result in loss of reputation and loss of business. On the other hand, customers are willing to spend 20 times more when they experience excellent customer service on social media.
Before the advent of social media, you needed to run an ad in a magazine or newspaper before you could find viable candidates for an open position. Sometimes, you could get recommendations from partners and colleagues in the industry, or even family and friends. For business owners who used this system, they will agree that not only was it slow, but, in most cases, they were not able to get the ideal candidate from the small pool of applicants that the ad was able to reach.
All that is in the past, today social media has made it possible for businesses to reach a wide range of viable candidates for job openings. Not only is the system faster and more effective, but it is also absurdly inexpensive.
All the available social media platforms have millions of active users; this is a considerable source of prospective talent for your business.
The obvious route is LinkedIn, which is the go-to platform for business professionals, and even job seekers. However, you may have to pay a small fee to have your job ads displayed. But, if budget is a problem, there is always Facebook and Twitter, two social media giants that account for a large number of total social media users. Using a relevant hashtag will help drive your vacancy post, and ensure that it gets to the right people.
For Strategic Partnerships
The term “no man is an island” is now so old that no one can tell who originally coined it anymore, but that does not make it any less true or relevant. In business especially, sometimes it takes strategic partnerships to survive the competition. But, where does social media come in?
Social media provides the platform to search for, and connect with, like-minded businesses. These are businesses that you may not be able to see or engage with physically. Fortunately, social media has managed to break down a lot of barriers, both physical and cultural.
LinkedIn is the obvious choice for running a search like this, as you will find millions of similar businesses there. Facebook and Twitter also have industry-specific groups, where you can find businesses to connect with. Once you have joined a group, you can start by contributing to comments, discussion, and decisions. After you have proved your authority in your field, you may even have other businesses coming to form partnerships with you. Social media is the best platform for finding and securing the type of strategic partnership or influencer relationship, which will help your business grow. When you begin to share ideas and resources, you will find that doors start to open to more prospects and opportunities.
Not having the necessary social media skills means you will likely fail at creating content that will convert a casual audience to loyal customers. Your social media marketing can only be successful when you have the following skills:
Content Writing And Curation Skills
It takes producing more than a dozen posts every day to establish a presence on social media, and make your brand recognisable. You should be aware that you need different writing styles for different social networks. While it’s perfect to use a professional tone if the article is intended for LinkedIn, that may not work on Facebook. You need to know how to create content that applies to each social network, and that will also resonate with the users of all those networks. Headlines should be short and effective, with captivating introductions, and the main body of text should be easy to read. Numbering, subtitling, and using bullet points, will make it easier for consumers to scan the text for what they need.
Businesses that aren’t consistent in creating content on their own, due to lack of time, should be skilled at content curation. This will help them know exactly when to share content, what content to share, and how to share it. It’s essential that the content contains information that the audience will find appealing, and be interested to read.
The content you post on your social media channels should be optimised for SEO. When your social media strategy incorporates SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), you will be able to reach a broader audience, which means more potential customers for your business. Search engines will be able to quickly index your website if the content on it is optimised. The indexed information that search engines pull from websites is used to provide searchers with the results that are most relevant to their search terms.
Your web pages can achieve higher rankings on search engine result pages by having URLs that are more search engine friendly, and which are also relevant to the content. Your website should have logical and clear navigation, fast loading pages, proper internal linking, and make use of Sitemaps. Also, ensure that your site is spam free, the comment section should not contain spam comments. For your content to appear in SERPs, you have to produce content more often. Try to make your content as concise as possible, no matter the length — don’t pad it out with irrelevant details. Valuable content remains the top priority when it comes to driving more traffic to your site.
It’s essential that you develop the skills to track your social media analytics so that you will be able to evaluate your progress and figure out what’s working and not working. Knowing this will save you a lot of time so that you won’t be wasting time on pointless activities. You will find the type of content that resonates more with your audience and focus more on that as a result.
Tools like Google Analytics can help you track your engagement rates, page views, and the active period of your audience. Social media channels, like Facebook, also allow you to check your analytics directly. If you want to stand out on social media, you have to be able to analyse your audience. Your company still exists because of your audience. You have to post content that they think is amazing, what’s remarkable to you might not be impressive to them. Listen to your audience, use surveys, and look for trends to find out what they would like next.
You can use social media to grow your business by doing the following:
Map out a Social Media Marketing Strategy
An excellent strategic approach is the foundation of any successful project. You should already have a clear understanding of the goals and values of your business before you even think of spreading your message across social media. Your activities on social media have to blend well with those goals and values.
Create a schedule that will help you manage your social media activities. You could assign specific tasks to each day of the week, Mondays could be for focusing on a particular task, for example. With a schedule in place, it will also be easy to assess your progress. You can also create an event and content calendar, to mark your upcoming special events and holidays. The content you create will then be centred around that information.
Social media data provides a quick and efficient method of tracking the marketing process, the results of which can then be used to improve performance, thereby increasing returns on investment. For any business to succeed in today’s digital society, social data should be an integral part of their digital marketing system. The benefits are as follows:
Know your customer – Nearly every business today understands the concept of KYC (Know Your Customer), but very few know how to apply it. Social data can help digital marketers build a near accurate representation of their audience. Social data gets to the core of your audience, to retrieve information such as age, addresses, habits, and preferences. This information makes up who your customers are. Social data can also pick up on nuances or implied needs. For example, a customer may dislike a specific product in one category, and later indicate interest in another ad or product in the same category. This type of data will help digital marketers fine-tune their ad campaign so that it can meet the needs and expectations of their target audience.
Listening – Listening to your customers is an integral part of being a marketer and combining information from different social sources can help uncover actionable insights that can influence your marketing strategy.
Social data affords digital marketers the opportunity to listen to news and information relating to their particular industry or brand. With the right tools, you will also be able to interpret and expand this information to make it relevant. For instance, social data helps you gather specific reactions to your products, services, or campaigns, which is measured by the level of engagement such as comments, retweets, shares, and mentions. Measuring the level of interaction, the relevance of sentiment, and tracking over time, will help you determine how new products and services are being received by your customers. You can then model your next marketing campaign based on the results of your findings.
Identify effective platforms – During the era of TV and newspapers, marketers were able to discover the most effective marketing platforms by analysing ratings. This system was only effective up to a point because marketers were not able to determine the exact demographic that their brands appealed to. But, with social data, marketers can now effectively identify the platform that provides the highest ROI, based on a set of predefined criteria, such as age, location, and interests.
Your start-up can seek media coverage when you launch. This can be when you do either a full, or an open beta, launch, never both, unless the completed version is altered in a significant way. Often, the media will take the underdog or novelty perspective to talk about the fun new start-up.
The start-up gets exposure to investors and potential users in return.
You can also seek social media coverage when you make a profit. In the media’s eyes, making a profit represents success, compared to receiving investment. People start viewing your company as more of a competitor, and less like a wild card when they see the profits your company is making. So, don’t be scared to let the world know about your hard earned gains.
Your brand will also benefit from social coverage when you receive investment. Sending out information about your investment is less likely to attract customers but will expose your company to potential future investors. Media outlets whose focus is in finance sectors and start-ups are more likely to pick up this news. The story, if significant or quirky enough, might also spark the interest of the mainstream media, if the investment runs into eight-digit figures. Make sure the investment deal is sealed, though, before sending out any info about it, because your prospective investors might see it.
This depends a lot on the effort you put into your social media presence, such as frequency of posting, and type and style of content. It also depends on other variables, such as your budget, your strategy, audience, and whether you are willing to combine social PPC with organic social media. However, it is important to remember that you are looking for long-term results, not results that cannot be reproduced.
Your choice of social media platform will depend more on your target audience, and what you intend to achieve. If your business offers products that are visual, then Pinterest and Instagram will be ideal. However, it is advisable to have a presence on the most popular social media platforms, no matter how little.
Of course, you can manage your social media accounts by yourself; however, a lot of businesses prefer to have someone handle it on their behalf. They usually look for individuals, or agencies, who are specialists in listening, communicating, and solving problems. These individuals are also knowledgeable in reading and interpreting the results of social media analytics, to help you decide the next line of action.
The first step in finding out if your social media effort is paying off is to have your goals defined. These metrics will help you get a clear idea of what exactly is happening. Checking your conversion rate, engagement, and level of lead generation will also help you determine the success of your social media techniques.
Social media has become the accepted meeting place for everybody, including your potential customers. People spend as many as nine hours on different social media websites, which make them the ideal place to meet the people who will buy your products and services. It is safe to say that if you don’t have a social media presence, you are missing out on the bulk of your target market.
Know your Customers’ Favourite Social Channels
You are heading for failure if you start sharing content in any form to everyone, in a slapdash manner. The essence of using social media is to create a two-way dialogue, and effectively interact with your customers. If your customers don’t spend their time on the networks your content can be found; then it’s a waste of time.
You need to identify their favourite social networks and try to engage with them on these networks actively. Address their complaints, show gratitude when they praise your products and answer any questions they have. It’s best to master how to use three channels that your customers love hanging out on than to be inconsistent on six channels.
Create Unique, Authentic and Relevant Content
The internet is packed with many other business owners producing content similar to yours. If you don’t create content that sets your brand apart from your competitors, the customers you hope to attract will throw you in the same basket and move on. To be relevant, you have to understand the needs of your audience, so that you can give them exactly what they want. Your message should be original and authentic to your business.
At the same time, don’t be too sales pushy, 80% of the content you produce should inform your audience about relevant and valuable things that aren’t about selling. This content should relate to your business, brand, and target audience indirectly. You can use the remaining 20% to talk about your products, services, sales, discounts and offers. They will be more likely to patronise you because you already had their attention and interest with the 80%.
Optimise your Social Networks
The content you publish on your social channels should contain keywords, which relate to the queries your customers are searching for on search engines. Use enough hashtags so that people can easily find you, but be careful about overdoing it. It helps to use trending #hashtags in your niche, or #hashtags that influencers in your field are using.
Adding images to your content is another great way to increase engagement on social media. You can monitor your analytics to know the kind of images that resonate more with your audience: motivational, humorous, infographics, or inspirational. Of course, your engagement will increase when you post more of their preferred images.
For your brand to be recognized, you need to have a consistent voice, content, posting, and aesthetics. Your audience engagement and reach will expand if you are consistent in your brand. Have a unique tone of voice, that your audience can easily recognize and understand.
The content you share on social media should always be well organized, accurate, and ethical. Create a schedule to guide you on the type of content you post, and the time you post. If you can consistently post every day, you will be able to maximise your organic reach.