I’ve been working at Minto Branding for a year now, but it feels like much less. Life has changed for me so much in a year. I’ve enjoyed working with the close team here at Minto, celebrated successes and faced tough challenges. One thing is for sure, my year as Social Media Strategist has been stimulating, intriguing and rewarding.
I thought I’d look back at a year on from introducing a social strategy for Minto and take a glance at some of the results.
As with many clients and companies the world over the Minto Branding social media had been only occasionally updated. While most businesses realise the power and prevalence of social media, they often fail to assign a dedicated resource to manage or leverage it for marketing. I think something that we can all agree on is that tagging social media management on to an already busy employee’s job description doesn’t lead to consistent results.
Minto was present on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. However, they had lost control of their Instagram login. The first thing on my list was to put the current house in order. I wanted to bring brand consistency to the current offering while I put together the strategy.
Quickly became this.
We’d identified our target audience as a combination of business owners & directors, sales & marketing managers and buyers. These primary purchasers would also be influenced by several other positions such as financial managers, office managers, marketing officers/managers, sales teams, as well as other owners and directors who might recommend us.
These audiences were available through social media but how best to reach them?
“We want to reach potential buyers and business owners and drive new website traffic and increase engagement by providing interesting content that showcases our products, services and customer service.”
Encouraging organic growth was simple. We needed to develop a regular, consistent content offering to engage and retain our current following and attract new audiences.
This would be done in the following ways:
• Improve the imagery we use across our social channels
• Develop well written engaging blog posts
• Engage in industry conversation
• Encourage employee advocacy
• Improve responsiveness to messaging
• Develop a review gathering strategy
• Produce local, relevant and timely content
• Provide clear calls to action and opportunity to continue engagement through the Minto Branding website
• Establish consistent tone of voice
Our paid tactics:
• Amplify our organic messaging & promote content through targeted segmentation
• Develop a series of advertisements to drive traffic & conversion
• Promote giveaways and contests
For our traditional services such as print, design and promotional merchandise, we had a decent split between new and returning customers while our newer digital services were still developing. Our organic tactics were designed to develop top of the funnel engagement but there should be plenty available to please and engage our current followers.
As we are firmly established in the B2B sector, the obvious choice for our marketing focus was LinkedIn however, from a paid perspective, budget limitations make LinkedIn a difficult channel on which to perform exceptionally without significant content investment. It couldn’t be our only focus.
Facebook has classically been the realm of B2C worldwide but with its incredibly broad user-base it would have been inconceivable to not take advantage. B2B and B2C have been treated as two completely different entities for too long. The traditional sales team’s have it right in that it’s still people who do the buying. I felt strongly that reaching people through Facebook would not only improve our reach but could potentially drive a high level of valuable business traffic to the website.
Twitter would provide a useful platform to engage with customers and industry. The sheer level of content makes it hard to cut through the dross, but it offers exceptional opportunity to tag and engage brands and influencers.
Instagram was a unique decision for Minto. Having regained control of the channel it was important to cement our products visually in a way that would interest audiences. This channel would be an experiment in B2B visual product advertisement and content. With no real data previously from this channel, it would be interesting to develop this potential engagement driver
It was clear early on that while our in-house graphics team are incredibly talented, they were also incredibly client focused. My initial strategy design had relied heavily on developing a visual style with continued support from the graphics department. This took a scale back, I decided that to be able to fit in with their workload I would develop a simpler graphic style that I could manage personally and utilise their skill sets for the more targeted, paid and promotion specific content. With future results we could revisit investment in graphic content.
While marketing budget was available and open to discussion, for a new strategy, ROI was difficult to calculate. With no up to date data, the paid strategy would be allowed to develop over time. Initially small budget increments would be used to promote and deliver limited results for different content types. We could A/B test certain advertisements and spend wisely to find the most efficient channels, content and messaging.
“Who cares about limitations? They just make life more exciting…”
Our original followers were already loyal and involved in the brand, so they responded well to behind the scenes, business success and customer reference content. We produced a wide range of different content types, engaged in promotions and built a strong base of owned blog content to not only drive social traffic but develop our SEO web strategy at the same time.
Let’s look at the results…
The award for “Greatest Reach on An Organic Post” goes to:
Our inclusion of Dundee University’s April Fool’s and subsequent twitter tag pleased them enough to give us a retweet. Organically we reached 5.75k and gained nearly 100 visitors to the article from that link alone.
The award for “Most Engagement on An Organic Post” goes to:
Our Rider Cup competition reached over 2000 targeted users across Facebook and more on LinkedIn and Twitter. The winners all received a high-quality branded golf umbrella. The entrants were all assigned numbers which were then picked by a random number picker and coincidentally one of our clients Audrey from Taylors Industrial Services was among the winners. Our tagging of the company, the inclusion of a photo and personal handover from our MD Bob meant that this resonated with our current following and many others. While engagement rather than follower growth was our primary Key Point Indicator (KPI) our Facebook following grew by 2% in the following week.
The award for “Most Engaging Paid Post” goes to:
While not our most successful for sheer numbers, this post was the best value. The targeting was super specific, the engagement rate was nearly 20% and our conversion rate (photo entries) was around 3% for a mere £0.04 Cost Per Click.
The award for “Most Successful Blog Post” goes to:
Our top 30 Christmas advert post. While not designed to be a direct lead generator, we thought injecting a little holiday spirit might make people smile. Advertising was relevant to we took a punt on compiling this expansive collection Christmas adverts. While social drove 50 new users (with an average of 8 minutes on site) it was the boost to our organic search results that really impressed. With 200 organic visitors spending time perusing our collection and many going on to explore our website.
As a family run business Minto has always felt its responsibility to community keenly. We work with all sizes of company and we are always keen to give a helping hand where we can. Social helped give us a platform not only to show what we do but to promote some worthy causes.
The Rubbish Club
We provided branded hi-vis, t-shirts, literature and badges to a young man named Thomas who has been picking up litter for the best part of two years. His drive to clean up his local environment is incredibly impressive and we’re sure his influence in the Eco community will only grow. We were lucky enough to design his logo and help amplify his message on our social channels. Including sharing several of his popular posts and taking part in a litter pick up.
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride
One of our most engaging posts last year was raising money for Men’s Mental Health and Prostate Cancer. Our MD is an avid Bike fanatic and was more than happy to take the opportunity to raise awareness and generate some donations for a good cause. LinkedIn helped us reach many of our loyal clients and business contacts who were more than happy to get involved. Reaching over 2.5k people on LinkedIn (organically) with an engagement rate of 8%. We managed to raise an impressive £1556.
Our website is where the magic happens. Most of our leads are generated through telephone calls, emails and enquiries from the website (although we’ve had a few through social.) Our target clients are, for the most part, making a business decision and need the reassurance and information that our website can provide. Our main goal for this strategy was driving traffic to the website where they would find more information.
Here’s a snippet of our year on year results for social web traffic from year 1.
8 May 18 – 8 May 19 v 8 May 17 – 7 May 18
KPI – Web Site Traffic
Goal - Build Social Traffic to The Website
Total Increase in Users 284%
• Facebook 245%
• LinkedIn 412%
• Twitter 650%
• Instagram 187%
Total Increase in New Users 293.6%
• Facebook 251%
• LinkedIn 470%
• Twitter 675%
• Instagram 162%
Total Increase in Sessions 388.5%
• Facebook 293%
• LinkedIn 860%
• Twitter 1171%
• Instagram 500%
Total Increase in Session Duration 18.5%
• Facebook -3% (Due to much higher volume traffic from some brand awareness campaigns)
• LinkedIn 108.5%
• Twitter 121.7%
• Instagram 761.4%
That’s it for this year’s summary. Next year we will be looking to expand our video content offering, our paid promotional successes and increasing the lead generation direct from our social channels.