Are your social media followers really your target?

CULTIVATE Social Media

There’s a tendency for marketers to celebrate the number of followers they have on their social media channels. But striving for follower growth usually isn’t an effective strategy to grow your business.

Sure, you need to grow your followers and subscriptions – but they must be the right kind of people, or you’re wasting your time. Getting them to read your content is the key to social media and marketing effectiveness.

How do you make sure your followers are your target? 

  • Start by defining your target prospects. What are their browsing habits? Where do they tend to congregate online? For consumers, Facebook and Instagram are obvious choices. For businesspeople, LinkedIn and Twitter are the leading channels. Engage them there, and forget about the other social media channels – focus on one to start.
  • Research your ideal prospects and identify their pain points and problems. What competitive, industry, technology and regulatory trends are affecting them? You may want to talk with current customers to learn what worries or concerns them. Sometimes their problems are not even related to your product or service, but are issues for which they still need a solution. One such problem today is finding good employees. In a tight labor market, everyone is seeking solutions to this vexing challenge.
  • Create focused content that addresses those needs and problems. Your content will act like a magnet that will attract people who are looking for solutions to those challenges. In other words, they will self-select your valuable resources. That makes this an ideal target marketing tactic!

Feed your website

For best results, all of the updates you publish on your social media channels ought to point to specific pages on your website. There are several reasons why this works especially well:

  • You don’t own the social media channels. They can and do change their rules of engagement any time they want, usually at the expense of marketers. You need to drive prospects to web properties that you own and control – such as your website.
  • Most social media properties limit how much you can publish on their channels. In order to tell a more complete and compelling story, you must push them to your website, where you can publish what you want, in the format and length that you want.
  • Once a prospect has arrived at your website, they have an opportunity to discover other related content– especially if you provide them with links pointing to it!

Take-away:  The idea is not to attract the most followers, it is to attract your targeted audience as your followers and engage them on your website.

Track & Measure OFFLINE Campaigns ONLINE with PURLs

Track & Measure OFFLINE Campaigns ONLINE with PURLs by Cultivate CommunicationsIn a challenging economy, marketing teams are increasingly being asked by company management to quantify their efforts. Companies are looking for BIGGER AND BETTER response rates from the marketing channels they’re using.

Because campaigns must now work harder than ever, marketing teams are being asked to track and measure each campaign’s effectiveness. Management wants to know how many people are really seeing and acting upon the marketing team’s efforts.

Digital marketing is easy to track, but traditional media channels are still needed to generate other touches with prospective customers. That’s where PURLs come in.

Personalized URLs (PURLs) are a method for connecting offline marketing
with online tracking and measurement.

What Is the Power of Personalization?

PURLs typically combine the direct mail recipient’s first name and last name into a specialized web address. For example John Doe gets a postcard that asks him to log on to Not only is the postcard personalized — using variable data printing — but John’s entire online experience (assuming he visits that PURL) is personalized.

By migrating the customer’s offline experience over to the web, the recipient can receive more relevant and more personalized content. Thus, response rates are substantially higher.

Why Should Everything Point to the Web?

Direct mail has been successful in integrating with the web using PURLs. But, really, all offline media can be pointed to the web, where it can then be tracked. Sophisticated web dashboards allow marketers to see the results of integrated offline and online marketing efforts in real time.

So if you use traditional offline media channels, you may wish to entice your readers to go online to a PURL, where you can collect the requested tracking and measuring data that upper management is asking for.

Subscribe to Cultivate's eNewsletter GROWFor more information on using PURLs to ignite, track, and measure response rates, read How PURLs Improve Your Response Rates or subscribe to our eNewsletter to get notified when our ebook 10 Steps for Generating Leads Using PURLs is released. COMING SOON!

Johnathan Crawford of Data Dog Marketing
See all articles by Johnathan Crawford
Connect with Johnathan online: LinkedIn