Data-driven social media marketing – Kieran S-Lawler, Hallam – Nottingham Digital Summit

Posted on 03/07/2019 by Team Hallam

The second talk of the afternoon at the Playhouse was Kieran S-Lawler, Senior Earned Media Consultant at Hallam. He discussed using data for successful social media marketing.

Did you know there are over 500 social media platforms in the world today? Social media platforms include Trip Advisor, where you can upload your holiday pictures, or gyms offering apps where you can upload progress pictures.

Kieran S Lawler, Nottingham Digital Summit

Defining your perfect personas

  • Who is your target audience?
  • Which social media channels are they using?
  • How will you target these users on this platform?

83% of UK adults have a presence on social media, so it’s worthwhile investing in it.

Where is your target market hanging out online?

Utilise your insights and analytics before the ideation stage, so that you can fully understand who your target audience is. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Twitter all have their own insights pages that you can get data from.

Utilise your insights on social media

Look at the gender and ages that are engaging with your content, as opposed to purely the breakdown of people who are following your brand – because these are the people you need to create content for.


  • 2.3 billion monthly users
  • Ages 25-54
  • Relationships and events
  • Limited reach
  • Target job titles


  • 321 million monthly users
  • Ages 18-29
  • News, trends and conversations
  • 280 characters or less
  • Target competitor followers


  • 250 million monthly users
  • Ages 30-49
  • Professional network and education
  • Limited interactions
  • Target business size


  • 1 billion monthly users
  • Ages 18-29
  • Relationships and conversations
  • Image heavy
  • Can split test with Facebook

Targeting can be very detailed – from upcoming birthdays, to people who are following specific hashtags, or job roles and companies.

Social media split testing

The most successful campaigns are build around one primary goal.


Once you’ve got your personas, which social media channels they use, and you’ve defined your primary goal, it’s time to start the ideation session.

Understand your target audience’s pains, so you can provide them with the answers.

The typical model:

  • Research
  • Strategy
  • Implementation
  • Optimisation

Don’t stop the campaign once it’s launched. Optimisation is key, so you can generate the best possible results and maximise your budget.

You can split test many things:

  • Creatives
  • Copy
  • Audiences
  • Platforms
  • CTAs
  • Ad type
  • Ad placement

Through A/B split testing, your cost per result should be getting lower as you make changes, and your reach, results and impressions should be increasing – all while your budget is staying the same.


Remember, it’s not going to happen overnight. Let the campaign run a little to gain deeper insights from the data. How long your learning phase is, will depend on the length of your campaign – but wait at least two weeks before you start looking at the data.

Don’t do it all at once. If you run too many split tests, you’ll end up confused. You need to be able to explain why one particular ad performed better Instead, decide which one you’ll do this month, and plan which one you’re going to do next month.

Turn your ads off early (specific to automatic bids). If you don’t want to do that, then look at the campaign four or five days before it ends, and push your budget towards the ad that’s performing the best.

Keep learning – once you’ve identified a winning ad, continually develop this overtime, as it won’t be the winner forever. It’ll get to the point where the audience has seen your ad so many times, you need to update it and keep it fresh.

How we track movement and change

Brand awareness.

brand awareness facebook


This is a video campaign about brand awareness. The client wanted as many people to see their videos as possible (which was their primary goal). Specific to Facebook, we ran videos across all ad types with similar copy, audience and locations.

The top video performed the best by far, but we never would have noticed it if we hadn’t split tested the videos, and analysed the data.

Social media isn’t expensive, you just need to do it correctly.

Using social media for product development

Listen to your customers. You can do this in so many ways:

  • Competitions
  • Polls
  • Conversations
  • Trends
  • Competitor research

Over 90% of people talking about your brand online don’t follow you.

Track mentions – use tracking to listen to what’s happening on social media – using the likes of Hootsuite or Sprout Social, it only takes a few minutes to set up tracking.

Look at what is trending now. Topics currently trending are:

  • Upcycled materials and waste
  • Environmental issues
  • Veganism
  • Summer
  • Brexit

Useful tools and tips

  • Don’t be discouraged
  • Use insights to understand your audience
  • Choose where you spend time carefully
  • Try split testing
  • Optimise your campaigns based on data
  • Ask your followers questions
  • Follow and engage with influencers in your sector
  • Stay up to date with the help of useful tools

Data-driven social media marketing, Kieran S-Lawler, Nottingham Digital Summit

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Data-driven social media marketing – Kieran S-Lawler, Hallam – Nottingham Digital Summit

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