What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing, simply put, is creating content to promote your business and products on various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It is all about meeting your target audience and customers in the space where they spend large amounts of their time, and socially interacting with them. It is one of the best ways to build brand awareness, trust, and engagement with your audience. 54% of social media browsers say they use social media to research products and services, with numbers only growing. So if your products and services aren’t there for them to view, you’re missing out!
Before we dive into more details of its benefits, let us first have a look at what these social media platforms are exactly.
Facebook: The most used social media app, with 2.5 billion users and majority audience being Generation X and Millennials. Best for brand awareness and advertising.
Youtube: A video platform with a whopping 2 billion users, primarily used by Millennials and closely followed by Generation Z. Best for brand awareness, entertainment, and how-to videos.
Instagram: Also extremely popular, with 1 billion users and used primarily by Millennials. Best for user-generated content, behind the scenes content, and advertising.
Twitter: 340 million users primarily comprising Millennials, and best for public relations and customer service.
Snapchat: Spontaneous video-sharing app primarily used by the Generation Z category, with about 382 million users. Best for brand awareness and advertising.
LinkedIn: A networking platform with about 645 million users. The primary audience is Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. Best for B2B relationships and employment marketing.
TikTok: A more recent video sharing platform that has experienced a sudden surge in popularity, with 800 million users. Mostly comprising Generation Z and Millennials. Best for brand awareness.
What are the benefits of social media marketing?
So now we know what it is. We also somewhat know that it can be useful. But let us now get into the details of how exactly it can be useful. As of right now, there are approximately 3.8 billion people in the world who are on social media. As such in today’s climate, ignoring social media marketing is like starting a business but not telling anyone about it!
Although social media marketing has a wide range of benefits, the 3 main ones that make it an absolute necessity are the following:
Build meaningful relationships with customers
Engaging with your audience on their favourite social media platforms, providing content that they love and find useful is a sure way to earn their trust and loyalty. These customers are likely to become ambassadors of your brand too. 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media say they are likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family. Apps like Twitter also allow for great customer service and public relations building.
Increase brand awareness
Now that we know just how many people are online, this seems like an obvious one. Thanks to advertising options on these platforms, you can reach more people than ever before. Moreover, you can also use these platforms to direct more traffic to your website by including direct links in your profiles, bios and posts.
Generate leads and boost conversions
There are many tools on social media that are uniquely suited to generate leads. Call-to-actions, direct links etc mean that once you attract the attention of your audience, you can capitalize on that by instantly directing them to your page. You can also use strategies of contests, giveaways, and even directly promote your products on social media pages and make it easy for customers to make the purchase with as little effort as possible.
How to begin social media marketing for your business?
Given the sheer number of different platforms, a variety of options for strategies, and the ever-changing nature of trends, social media marketing can be a bit tricky to navigate. But the good news is that once you have found a formula that works, the results are phenomenal! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, a good social media marketing agency or digital marketing company can help you draw out a plan based on their expertise in the field. They can also help you constantly generate the content needed and manage your accounts, keep track of the analytics, and various other technicalities that are involved in highly effective marketing.
It is necessary to have a plan or strategy in place as it is quite easy to get swept up in the currents and feel lost otherwise. A successful social media marketing strategy generally involves the following steps:
1. Researching your audience.
Researching your target audience, their needs, and interests will help you to create content and use methods that will reach them and interest them better. For example, if you are an online store that sells fresh produce and meats, you might identify your target audience as working adults, generally, Millennials and Generation X, who have highly stressful and busy lives.
2. Selecting which platform to use.
As mentioned above, there are various different social media platforms, each having their own unique style of content, purpose, and even different age groups. Depending on what your product or service is, what your marketing goals are, and who your target audience is, you must determine which channels are best suited for your specific needs.
3. Creating content
Having identified your audience and platform, you can now begin creating content that is specifically tailored to your target audience and their interests and the platform you are using (as each platform has different styles of content). While creating your content, you should keep in mind your goals and aim for all your content to have a specific purpose, for. Eg. informational/instructive posts, motivational posts, direct showcasing of products, humours posts, etc. Each style has its own unique advantages and appeals to specific audiences.
4. Scheduling content
It is important to have a schedule to achieve consistency, which ultimately drives better results. Scheduling should also take into account which timings and days drive the most reach, based on when most people are online. Although you can research general rules for a starting guideline, trial and error will likely determine what works best for your specific brand.
5. Analyzing results and adapting
And finally, it is important to study analytics and metrics to see how your content is performing, which posts work better than others and keep adapting based on the new information to achieve the best possible formula.
If you have any questions about social media marketing, feel free to reach out to us here, and we’d love to help out!