Social media marketing is an effective way to reach your target audience, through the use of your created content and be able to promote our business and products. Channels that you can utilize include Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
What is social media marketing?
There’s no denying that our dependence on social media has changed the ways we live our lives. Social media is still to reach its peak, but people have become dependent on it, as it is now the major source of information, entertainment, and even updates on the lives of our family, friends, and relatives.
In fact, according to an article published in Oberlo, there are around 3.78 billion social media users in 2021, and this number is still expected to grow in the coming years. No wonder, marketers and business owners now use social media as a platform to promote their brands, products, and services, through what we call social media marketing.
So, what is social media marketing? It is when you use social media platforms to get your content and message out to your target audience. As people are spending more time on social media than ever before, it has become a great avenue for your company to use this, to further your reach and create a personal connection with your audience. Through social media marketing, you can advertise your products and services, as well as create awareness for a certain cause or event.
To be effective when it comes to social media marketing, you need to understand your target market. This will enable you to find out what your audience wants to see, hear, or engage with.
What are the Benefits of engaging in social media marketing?
There are several reasons why it is beneficial for you to engage in social media marketing. And of the most commonly mentioned benefits is that social media marketing increases your exposure.
This is not surprising, as most social media platforms are also available as mobile apps. Research conducted by Oberlo found out that 91% of all social media users access their social media accounts through their mobile devices. Furthermore, almost 80% of all time spent on social media is also done through mobile platforms.
Indeed, social media marketing has the largest reach of any other marketing method. It is estimated that Facebook alone has close to 2 billion active monthly users. And even though usage rates per user differ from region to region, this still shows the excellent reach you can get when using social media for your business, such as allowing you to:
1. Attract New Customers
Social media marketing creates awareness for your products, services, and brand in the digital world. As soon as you get new followers on any of your social media accounts, these new followers will see the updates that are posted on your page, which are then featured on their news feed whenever they log in to the site. If they find your posts and updates interesting, they will be more likely to check out your website or call or send a message for inquiries.
2. Save on Marketing Costs
Aside from the fact that social media marketing is a lot less expensive than traditional marketing campaigns, it also has the potential of reaching millions of people in just a matter of minutes. Because social media sites have millions of members, you can circulate your brand name to all the users who have an account in just a few clicks. If your business hasn't yet engaged in social media marketing, it's time to do so now because it could help you save on expensive marketing costs.
3. Target Preferences
The great thing about social media is that you get to target your market preferences, unlike in traditional marketing campaigns where you just have one product or service to promote. With social media, you can choose which people you want to reach and which platforms would be best for you, whether it's Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, or Snapchat.
Why is social media marketing important for your business?
Social media is valuable in promoting your business because it's free of charge (as long as you use good content) and can maximize your reach to a mass audience. In addition, social media marketing allows you to directly interact with your audience so that you will be able to receive feedback from them which would help you determine whether or not they will go through with what you want them to do.
Social media is also a great tool in promoting your business, as GlobalWebIndex found out, 54% of social browsers use their social media accounts to research products that they are interested to buy.
What's more, you must have a social media marketing strategy for your marketing campaign to be successful.
When do you need to engage in social media marketing?
Social media engagement is the keyword. It is not just about getting your target audience to like your company's social media accounts. Engaging your followers is also important as it will be the one to drive traffic and transform them into sales leads or actual customers.
So, when do you need to engage in social media marketing? You need to engage in social media marketing when you need to promote a new product, service, or brand. Social media allows customers and potential customers insights about your company and products (e.g., testimonials from satisfied clients, what kind of people they are, how good their product is).
Answering questions posted by your followers is also an important step in engaging your social media audience. You can answer questions from potential customers and fans as well as questions from journalists, bloggers, and other social media users. If you want to promote a new product, but don't have enough budget for Google ads or an expensive marketing campaign, answering people's questions through social media is the best strategy to boost traffic and sales.
If you want to appear more credible, though, you need to avoid talking about your products or services in every post. Instead of just pushing sales and advertisements, let people know more about your company. Try talking about yourself, your family, where you come from, or even your pet dog if you have one! People will likely trust a person, more than a company.
What are social media platforms?
Social media platforms are places where people connect to share information and personal experiences. Social media platforms let users create content that can be shared with the public through their social media profiles.
Platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, allow you to communicate via your profile page where you have some control over what other users see. You can publish your articles, videos, photos, or links to content that you find interesting. When users like and share your content, they spread the word about your activity on their social networking profiles - which in turn gives you exposure to a whole new network of people.
Below are some of the most known social media platforms:
Facebook is the most popular social media platform that allows people to connect with family and friends through the use of personal profiles, groups, events, and other features. Facebook is a social media platform that connects people with family, friends, and relatives.
If you use Facebook, you will be able to get updates from your friends. Facebook also allows you to upload your photos, post your videos, as well as links that you find interesting. It is important to note that Facebook has now become a channel to reach all types of customers including business-to-business (B2B).
Facebook advertising allows you to promote your products or services in front of your potential clients and even target them based on their demographics, social interests, likes, and other relevant profile information.
Second place goes to Twitter which has grown tremendously from a basic microblogging platform into a social network complete with trending topics, activity streams, and direct messaging for the world's top brands including Gap and Coca-Cola. According to Nielsen twitter gets more visits from Internet users each month than Google+, YouTube, Yahoo!, and LinkedIn combined.
Although the number of people using Twitter has grown exponentially, marketers' use of this social network has been less than ideal. Even today, only 15 percent of marketers claim to have a full-scale social media marketing plan in place on Twitter Facebook and that's why it's getting all the attention now. If you are missing out on this train, you may already be too late.
"We use Twitter to listen and engage with customers," said Scott Monty of Ford Motor Co. "But we also have a short-term sales objective. And that's why it works for us." Ford is one of the first companies to make social media part of its core strategy, not just a set of tactics to drive traffic elsewhere.
Instagram, on the other hand, has also been growing rapidly. Since Facebook bought the photo-sharing app for $1 billion last April, the photo-sharing app has more than doubled its number of users to 100 million in a little over six months. For the first time in its history, Facebook saw more than a million new Instagram users sign up in one day. But reports suggest that 60 percent of these users are not active.
Mary Meeker, a partner with Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, said at The Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital conference in May, "because of Instagram, the way people use Facebook is changing."
She showed a chart that illustrates how people are using photos like never before on social media. The number of photos shared per month in 2012 went up by more than 300 percent from the previous year. And the amount of time spent looking at pictures has gone up by a whopping 1,000 percent. Meeker said that Facebook's entire value proposition is based on photos.
And Instagram users are the most valuable per user age 13 to 35, according to online measurement and analytics firm comScore. Instagram also has more than 130 million active monthly users, which is 88 percent higher than Twitter last year. Instagram announced in April last year that it has more than 100 million active users, and 51 percent of them are outside the US.
Youtube has more than 800 million monthly unique users and 400 hours of video content is uploaded every minute on Youtube. It has more than 1 billion mobile users. This means one billion are watching videos on their smartphones, that is why numerous companies are launching new sites like Vine and Instagram to attract consumer attention.
Youtube gives you the ability to grow your business on social media. If you are not using Youtube for marketing, you should utilize it. There is no excuse for that today with so many companies advertising their products and services there.
This network has more than 1 billion users signed up worldwide, and these users spend about 40 minutes of their day watching films on Youtube. The content is made by more than 5 million individuals and businesses, so you get to choose the best from millions of videos released daily.
Jointly owned by Google and a leading Japanese telecom Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, this network was established in 2005 as a video-sharing website.
But there is no one formula for social media success: each company handles its social strategy differently. Some leverage them as platforms exclusively to build brand awareness. Others use them to drive sales. If you want to expand your business, consider hiring a social media marketing consultant.
Is social media marketing effective?
Social media marketing is about creating and sharing great content with the public through those social media channels. It is important to build your social media presence strategically, and you may find it effective in increasing your online sales or website visits.
Here are some of the reasons:
1. Social Media Marketing Build Brand Awareness
New consumers will enter the market through several touchpoints like magazines, billboards, television ads, etc., but they'll lack a sense of what your brand stands for. When they are ready to buy a product like yours, they will search the internet and find out if you have an online store. Social media marketing can help your brand by getting the consumers' attention or reminding them that you exist.
2. Social Media Marketing Generates Leads
People want brands that help them solve, answer their queries, or take care of issues that affect their lives. Once these consumers are aware of your brand, social media marketing can help you generate enough leads to get them interested in buying your products or avail of your services. For instance, if you want to promote a weight loss program, advertise it on Facebook and Twitter. Make sure to include the prices and link so people will see how much you can help them.
3. Social Media Marketing Saves On Costs
Normally, it costs money to advertise on television or print ads. But social media marketing saves on costs because in most cases, it is free to promote your products or services through blogs and social networking sites. The only expenses you incur will be on buying premium packages for advertising and will have to pay a monthly fee for certain services.
4. Social Media Can Reach An Audience Fast
There is nothing like social media marketing when it comes to reaching out to an audience. If you use paid ads, the advertisements only reach people who are interested in your products or services and will only be displayed to those who are interested in what you have to offer.
Social media marketing, on the other hand, is more effective since it can reach a wide audience of prospective buyers. Another great thing about social media marketing is that it reaches a target market even before they know what your product or service is all about, making it the best marketing strategy you can use for your business.
The right social media marketing strategy will help increase your brand recognition and give you a chance to work with people interested in what you have to offer. It's also cost-effective, which means you don't have to spend much on promoting your product or service. And it has real value.
Best Social Media Marketing Tips
Whether you're new at social media marketing, or if you've been in the industry for so long, you still need to make sure you're putting your best foot forward. Here are some tips to help you out:
1) Promote your company's culture;
2) Set a goal and measure its progress;
3) Choose the right social media channels;
4) Be consistent and reach out to new prospects regularly;
5) Run contests on social media;
6) Use social media for customer service; and
7) Track all your activities and results in one place.
Best Social Media Marketing Strategies
You can't just jump into social media marketing without a strategy. You need a concrete one that's based on your target audience and the company vision. So here are some of the best strategies you can apply in your social media business plan:
1) Find out what's important to your target audience;
2) Ask questions about their interests and preferences;
3) Create a list of relevant hashtags that you can use in your social media posts when communicating with them;
4) Be consistent and reach out to new prospects regularly;
5) Run contests on social media;
6) Use social media for customer service; and
7) Track all your activities and results in a social media marketing calendar.
When working on your social media strategy, make sure to target the right audience and be consistent with your posts so you won't have a hard time trying to catch up in the future. Social media indeed requires more work than other online advertising platforms, but it can also be a great source of additional income if you maintain a good social media presence.
Social media is the future of online marketing, so you might as well learn how to incorporate it into your business now. With a solid plan and some determination, you can enjoy its many benefits as soon as possible. Implementing social media in any business will require lots of hard work, but the results will be much more rewarding than if you do not. Using social media is that simple, and it will help you grow your business in the long run. If you have a good strategy and always keep track of your progress, it can even become a secondary source of income on top of your main products or services; just ask those who already enjoy its benefits!
Social Media can greatly help your marketing efforts, even if you are just starting. From a branding perspective, it gives you the chance to build and strengthen relationships with your customers because it is considered a more casual form of communication ideal for B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-customer) communications. You can build the relationship from scratch, and nurture it until they become your customers or clients!
Social media, in general, is a vast network of social interactions between people who share common interests. It has changed the way we communicate because it gives us the chance to connect with another person instantly through its various channels without feeling alienated. It is like the internet's version of word of mouth, and it should be utilized to its fullest potential.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Below are some of the frequently asked questions about social media marketing:
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is a type of internet marketing that involves social networking platforms. This kind of marketing can also be done through email and other online business networks that most social media sites have, such as LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Social media marketing is done to increase the visibility of a product or business using things like tweets, videos, images, and social networking sites. One can also use it to promote their site through "viral" marketing - using others' networks to increase one's reach.
What are social media marketing tools?
The first thing to consider before you even start social media marketing is what tools you are going to use. There are plenty of social networks out there, so one must decide which ones they want to focus on and create a plan for how they are going to use these through their marketing strategy.
Here are some major social marketing tools you can look into:
Facebook has over 1.6 billion monthly users and is a great place to advertise your business since you can target people based on their location, age, interests, hobbies/activities, relationship status, education level, and work. It also allows for live video streaming of events through FB Live.
The best part about Facebook ads is the targeting, so you can be very specific in your ad and audience. You also have access to tracking data for the effectiveness of your ads.
If you want to interact with a larger community, you should create a page related to your brand/business on Facebook - users will be able to like your page and interact with you through it.
If there is a Facebook group that relates to your niche/product, you should join the group and become a contributor to the conversation, share posts relevant to the group's theme; then link back to your website in the posts.
When you send a Direct Message to another user, your username will automatically appear as the text on top (which is essentially a public tweet). Always ensure that your wording in these messages represents your brand well.
Similar to Pinterest, Twitter allows you to pin up to 4 tweets at the top of your profile page.
Don't forget about the power of hashtags! There are millions of people using Twitter to search for content, so make sure you use a relevant hashtag when tweeting. Hashtags can also be used as clickable links to websites too, in addition to their use as topic identifiers.
In addition to interacting with people directly through the messaging function, Google+ allows you to connect with other users on a more casual basis. If you find someone interesting enough (in terms of business content rather than personal life) that you want to connect with them, simply search for their name and click the icon instead of sending a message.
Links can be shared either publicly, privately, or with a circle of your choosing. Publicly available link shares can also include comments that will be visible on the post. These functions make Google+ an even more attractive way to communicate than just Facebook and Twitter.
Hangouts are group video calls that allow up to 10 people to simultaneously share content, make comments and talk one-on-one. If you have a Google Home or Chromecast device attached to your TV then you can extend these sessions onto the large screen via that too.
In addition to this, there are pre-made Hangout templates available for every occasion. If you are launching a new product then this can be made publicly available to enable interested parties to "attend" your launch.
The Google+ Communities feature allows you to set up sub-communities for every group of people on your radar, whether that is within an organization or perhaps a university alumni group. Communities allow for ongoing conversation, membership, and easy sharing.
Include a link back to your business website in the community.
LinkedIn Groups are, as their name suggests, groups of people who share some common interest or social connection. The group could be set up by you or someone else and is visible to all members once it has been created.
This is where thoughtful content generation comes into play, as you can post your articles to the group and allow people from that group to comment on your posts.
What does a social media manager do?
Social media managers aim to bring more traffic, leads, and sales to a company's website by creating posts on social networks for the company. These are seen as relevant content by the social network algorithms because they are shared with people who already follow you or your page.
Some social media managers are purely responsible for managing social media accounts, while other social media managers are responsible for digital marketing. Social media management is a great starting point for those who want to work in the digital marketing industry and it opens up many doors.
Why social media is good for marketing?
More than one billion people are using social networks. These billions of potential customers can be reached through sharing relevant content on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social network accounts.
Social Media is the second most effective way to reach your target audience after search engine marketing. Social media advertising has higher engagement rates, generates more leads and new customers. Social media marketing not only helps to reach the new target audience, but at the same time, it allows your current audience to grow.
Social Media Marketing is a very effective way to distribute your content. When you use Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social network posting links to your blog posts or ebooks will help to get a backlink to your website and improve search engine rankings.
How social media marketing affects business?
Social media marketing is a great way to promote your business and increase sales. Having social media presence helps you to talk directly with your audience as well as inform them about new products or services.
If you're not using social media marketing yet, start right now! Develop your brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to engage with your audience and increase your online marketing presence.
How does social media marketing increase sales?
Social media marketing helps to build relationships with your clients and develop a loyal customer base. Your audience will benefit from special offers, discounts, giveaways, or exclusive promotions on social media.
However, the main benefit of social media is found in leads generation; social media lets you reach out to millions of people across the world and provides an opportunity to attract new customers and increase your sales.
Business owners love social media marketing because they can do all that without spending a dime! Social Media is free for businesses and it provides great opportunities to promote their products, services, or brands. Let's face it – creating posts on social media is a lot easier than doing traditional advertising, with social media, you don't need to pay for printing or distributing brochures or leaflets or commercials You can just publish it on your Facebook page and done.
Using social media lets one reach out to millions of potential customers. It is a great tool for spreading the word about your brand/product/service. You get an opportunity to connect with your potential customers directly and emotionally. You'll be able to know what they need and how they feel about your brand/product/service. Social media marketing is the right medium for interaction between you and your customer base.
What does social media marketing include?
Social media marketing is a process of engaging in social networks to promote your business/product/ service. It's a simple way of advertising or promoting one's brand, products, and services in front of a target audience.
Your social media marketing strategy is all about the word-of-mouth promotion tactics that are used on various social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.
A social media marketing strategy also includes the kind of content to be pushed out and how users should react to it. It also includes which social network makes sense for reaching your target audience.
Does social media marketing work?
There is no denying the fact social networking sites have become one of the most visited websites in recent times. Social network users from all around the globe spend more time on social sites than any other website. It would be not wrong to say that Internet users do not visit social networking sites, they are part of it. Social media marketing is about leveraging this huge user base by promoting your brand and reaching out to a target audience via social network dialogue.
Social media marketing has no doubt become a must for any brand that wants to stay in business. It can help you build a strong customer relationship and gain more online visibility than traditional marketing. It's all about connections – when people connect, they connect with your brand too.
Consequently, social networks have proved to be the ideal platforms for companies to reach out to their target audience and social media marketing provides the way of doing it. It has become one of the most powerful tools for promoting your business strategy by leveraging the potential of social networking sites.
Where to find a social media marketer?
Social media marketing is not just about posting updates on Facebook and tweets on Twitter. It's more than that, it's a strategy, an art, and a science all in one. You need to find someone who is an expert in social media marketing, content generation, and analytics; someone who can manage your social media channels for you while still monitoring your progress, someone who can create the right content at the right time.
If you are not sure about what to look for in an expert social media marketer, here's a checklist of things that he should have:
· Knowledgeable in all aspects of SMM (social media marketing) including blogging;
· Someone who understands how social media channels work and how to leverage them effectively;
· Has an extensive background in social media marketing (ideally, 5 years plus);
· Someone who has experience in managing SMM campaigns and also understands the digital landscape;
· He has a huge but relevant network of people;
· This is something a lot of marketers don't like to reveal. You need someone who has a huge relevant network of people. The people in this person's network must be your potential customers as well. If you're looking for someone who has deep knowledge and experience in managing Facebook accounts, then don't choose someone who manages Twitter and Instagram accounts as well because they will only be of little use to you;
· Has a good reputation in the industry; and
· Most people network and make connections to help them look good. Therefore, you must choose someone who is well connected but also has a good reputation. He should have worked with many brands before and he should be able to demonstrate this on his Facebook page.