According to recent statistics, almost 59% of the world population is on social media. Statistics further show that more than half of the active users on social media use it to browse through stuff.
Thus, besides being a virtual space where people can network, social media also offers a platform where brands can advertise their products.
Marketing social media, unlike traditional forms of marketing, is also cheap and enables marketers to reach many people within seconds.
To better understand the power of Social Media Marketing (SMM), let’s delve deeper into what social media advertising is and why it’s suitable for your brand.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing definition: Marketing on social media refers to advertising and promoting your products on popular social networks.
SMM further involves socially interacting and engaging with your target customers through the use of social content. The content you use should be tailored to your target audience and to the type of social network you’ll be using if it’s to produce positive results.
Social media advertising also refers to the use of popular marketing methods such as influencers or top Instagram growth service to increase followers and boost sales on platforms like Instagram and other social media channels.
Some social media marketing goals include boosting sales, building brand awareness, increasing conversions, improving communication, creating a brand identity, and increasing inbound traffic.
Further, most social networks provide brands with detailed information such as their followers’ demographic, geographical, and personal data that they can use to develop an effective social media marketing campaign.
Also, there is a range of social media analytic tools that brands can use to analyze the success of their social media marketing campaigns.
Some examples of notable social networks that small businesses can use include:
- Facebook – This is the largest social media network with approximately 2.9 billion monthly active users. The platform was launched in 2004, and most of its users are generation X and millennials. Facebook is very effective as an advertising and brand awareness tool.
- Instagram – Launched in 2010, Instagram is a visual platform primarily composed of millennials. The platform is suitable for sharing quality images and videos. Instagram is also a great advertising tool due to its unique e-commerce tools.
- TikTok – TikTok is the newest kid on the block as it was launched in 2016. The platform is mainly made up of generation Z, although millennials are also warming up to it. Popular for its short-form video content, TikTok is great for building communities, brand awareness, and sharing user-generated content.
- Twitter – Twitter is made up of written content consisting of 140-character Tweets. The platform is popular with millennials, and it’s a wonderful tool for community building and customer service.
- LinkedIn – This professional social media app is made up of professionals looking to connect with like-minded people and those who are on the lookout for new opportunities. Brands can use the platform for social selling and building B2B relationships.
- YouTube – YouTube has more than 2 billion active users. The platform which comprises users from different age demographics is perfect for building communities. Brands can also use YouTube to share educational and long-form entertaining videos.
- Pinterest – Pinterest is known for its inspirational content. Brands can use the platform to share inspirational visual content and for visual advertising.
- Snapchat – Snapchat was launched in 2011, and most of the users are Gen Zs. Brands can use the platform for advertising products or building brand awareness among the younger generation.
Other emerging social media marketing platforms include Clubhouse, Discord, Twitch, Twitter spaces, and HalloApp.
List of Core Pillars of Social Media Marketing
Now that we have answered the question – what is social media marketing? Let’s look at five key pillars that can help with effective SMM.
If you’re planning to promote anything on social media, the first thing you need to do is develop a social strategy. This strategy should be targeted to your social audience for it to produce results.
If you’re finding it hard to come up with an effective social strategy, asking yourself the below questions can help:
What are your goals – Your social media advertising goals should align with your business goals. For instance, do you want to use your social media presence to increase sales, enhance brand awareness, improve engagement, or build a community?
What social media channels can you use to meet these goals – There are different social media platforms, and you must decide which ones you’ll concentrate on. You should choose the social media apps with your target audience in mind. For instance, some social media apps such as TikTok are ideal for younger audiences, while others such as Facebook are great for older audiences.
What kind of content is ideal for your target audience – You need to know the type of content that can attract your target audience. For instance, will you use videos or images to gain Instagram followers in 2022? Also, is the content going to be educational or entertaining?
2. Planning and Publishing
After your social media strategy is ready, you’ll need to plan how often you’ll post your content. Having a content schedule can help ensure you post consistently.
Consistency is an integral part of digital marketing, as being active keeps your followers engaged. Consistency also makes it easy for new social media users to find you.
When planning how often to post your content, don’t forget to ensure that the content you’re publishing is attractive, engaging, and informative.
3. Listening and Engagement
As you continue to publish quality content, you’ll get people who are interested in it. These followers will comment, share, tag, and like your posts. Some might even come to your inbox and talk to you directly.
You can monitor these conversations by enabling notifications on your social media marketing platforms or using social listening and engagement tools.
Listening also involves acting on negative feedback. If there are complaints about your products or customer service, you’ll need to apologize and make changes to rectify the situation. Social listening and engagement further help you understand your customers’ needs, pick up new trends in your niche, gain industry insights, and network with others in your industry.
In addition to listening to what your followers are saying, you should also engage them. For instance, ensure you reply to comments, follow others that are part of your social network, and share their posts.
Analytics helps you to determine the performance of your social media campaign. The good news is that you can utilize social media analytics tools to get the data you need to monitor your marketing performance. You can also use the reports you get from the social media analytics to:
- Improve your social media marketing strategy
- Perform a competitive analysis
- Understand your audience’s needs
- Discover the social platform that works for your goals
- Discover the content that works
In addition to using the above social media pillars, advertising can help you reach a wider audience. Social media advertising is divided into:
Organic – You don’t have to pay for this form of advertising, as organic content is shared by other users on their feeds. When you post organic content, you can be sure others will see and share it. Organic advertising helps build relationships, grow your brand presence, and retain and gain new customers
Paid – This form of advertising requires you to part with some money for your content to be shared with your target audience. Although paid advertising can be costly, it will help you reach a larger audience, and it can also help drive sales and conversions.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Marketers use social media for a variety of things including:
To Generate Leads and Conversions
When you promote your products on social media, you will reach people who might not know you exist.
Besides, with just a single post, you can reach thousands of users, which helps boost sales and generate leads.
Moreover, some social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram have shopping tools where you can promote your products. Such tools also allow you to add product features that followers can use to make more informed purchase decisions.
To Build Relationships
Social media marketing does more than help you get likes and shares. It also allows you to connect and interact with your customers.
With SMM, you can build a loyal community. Some ways you can use SMM to foster relationships with your followers include:
- Engage with your audience by replying to comments, responding to DMs, and tagging them. This way, your followers will notice that you have a genuine interest in them, and your aim isn’t just making a quick sale
- Have Q&A sessions where you answer frequently asked questions. Also, respond to customers’ feedback
- Post engaging and informative content. Refrain from posting only promotional posts, as this will put off your followers. Consider how you can be of value to your audience and develop more meaningful posts
- Recognize loyal fans who always respond to your posts and those who continually share or like your content. Mention them by name and thank them
- Host giveaways to show your customers that you appreciate them
- Share user-generated content as this makes your followers feel seen and also adds authenticity to your posts
Enhances Brand Awareness
When you use SMM, you put your brand in front of thousands and even millions of people.
Besides, when used correctly, SMM can help your content appear at the top of search engine results.
Further, social media advertising can help build awareness by directing traffic to your website.
Adds a Human Touch to Your Business
Social media makes your business approachable. It humanizes your business, making it easier for your audience to connect with your brand.
Thanks to Facebook and other social media channels, you can warm up to your audience by interacting with them.
Besides, posting engaging content can help you connect with your followers. For instance, posting an interesting video or a funny meme can make you more relatable. Further, posting a behind-the-scenes video will give your brand a human face.
When you don’t promote your products on social media, you lose out on reaching potential customers.
Social media advertising allows you to reach people outside your loyal customer circle.
Besides, you can add links to your social media profiles or posts that direct potential customers to your website. The keywords you use can also help potential buyers find your products.
Keep Tabs on Your Competitors
Being on social media helps you learn about your competitors.
You get information on the strategies they’re using, the number of followers they have, and the content they’re using to promote their products.
With such information, you can make changes to your campaign and ensure that your marketing is unique and different from your competition.
One of the most overlooked advantages of SMM is that it’s cheaper compared to other forms of marketing.
When using other traditional forms of marketing, you need to run several costly campaigns.
However, using social media marketing platforms can help you reach thousands of people with just a few posts. Besides, any brand can sign up and create a social profile for free on social media.
Even if you choose to use paid advertising on social media, the cost is still low compared to other forms of paid advertisements.
When using paid advertising, remember to start small and scale up once you figure out the strategy that works for you.
Gives You Valuable Insights
Another notable benefit of social media marketing is that you’ll learn what your customers want and what they’re saying about your business. For instance, when you interact with your audience through comments, you’ll learn about their interests and pain points.
Moreover, social media gives you data related to your customers’ interests, which you can use to develop more targeted content. You can also use social media insights to determine which social apps are ideal for your marketing campaign.
Data from social media analytics tools such as Google Analytics can also help you analyze the performance of your marketing campaigns and make changes where necessary.
Are you already marketing your products on social media?
Considering that social media is home to millions of users, you stand to lose significantly if you’re not promoting your products and engaging with potential customers on popular social platforms. Businesses that have embraced social media marketing enjoy increased conversions, better customer relationships, and improved brand awareness.
Hopefully, you’ll use the valuable information provided in this guide to get started on your social media advertising journey.
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