Social media marketing can affect your sales and your company’s reputation. It’s important you are doing it right. Further, your company will miss out on growth opportunities if you are not doing it at all.
Social media marketing (SMM) is an excellent catalyst for growing businesses online, and your social media marketing plan can help make or break your business in many ways.
If you’re doing SMM well, it can boost:
- repeat customers.
Social media marketing will help your company grow, and it will help establish you as an authority in your field.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
When you post about your business, whether it’s about products or services, on social media, you’re using SMM. Posting social media content for your business allows you and your company to reach out to new potential customers, while also allowing you to stay in touch with your existing customers.
Social media for business is all about engaging people, whether they’re customers yet or not.
While not the only form of e-marketing or digital marketing, social media marketing has become an increasingly important business tool. You can use social media to reach varied demographics, depending on the social media sites you use for marketing.
The Pew Research Center looks at social media trends, including the age ranges of the people using each platform. According to some early 2018 data, here are the most common variances you can expect to reach on each of the bigger names in social media.
What does the data tell us?
- Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter – These three social media sites are most popular with people ranging between the ages of 18 and 24.
- Facebook – Facebook is the one site that is popular among people of almost every age, though it’s low-rated for those 65 and older.
- Pinterest – Pinterest is a place for posting pictures with links, and it’s popular with women, as opposed to men.
- LinkedIn – If your company is trying to reach college graduates or people from higher-income households, LinkedIn is the place to be.
This list is obviously not a comprehensive collection of social media sites. But it gives you an understanding of how marketing on these sites will help reach your audience. That’s why it’s important to know your target market before listing your business on too many social media sites.
Also, you may find that a social media site is more popular with a specific demographic. That doesn’t mean that people living in different areas at various levels of income aren’t using the same tools.
Paying attention to social media trends is a must. They can change, and there are often predictions about possible trends each new year.
Trends we see
- Sharing viral articles
- Building trust (through communicating with followers)
- Becoming an influencer
- Using social media ads
- Increased use of live streaming or sharing videos
Each of these things has a way of attracting people to your social media pages.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Some social media sites are more popular than others. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are three of the best to get started with when you delve into the world of social media branding. There are many benefits to social media marketing.
While last year’s Pew research tallies showed that YouTube beat out Facebook as the top contender for the attention of adults in social media, Facebook is still in second. While YouTube is a great place to post videos, Facebook offers so much more.
With over a billion users on Facebook, acquiring a business page on this social media giant offers you a chance to reach lots of people of all ages. How you reach your specific market will depend on what you share (everyone loves memes, but only certain demographics may find interest in live videos or some of the other Facebook marketing options.
Not only can you share videos, photos, and words with people via Facebook – Facebook offers you a venue for paid advertising, through post boosts and more. Because of all of the algorithm changes constantly being put into place, organic reach is slim to none on Facebook – making paid advertising a must if you want your business noticed.
Instagram is all about photos and hashtags. People love to get a peek behind the scenes of other people’s lives, and into the backdoor of businesses as well.
Instagram is the adult version of Snapchat, although both are more popular with teens and folks in their early twenties. Instagram offers a chance for businesses to share an inner look at products and services. Under the ownership of the Facebook empire, it’s easy to cross-post between the two as well.
Instagram marketing starts by setting up a business account (which is easy to do if you’re already on Facebook). Like Facebook business pages, your Instagram business account will give you instant access to real-time analytics and insights that let you know which posts people are paying attention to.
Twitter might not have as many benefits as Facebook, but Twitter for businesses allows you to get your business name out there to more people. It also allows you to add other Twitter users to lists that you name (so it’s easier to find new customers, established customers, and more).
You can still share photos, and you can say what you need to say. Not too long ago, Twitter even extended the number of characters for posts. You still can’t post an unlimited diatribe, like on Facebook, but you can use hashtags to get your posts noticed.
Twitter marketing is all about “impressions.” If you want people to help you get the word out with Twitter, you need to post content they will want to retweet.
You can do that by:
- Including links in your posts – People are more likely to retweet something that might be beneficial to their own followers, such as a link to a well-written article.
- Including trendy info in your posts – People love to share the stuff that everyone is talking about. If you’re sharing up-to-the-minute news posts (even entertainment news) and the latest memes, your stuff will get retweeted.
Even if it’s not your original content (like someone else’s meme or a news link to a national story) getting retweeted from your original post, it’s still your business name that is reaching more Twitter users.
The Rest of the Social Media Marketing Channels
There are far more than three social media sites, and you may want to have your business on others. Each social media site has some sort of benefits when it comes to businesses.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is an ideal place to market with business professionals.
- Pinterest: Pinterest is a place where everyone saves the things they want to go back to often.
- YouTube: YouTube is a place for videos, about anything and everything.
- Google+: Google+ is the underdog of the top social media sites.
- Tumblr: Tumblr is the place to blog without having an actual blog.
Building a Social Media Marketing Campaign
Before you start setting up your accounts your social media marketing strategy needs to start with planning. You will need a specific goal, or more than one goal to set so that you have a completely clear concept of what you want to accomplish with your social media marketing.
A social media marketing plan will do one or more of the following:
- Marketing on social media boosts traffic, which can boost sales (online and off).
- Marketing online, even on social media sites, gives a boost to your SEO, which can land you on the front page of search engines.
- You’ll get a better look at who your audience really is by marketing on social media. The specific site’s insights will help you see who’s looking and who’s interacting.
- You’ll build a better relationship with current clients/customers while attracting new people to your business.
- Marketing on social media has become a key ingredient in customer service – it’s one more way customers and potential customers can reach out to your business.
- You are building brand loyalty through social media branding – which means repeat customers.
What Content Should Your Business Be Posting?
What you post when it comes to your social media usage will make or break your business page. It helps to do some research to know a little bit about what people like on each particular site. Furthermore, it also helps to experiment by trying different posts and watching the analytics and insights.
Here are some ideas for posts that work on almost all social media sites:
- Photos – From product photos to employee photos, people want to see the inner workings of your business. Social media lets them see what you have to offer without leaving the comfort of their homes. Also, it opens up a whole world of virtual businesses.
- Interesting Posts – Let people know what your business is up to. Share new ideas with them. Give them information on what the future holds for your business before new products and services are launched.
- Links – Share links to your website, your blog posts, other reputable sites that have something to do with your line of business, and any other links that seem valuable to your business and your customers.
- Bargains – Use social media marketing to let people know when you have products on sale, give them coupons and discount codes, and even run contests that allow people to win free products.
Once Again, What Is Social Media Marketing?
If your business is customer-driven, social media marketing means the difference between reaching a few customers and reaching a few hundred, or even a few thousand customers.
What is social media marketing? It’s a tool that will help you build a better rapport with your current clientele. Further attracting new people to your business. It’s a way to be more transparent as well.
Businesses that aren’t on social media attract far fewer customers. Businesses that aren’t even online can only market locally.
If all you have is a business website and a business email, how are people going to find you? The social media market opens you up from a local market to a global market.
Start Your Social Media Marketing Campaign Today
Now that you know the benefits of social media marketing, it’s time to plan your own campaign.
Start by determining which social media sites (one to three to start with) fit your demographic and start posting. If you post it, someone will read it, and if you post something good, they’ll share it!
Now that we’ve answered, “what is social media marketing?” do you know if your business is doing it right?
Let us know in the comments which social media sites are your favorite!