Nearly half of the world’s population was active on social media networks in 2020. The number of users on social media is just staggering plus it is the fastest growing trend in the history of the world. That's why for any organisation selling products or services, marketing on the social media networks is critical and can be promoted either locally, regionally, nationally, or across the globe.
Not all businesses are maximising the benefits of social media marketing. To quote a study, 50% of small businesses are not using social media to promote their business. In addition, there is an additional 25% who don't plan to use social media in the future either.
If this includes you, we urge you to keep on reading. You’re about to learn how social media marketing can help build your business.
Social media marketing makes use of social media platforms to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. Different activities in social media marketing are publishing great content on your social media profiles, listening to and engaging your followers, analyzing your results, and running social media advertisements.
The difference between social media and traditional channels like print television or radio is it is considerably more complicated to get set up and deliver the results. Social media does not offer a one-size-fits-all solution but instead needs to be customised depending on the objective. There are many different social media marketing strategies and there are multiple social media networks themselves — Identifying which platform to use requires a deep understanding of your target audience in order to drive value and create the strongest impact with your messaging.
Let us then understand the five core pillars of Social Media Marketing:
Before diving in and publishing posts on your social media channels, it is important that you establish your social media strategy. First step is to define your objectives. Brainstorm on how social media can achieve your business goals. Some businesses use social media for increasing their brand awareness, others use it for driving website traffic and sales. Social media can also help you generate engagement around your brand, create a community, and serve as a customer support channel for your customers.
Choose a social media platform that you will focus on. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat are the major social media platforms There are also smaller and up-and-coming platforms, such as Tumblr, Tik Tok, and Anchor, and social messaging platforms, such as Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat. It is wise to pick the 2-3 platforms that your target audience is on rather than to be on all platforms.
Identify the type of content you want to share and the type of content that will attract your target audience. Consider the variety of content that you will use such as images, videos, or links. Do you intend to be educational or entertaining? We suggest that you read our other blog - A Guide to Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy as a good place to start in formulating your strategy . Keep in mind as well that your strategy needs to be dynamic as it doesn’t have to be fixed forever; you can always change your strategy according to how your social media posts perform.
2. Planning & Publishing
Sharing a blog post, an image, or a video on a social media platform is the art of publishing content just like how you share on your personal Facebook profile. But it is important to plan your content ahead of time instead of spontaneous creation and publishing. This will ensure that you are maximising your reach on social media by publishing great content that your audience likes, with the right timing and frequency.
There are now a variety of social media scheduling tools that can help you publish your content automatically at your preferred time. This saves you time and allows you to reach your audience when they are most likely to engage with your content.
3. Listening and Engagement
Part of what you need to monitor with your target audience is the social media conversations about your brand so it is important that you listen and you keep them engaged. Customers will comment on your social media posts, tag you in their social media posts, or message you directly.
At times, customers might even talk about your brand on social media without letting you know. This is more crucial and you have to think of ways to capture scenarios like these. If it’s a positive comment, you get a chance to surprise and delight them. If it is a negative experience/comment about your brand, you should offer support and correct a situation before it gets worse.
It could be a challenge to manually check all your notifications across all the social media platforms. We recommend that you use a social media listening and engagement tool that aggregates all your social media mentions and messages, including posts that didn’t tag your business’s social media profile.
As the quote goes, “what gets measured gets done”. Knowing how your social media marketing is performing needs to be quantified. Are you reaching more people on social media than last month? How many positive mentions do you get a month? How many people used your brand’s hashtag on their social media posts?
Since the social media platforms themselves provide a basic level of such information, we recommend that you use social media analytics tools to get more in-depth analytics information or to easily compare across social media platforms.
A key benefit of social media marketing is its reach. We have highlighted how big social media is. Doing social media advertising allows you to reach a wider audience than those who are following you.
Social media advertising is powerful. You can specify exactly who to display your ads to. You can customise and filter the target audience that you reach by specifying their demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.
We recommend that when you are running many social media advertising campaigns at the same time, consider using a social media advertising tool to make bulk changes, automate processes, and optimise your ads.
The benefits of Social Media Marketing include;
1. Increased Brand Awareness
Start your social media marketing by creating social media profiles for your business and begin interacting with others. Rally your employees, business partners, and sponsors to "like" and "share" your page. By simply having people interact with your content will increase brand awareness and begin building your reputation as a business. It helps your SEO as well. Each post that is shared will be introduced to a new network of individuals, which can lead them to becoming potential customers, and the more people who know about your business, the better. A recent study shows that by investing only a few hours per week, over 91% of marketers claimed that their social marketing efforts greatly increased their exposure. There is no doubt that by having a social media page your brand will benefit, and with regular use it can generate a wider audience for your business.
2. More Inbound Traffic
By marketing on social media you can effectively open your business to a wider variety of versatile consumers all over the world. Every social media profile you add to your strategy is an opportunity for your website to be discovered, and every piece of content you post is another chance to acquire a new customer. Publishing your content on as many platforms as possible allows these potential customers to organically reach your business. For instance, perhaps someone in an older demographic of consumers will search for your website using a particular keyword on Facebook, but a millennial could begin their search by using a different social media platform entirely, because they search for products totally differently.
3. Improved Search Engine Rankings
While social media doesn't directly increase search engine rankings, a study states that more than 58% of marketers who have been using social media for one year or longer still see improved search engine rankings. Sprinkle your social media posts with keywords that will help you rank. This will increase your traffic and will help generate positive results for your business. Having a variety of content such as blogs, infographics, case studies, business information, and employee photos will make your business's social media profile become interesting and credible. By consistently posting quality content, you'll begin to build a social media community where followers will "like" and "share" your content. This will give you more opportunities to get in front of industry influencers who will write about your business and provide backlinks - which will help to directly increase search engine rankings.
4. Higher Conversion Rates
Social media marketing allows your business to give a positive impression by giving it a human factor. When brands are interactive by sharing content, commenting, and posting statuses on social media, it personalises a brand. Over 51% of marketers claimed that taking the time to develop relationships with consumers showed positive results in sales. The better impression you make on a visitor, the more likely they are to think of your business when the need for your product or services arises. Studies have also shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. When a brand is interactive online, consumers who follow your brand's accounts often begin to trust your business more.
5. Better Customer Satisfaction
Social media connects you to your target audience and helps you communicate with them. By shaping the voice of your company through these platforms it develops a personality. Customers appreciate knowing that when they post comments on your pages, they will receive a personalised response rather than an automated message. When you exert effort to acknowledge each comment it shows how attentive your company is to your customer’s needs. This allows your company to provide the best experience and be responsive.
6. Improved Brand Loyalty
Developing a loyal customer base is one of the main goals of almost any businesses. It is important to regularly engage with customers and start developing a bond with them. Customers see social media platforms as a channel where you can serve them and as an avenue for them to communicate directly with your business.
7. More Brand Authority
For your brand to become more authoritative, customer satisfaction and brand loyalty are both important. Regular interaction with customers shows that your business cares about customer satisfaction, and is readily available to answer any questions that customers might have. Satisfied customers usually turn to social media to express their opinion and are very eager to spread the word about a great product or service. Once a customer mentions your business on social media promoting your business, it shows new visitors your value and brand authority. Obtaining a few satisfied customers who are vocal about their positive purchase experience, turns them into a promoter for your business.
Social media advertising is possibly the lowest priced advertising you can buy.. Signing up and creating a profile is free for almost all the social networking platforms, and any paid promotions you decide to invest in are relatively low cost compared to other marketing tactics. If you decide to use paid advertising on social media, we suggest that you start small so you can test and measure the results. Fine tune your strategy as you go along and make incremental increases in your budget. Just by spending a small amount of time and money, there will be a significant increase in your conversion rates and eventually your return on investment will increase.
9. Gain Marketplace Insights
One of the most valuable benefits of social media is marketplace insight. Get to know the thoughts and needs of your customers by directly talking to them. By monitoring the activity on your profiles, you will be able to see customer' interests and opinions that you might not otherwise be aware of if your business didn't have a social media presence. Social media can serve as a complementary research tool that can help gain information and will aid you in understanding your industry. When you build a large following, it can be used as an additional tool to analyse the demographics of your customers.
10. Thought Leadership
You can establish your E.A.T. (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) by posting insightful and well-written content on your social media channels. It is a great way to be considered as a leader in your industry. Be sure to utilise social media platforms and build your presence so you establish yourself as an expert. When your social media campaign is aligned with other marketing efforts, your skills will be highlighted and followers will look up to you.. Always strive to communicate, connect with your audience, share content, and promote your authority. Being able to directly connect with your customers creates a relationship that they will value, allowing your company to become a thought leader.
We hope this helps you understand the benefits of doing Social Media Marketing. There should be nothing holding you back in trying out Social Media Marketing for your business. If you need further assistance, DigitalxMarketing can lend a helping hand to get you started.