Social media platforms have become a highly powerful marketing tool that allows businesses to make their brands more visible, generate more sales, and promote better customer engagement. In the early days of social media marketing, the goal was to channel more online users towards business websites. Driving this traffic is still a goal, but there are other highly effective ways these platforms can be exploited.
Currently, the biggest social media marketing platforms are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Twitter. As of 2020, over 3.6 billion people were using social media around the world.
So for businesses of any size, a failure to pursue social media marketing can mean losing your competitive edge by missing out on key opportunities to connect with audiences. The main benefits of social media marketing include:
- Making your brand more visible
- Affordable marketing
- Driving more inbound traffic
- Building rank and authority
- Achieving higher conversion rates
- Delivering better customer satisfaction and engagement
- Gaining market insights
So for those looking to grow their business, how should they go about their social media marketing?
Various types of content can be created for posting and sharing on social media sites. On YouTube and Vimeo, you should look to creating videos while on Pinterest and Instagram photos work best. Facebook is more flexible, allowing for almost any form of media to be shared.
Keep in mind that you need to match your choice of content and platform to what best appeals to your target audience. You need to factor in such demographics as gender and age to figure out what platforms you will find an audience much like your current clientele, then tailor your content to match their interest. Conduct keyword research to include in your content and ensure it is interesting and value-adding. Also, remember to publish content regularly and engage with users that leave comments.
When people create their accounts on social media sites, they share a good deal of information. This data allows businesses to set up more targeted marketing that will see that their content or campaigns are viewed by people that best match their desired audience. You can use platforms like Facebook to target a wider audience or go for a more niche platform like LinkedIn for professionals.
You can choose a variety of ways in which to target these audiences. It could be in terms of their location, or particular interest that matches the nature of your business. However you do it, you can market to these audiences in a variety of ways. This can include banner ads, promotional videos, and sales notices. You can make this networking as broad or narrow as you want, giving you greater control over your audience and marketing budget.
Sharing Curated Links
Creating interesting and original content should be at the core of your online marketing campaign. But it does not all have to come from just you. Look up other thought leaders in your niche sector that publish value-adding content. Share this content on your social media platforms. Offer a mix of articles, video and pictorial content to add variety. This link building can not only aid in building trust but also connect with a wider audience and help with building rank.
There are dedicated review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp that give customers a platform to voice their opinion on businesses. They allow users to post detailed opinion pieces and rate these businesses. It is important to check on these sites for profiles that may belong to your business. Many consumers make use of these reviews to make their purchasing decisions.
It is part of reputational management to ensure that you monitor the public’s opinion of your business. How you respond, particularly to negative reviews can strongly impact your profile. Note that even mainstream social sites like Facebook and Google now feature review functions.
This is a highly valuable aspect of social media marketing. Most platforms offer some form of analytics so that accounts can monitor such activity as following and click through rates. They can help to view how your page is generally doing and the performance of targeted campaigns.
Tracking this data helps to determine what marketing efforts are proving most profitable. With time you can then refine your efforts and have a better understanding of what your audience best responds to. You will also learn which platforms and what content is performing best for your business.
This recent trend capitalises on the sizable following of certain prominent social media users. These people are considered opinion leaders and can strongly influence their audiences. They often take time to cultivate an image amongst their audience or following as amateur experts in certain niches, making them more trusted than other regular users. Influencers are particularly common in the fashion and beauty segments. When they publish a post in favour of a product or brand, it can help boost visibility and sales.
Tracking The Competition
Just as you keep gauging how your social media marketing efforts are performing, so too should you keep an eye on the competition. From learning when they are launching a new product to issuing a recall notice, social media is a great way to track what your competitors are up to. Pay special attention to those whose marketing efforts seem to be attracting more positive attention than your own. Look into what elements you can copy and excel at.
Paid Content Promotion
All of the big social media platforms offer different types of paid promotion of content to their users. This is a service which businesses can utilise to put themselves in front of relevant audiences, which will generate additional exposure for their brand, products and / or services.
Paid promotion of content is a great way of building your presence on social media and ensures that you achieve a level of visibility which is very difficult to replicate by building a page purely through organic methods.
The kind of ads which the platforms offer all come with a different purpose and end goal, so it is always advised to research which ad type best suits your requirements and then develop the content for your ad around that, in order to achieve the best results.