Social Media Marketing
What is it, why is it important to businesses, and what are some tips and tricks? Learn this and more in our blog!
Social media is a big part of 21st century society. The average person spends 144 minutes scrolling through social media platforms each day. With nearly half of the global population using social media, there is no doubt this is a valuable tool for marketers. But why, exactly, is social media so important? What are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of content posted to social media? We’ll answer these questions and more in this ultimate guide to social media marketing. Whether you run a small startup or a burgeoning international business, this article will offer some valuable advice and insights for your digital marketing strategy.
Let’s dive in!
What Is Social Media Marketing and Why Is It Important for My Business?
Social media marketing is an umbrella term best defined as the process of creating and sharing content across various social media platforms. Some of the most popular sites for marketing businesses include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. No two social media platforms are alike; each have different audiences, and varying numbers of daily users. Twitter, for example, which is best for B2B and B2C marketing, is used primarily by millennials, and has an average of 186 million daily active users worldwide. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is used by millennials, generation X, and baby boomers, and is best for creating and nurturing B2B relationships.
Compared to traditional marketing, social media is fast-paced and dynamic. The industry is always changing, and marketers are forced to adapt quickly. Here are just a few of the benefits of social media marketing for businesses:
Increases Brand Awareness. When you see the Nike checkmark, you know immediately what it means. Shoes, sportswear, pop culture…all these words come to mind. What Nike has done is create a brand that is recognizable worldwide, and all it takes is one simple symbol. Brand awareness is the process of increasing a company’s visibility, meaning increasing the number of consumers who understand what your business is known for. Social media is a surefire way to build brand awareness, as it provides plenty of opportunity for consumers to engage and interact with a brand. Marketers can achieve this by posting direct links back to the company website, polling the audience, and posting content that is meaningful and insightful.
Increases Inbound Traffic. The best part about social media is that it is a completely free tool that leads people directly to your website. By linking to key pages like the contact, pricing, or about us page, you entice the user to learn more about your products and services, and increase the likelihood of a conversion.
Helps Boost Customer Satisfaction. Social media is important because it allows a company’s personality to shine. Consumers are more likely to show interest in a product or service if the brand appeals to them on a personal or emotional level. Cultivating and propagating this image through social media is a key piece to building lasting relationships with contacts. Customers appreciate getting responses on comments they make online, or receiving direct messages from staff. Developing a relationship with customers on social media shows that the brand and team is attentive to customer needs and desires.
Saves Money. Social media marketing is perhaps one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising in today’s day and age. Sure, there are paid upgrades available on each platform which allow for more detailed posts and visibility, but generally the basic free version of any social media platform will get you a long way. Although social media ROI can be tricky to quantify, research shows social media generates a significant positive ROI.
Provides Valuable Market Insights. Most social media platforms come with a basic analytics software built in. With this information, marketers can evaluate which posts were most effective, where consumers are coming from, and how they are interacting with content. This data can be used to further hone and improve the overall marketing strategy.
Some Tips for Posting to Social Media
Social media marketing is truly an art. Like any art form, it requires creativity, patience, and research. Social media is one of the most effective ways to connect with your pre-existing followers, and build relationships with new contacts. Here are a few essential tips and tricks to ensure a successful social media marketing strategy.
First, Identify Your Audience. The first step to promoting a business on social media is having a thorough understanding of the audience the content is being directed at. Where are they located? How old are they? Which industries do they come from? Which languages do they speak? What is trending in their network right now? Knowing the answers to each of these questions will make for a much more targeted marketing effort, especially when posting across different platforms.
Be Human. The best social media marketers address the audience as if they were an old friend. Social media is an informal platform. There is room to express one’s creative side, and connect with customers and prospects on a personal level. In an age of digital media, your brand’s personality is a key differentiating factor. Avoid using technical jargon or lingo, and don’t be afraid to let your human side shine by sharing content from real people at the office. Learn more about how to write meaningful content.
Automate When Appropriate. Automation is a blessing when it comes to social media posting, but it must be used in the right way. Mass posting and automatic replies make your company look passive and indifferent. Automations should be used to help marketers save time and streamline processes, but should not interfere with the customer-brand relationship. An example of when to use an automation would be by using a posting scheduler, which allows you to upload posts ahead of time, and have them be posted at certain times throughout the week. When it comes to one-on-one communication, this should always be done by a human being.
Something important to consider when doing social media is image sizes. Images can render differently under various platforms, for more information, see Kicksta’s article on Image sizes.
Optimize Your Company Profile to Maximize Engagement. For the user, social media marketing is as much about the content as it is about the user experience. A good company profile has a short, catchy, and succinct bio, a unique and intriguing horizontal photograph for the banner image, and appropriately placed links and sub-pages. The goal is to ultimately lead the user back to important pages on the website, like pricing, contact us, or the services description page. A few quick tips for optimizing your profile page include:
● Adding relevant keywords to the bio
● Using industry related hashtags in posts
● Connecting with or following pages, companies, and groups that are related to the industry
● Adding photos of the team so users can put a face to the name
● Using images that are the right size and format – Here is a guide for Social Media Image Sizes.
Stay Away from Sensitive Topics. Despite what your personal beliefs may be, it is never a good idea to post about issues like politics, race, religion, or any other topic that may cause unrest or discomfort for the audience. Businesses should remain objective on social media – save the opinion pieces for your personal channels.
Use Built-In Analytics Tools to Your Advantage. Social media is a powerful tool. Most platforms offer free and in-depth analytical tools to help marketers gain valuable insights about their audience. But this information alone doesn’t mean much. It must be extracted, combined with other data, and analyzed to have any sort of meaning. A great way to extract valuable data from social media metrics is by creating a clear set of weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual goals, and comparing them to those data.
Don’t Ignore Negative Feedback. People will say bad things about your brand online. You can’t make everyone happy in life – it’s inevitable. The most important thing is not to ignore the comment or post, and to not take it personally. How you react and respond to negative comments or feedback on social media can make or break the company reputation. Take the time to respond to comments one-on-one, and ensure customers are satisfied with the response before closing the issue.
5 Fast Facts About Social Media Marketing
Here are 5 interesting facts about social media marketing to bring to the team at your next meeting:
1. Did you know that 71% of consumers who have had a positive customer service experience on social media are likely to recommend the brand to others?
2. While 80% of companies believe they are providing an exceptional social media customer service, only 8% of consumers say they agree with this.
3. Facebook is the most widely used social media platform, with 68% of U.S. adults reporting they use the service.
4. 91% of all social media users access their social platforms on mobile devices.
5. India has experienced the largest increase of social media consumers since 2019, with 130 million new users – an increase of a whopping 48%.
Social media marketing is an essential piece of any digital marketer’s strategy. As technology evolves, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn evolve along with it. It is a fast-paced world, but one that is certainly worth it. If you need help formulating a social media marketing strategy that works for your business, get in touch with us today at PaintedRobot.
This article is part of an ongoing series; The Ultimate Guide for Content Marketing. Please see our other articles in this series for more details.