What is Social Media Marketing in 2019
Here I am sitting on my desk, trying to understand what social media marketing is all about. So I made some research and I learned that social media marketing requires strategy and creativity. While it may seem overwhelming its’ importance cannot be overstated, as 97% of marketers are using social media and 78% of brands sales outsell their peers because they use social media. I discovered that 78% of businesses have dedicated teams for their social media campaigns. To understand social media marketing we need to look at what social media marketing definition is.
Social media marketing refers to a process whereby businesses of all sizes gain attention through social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and others. They do so by creating and sharing content on these platforms to achieve their marketing and branding goals. Through activities like posting of texts, images and other contents that generate audience engagement, businesses can gain brand authority over their competitors.
Because great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, creating devoted brand advocates can even drive leads and sales. It is very important to understand and know how to use social media for marketing. Worry not because we’ve got you and you will learn everything you need to know about social media marketing.
Despite the fact that the benefits of using social media marketing are numerous, about 50% of small businesses are not using social media, and 20% do not have plans of using social media to market their products.
‘if anyone pushes back about social RIO, ask your marketing team if they are still buying prints.’
Your customers are already engaging with other brands through social media, and if you are not doing the same then you are missing out on a lot. So, let us look at some of the easy marketing strategies which will be of use. When setting your social media marketing goals, it will be reasonable to set SMART goals ( specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) and choose the right channel.
Choose the right channel
How to choose your social media channels: Audience and Competitors:
You have to ask yourself two important questions before choosing a channel to use when developing your social media marketing strategy:
- Where are my customers?
- Where are my competitors?
To know where your customers are you will need to research the demographics of the various social media channel and choose the channel that suits your target audience’s demographics, interest, and online behavior. From the demographics, you will know which age group or gender is your target market.
Every social media channel will give you a breakdown of their target audience demographic. For example, you will find mostly teenagers on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram while most older people of 60+ years use LinkedIn. You should also keep an eye on industry reports and surveys that can reveal valuable information about your competitors.
How to choose your social media channels: Resources, Time and Company type:
The resources you have at your disposal and the time you have for social media management will influence your choice of channel. What if resources are tight and time is an issue? Then it is best to create one or two relevant social media accounts and manage them effectively than creating multiple channels which might not be properly managed and updated with quality posts. Because according to Ian Cleary ‘we spend 80% of our time creating content and only 15% sharing it’.
When it comes to choosing your channel, the type company you manage will play a vital role because choosing the right channel which suits your company type will increase your chances of launching a successful marketing campaign. For example, your company is a B2B (business-to-business), it might be best to create a LinkedIn presence and target your content to the professional world. And if your company is B2C (business to consumer), then you might consider creating a Facebook or an Instagram page because that is where your target audience is.
You will save yourself a lot of time and resources when you choose the right channel because you already know what you need to launch a successful marketing campaign and you will equally know the contents to share and where. It is usually advisable to use the 90/10% rule. Share 90% of other peoples content and only 10% of yours on your channel.
Social listening is the act of monitoring digital conversations on social media platforms to understand what customers are saying about your brand and industry online. Marketing teams use social media listening for community management, such as identifying customers’ pain points and providing direct consumer response to questions, comments, and complaints as regard to their brand. It is also used to give feedback that could help differentiate their brand, product, and services from their competitor’s.
Advantages of using social listening:
Using social listening as a social media marketing strategy is beneficial cause it will help you learn how people think about your brand compared to your competitors. It gives you important insights on where you fit in the market. You will know what your competitors are up to in real time. You will know if they are launching new products, developing new marketing campaigns or they are taking a smack from the press.
Through social listening, you can identify brand influencers and advocates for your brand or business. You will know who your natural brand advocates are and on how to collaborate with them. You will equally know which influencer to use on your brand so as to make the influencer’s followers like and comment on your product.
Limitations you may encounter using social listening:
There is no 100% guarantee that your audience will be talking about your product even if they loved it very much. So while social listening tools can be extremely useful, it is important to note that they should not be considered as the first and final step when measuring success. Social listening tools will be most useful when combined with other tactics.
Organic Social Media Marketing
Another strategy you might want to consider during your social media marketing course is organic marketing. Organic marketing is a process of using free tools provided by each social media network to build and interact with a social community by sharing posts and responding to customers comments. It is not always advisable for small businesses to pay for marketing on social media. Reasons being that you need to attract natural advocates who are faithful to your brand and can recommend their family and friends too. You also need to create a trustworthy relationship with your audience and earn their loyalty. And am pretty sure you wouldn’t want to rob yourself from that.
A company using organic marketing will reap the benefits of having a personal relationship with its audience, and as a result of that, you will know what they like and do not like about your brand. It could be the quality, quantity, or your services. With such information, you will know where to improve and what to improve on.
But on the other hand, one of the truths everyone has to face with the advent of social media being free is that it is not actually free. If you want to achieve your marketing goals with a time frame, then it will be reasonable to consider using paid social media marketing, where your brand will be taken at the doorsteps of your audience because organic marketing is plummeting. Nonetheless, it will be best if you combine the two.
Paid Social Media Marketing
Paid social media marketing is the direct opposite of organic marketing. In paid social media marketing brands pay companies to advertise them on social media platforms and are usually charged as PPC (pay per click). Because organic marketing is on a decline, most companies with the income go in for paid social media advertising because it is efficient. It is not reasonable for small companies to use paid social media marketing cause it is usually survival of the fittest as brands have their ultimatum which is to pay to play, or you step down.
Paid social marketing will fit any budget and gives you complete control over who sees your ads. On social media, every platform has its price list and are flexible enough to suit every budget, and you can easily customize the demographics to suit your target audience. Thus, paid marketing is the most effective marketing because utilities are well optimized.
One disadvantage with paid marketing is the harassment and bullying you might be exposed to on social media especially if your products do not meet expectations. So before you consider using paid media marketing then, you have to make up your mind not to take into consideration bullying and harassments from your audience.
‘We live in a world that a magazine is an iPod that doesn’t work.’
The use of social media is on the rise, and millions of people are joining social media platforms every day. So it is important to undergo a social media marketing course because the only way to know the ins and outs of social media is by taking a social media marketing class.