In social media marketing, you use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube to reach your audience and drive traffic to your blog or website. In social media marketing, you share content on your social media profiles and analyze its impact on your marketing goals.
Why is social media so important?
- Social media is a way to connect with your audience.
- Social media is a way to share information and content.
- Social media is a way to get feedback from your customers.
- Social media is a way to tell your business story.
- Social media allows you to reach your audiences where they already spend time online.
- Using social media helps you bring in more sales.
What social media marketing can do for you?
Benefits of social media marketing in your overall marketing strategy:
Social media marketing helps you in brand awareness through regular posting and sharing with your target audience.
By sharing content that people find relevant and useful, you’re encouraging them to share it with their own network, which broadens your reach to new audiences.
The more people who visit your website, the more opportunities you have to convert them into leads or customers.
Social media is a great way to make this happen because the more times a piece of content is shared on social media, the higher its chances are of appearing in search engines and attracting visitors back to your site.
Sales and revenue growth.
Social media helps companies generate leads that turn into sales by giving them opportunities for direct communication with existing customers or prospects as well as providing a place where they can interact with their brand online.
Thus building trust among communities through positive customer experiences.
How does social media work?
Social media is an amazing way of staying in touch with your customers, building relationships, and creating buzz about new products or services.
You can also use it to generate leads from people who don’t know you yet – which is why audience size matters!
What is currently the most popular social network?
Facebook is currently the most popular social networking site. It started in February 2004 in Cambridge MA, the USA.
By 2005, high school students were allowed to use Facebook, by September 2006 everyone aged 13 and older started using it.
In addition to your personal profile, Facebook allows you to create fan pages for businesses and interests.
Fan pages are places where you can promote yourself and companies, products, celebrities, or anything else that interests you.
How to use social media marketing?
Social media marketing can be used in several ways:
- Paid advertising – This is probably the most common way people think of when they hear “social media marketing” and it’s probably the most expensive.
- DIY social media marketing – You might have heard that social media marketing is free, but it’s not. It will cost you your time. If your time is valuable, then it will cost you money to do it yourself.
- Outsourced social media management – Hiring someone to run your social media accounts for you can be expensive too, but if you’re looking for real results, outsourcing may be worth it.
How do I choose the right social media platform for my business?
There are a lot of social media platforms out there.
How do you choose the right one for your business?
Here are some tips:
Choose a platform where your target audience is.
Your target audience is the group of people who you want to reach with your social media posts and ads. If this group of people uses Facebook, then it makes sense to use Facebook as well.
If they use Instagram, then you’ll want to be on that platform too. Do your research into where your target audience is spending their time online and choose accordingly.
Choose a platform that you’re comfortable with.
This can include everything from how easy the platform is to learn and use, how much time it takes to manage content on it, as well as whether or not it has features that work best for your marketing needs like live streaming or eCommerce capabilities.
Choose a platform that fits your content and marketing style.
Some platforms are better suited for certain types of businesses than others; for example, brands with highly visual products may find Pinterest more effective than Twitter because their images will be showcased more prominently there than in the text-heavy feed on Twitter.
Pay attention to which platforms the best showcase what you have to offer and put most of your efforts there first before branching out elsewhere if needed further down the line
Top 10 social media applications
Facebook is great for service-oriented companies because you can:
- Generate new leads
- Build brand awareness
- Engage with customers (both current and potential)
- Promote blog posts (which can be a great way to generate leads)
- Build a community around your business
Pinterest is a social media network where users can share images.
Users can also “pin” their favorite images to virtual pinboards and collaborate on them with other users.
The company calls its service a visual discovery engine because it wants to inspire others to find ideas like recipes, home and style inspiration, and more.
The Pinterest Smart Feed is a personalized content feed based on your past activity, interactions, and interests.
In a nutshell, you can keep up with your friends and family’s photos by following their personal profiles. You can also follow major brands and organizations, celebrities, and even your favorite animals.
Another advantage of the app is that it adds filters to improve your pictures’ color quality. You don’t have to be a Photoshop expert or hire one because Instagram has it all.
Once you choose the perfect filter for a picture you captured, you can add it as an icon on your smartphone so that every time you take another photo, the same filter will be available to touch up the image right away.
Twitter is a great way to keep up with your favorite teams and sports stars, but it’s also a great way to keep up with your friends.
The pros of Twitter (or at least the ones I see) are that you can stay updated on what’s going on in people’s lives, and you can find out about new things that are happening.
You should use Twitter at least once per day, so that you’re not going weeks without checking it.
Social media is all about sharing your experiences with others, and Untappd allows you to share your drinking experience.
You create an account, input the name of a beer, and rate it on a scale of 1-5 stars.
Then it keeps track of what beers you’ve consumed and when.
It even keeps track of the types that you’ve tried the most!
If you’re looking to advance your career and find new job opportunities and connections in the business world, LinkedIn is the top social media application for you.
You can research companies, see what they’re up to, find relevant jobs as well as who’s hiring.
You can also lookup people and see their backgrounds. This allows you to make informed decisions about who you want to work with or who might be a good person to network with.
And when it comes to networking, LinkedIn does that well by allowing you to search for people in your area or industry and connect with them.
So, if there’s someone who works at the company where you’d like your dream job, why not reach out?
Snapchat is a social media app that allows you to share photos and videos.
These posts can only be viewed for 10 seconds before they disappear forever.
It’s great for managing your social media on mobile, building a following and engaging with your audience, communicating with other businesses, building brand identity, and creating a community around your business.
Social media marketing strategy
Your social media strategy is a list of tasks you plan to do on social media. It guides you and lets you know whether you’re doing it correctly or not. Your every post, reply, like, and comment should be guided by your social media strategy.
The more specific your strategy is, the better.
For example, instead of just saying that you have three objectives for the next quarter-increasing brand awareness, generating leads, and growing revenue by 10%.
You can get more specific:
Increasing brand awareness by 50%, generating 100 new leads from Twitter every month by using hashtags in all tweets, and growing revenue by 10% quarter-over-quarter by targeting existing customers with dynamic ads on Facebook.
Define your goals
Set a goal before you start, it’s important to define your goals in detail. To do this, make a list of all the things you want to achieve on social media and then convert them into SMART goals:
Specific —What exactly do you want to accomplish?
Measurable —How will you know when you achieve this goal?
Achievable —Is this goal realistic?
Relevant —Does this goal align with your other marketing efforts?
Time-bound —When will you meet this goal by?
There are many different social media goals you can set for your business.
Some examples include:
- Increase brand awareness
- Generate leads
- Grow website traffic
- Build loyalty and engagement with customers
- Create a community around your brand
- Create a content calendar
Your main aim as a business is to get your target audience to engage with your brand. As long as you create regular, planned posts and stick to them, this will happen for you.
Here’s how to build an effective content calendar:
- Set up the right scheduling tools
- Share your content across different social media platforms
- Use social media management tools
Now that we’ve gone through the basics of creating a content calendar, let’s take a look at some strategies for engaging people on specific social media channels.
Social media is more than just posting on a whim. It’s about listening, engaging, and driving action.
To achieve your marketing objectives, it’s essential to follow a defined process that allows you to create a content plan—and monitor how your social media channels are performing over time.
To start building an effective social media strategy, take the following steps:
- Perform a social media content audit.
- Develop buyer personas.
- Brainstorm content ideas (based on audience needs and pain points).
- Develop a content calendar (and stick to it).
- Develop a content promotion strategy (we have some tips about this below).
- Test and measure your results.
Creating Engaging Content for Social Media
One of the best ways to create engaging content for social media is by using visuals like videos, images, and infographics.
These are all great ways to engage your audience because they get straight to the point and make it easy for people to share your content.
The next step in creating engaging content for social media is creating unique and original content.
You want your audience to remember you so if you give them something new and different that they have never seen before then it will be more memorable than something that has been done over and over again.
Measuring Success With Social Analytics
Now that you know why analytics matter, let’s talk about some specific metrics you can measure.
Know what success looks like.
Before you can track anything, you need to understand your goals.
Social media analytics is most powerful when used to inform business and marketing strategies, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of how they should be applied to your company.
Use native analytics or third-party tools.
It’s helpful to use both native social media platforms (like Instagram Insights) and third-party tools (such as Buffer or Hootsuite) to help measure the impact of your social presence.
This lets you stay up-to-date with all the latest features, get insights on which content is performing best and identify any gaps in your strategy.
Be consistent with your metrics.
Measuring success is an ongoing process because we’re always learning more about what works and what doesn’t work for our brand.
Look at data from previous campaigns and use it to inform future strategies so that you can find ways to improve results over time!
How to set goals for your social media marketing efforts?
The problem with social media marketing is that it’s easy to get distracted by the wrong things. This is what happens when you don’t set goals for your social media efforts before you get started.
You see, setting goals will keep you working towards what really matters—not what everyone else seems to be doing on social media.
So let me ask you a simple question:
What do you want to achieve through your online presence?
No goal is too small or too big—as long as it’s realistic and achievable within a specific time frame.
For example, if your goal is to grow your audience (or increase sales), then think of how many new followers (or customers) you need in order to achieve this and how much time it should take.
Here are some examples of tangible goals:
How to analyze your competitors’ social media efforts
In this section, we will talk about what it means to analyze “competitor social media efforts”, why you would want to do it, and exactly how to do it in the most efficient way possible.
Why is competitor analysis important?
If you are a business owner who has not been living under a rock for the last decade then you know that having a Facebook fan page or an Instagram account is important (that is if your industry permits).
The question of whether or not to invest in social media marketing is no longer relevant.
But if everyone around you uses social media marketing then how would you know how good (or bad) your investment into this form of marketing actually is?
How would you know if your competition does better than you on social media and hence gets more customers than you do?
The most effective content types to use on each major platform.
Video is still effective in today’s market, particularly on Facebook and YouTube. Over 5 billion videos are watched each day on YouTube, with live streaming remaining a popular trend.
Short videos about your practice can be created for free by using your smartphone to film and post them.
They should be designed to engage people in order to build brand awareness and generate new patients from your social media audiences.
Images capture attention, perform well in News Feeds, and can be shared easily.
Keeping up with trends such as illustration posts will help you get more traffic from members of your audience who like visuals rather than reading long blocks of text or listening to audio files.
These are a great way to share data about industry topics that are relevant.
How to select which social media channels to focus on.
When it comes to social media marketing, one size doesn’t fit all.
Different channels are better suited for different types of content and differ in how they can be used.
Some platforms are used more by certain demographics than others, which means that you should decide what platforms to use based on which platforms your audience is using.
For example, if you want to target young adults between the ages of 16-22 with an upcoming advertising campaign, Instagram or Snapchat might be a good place to start.
The same goes for larger businesses: the bigger the team you have working on your social media presence, the more channels you can handle at once.
So how do you select which channels to focus on?
Before selecting any channels, audit what your competitors are doing online and make sure that their audiences aren’t a total overlap with yours.
If you see that they aren’t present on certain networks or that they don’t have much engagement (likes/comments/shares etc.) when they post there, work those into your strategy instead.
Why your visual content is important.
Even though social media marketing is in the form of text and visuals, remember that it’s all about marketing to the senses.
And one of the best ways to get people’s attention—and therefore, stand out—is to create engaging visual content. In fact, visual content is more likely than text alone.
- Engage your social media followers.
- Get shared across social platforms and websites.
- Be remembered by your audience.
- Appeal to mobile users (more than half of people report watching videos on mobile devices).
How to use video in your social media strategy.
There are a number of reasons to include video in your social media strategy.
Video allows you to tell a story, inspire viewers, teach them something new, entertain and delight them and promote your brand. All at the same time.
Video can also be used to create and develop personas, by showing what kind of company you are or the kinds of people you want to target.
Ways to differentiate your brand in the marketplace.
You can differentiate your brand by:
Don’t try to be something you’re not, and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Be true and honest in everything you do.
It’s important to maintain consistency throughout all of your marketing efforts, from the product or service itself to the customer experience to how you promote it all on social media.
If you post consistently on social media multiple times per day, stick with that schedule and keep it up over time.
When things go wrong or when customers have genuine concerns. Head issues off before they get bigger by responding quickly and directly on social media instead of letting them fester without a response or addressing problems behind closed doors in private.
Not being afraid to be different.
Think outside the box and do something unexpected that will really stand out in people’s minds—like this Southwest Airlines ad on Instagram that showed what it would look like if it was suddenly transformed into a “Dog airline.” Have fun with your content!
Tips for increasing engagement with your audience.
Here are some tips for how you can increase engagement with your audience:
Ask questions and provide a space for them to answer.
Questions in the title of the post or video, away from the main body text, will encourage people to share their thoughts with you.
Polls are an easy way to get feedback from your audience, plus they will engage more often than most other posts on social media.
Use visual content such as videos and images.
Visual content is much more likely to be shared than text-based content since it’s easier to consume.
Run contests with prizes that are relevant to your business or industry but also something that your audience wants, such as gift cards or exclusive access to information (like a “secret” recipe).
Contests are great at getting people interested in your brand and interacting with it!
Best practices for using images in social media posts.
- Only use high-quality images.
- Use images that are relevant to the message and easy to understand.
- Enhance images with tools like Canva, by adding text or other branded elements.
- Try to use unique images (not too generic), but be careful to avoid using copyrighted images you don’t have permission for!
- Use an image style guide so, your brand’s visual identity stays consistent across all channels and platforms
How do you determine the correct mix between organic and paid?
Social media marketing is a balancing act.
When you’re first getting started, it can feel like you need to pay for every post.
After all, social media users are notorious for being hesitant to engage with brands in general, let alone follow them or leave comments.
At the same time, there’s more than one way to leverage paid posts to grow your brand and company awareness on social media sites: everything from boosted posts to promoted accounts and more.
The trick is figuring out how much of each type of post should be organic (unpaid) vs paid.
There are so many variables when it comes to determining which posts should be organic vs paid that one rule won’t fit all situations.
That said, here are some guidelines for when you should pay for social media posts.
The pros and cons of a posting strategy that over-relies on paid distribution.
Your audience is out there on social media, but they may not know that your business exists and is relevant to their needs. If you rely only on the organic distribution of your content, you won’t reach them.
A paid social approach can get you in front of the right people and help you hit your goal for web traffic and conversions.
For example, if an e-commerce company wants to grow its email list by 25% in order to start a new sales campaign next month, it could use paid social to boost its blog content about the campaign or offer an assigned discount after a Facebook ad clicks.
On the flip side, over-reliance on paid social can become expensive and ineffective if it’s not done well.
You should also consider whether the paid promotion is a good fit for all types of content.
Here are some types of posts that lend themselves best to being “boosted” or promoted:
- In-depth posts (like industry reports)
- Evergreen blog posts (as lists)
- Infographics or videos that explain how your business works
Do you need a community manager?
Each social media community manager role is unique, but one thing’s for sure:
A community manager needs to help build, grow and nurture the social media presence of a brand.
Especially in an age where consumers are more eager than ever to connect with brands online, many companies rely on their community managers to manage their social media profiles.
This means that these people are often responsible for daily community interactions, responding to comments, and monitoring all aspects of a brand’s social media presence.
Strategies to reach and engage with influencers in your niche or industry.
Know who the influencers are in your industry.
As a blogger, you want to create content that is shared by influential people in your niche, or you don’t have a shot at making an impact.
You might not be aware of this, but social media introduces new methods for discovering and engaging with influencers in your field or industry; it’s important to figure out how to get on board!
Below is one way that I use when I’m trying to understand who the influencers are in my niche:
Search for people whose tweets contain keywords you’d like to include in your content. Keep it very simple; only use one keyword per tweet.
Look at the timestamps of their tweets; they may say they tweet more during certain times of day (i.e., lunchtime).
Make a note of those times so that you know when their audience is online and most receptive if you decide to reach out.
For example, if they tweeted at 12:30 p.m., noon, 2 p.m., and 3 p.m., they should be active during those times!
Send them an email with a link to some interesting stuff that you’ve published related to their keywords.
Try mentioning something about their recent activity so as not to seem too spammy.
If they respond positively, keep following up with similar emails over time.
1) There is no response from them.
2) When it becomes clear that your content isn’t interesting enough for them.
3) When someone else takes over their area of expertise and starts putting out high-quality content on the topic themselves (the latter two come into play if you’re new in an industry).
Top trends to follow in social media marketing
Customized buying experiences
Social media sites are using artificial intelligence to transform the way buyers find products.
- Instagram, for example, uses machine learning to identify products in photos and match them with similar items on its shopping platform.
- Pinterest has a visual search tool that recognizes objects in images and pulls up related pins. And Facebook uses an AI-powered feature called Marketplace to help users find items that match their interests.
- Facebook also allows businesses to reach out directly to potential customers via their Messenger app. These chatbots are automated messaging systems that allow businesses and shoppers to correspond in real-time — or as close as you can get with AI.
The rise of stories
Stories are a fast-growing social media format. They’re typically user-generated videos or pictures that disappear after 24 hours, but also can be polls, questions, tweets, etc.
Once you add a photo or video to your story, it will be visible to your followers for just one day.
Platforms that support stories include Snapchat, Instagram (where users can share Instagram Stories), Facebook (Facebook Stories), WhatsApp (WhatsApp Status), and YouTube (YouTube Shorts).
Video content is king
Video content is one of your best bets for generating the most engagement and shares on social media.
According to Animoto, YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world. Based on this statistic alone, video content should be an essential part of any marketing strategy in 2022.
Incorporating videos into your social media strategy will help you increase customer engagement and build trust with potential customers.
Artificial intelligence is on the rise.
One buzzword that is sure to get tossed around more and more in the coming year is artificial intelligence. It’s no secret that AI has been on the rise for some time now, but social media marketers have only recently begun to realize its potential.
Here’s what you need to know about this emerging trend:
- AI can help improve the customer experience. Social AIs can be used to provide personalized suggestions and recommendations based on previous interactions between customers and brands on social platforms.
- AI will be able to help you better understand your audience’s needs and interests thanks to algorithms that make sense out of huge amounts of data collected by companies like Facebook or Twitter.
- AI will support your marketing efforts as well as provide insights into how they’re performing.
Social media influencers are growing in importance
Social media influencers have large followings on social media and have the power to influence their followers by recommending products and services.
They can be in different fields such as fashion, music, business, health, and more.
If you find a social media influencer who is a good fit for your brand, your product or service can be promoted to a wider audience. However, if you choose an influencer who is not the right fit for your brand, it could actually hurt your company.
A suggestion: take advantage of the fact that being a social media influencer can be lucrative!
Social media marketing is changing with social media.
Social media marketing is changing fast.
Even if you are already engaged in this type of marketing, it’s important to keep an eye on the latest trends in social media marketing and influencers.
Because social media is a key part of people’s lives and because social media is the right way to get feedback from your customers.