As a business owner, there’s a lot that goes into running your business. From the day-to-day tasks that need to be done, to ensuring that your staff and customers are kept happy. On top of making sure operations run smoothly, you need to market your business. How to market your business in a way that reaches people and keeps your business relevant? Social media marketing can help you reach your audience and market your business online.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing, alternatively referred to as digital marketing and e-marketing, entails leveraging social media platforms where users establish social connections and exchange information to enhance a company’s brand, boost sales, and augment website traffic. Beyond facilitating interaction with current clients and the acquisition of new ones, SMM incorporates specialized data analytics to enable marketers to monitor the effectiveness of their initiatives and discover additional avenues for engagement.
How Social Media Marketing Grows Businesses
Marketing your business through social media can help you gain more traction in growing your business. Social media marketing offers numerous benefits to businesses looking to promote their products or services. Some of the ways in which it helps businesses market themselves effectively are increased visibility, brand awareness, targeted advertising, customer engagement, and community building.
Social media platforms have billions of users worldwide. Establishing a presence on these platforms allows businesses to reach a vast and diverse audience, increasing their visibility. You can even use tags, locations, and hashtags to make your business visible to a specific area.
Through consistent and engaging content, businesses can raise awareness about their brand. Sharing content related to their industry or niche helps establish authority and trust with their audience. When audiences see this content over and over again they are more likely to check out your brand and even recommend it to people.
Targeting the right audience is vital to growing on social media. Social media platforms offer highly targeted advertising options. Businesses can create ads that reach specific demographics, interests, behaviors, and geographic locations, ensuring that their message reaches the right people.
Using social media to connect with your customers is a great idea. Social media provides a direct channel for businesses to engage with their customers. Responding to comments, messages, and feedback fosters a sense of community and loyalty.
These platforms facilitate the creation of online communities around a brand. This sense of belonging can lead to customer loyalty and advocacy. If customers feel a sense of community, they are more likely to recommend your company, engage with content, and buy more of your products.
The Best Social Media Platforms for Social Media Marketing
Before we jump into the best platform for social media marketing, it’s important to understand that every business doesn’t necessarily need to be on every social media platform. Some social media platforms work better for B2B businesses while others are perfect for ecommerce shops. Look into each platform and determine which one will work best for your marketing needs.
Facebook: Facebook is a versatile platform suitable for a wide range of businesses. It has a massive user base and offers detailed targeting options for advertising. You can use it for brand awareness, lead generation, content sharing, and community building.
Instagram: Instagram is visually focused and popular among younger audiences. It’s excellent for businesses that rely on visuals, such as fashion, beauty, travel, and food. Instagram is also great for influencer partnerships and storytelling through images and videos.
Twitter: Twitter is ideal for real-time updates, customer engagement, and sharing quick, concise content. It’s often used for news, customer support, and sharing industry insights. Hashtags can help increase visibility.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a professional network, making it suitable for B2B marketing and targeting a professional audience. It’s used for thought leadership, lead generation, networking, and sharing industry-specific content.
Pinterest: Pinterest is a visual discovery platform, primarily used by people seeking inspiration and ideas. It’s ideal for businesses in niches like home decor, fashion, DIY, and recipes. Pinterest is valuable for driving traffic to websites with visually appealing content.
YouTube: Video content is powerful, and YouTube is the second-largest search engine globally. It’s perfect for businesses that can create engaging video content, tutorials, product demonstrations, and storytelling.
TikTok: TikTok is a short-form video platform known for its viral trends. It’s popular among younger audiences and is suitable for creative and engaging video content. Brands can leverage TikTok for advertising and influencer partnerships.
What to Post on Social Media Platforms
Now that you know what platforms are out there and what features they have. Your social media marketing is only half as good as the content you post. If you have an active platform, but your content isn’t engaging you won’t reach your audience. Some examples of content are photos, videos, graphics, and text posts.
Using photos on social media is a great way to engage your audience. The photos you use should be relevant to your business in some way. Posting random memes or pictures doesn’t engage an audience. Some engaging photo content you can share are photos of your team, a big project/order you completed, products, and services. Look up fun holidays and post photos pertaining to those. For example, for National Pet Day, get your team to send in photos of their pets. Then post those to social media.
Social media platforms have been moving to prioritize video content over the past few years. Videos don’t have to be shot on big professional cameras or highly edited. Most iPhones have impressive lenses and provide high-quality videos. Examples of video content you can post are a day in the life of employees, fun time lapses, showing off new products or services, and answering frequently asked questions. Keeping up with trends can give you ideas on video content to post.
Graphics are a great way to showcase more complicated concepts. Sometimes just a video or photo won’t suffice. You can use graphics to help your audience understand the difference in your products, services, and what makes you stand out from the competition. The graphics should match your brand. From colors to fonts, it should stay consistent with what your brand looks like.
Some platforms allow you to only post text. Text posts allow you to discuss a topic more in-depth. If you write blogs on your website, this is a great way to share some of your blog posts on social media. Only include a taster of your blog posts, so your audience can read the full thing on the website. Blog posts don’t have to be the only text post content you can share. You can post tips related to your industry, information about job openings, answer questions, and even discuss topics with your audience.
Social Media Marketing Vs. Standard Marketing
Social media marketing and standard marketing (often referred to as traditional marketing) have distinct characteristics and can yield different performance outcomes depending on various factors. Here’s a comparison of their performance aspects:
- Reach and Audience Targeting: Social media allows for precise audience targeting based on demographics, interests, behavior, and location. This can result in more efficient reach to a highly relevant audience. Traditional marketing methods, such as TV or print advertising, often have a broader reach but may lack the precision targeting capabilities of social media.
- Cost-Efficiency: Social media can be cost-effective, especially for small businesses, as it allows for flexible budgeting and pay-per-click options in advertising. Traditional marketing channels like television and print can be expensive, with fixed costs for ad space and production.
- Measurability and Analytics: Social media offers robust analytics tools that provide real-time data on campaign performance. Marketers can track engagement, conversions, and ROI more precisely. Traditional marketing can be harder to measure accurately. Methods like TV and radio advertising rely on estimates, and it can be challenging to attribute specific outcomes directly to a campaign.
Engagement and Interaction: Social media allows for direct engagement with customers through comments, likes, shares, and messages, fostering a sense of community and brand loyalty. Traditional marketing methods are typically one-way communication, lacking the immediate interaction and feedback loop of social media.
- Content Format: Social media excels in visual and interactive content formats, including images, videos, stories, and live streams, allowing for creative and engaging campaigns. Traditional marketing primarily relies on static formats like print ads or TV commercials, which may have limited interactivity.
- Global vs. Local Impact: Social media can have a global reach, making it suitable for businesses targeting both local and international audiences. Traditional marketing methods may be more region-specific, making them better suited for local advertising.
- Speed of Implementation: Social media campaigns can be launched quickly, allowing for agility and rapid responses to trends and events. Traditional marketing often requires more lead time for campaign creation, production, and distribution.
- Brand Building and Trust: Social media enables ongoing brand building through consistent engagement and storytelling, fostering trust and loyalty over time. Traditional marketing can build brand recognition, but it may require longer-term efforts to establish trust and loyalty.
Ultimately, the choice between social media marketing and standard marketing depends on your specific goals, target audience, budget, and industry. Many businesses find success by incorporating both approaches into their marketing strategies, leveraging the strengths of each to maximize their overall performance and reach.
Case Studies in Social Media Marketing
Mercedes Benz seems to win every time with their social media campaigns. The one that stands out to me was back in 2013 when they created what I still believe to be one of the best Instagram marketing campaigns to date. Mercedes wanted to reach out to the younger audience so they hired five top Instagram photographers to each take the wheel of a new Mercedes CLA. Whoever got the most likes got to keep the car – so they all really worked at it! By the end of the campaign, Mercedes had received: 87,000,000 organic Instagram impressions, 2,000,000 Instagram likes, and 150 new marketing assets (stunning photos).
What might look like a visual travel blog, Airbnb’s content attracts fans with its visually compelling posts. On Instagram, it posts user-generated photos from its hosts and guests. The content embraces their new campaign of ‘Don’t just go there, Live there’ which is captured through real photography. Each post receives high engagement, between 3,000 and 14,000 Instagram likes.
Conclusion: Your Business Needs Social Media Marketing
In the fast-paced world of business ownership, where juggling numerous responsibilities is the norm, effective marketing is the key to staying relevant and thriving. Social media marketing has emerged as a potent tool in this digital age, allowing businesses to not only reach their target audience but also engage them in meaningful ways. We’ve explored what social media marketing entails, how it can help businesses grow, and even delved into some notable case studies. Social media marketing helps your business stay relevant in a digital world. If you’re looking to add social media marketing to your business, but don’t have the time. Let the experts at Timberbrook Marketing handle your social media marketing needs.