Ask the person next to you right now if they own and maintain an account on any of the social media platforms available today. I’m willing to bet my bottom [peso] that they do. Even my 80-year-old grand-uncle has a Facebook profile, which he updates every day with inspiring religious posts.
Social media has taken the modern world by storm and has completely changed the way we connect with one another. We’ve grown dependent to the convenient and easy way we communicate over the Internet, with the help of social media platforms that are constantly changing and launching innovations that change our lives for the better (or worse, depends on how you look at it).
We all have a grasp and working knowledge of what social media is (heck, we use it every day), but what exactly is social media marketing? By definition, social media marketing is the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. Moreover, though, why is it relevant?
That’s where the audience is
Facebook has approximately 1.5 billion active users; Twitter has 500 million; Instagram, around the same number as Twitter. Because of this huge number, businesses have turned to social media to reach their audience. In today’s world, social media marketing plays a key role in bringing in consumers and sales to a certain brand or product.
It has been reported that 78% of small businesses now get at least one quarter of new customers via social media; and that 61% of the younger audience pool go to social media to decide where to go when they go out.
The so-called electronic word of mouth
Businesses, nowadays, turn to social media because people no longer want something which they feel is “fabricated.” We’ve come to the age where people demand authenticity and realness in people, in policies, in advocacy – and yes, in products. For example, putting a dress on an “Instagram-famous” personality translates into more sales than just using mainstream advertising. This is also the reason why makeup companies send samples to YouTube vloggers, or why restaurants invite #foodies to dine in – for the sole reason of tapping into their already existing and loyal followers.
Social media marketing, however, is not just about posting updates and photos online and praying for the heavens to drive people toward your site. It takes careful planning and execution to achieve best results, as all other forms of marketing. It’s tricky though because platforms change from time to time, so the strategies you put in place may work now, but not in the following month.
No overnight success here
When working with clients to grow their audience, it is important that you remind them that there is no such thing as overnight success in social media marketing. It takes time and effort to reach your goals, and you have to work together to come up with valuable content and effective strategies. The key to a successful social media marketing campaign? Consistency.
You have to remember to keep your audience engaged in your brand and product. Competition is fierce, and having your audience become distracted or lose interest can be disastrous for your business. So keep them in the loop. More than just posting consistently, one must always remember to interact: answer queries in the soonest possible time, be wary of what the trends are, and be timely in your posts.
What platform is the best?
This is one question that’s been asked over and over again. Although Snapchat has currently been labeled as one of the most effective social media platforms for your business in 2016 (social media influencers swear by it), it’s still important to evaluate the needs and interests of your audience. If your brand calls for something visual to be presented to your audience, perhaps Instagram or YouTube is best for you. Snapchat is rising because many people nowadays are interested in getting the content that is hot off the press! Meaning they like to see what’s happening as it is happening. If your brand calls for something to be delivered fresh and quick, then Snapchat is the place for you.
Here’s an infographic explaining how you can market on the different social media platforms:
Source: LexisClick Online Marketing
Honestly, this is such a broad topic that needs to be discussed in-depth (so broad that books have been written about it. Want some resources? Reach out to me! I’m willing to share!) I’m no expert really, but I do hope I was able to shed a little bit of light on social media marketing. If you have anything to add, I’d be super glad to listen. I love learning with others!
What social media platform do you think is most effective for your brand? Let me know. Also, what social media platform do you want to tackle with me next? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or add me up on any of my social media accounts!