84% of people with internet access use social media. The average user spends 2 hours and 25 minutes on social media every day. 74% of people use social media when making purchase decisions and 80% of people get advice about a purchase through social media platforms. With statistics like this, your business needs to take advantage of social media marketing!
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing (also known as digital marketing and e-marketing) is a form of marketing that leverages social media platforms on which users build social networks and share information (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). These platforms enable a business to connect with its audience, build brand awareness, increase sales, drive traffic to its website and create a community of followers with which to share content. This type of marketing requires an evolving strategy with measurable goals. It includes:
- Maintaining and optimizing your profiles.
- Posting pictures, videos, stories and live videos that represent your brand.
- Responding to comments, shares, and likes.
- Monitoring your business' reputation.
- Engaging with followers, customers and influencers.
- Building a community around your brand.
What makes social media marketing powerful?
There are three elements that make social media marketing effective.
Connection: The use of social media enables businesses to connect with their target audience in a range of ways; through content platforms (YouTube, Hubspot, etc.), social sites (FaceBook, Instagram) and microblogging services (Twitter, TikTok, etc.).
Interaction: Direct communication (content, comments) and passive communication (likes, shares) create free advertising opportunities for businesses.
Customer data: Social media marketing tools extract customer data that can be analyzed and used to improve marketing strategies.
What are the benefits of social media marketing for businesses?
There are a number of advantages to having a social media management strategy. Social media marketing:
- Helps build and maintain a brand image.
- Allows you to connect directly to your audience.
- Helps build relationships and brand loyalty.
- Boosts website traffic.
- Creates ease in monitoring a marketing campaign.
- Is cost-effective (it's free to join social media networks, post content and respond to user comments).
- Has a reach unmatched by traditional marketing; connecting you with users across the world.
- Assists in the creation of ambassadors for your brand.
- Enables you to showcase your customer service skills.
- Allows the use of keywords to generate leads.
How to use social media as a marketing tool:
For social media marketing to be effective, you need an action plan.
- Align your social media marketing goals to clear actionable business objectives
- Learn your target audience (age, location, income, job title, industry, interests, behaviour, preferences).
- Conduct an analysis of your competition (successes and failures).
- Audit your current social media marketing strategy (successes and failures).
- Create a calendar for content delivery.
- Create high-quality content.
- Track performance and adjust your social media marketing strategy as needed.
What social media platforms should your business use?
Social media is a necessary marketing tool for businesses that aim to remain relevant and visible in today's online world. But with over 65 social media platforms, which are right for your company? The top social media platforms for businesses are:
- Facebook.com is currently one of the best social media platforms for business. With 1.84 billion active daily users spending an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes per day, it's an effective way to find and connect with your target audience. Consider increasing your engagement by releasing regular live videos or by creating or joining groups. Opt to create private groups where paying customers can join, interact, pose questions, and have a personalized experience with your brand. Try a Facebook Messenger chatbot or paid ads. Use Facebook to turn leads into loyal followers and customers.
- Google My Business (GMB): 90% of people read reviews before purchasing making this social platform a good choice for businesses. The average company on Google my Business is found in 1,009 searches per month, with 84% of these coming from discovery searches. Opt for listings with photos as they are 2x as likely to be considered reputable and get 35% more clicks.
- Instagram.com has 1.074 billion users worldwide, making it one of the top social media platforms for business. It's effective for nearly any type of company. Videos and pictures allow your brand to show your products, values and voice. Best of all, Instagram is set up for eCommerce. Clients can look at product images and purchase what they want directly from their Instagram accounts. To grow your following, like and comment on others' photos and videos.
- Twitter.com is a powerful tool for building brand awareness and connecting directly with customers and influencers. With more than 330 million monthly active users, Twitter is an incredibly robust search engine. To optimize platform use, you must consistently engage with your audience, adding valuable content to all of your posts. Use this platform, every day, to share stories, news articles, or humorous anecdotes. Include how-to articles, listicles, and quotations. Use Twitter to provide customer service.
- LinkedIn.com is a networking tool exclusively for professionals and has revolutionized the way we seek, find, and get hired for jobs. It's a great platform for sharing content and business-to-business (B2B) marketing. It'll help you establish your company as a trusted leader in your field, build authority for your brand and engage leads through conversations. LinkedIn is especially good if your goal is lead generation. Show off your brand with a LinkedIn business page.
- YouTube.com is THE platform for sharing information via video and the second most popular search engine. It has 2.3 billion users worldwide with 79% of internet users boasting a YouTube account. YouTube users watch more than 1 billion hours of video daily! It's the place where people go for entertainment and to learn new things. Create a video channel and connect with your users in a different way than other social media platforms. Generate video tutorials, visually show product descriptions and provide personal press releases for your viewers. Use YouTube to grow your email list and show off your brand personality.
- Reddit.com is all about sharing and learning and there are strict rules as to what you may or may not post for commercial purposes. Yet, many companies have had success engaging on Reddit. This platform has the highest percentage of newsreaders. You'll need to use your creativity and be genuinely interested in teaching and/or learning. The secret is creating engagement on subreddits and communities packed with people who are passionate about what you offer. Create relevant headlines and promotions to generate an uptick in your stories. Use this platform to ask questions and get feedback on different parts of your business (ad campaigns, web design, new products).
- Pinterest.com is one of the top social media platforms for small businesses. It has 445 million active users and is where people browse, discover and buy. Images are the name of the game. You'll need a consistent schedule, creative pictures and a strategy for growing followers. Use Pinterest to drive traffic to your site. Make your content visually appealing and easily shared.
- Quora.com is a way for your business to look for questions in your professional field, establish yourself as an authority and link others to content you've written on the topics being discussed. The most successful responses are those that focus on the question rather than on your own business. Be comprehensive in your answer and only provide links to your work/site when it directly helps answer the question.
For reputable brands all over the world, social media has become as integral to marketing as traditional advertising. Businesses of all types and sizes tap into this valuable resource to reach their potential when it comes to traffic, conversions and respectability. Social media marketing is important for the success of your business; helping you build and maintain a brand image, connecting you to your audience and boosting your traffic. A well-managed social media marketing strategy connects you to a worldwide audience while remaining cost-effective. It allows you to showcase your customer service while generating leads. Consider exploring social media marketing for your business.
Interested in social media marketing? Need help with your digital marketing strategy? Call CAYK at (403) 456-0072 or email CARE@CAYK.CA. Allow us to be your very own marketing department! Connect with our tightly-knit team of knowledgeable digital-first consultants, each eager to help your business grow. If you want the best digital marketing team in your corner