What is Social Media Marketing?
Over the past couple of years, we’ve all heard about presidential campaigns being run on social media and malicious companies harvesting people’s data.
While rare, these are stories that almost always make the news.
In reality, social media platforms are homes to billions of people from across the world who use these platforms to meet other people, communicate with family, and get to learn something new that would otherwise have not been possible.
Despite the massive amount of information you’ll find online, many businesses are still unable to leverage the power of social media marketing to their advantage.
It is also a shame that business owners don’t understand the value of social media marketing and what it can mean for their business even in this day and age.
This article will discuss what social media marketing is all about, how it works, and why your business should be taking advantage of it even if your competitors aren’t.
What Is Social Media Marketing All About?
As it is referred to, Social Media Marketing or SMM means using social media websites or social networks to market products and services.
Though in our opinion, the term is missing a crucial point: creating tailored content for each platform to maximize engagement and help promote the business.
The content created isn’t just platform-centric but also goal-oriented and part of the overall social media strategy.
For instance, a company will share a video of a product being used by a celebrity to market it or build awareness of it.
However, if the goal is to generate buzz, it (the brand) will post cryptic images of the product; the image will help to generate interest.
Social media marketing campaigns also help to build credibility with brand awareness. Imagine that you need to meet someone for the first time to create a great relationship.
What would you do if you wanted to create the best image instantly because you’ll never get a second chance to do it?
Do you think that saying boring or meaningless things will help you succeed? Social media advertising is more than just about paying money.
Generally, people will like you more if you have a knack for making them happy, regardless of what you do.
Similar to the real world, social media marketing’s success by and large hinges on your ability to find and then make your target audience happy, which will mean that they share your stores or brand with people they know.
However, the way social media networks are structured means that you will need to pay for that initial boost.
Consider that if your social media marketing strategy does not include sharing stuff of value or items that make people happy, it will not be as successful.
Why Is Social Media Important For Businesses Today?
One of the reasons social media is important is that it is now home to billions of people.
Many people also turn to social media channels to learn about a business, its owners, products, etc.
Most of all, people turn to social media to discuss business and products with other people they know.
Users will also share interesting social media posts even if a business has put them out.
So, consider what will happen if you don’t have a social media network presence?
Well, for starters, you are missing out on a significant opportunity to make a great impression and build credibility.
If you are still not sure about the impact social media will have on your business, consider these stats from Oberlo:
- 71% of people who have positively interacted with a brand on social platforms are likely to recommend that brand to people they know.
- Facebook is home to 2.7 billion monthly active social media users, making it the largest social network.
- Around 77% of Gen X, 48.2% of Baby Boomers, and 90% of millennials use social media sites.
Think about the fact that both your customers and prospects are on social media every day, sometimes multiple times a day. That is why you need to be on social media.
However, social media platforms are also ideal for brands because they offer insights into their audience’s tastes and interests.
That’s why intelligent companies or businesses are always going to continue investing in social media because it almost guarantees sustainable growth.
We often tell business owners that social media is the best launchpad, especially if you want to brand and create buzz, whether it is a new product or a new venture.
As things continue to move online, especially e-commerce, social media isn’t only an option; it will be necessary to have a website.
In today’s competitive environment, you can’t allow your business to miss out on the opportunities that social media can offer.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Over the years, the concept behind having a social media presence has evolved consistently. A few years ago, the sole purpose of having a social media account was to generate traffic.
Today, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be used for more than just broadcasting content.
A solid social media marketing strategy in place can help you reap a pretty broad range of benefits, but more importantly, help create a two-way conversation with your potential customers.
We’ll go through a couple of significant benefits of social media marketing for businesses in general below.
Social Media Marketing Helps To Warm Up The Audience
As a business owner, there is nothing worse than facing a cold audience that does not know a thing about the company or its products.
Social media marketing success hinges partly on breaking the ice and warm up a new audience.
Platforms like Facebook enable you to use content to connect with your target audience and then warm them up.
We know from experience that it can be hard to get most people’s attention. Still, you can easily cut through the noise with well-thought-out content ideally specific to social media advertising platforms.
An excellent example of great content is an engaging Facebook video that talks about your flagship product.
Help Build A Strong Relationship With Customers Using A Strong Social Media Marketing Strategy
We often tell people that social media marketing efforts shouldn’t be measured in how much it has helped you sell.
The approach to measuring how much you’ve spent on social media vs. sales is highly inaccurate because that’s not how social channels work.
Social Media Marketing works by helping businesses build a strong relationship with customers existing and new. The lasting relationships indirectly lead to sales via repeat business and referrals.
One way to do this is to ask your followers questions about the products you sell or share a hack that will make their lives easier using your products instead of directly selling to them.
Serve your customers first before asking them to invest.
A Social Media Platform Helps Generate More Leads
Social Media Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, and Instagram enable businesses to generate leads. Often a mix of paid ads and organic tactics will be used to boost conversion figures.
Some of the most common ways to generate leads via social media include video marketing, giveaways, paid ads, and email opt-ins.
A good instance of this is running a Facebook campaign which helps boost your email list by offering a free eBook.
The beauty of social media marketing is that it is quicker, and the results are measurable.
You Get A Leg Up Over The Competition
You can learn a lot from your competitor’s social media campaigns, especially if you are starting out. Fortunately, most social media platforms make competitor research easy.
All progressive companies make it a point to monitor the competition to see what they are doing and if it is working.
That’s why tracking your competitors is a crucial part of running a successful social media marketing campaign.
Start with experimenting with things that you know are working for the competition. For instance, if your competition is running paid Facebook ads, and that’s generating good results, consider giving it a shot.
Though refrain from blatantly copying your competitors because that will only hurt your reputation.
Social Media Platforms Save Marketing Dollars
Compared to other forms of marketing, social media marketing is very cost-effective. For example, it does not cost a dime to create a business profile and add people.
However, you only need to pay when you want to boost your content, which has to be done initially to gain traction, like more social media followers.
When done correctly, the chances of greater returns are higher. If you will use paid advertising as part of your social media marketing campaign, be sure to start small.
We think it is probably already clear by now that if you’re not investing in social media marketing, you’re losing out on many potential leads.
When done right, it can be an indispensable tool for generating buzz and leads for your business.
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