Social media marketing has been growing exponentially since 2004. The meteoric rise of various social media platforms continues without any signs of slowing down. In fact, its importance continues to rise as celebrities, politicians and heads of state take to social media to communicate with their audience.
There were almost 3.5 billion social media users across the world in 2019. This is a 9% increase over 2018. Almost half of the world is on social media. The rate of social media adoption has beaten expectations, which had forecast 2.8 billion social media users in 2019.
Due to the phenomenal rise of social media, it has become an essential marketing tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Besides providing marketing information to customers, social media presents a platform for businesses where they can interact with and engage their target audience. Businesses are now using videos, blogs, images as well as user-generated content to achieve various objectives like starting conversations, promoting products, learning about the target audience and showcasing their business to prospects.
To use social media marketing effectively, you should understand how it works and how you can grow your business through this platform.
But first, what is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is a promotional strategy that entails the use of social sites to build your brand presence, reach out to your audience and attract customers. You can achieve these objectives through various means, such as generating and publishing marketing content on social media channels, engaging your audience and listening to them, displaying ads on social media channels and analyzing campaign results to boost social marketing performance.
At the start, social media marketing was primarily concerned with publishing content. Businesses published content on social media channels hoping to increase web traffic to their sites. Although generating and sharing content is still important, it has evolved over the years. Businesses now use social media in multiple ways to boost traffic and sales.
For instance, major brands now have social media accounts for customer service. Customers can now get quick answers to their problems by getting in touch with professionals in charge of these accounts. Customer service has now become quicker, easier and more accessible, as a result.
Businesses are also relying on analytics tools to understand their marketing performance on social media. The use of such tools helps you to monitor performance and find out which areas need improvement and attention. This way, businesses can locate weaknesses in their marketing campaigns and resolve them.
You can scale and set your goals according to the results shown by these analytics tools. Thus, you can make changes to your social media campaign for better engagement, wider outreach and higher sales. For more aggressive marketing, you can display targeted ads on social media to bring even better results from your social media campaign.
There are now numerous social media platforms available, the most important of which are YouTube, Pinterest, LikedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. These are some of the finest platforms for launching a social media campaign.
Since you have multiple social media options available, how do you decide which channels to use and how many resources you should allocate to each?
Facebook is the market leader among social media websites and it pays to build and maintain a business page on this platform. Considering the huge audience that Facebook attracts, businesses have plenty of growth opportunities here.
With well over 2 billion users, Facebook has the lion's share of the social media market. In fact, it was Facebook that sparked off the social media craze. The platform has continued to evolve over the years, according to the preferences and demands of consumers.
● Facebook can help your business in several different ways.
● It can display your business name, description, products, services, contact details, location and name to the widest audience possible.
● Facebook supports all sorts of content mediums, including videos and pictures so that you can deliver the relevant messages and content to your intended audience.
● Helps you to build an online community where you can interact with both prospects and customers.
● Builds brand presence and awareness.
● Brings web traffic to your website.
● Displays targeted ads for increased sales.
● Helps to improve SEO.
In 2016, social media platform Instagram introduced a feature that can help to build a business page. As a result, over 25 million companies are now using Instagram for promoting their businesses. The benefit for these businesses is that Instagram provides a vast audience of over half a billion active daily users, thereby making it an economically lucrative platform.
● On Instagram, businesses can find plenty of opportunities for user engagement, creating brand loyalty and achieving higher sales.
● Here is what you can achieve for your business on Instagram.
● Create a business account to unlock an array of features that can dramatically grow your online presence.
● Provides excellent selling opportunities since over third of Instagram users use this platform for purchasing online.
● Targeted marketing. Instagram has an array of features so you can launch a targeted social media campaign.
● High engagement factor for businesses. Over half of all Instagram users visit business profiles each day.
● Connect with your audience. By responding to users, creating hashtags and informative content, you can win loyal organic followers for your online cause.
● Monitor the effectiveness of your social media campaign. Instagram has tracking capabilities that are similar to Facebook.
LinkedIn is a professional platform that helps your business connect with other businesses and professionals. It is now fundamental for business networking. LinkedIn has a huge community of over half a billion users due to which you can increase your brand presence and awareness. As far as lead generation is concerned, particularly B2B, LinkedIn provides one of the best avenues that you cannot miss out on.
There are several features and options available at your disposal for building a business page at LinkedIn. Using a sound business marketing strategy, you can expand your customers and gain several key business advantages.
It is worth paying attention to your business profile since a complete profile can gain far more visitors than an incomplete profile. Hence, making a full and professional looking business profile can help you to come into contact with plenty of prospects and future customers if done correctly.
Here are the different ways in which LinkedIn can help your business to grow.
● Help you network with millions of other professionals and entities so that your business can take off.
● LinkedIn company page is now considered essential for brand awareness since all major and reputable businesses have built one for themselves. Not having a LinkedIn company page may come as a surprise and a cause for concern that can possibly decrease the credibility of your business.
● LinkedIn company page provides great SEO results since it shows up on Google search results, besides helping you to appear in LinkedIn search results. This will work in favor of your business for better brand awareness.
● Empowers you to generate leads, particularly B2B leads through networking. You can also update your company profile regularly so that this generates interest in the minds of visitors.
● The business details and professional persona can help lend credibility to your cause. You can showcase your product and service offerings to build trust and entice new prospects.
● Shows your milestones and achievements that you can share with your audience to build trust and authenticity.
● The perfect platform for finding the right professionals. After all, LinkedIn was created for professionals and business entities, first and foremost. You can find professionals with the right skills and experience who can take your business to the next level.
Pinterest is the perfect platform for visual content, images and other kinds of content that can help you to influence curious visitors to the platform. The platform leverages high quality visual content to help people find things that they are interested in. You can cater to this audience through stunning visuals and imagery to achieve your business objectives.
Thanks to the diversity of the audience at Pinterest, you can launch just about any business on Pinterest through a social media campaign. There is hardly anything of interest or any hobby that you won't find at Pinterest.
Pinterest can help your business in the following ways:
● Show relevant ideas and generate interest to create demand by targeting the right people.
● Build a loyal following by posting high quality visual content.
● Use your visual content to give your audience a realistic idea of what using your product or service feels like.
● Create visual content that vividly describes different ways of using your products and services to promote brand loyalty.
There used to be a time when Pinterest was all about just recipes, DIY ideas and a few similar niches. However, it has seen a major resurgence in recent years. According to one survey, 75% of Pinterest users said that they are interested in buying products on the platform compared to 55% of users on other social media channels.
Pinterest users are more serious buyers and they are more likely to convert. This is also seen in the high rate of ad conversions. Retail brands are embracing greater success on Pinterest since the returns on ads on Pinterest are two times higher as compared to other social media outlets.
YouTube is an extremely popular video sharing platform where users can upload their own videos as well as comment, like and share other videos. The video sharing platform is designed so that it is compatible with all kinds of devices. On YouTube, you can create top quality video content that will appeal to your target audience. You can generate interest and demand in your products by sharing educational, informational and promotional videos.
Video consumption is rising rapidly and it constitutes the majority of internet traffic. Video marketing is proving to be extremely effective since more and more people are watching videos.
YouTube can help your business grow in the following different ways.
● Videos have a higher rate of conversion as compared to text. With greater conversions, you can increase your sales.
● Expand your SEO endeavors – Google attaches high priority to videos and features them prominently on its search results.
● Your business can enjoy massive brand exposure since hundreds of millions of people watch YouTube every day.
● Attract high quality traffic to your video links. This will ultimately convert into website traffic.
● YouTube videos are easy to share on other websites and platforms.
● Use Google Ads as a means of reaching valuable prospects who are most likely to be interested in buying your goods and services.
● Give people a practical demonstration of your product, emphasize its quality and performance. Customer testimonials, as well as celebrity endorsements, are the perfect means of nurturing trust and authority among your audience.
Another social media worth mentioning is TikTok since it has taken off among younger users. The app was launched recently in 2019. However, it has seen phenomenal growth since then. A huge number of users flocked to the platform in 2019. As of March 2019, there were more than a billion app installation users and around half a billion monthly active users around the world.
Since the social media platform is geared towards a younger audience, TikTok can serve as a B2C lead generation device. Over 40 percent of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24.
One reason why TikTok has taken off dramatically and won the hearts of young users worldwide is that the platform branded itself as a fun, informal and entertaining social media channel. Thus, it can be the perfect complement to LinkedIn, which has professional, older users. By launching a social media campaign on TikTok and LinkedIn, you can target a vast demographic.
Social media use is growing in importance very rapidly. Hence, social media marketing is an essential channel that businesses cannot ignore. Understanding the purpose, features and user experience of these social media channels can help businesses to devise the right strategy for each.