Thinking back to only a few years ago, it’s hard to remember life when social media didn’t exist, or what I like to call BSM (Before Social Media). What is now a multibillion dollar industry, is also an integral part of modern society. Yep, that’s right, with 2.80 billion global social media users in 2017 it’s safe to say social media has taken over and invaded all of our lives, whether we like it or not.
With these figures in mind, it makes sense that social media marketing is the most commonly used advertising tool, as well as the most likely tool to help your brand reach the largest audience possible. If you know how to optimize marketing on social media, the online world is yours!
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What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the process of building awareness about you, and your products or services, through various social media platforms. Namely: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and WordPress.
The ultimate goal of any social media marketing campaign is to drive traffic to a website, increase the visibility of a product and build brand awareness, in the form of growing social media followers or new customers. Social media allows you to reach a large number of people at a cost far lower than any other marketing and advertising tool.
Why Social Media Marketing?
At the risk of sounding cheesy and commercial, instead of asking ‘why social media marketing?’, the question must be asked… why NOT social media marketing? With over 50 million small businesses using Facebook Pages to connect with their customers you couldn’t ask for a bigger and more attentive audience.
Nowadays, growing a small business has never been easier thanks to marketing for social media. The benefits of social media marketing are limitless, but to highlight a few;
- boosting brand awareness
- showing off a brand’s personality
- building a reputation
- building a trusted audience
- driving new customers to your business, and
- creating loyal existing customers.
Keep in mind, advertising your brand through any means can only take you so far. The end goal with marketing is to leave a lasting impression on the audience. An impression so ingrained in their minds that a similar image, song, word or phrase that they discovered through your posts, can trigger your brand in their minds. To become unforgettable is ultimately what every business hopes to achieve.
71% of consumers who’ve had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. Which tells us that word of mouth is still very much alive and very much still effective. Use social media to get everyone talking – preferably about your brand!
An example of a brand that has executed their social media strategy superbly is @AirFranceUk. Their Twitter profile provides a great indication as to what their brand is all about, what it stands for, and it also keeps you informed with their private on-goings within the business and around the world.
Air France has brand appropriate posts and interactions, consistent posts (2-3 posts a day), and is quick to respond to any queries or complaints that come their way. Having personally never used Air France or heard much about the brand, after viewing their Twitter profile I feel confident that making use of their services would be a pleasant, positive experience and am very impressed with the brand overall.
Who knew all that could happen just from going through a Twitter profile?
Tips and Best Practices for a Great Social Media Marketing Strategy
1. Decide which social media platform(s) to use
Just because you have access to all the different social media platforms , doesn’t mean that you should actually use them all. Social media marketing for small businesses is more often than not better received on a smaller scale.
Find which platforms best fit the style, tone and product or service of the business and focus your efforts there. If you are new to social media marketing, start off with one or two online pages and expand your brand as you grow and learn.
2. Optimize your social media profiles
Unfortunately, when it comes to your online presence, you can’t pick and choose between quality and quantity. Both are equally as important. If you take anything away from this article let it be this: consistency is key.
The more often you post, the greater your chances of reaching more users, the greater your chances of users discovering your profile, and the greater the chance of growing your following. People want to know that whenever they go online they are guaranteed something new and something interesting from your page.
3. Connect your website or blog with your social media pages
Be sure to optimize your online presence on each platform. If users are scrolling through your website or blog space make sure there are clearly visible and easily accessible links to your various social media pages, and visa versa.
4. Share interesting content
Did you know that visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content? So, when it comes to social media marketing for small businesses, sharable content is the name of the game! Make your content fun, interesting and eye-catching. Get users engaging with your page and make your name known.
5. Be patient
Rome wasn’t built in a day and your business is no different. Be patient with your online journey, be consistent, preserve and have faith. If you work hard enough at anything, it usually pays off. When it comes to social media marketing it definitely is worth the wait and, if presented correctly, definitely pays off!
Marketing on social media is so much more than it seems. It’s a way to be brilliant, innovative, successful, and constantly update with the world around us. However, it is also time-consuming, stressful and grueling if you’re not all that sure what you’re doing. Creating fresh, consistent, brand appropriate content doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a process.
But don’t worry, we’re here to help. If you found this article helpful or are interested in boosting your brand for the better, head on over to the Valoro Content Writing page to find out how we can help you.
About the Author: Kayleigh Ellis, Valoro Content Specialist