In this Beginner’s Guide, learn all about Social Media Marketing from the basics of what is social media marketing to professional tips from Your Marketing People’s Social Media Specialist. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We always here to help!
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the practice of using social media channels (like Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, and others) to promote your business. Whether you’re trying to drive site visits, boost sales, or simply grow your brand awareness online, social media is a high-return, low-cost way to do it.
Social media marketing is easy enough to define, but when businesses put it into action, it can become as complex as they need it to be. Often, businesses who practice social media marketing have defined strategies and goals for each of the platforms they use. A brand’s approach to visual-heavy Instagram, for example, will often look drastically different than what they do on text-friendly Twitter.
Social media marketing itself is a broad category that encapsulates many marketing tactics, including influencer partnership, paid social advertising, social live video, and traditional social media posts like photos and status updates. No matter how many tactics a business uses, however, they’re all done with the goal of engaging their audience.
Why Your Business Needs Social Media Marketing
Do you want more leads, more customers, and more views for your content? Then you need to be on social media.
Social media marketing is much more than merely being present on social media, though. With social media marketing, you have a strategy in place, based on your business goals and the needs of your target audience, to make sure that presence drives returns for your business.
90% of marketers agree that social media marketing has increased their brand exposure. With smart hashtag research and a solid paid strategy, you can introduce your brand to a larger audience, too.
As for the customers you already have, social media marketing helps keep them around. 53% of Americans are more loyal to the brands they follow on social media.
When executed successfully, social media marketing goes beyond using Facebook as a speakerphone to get the word out about your upcoming sale. Social media becomes a place for you and your customers to engage meaningfully—and profitably.
Social Media Marketing
How to Get Started with Social Media Marketing
Follow these steps to get started with social media marketing for your business.
As with any marketing channel, you need to know where you’re going in order to get there. Do you want to use social media to generate product awareness? Or, will you be working with influencers to build trust among consumers? You may have different goals for different platforms, and that’s okay. Just make sure you know what those goals are.
In order for your social media efforts to pay off, you need to ensure you’re speaking to the right people. What does your target audience look like? Do they share characteristics, such as age, gender, or interest? These details will inform both the type of content you create for social media, as well as which platforms you share it on.
Do some research to discover where your audience exists online. B2B brands tend to succeed on LinkedIn and Twitter, while consumer products get a lot of traction on Instagram. And, of course, all businesses need to have a Facebook presence.
You have your goals, and you’ve found your audience. Now, it’s time to make a plan to reach them. Schedule social media campaigns for the year to supplement your other marketing initiatives, such as a holiday sale. Decide on how often you’ll want to post, too. You don’t have to post everyday, but make sure you post consistently enough to keep your audience engaged and growing.
As you create content for your social media posts, focus more on visual content like videos, infographics, and photos. Users are a lot more likely to share these. Posts with images, for instance, enjoy more than double the engagement and shares of text-only posts.
Here comes the fun part: experimenting. On a regular basis, review your social analytics to assess what’s working, and what isn’t. What kind of content resonates with your audience? Is it videos, tweets, GIFs, memes, or something else? Keep an eye out for trends—and apply those insights to your future content.
We all use social media every day, but social media marketing is an entirely different beast. It’s challenging to consistently create the content that keeps your audience coming back for more. That’s where Your Marketing People can help, from brainstorming to execution. Learn more about our social media services.
Social Media Marketing Specialist
Pro Social Media Tips from Your Marketing People
Courtney, Your Marketing People’s resident social media guru, shares her top tips for brands getting started with social media marketing:
- Find your influencers. Over half of young shoppers make purchases based on the recommendations of their favorite influencers. If you want to reach millennial and Gen Z audiences, you need to be working with influencers to promote your brand.
- Stay true to your brand. It’s tempting to adapt your brand to the whims of every platform, but don’t give in. Regardless of which platform you’re using, your brand voice should sound the same. Don’t turn customers off by confusing them about who you are.
- Try Facebook ads. Here’s something that may surprise you: Facebook ads boast a lower cost per click, a higher conversion rate, and a lower cost per acquisition than Google PPC. And with so many ad formats to choose from, there’s something that works for every business, regardless of your industry or your social media goals.
- Go live. 80% of customers would prefer to watch a live video from your business than read your latest blog, so give the people what they want. Get comfortable creating ephemeral content for Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, and Snapchat. Fans will respond with more comments, more engagement, and more shares.
- Watch your competitors. Follow your competitors on social media, and take a look at what they’re doing. How does their audience respond to their posts? Your competitors can provide key insights into what you should—and what you shouldn’t—be doing to engage your social media fans.
Learn More About Social Media Marketing
Want to know more about social media marketing? Check out the Your Marketing People blog.
Our posts share our top social media marketing tips, based on best practices and our own experiences with clients. We also keep you up-to-date on the latest industry news, from Facebook’s latest algorithm update to the popular trends brands are adopting.
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