Social media is a marketing channel that businesses of all sizes can no longer afford to ignore.
A big chunk of the entire global population spends a big chunk of their time on social media. According to statistics, around 79% of Americans, and 45% of the entire world have at least one social media account.
To help you to reach those billions of potential customers and come up with your own social media marketing strategy, we’ve put together this quick introductory guide.
When should you focus on social media marketing?
First, let’s talk about why you might want to invest in social media marketing. As great as it is, it’s not suitable for all marketing campaigns, and whether or not you should focus on social ultimately depends on your campaign goals.
Social media is great for three things:
- Driving traffic to your website
- Building brand awareness and recognition
- Improving your brand reputation
If these align with your marketing goals, it’s definitely worth considering investing in social media marketing.
What social isn’t so great for is generating ROI and backlinks.
If the goal of your campaign is to drive short-term profits, your budget might be better spent on other efforts, like email marketing. Similarly, if the goal of your campaign is to earn backlinks and build your website DA, content marketing is probably a better investment.
Different social platforms and when to use them
There are lots of different social media platforms on the internet, so the first step in creating your social media marketing campaign is figuring out which one(s) to focus on.
Some of the major social platforms include:
- Facebook – this social network has 2.45 billion total users, more than any other platform. It has more of an older demographic than the other big social media platforms. Many users use Facebook to find out news, which makes it a good platform to share press releases and brand updates.
- Instagram – with 1 billion total users, and a younger demographic, Instagram is a great social media platform for brands focused on the millennial and Gen Z market. It’s also a very visual platform, which makes it a great place for retailers to showcase their products.
- Twitter – Twitter has around 270 million users. It’s perfect for sharing quick updates with your customers, providing post-purchase customer service, and boosting brand loyalty.
Types of social media marketing advertisements
There are different ways to advertise your brand, products, and services on social media. Here are the main types of social advertising you should know about.
Marketers can run paid ads such as Facebook ads to promote their products or services using a pay-per-click model. You can set up a Facebook ad campaign to target specific customers based on things like interests, age ranges, demographics, and browsing habits.
Facebook will then push your ad to those users, and charge you for each click.
You can use paid ads in a similar way on other platforms, and there are many different types of paid ads. For example, on Instagram, marketers can set up Stories ads, photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, or other types of ads depending on the nature of your campaign.
“Typically, paid social ads aren’t used to drive sales directly. Rather, they’re used to usher your customers further down your sales funnel so that you can keep communicating.”
One common method is to set up a paid ad campaign with an advertisement that pushes users to a landing page that offers them something for free in exchange for joining your mailing list, like a discount or an ebook.
This can help you to build your mailing list so you can drive sales later down the line through promotional emails.
Organic advertising is where you reach customers organically by creating engaging, shareable social media posts, as opposed to by paying for ads. It’s much harder than paying for ads, but the payoff can be immense if you get it right.
If you go down this route, focus on creating viral posts that generate excellent engagement statistics, using the right hashtags, and posting at the right time.
Influencer collaborations/sponsored posts
Another way to advertise through social media is to work with influencers who have already built up a following. These influencers often have an enormous reach and already command a lot of trust from their followers, which can really help your campaign to be a success.
There are different ways to collaborate with influencers. You might want to set up an affiliate link and pay influencers a commission or negotiate a flat-fee for a sponsored post.
Before we finish, here are three best practices that marketers should try to stick to when putting together a social media marketing campaign.
1. Start with a plan
Before you even start posting to your brand social media accounts, make sure you’ve put together a comprehensive plan to get you from A to B. Determine your goals and target customer personas, then put together a content calendar with the kind of content you’re going to post and when you’re going to post it.
2. Be consistent
Try to get the same user name across all your social platforms if possible, and stick to the same brand images, logos, and colour schemes.
3. Track your results
Set up tracking links and measure the success of your social posts to see what kind of posts generate the most clicks, comments, shares, and follows. Use this to adapt and inform your strategy as you move forward.
That concludes this introduction to social media marketing. There’s plenty more to talk about, but we’ll save the bulk of it for another post!