What is social media marketing? In today’s technology-driven world, knowing the answer to that question is more important than ever. Social media has undoubtedly become one of the most popular online activities that users participate in. The usage of social media around the world is ever-changing, with 4.2 billion users as of January 2021.
It’s no secret that people do everything through social media – communicating with others or reading news and information. And this trend doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. In other words, social media marketing is no longer optional – your business must take advantage of it to ensure it’s not lagging behind others.
Making good use of social media can bring you a host of benefits, including increasing your brand awareness, generating leads and conversions, and building strong relationships with your audiences. Not sure how to make good use of social media? Read through this article, we’ll tell you everything about successful social media.
Social media usage around the world. Source from: Hootsuite
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is a general process that companies use to drive engagement and promote their brand, by creating and sharing content with the public.
Different types of social media can be used such as Instagram, YouTube, Tiktok, Facebook and Twitter. Although they all provide you with opportunities to help your customers better understand and connect with your brand, the types of audiences on each platform are different.
For example, millennials tend to use Instagram and Facebook more often while LinkedIn is more used by professionals.
Why is it important?
Before heading into the tactics of building good social media strategies, we should understand the reasons why this marketing tool is so important to businesses.
One of the major reasons is that social media platforms have become search platforms where consumers get information about a person or an organisation.
So if you, as a business owner, haven’t built a sufficient social media platform, you are losing opportunities to gain impressions and brand exposures. Now, let’s take a closer look at the benefits that social media can bring you.
Increases Brand Awareness
As mentioned before, social media enables users to generate and share content with others. In fact, many people learn about new brands through social media posts. Therefore, creating share-worthy content and enabling it to be shared on social media can extend your reach which can lead to increased brand awareness.
Generate Leads & Conversions
Marketing leads, also known as ‘prospects’, are your potential customers who show their interest in your products and services. Social media is a great way to generate leads for your business.
For example, Facebook has set a great example in providing a lead generating platform. Companies can create their own Facebook pages to promote lead generation content such as online shopping, live events, coupons, etc.
Lead generation through Facebook. Source from: Medium
Whether it’s images, videos, or text content, social media is a great opportunity to convert into purchases. With your compelling content, your leads can surely be moved to your sales funnel which therefore leads to revenue growth.
Build relationships with your audience
One-time consumers are never a goal for any business. Social media marketing helps keep your audience and encourages repeat purchases. Building a good relationship with customers is the key.
Consumers tend to make repeat purchases from those companies that have great customer support such as quickly responding to their inquiries and complaints. This adds to brand credibility to some extent. On top of that, sending courtesy emails and frequent promotion updates can also enhance the relationship with your customers.
How to build a social media strategy
Up to this point, you’ve learnt what social media marketing is and its importance. Now let’s take a closer look at the strategies of building sufficient social media marketing.
Step 1 – Research your audience
With the large number of social media users, it’s unrealistic to target everyone. It’s why you should specify a group of social media users you are trying to reach and research their attributes accordingly. Your audience determines your content, posting schedule, and other important factors of your social posts. Here are some ways to discover the best audience for your social media marketing efforts:
- Google Analytics – The ‘Audience’ section provides you with information about your audiences, such as age, gender, interests, and location. This helps you determine the most effective channel for your business.
- Direct communication with your audience – Conducting face-to-face interviews or email surveys to gain accurate information about your target audience.
- Check Facebook and Instagram insights – This allows you to understand your audience from the statistics level – their age and gender, peak hours of social media usage, and the topics with the most clicks, etc.
Instagram insights. Source from: Hootsuite
Step 2 – Pick your platform
As mentioned earlier, there is a wide range of social media platforms. But each platform actually has its own rhythm and traits and you should make allocation based on your target audience.
For example, if your audiences are the elderly, you wouldn’t pick up many clicks or conversions if you promote through Instagram or YouTube. So how do you find the most appropriate platform for your business?
Follow where your ideal audience is. Research shows that LinkedIn and Facebook are the most popular social media platforms in the field of Business-to-Business (B2B) and eCommerce respectively. So if you are in the B2B market, go with LinkedIn, or use Instagram for eCommerce marketing.
Social media platforms ranking based on user count. Source from Insider Group
Step 3 – Create unique and engaging content
Up to this point, you should have decided which platforms to cover. So it’s time to talk about the content on social media and how to make it attractive to your target audience.
There are various forms of content such as blogs, photos and videos, etc. But whichever form you choose, it’s crucial to ensure the unique and engaging content, as otherwise you won’t get clicks or turn readers away even quicker. So what is social media marketing content and how can you make it engaging?? Here are some tips.
- Be original and relevant – No matter whether the topic has been previously discussed or not, add your own personality and voice into it. At the same time, make sure the content is relevant to your topic. You want your content to provide some value to your audience.
- Publish accurate information – Providing statistics can enhance the credibility of your content. But you have to be aware of your collected data, make sure they’re accurate and as up-to-date as possible. You may want to do some research yourself if needed.
Putting ‘New Data’ in headlines to emphasise the up-to-date content. Source from: HubSpot
- Storytelling – Sharing stories can stimulate an emotional response from your audiences. At the same time, make sure your stories are to help achieve your goals and encourage your audience to complete the actions you want them to take.
- Visually appealing – Using different visual elements such as infographics rather than monotonous text gives your audience a clear vision of what you are trying to convey.
- Master headlines – Headlines are the first thing we see. Creating compelling and direct content for your headlines can make your audience actually click on it and further read through your article.
Nike New Collection. Source from: Nike
Step 4 – Schedule posts
Instead of manually making each post, utilising some tools can significantly save you time. Facebook has its own post schedule system – Creator Studio. You simply log into your Facebook account, choose the content that you want to schedule with captions and location, and set a date and time.
And that’s it! It’ll post your content on your behalf at the scheduled time. If you’re posting on Instagram, Pinterest, or other platforms, you can get support from third-party applications like Later, Buffer, and Hootsuite.
Once you have decided where and how to schedule your post, you should consider the best time to post. The best posting time varies for each niche and brand. Try tracking when your audience uses a certain platform the most and do A/B testing to find the best time out of different options.
Online followers activation. Source from Later
Step 5 – Track and analyse results
Once you’ve made posts, you should measure whether your posts are successful. There’s a wide range of metrics you can take into consideration – post engagement (clicks, likes, comments), followers counts, conversions, sales, etc.
It’s essential to regularly review and re-evaluate your strategies based on the data and insights. Therefore optimising your strategies according to what’s working and what’s not.
Start Your Social Media Marketing Today!
If you’ve reached this point, congrats! You’ve learned ‘what is social media marketing, the benefits of using it, and how to make good social media strategies.
With these social media marketing tips, you’ll be sure to convert your audiences into paying customers. Need some more guidance to start your own social media marketing strategy? At ZipZipe, we provide a wide range of solutions by social media experts. Contact us today for your free consultation!