Social Media Marketing Strategy
So, what do you do to fully use social media marketing to derive the most benefits? As a rule of thumb, don’t just get right into it without proper planning.
You need to figure out how you are going to execute your plan in a manner that guarantees success. Here is what to do before you jump right into social media marketing and end up making some costly mistakes.
Gone are the days when small businesses could not advertise their products
to the masses because of cost restrictions, as large corporations that have huge marketing budgets scramble for all TV and radio ad space!
WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA
But before we go there, what do you understand by the word “social media?” Well, much as it seems like an obvious word that you would know, you probably don’t have any specific definition of what it is.
Nevertheless, it refers to applications and websites that make it possible for users to create and share different kinds of content or take active part in social networking.
In simple terms, these are platforms that enable the user to participate in the communication process (at least you should know that the internet is nothing more than just an information database that we all try to access). With social media, you can add comments, add videos, like or ‘participate’in any other form. It includes social bookmarking, social news, wikis; social networking and social photo and video sharing just to mention a few.
HISTORY OF SOCIAL MEDIA
The World Wide Web was developed circa 1991, and immediately attracted a community of people with like interests – this was a necessarily limited
number, since few people possessed access to the internet, and fewer still the sophisticated skills required to connect to it.
However, the rise of the personal computer and the graphic interface made using a computer much more simply and intuitive, giving rise to a new generation, which began taking the Internet much more seriously.
Through this time, the Internet began becoming more and more important to businesses and families alike, allowing people to meet and bond over shared interests. The nucleus of a social network was formed with the idea of creating fan zones for popular media. This allowed fans of the same TV shows, games, or books to create a community around the media.
These communities began to become stronger and more diverse as more and more people from around the world began to have access to the Internet. Blogs and websites are thus the oldest form of social media, which were formed with the intention of creating a space where like-minded individuals could engage with each other.
THE RISE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS
The first major social network on this note was MySpace, which saw a
huge swing in numbers from 2002-2004. However, issues with privacy led to the site closing down, losing a majority of its members, as it happens, to
Facebook, which has consolidated that position into being the largest social
Twitter also emerged a few years later, and achieved first a niche in celebrity social media and then became a vibrant network on its merit. The success of Twitter opened up the possibilities for what could be done with the idea of social networking-.
Pinterest focused on communities around shared interests, Snapchat on chatting through photographs, Instagram through a feed of photographs, and many others. Suddenly, social networking had become different from what it was when Facebook was consolidating its position – it had evolved to become the main reason why someone would use the Internet.
MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Marketing was still slow to realize the potential of social media. Most
brand pages were formed merely by fans, and while they were happy to
advertise on Facebook, they did not consider the potential of being able to
interact with their customers.
It was only when Facebook revolutionized their Pages feature, making it much more streamlined for the benefit of brands that companies and brands began to take to Facebook in a big way.
Today, social media marketing is one of the chief focus of any advertising agency. The number of people (constantly growing populations of adoptees) is too much to ignore. The question we have to ask when talking about social media, thus, is why people use social media.
Undeniably, the reasons why people use social media have changed. From
becoming a way to break socio-cultural barriers over like interests, social
media has begun to be appreciated for its own worth.
Now, social media exists as a blueprint for the kind of a person someone is. Before meeting them, all you shall need is their name and you can know much more about them. Thus social media presence becomes a kind of footprint that you leave online. It informs almost every portion of our lives to such a high degree.
SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
Why do we need to think about this? The answer is that we cannot truly target audiences in this medium until we understand the medium. If we know the purpose for which our audience uses, say, Snapchat, we can best use the medium for our purposes. However, I hope another key point about social media has come to light. It has been a very personalized experience.
It is very individual, while being focused on a community. This has meant a somewhat startling change for brands. Now, brands can speak directly to their audience, in real time. Customers may complain about the service, the products, or the brand itself.
However, there will also be loyal customers who will stay with the brand. It is in this context that we frame the first critical question that we need to answer.
why are we using social media?
Let us return to the basics of marketing on social media. The journey building a strong social media brand entails having a strong positive presence in as many of these forms of social media as possible. Social media enables a brand to connect with its target group in an impactful and memorable manner.
Along with its ability to provide exposure, and brand recognition, also remains an exciting and interesting Social media for the purpose of marketing. If you are still wondering why you should really embrace social media or die, here is why:
BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
- Increased brand recognition
Think of different social media sites as a street intersection that attracts different numbers of people at different times. Your presence in the different platforms as your billboard at that intersection. The more pronounced or outstanding your billboard is. The more the number of people who are going to notice who you are. Just like the billboard having a strong social media presence will help boost your brand. Since as we have seen, 1 in every four people uses social media.
- Increased opportunities to convert
Think of every new post you make on social media as a prime time ad. This
simply means that you have an opportunity to sell to your audience, which in turn means that there will be some conversions.
With every post, video, comment or image, you are presenting an opportunity for your audience to react in the form of a visit to your website, email subscription, or purchase or any other form of conversion
that you have set.
- Reduced marketing costs
Most small businesses cannot compete with large multinationals that have
huge marketing budgets for advertising space on TV and radio. This means
TV and radio advertising are out of the question for them as far as advertising is concerned. The internet and social media has made it a lot easier and less costly for small businesses to target their audience.
- Enhanced customer insights
You can easily listen to what people are saying about you, about themselves
and about different issues that concern them that might be of interest to you.By following people’s comments, likes, shares and follows, you can easily tell what it is they really like. This can in turn help you make an informed decision with respect to the kind of content to share, when to share it and how to share it.
- Enhanced brand loyalty
A research published by the Texas Tech University has proven that by
engaging your current, past and prospective customers through social media, you are likely to enhance brand loyalty. This could be mainly because people want to be heard and answered whenever they have anything that they need answers on. Another research published by Convince & Convert showed that over 50% of Americans actually follow the brands they are loyal to on social media!
- Better customer experiences
Engagement could be taken as interacting with your friend. As you well know, the more you interact with anyone. The more you get to know them and the closer you become. The inverse is true; if you don’t interact, you will grow part! Social media is a communication tool that allows direct communication between you and your current and prospective customers.
The more you engage your customers the greater their level of satisfaction. which as we all know is one of the top ingredients to nurturing customer loyalty. Social media can help you clear confusion and misunderstandings making it easier to keep customers happy.
- Improved brand Authority
Have you noticed that people always tend to brag about their experiences on social media? When more people are talking about great experiences they have had when using your products or services. You definitely stand to gain if you have a good social media presence. Actually, as people talk about you, new users regard the brand highly. This ultimately results to more conversions and easier attainment of your company’s objectives.
- Tap SEO power
If you have any experience in marketing a business online, I know you are
aware of how hard it can be to appear in the top search results of the different search engines. Actually, updating a blog as often as possible, having excellent meta descriptions and having backlinks isn’t just enough. To make you get a spot in the top searches for your targeted keywords.
The truth is that search engines nowadays largely consider social media presence in determining the rankings of different sites. Therefore, the more presence you have on social media, the higher you are likely to rank,in the search engines. Since you are considered trustworthy, legitimate, and credible.
- Greater inbound traffic
Before using social media, the only people who will probably visit your
website will be those who are already familiar with your brand. Than those who are currently searching for the keywords that you rank highly (if you have any). When you create a new social media profile, you are actually building a new avenue for people to visit your website. This coupled with the fact that every post is an opportunity to attract interest means that you are actually increasing the number of ways through which people can see you
GETTING STARTED WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
Marketing strategy for social media is slightly more difficult than just forming a page or a profile. Then just posting content. Since social media provides a flexible avenue for all kinds of marketing. A dedicated plan is a necessity to take the maximum advantage of the opportunities of social media. While SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING will provide you a lot of leeway with any plan. A broad strategy in how to approach the medium can save you a lot of time, effort, and money.
YouTube Marketing Strategy a Complete Guide
YouTube is the most popular video channel with over 30 million daily visits
and over 100 hours of video posted every single minute. This makes it a great
avenue to establish your online brand. Nevertheless, the countless videos
posted every single day onto the thousands of other videos could easily make
any videos you publish end up being buried deep within the many others such
that you end up not reaching out to your target audience. Just like in every
other social media channel, the secret to success is getting a following or
audience to broadcast your videos to. Actually, the more views you get, the
more popular your videos will be and the greater success you will have in
ranking highly on the search results. YouTube’s popularity is reflected in the
native support it receives on Facebook, Twitter, and Android. YouTube thus is
a great way to engage audiences because it can easily be accessed through the
popular social media platforms. It is worthwhile to note that Google+ is
required to use all the features of YouTube, giving access to another
formidable social media platform. Its popularity, however, also means that
you must have to deal with a lot of competition to receive any attention from
people on YouTube. However, it is possible to do so with your followers from
other social media channels owing to YouTube’s flexibility and functionality,
and thus earn a lot of viewers and followers by cross posting your videos to
other sites. In short, YouTube is an excellent and exciting opportunity to drive
engagement towards your brand. Here are some tips to get you started when
creating and promoting your YouTube channel.
Facebook Marketing Strategy
Facebook boasts of over 1 billion active monthly users spread across the
globe making it by far the most popular social media site across all age
groups and societies. Facebook also attracts over 4.5 billion likes daily, 665
million active users daily, and over 765 million mobile monthly users. With
this huge user base, it means that you can take advantage of the platform to
promote your business to Facebook’s users. Going back to our billboard
analogy, Facebook is the busy intersection where over 1 billion people pass
through so having some presence there will mean that you can attract a
fraction of this insanely huge number. Just to give you some inspiration on
why using Facebook is critical,
Pintrest Marketing Strategy
Today, there is an added focus on visual marketing. The era of long copy
newspaper ads has passed, being replaced instead by ads with low amounts of
text and a focus on the image. If visual marketing is the current trend coupled
with the fact that a picture can tell 1000 words, all you need is Pinterest to tell
your stories. As you have noticed throughout the book, I have been
emphasizing on the importance of using pictures, videos and other visual stuff
to captivate your audience. How does Pinterest work? Pinterest basically acts
as a way to pin interesting articles from all around the internet. These can be
grouped under several sections so that they can be accessed easily and
without any hassle. People with shared interests can pin stories from other
people’s Pinterest boards, giving the website a sense of community. In a very
short time, Pinterest has become a vibrant and thriving social network that is
especially prized by marketing experts. Actually, research shows that
Pinterest brings in more buyers than any other social media site, ahead of
Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social
networks that bring high levels of engagement, increased audience response,
and a very high click-through rate. Success in Pinterest is imperative for a
number of social media projects, especially those that have a lot to do with
images. So, how do you succeed on Pinterest? Here are some tips to guide
you towards success:
Twitter is the second largest social media site after Facebook with over 280
million monthly users and up to 500 million tweets sent daily. This is
definitely a huge market to market your products but the challenge is; how do
you do that with just 140 characters per tweet? In actuality, it is the 140
character limit that makes Twitter such an interesting medium to use for social
media, and using it appropriately is not only creatively satisfying, but owing
to the relatively slow manner in which advertisers have taken to Twitter. How
do you use the famous hashtags and other features that Twitter provides users
to drive traffic to your blog, website or other social media sites? Here are
some actionable tips to help you get the most out of Twitter.
With over 200 million active users, Instagram stands to be a great tool for
you to tap into the immense potential that the platform offers in generating
leads and increasing conversions. It is an enormously growing social media
network, especially amongst youth, and boasts high levels of engagement and
interest from its expanding user base. For a brand that focuses on youth,
Instagram looks like, and is, an exciting avenue for exploration, but there are
a few things that you must keep in mind about Instagram, as it is slightly
different from the other social media networks we have been discussing so
far. For example, before you can jump right into Instagram, you should
probably understand that you wouldn’t have the luxury of publishing links to
your eCommerce site, pushing sales, and pumping products through countless
advertorial copies. You can only stand out based on how you set up contests,
how your profile looks like, and how you create your photos. Instagram is a
photo-heavy site, while text can be posted along with pictures; they are casted
directly as just accompaniment. That is why Instagram works so much better
with brands and companies that can easily be seen in the form of the
photograph – food, clothing and travel. While it is not limiting in the least,
these are the primary fields in which you can make a difference with a
campaign. A lot of Instagram is just trying to carve out a space with your
photographs that can stand out amongst the rest.
LinkedIn is the third biggest social networking site after Facebook and
Twitter and the #1 professional networking site with over 200 million users.
This presents limitless opportunities when you establish a strong brand
presence on the social media site. LinkedIn is a very useful site for B2B
advertising, where you can try to interest not your audience itself but other
brands with your own brand. A strong brand presence means having as many
connections as possible and engaging them actively. As you start your journey
towards exerting your dominance in LinkedIn, you should perhaps keep some
of the following statistics in mind because LinkedIn is different from
Facebook, Twitter and any other social network:
68%+ of users in LinkedIn are older than 35 years.
72%+ of users in LinkedIn are college grads
66%+ of users in Linked in earn more than $60,000 annually.
The good think about LinkedIn is that interaction is a lot more professional
than in any other social site; you won’t be posting photos of your recent wild
parties on your profile lest your future boss sees that! The primary thing
you’ll be marketing on LinkedIn would be yourself – your audience? Future
clients and employers. Thus your LinkedIn presence must be professional and