With 4.62 billion social media users worldwide, it is not surprising that 4 out of 10 internet users aged 18-34 have bought products through these online channels. This also explains why a social media influencer can compel up to 80% of consumers to buy a product. One reason is that consumers relate with influencers.
As such, business owners must include social media in their marketing mix.
Why Your Business Needs Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a promotional strategy wherein you leverage the power of social networking platforms for brand awareness and to reach your target market.
A decade ago, people used social media to connect with friends and families. That was until entrepreneurs found a way to use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to promote their businesses. Nowadays, social networking sites allow business owners to run ads to boost sales.
If you are still on the fence about social media marketing, here are six benefits that can convince you why your business needs it:
Make Your Business Human
Social media allows your business to be an active participant in the market. That’s because having a social media channel makes your business approachable to your customers. Mind you, 1 in 3 social media users prefer networking platforms to get customer support than email or telephone. Additionally, you can use your platforms to build two-way communication between your business and your customers.
When it comes to customer services, Zappos always top the list. The online retailer is known for prioritizing their customers’ needs, which is integral to their company culture. And it is evident in their social media interactions.
Build a Relationship with Your Target Market
Social media marketing is a promotional strategy wherein you leverage the power of social networking channels for brand awareness and to reach your target market.
In the case of Lego, they even involve their audience in product development.
Their YouTube channel is integral in their social media marketing strategy. Additionally, their Logo Ideas playlist is where they allow makers to submit their creations. This can sometimes lead to the launching of a new official set.
Build Brand Awareness
In relation to building a meaningful relationship with your potential and existing customers, you can also use social media to build brand awareness.
Think of it as online word-of-mouth marketing. When followers share your content through their channels, the people in their network can discover it. Hence, more people can get to know your brand. The same goes when they talk about your brand on their social media accounts.
An excellent example is BooHoo, a fashion retailer that leverages influencers to target and engages the young audience on Instagram. They also use pop culture to make their content relatable to their Gen Z followers.
Drive Traffic to Your Business
One of the common uses of social media is to promote your web content. By doing so, you are allowing your content to get as much exposure as possible. This can also result in an increase in referral traffic to your website.
At ArisAlex, we often use social media to share our published content. This helps us in two ways:
- Ensure that more people get to read our content
- Drive more traffic to our website
Generate Leads and Boost Sales
Aside from referral traffic, you can use social media to generate high-quality leads and boost conversions for your business. What’s great is that you can use organic posts, social media ads, or both.
One reason is that people who follow your brand on social media are interested in your products or services. It is also possible that they are your existing customers and are following your online profiles to stay updated. Thus, they are likely to consume your social media content, which can encourage them to visit your website for more information.
Did you know how many PlayStation users downloaded Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Journey during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic? A whopping 10 million!
How did Sony do it? They launched a #PlayAtHome campaign on social media to encourage gamers to download and play the games while staying at home.
Meanwhile, you can use your existing social media followers’ demographic data to run social media ads. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to set specific parameters, ensuring that only your target market will see your ads. These parameters can be similar to your existing social media followers (a.k.a. lookalike audience) or something you can set manually based on your audience research.
Listen to Brand Sentiments
Aside from being a platform for two-way communication, you can also use social media to listen to what customers say about your brand. This is called social listening.
Whether you own a small business or an enterprise, you can use social listening to achieve the following:
- Defining your ideal customer
- Finding product-market fit
- Pivoting your business
- Deciding where and when to grow
- Growing your brand’s social media following
This tweet from Hootsuite, a social media management tool, is an excellent example of social media listening. That’s because it highlights the pain points that social media manager have and how Hootsuite can help solve those.
How to Leverage Different Social Media Networks
With more than 2.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the largest social media channel worldwide. It is commonly used to communicate with family and friends and interact with online communities that align with their interests and needs.
Meanwhile, business owners can use Facebook for the following:
- Build a relationship with existing customers
- Host webinars and live streams
- Share business or product milestones
You may think of YouTube as a video-sharing website. However, it serves as a social media channel and a search engine. It is, in fact, the second-largest search engine in the world.
Providing value is key to having a YouTube channel that brings ROI. Consider posting tutorials or how-to videos that are relevant to your products. It is also crucial that your videos have keyword-rich titles and descriptions.
Aside from posting videos, you can also maximize your YouTube channel by responding to comments, liking other videos, and sharing your content on different channels.
If your target customers are millennials, you might want to leverage Instagram. That’s because people often use this platform to follow influencers or key opinion leaders in the industry.
Not being Instagram famous should not stop you from using this channel to provide value. You just need your 100 true fans to get started.
PRO TIP: Product IG Reels and IGTV content to expand your brand’s audience reach. The Instagram algorithm favors video content more.
Much like Instagram, TikTok is best used if you want to connect with young consumers. This is also an excellent platform to showcase your brand humor or become inspirational to your followers.
To do that, you can produce the following content for TikTok:
- Trending challenges
- Behind the scenes of your business operations
- Funny or inspirational videos
The key to effective TikTok marketing is to be relatable while staying on-brand.
Because of its limited character count, Twitter is best used for valuable tidbits that can lead to educated discussions within your community. Remember that people use Twitter for news, updates, and customer services. As such, it is imperative that you are active on this channel if you want to maximize it.
Pinterest is image-heavy like Instagram, although it has a more relaxed vibe. Hence, people use this platform when looking for inspiration, such as design ideas. But just because your business is not into creatives does not mean you cannot use Pinterest.
You can use any of these Pinterest marketing tactics based on the nature of your business:
- Product features
- Educational content (i.e., infographics)
- Lifestyle multimedia content (e.g., vertical videos)
LinkedIn is ideal for B2B marketing. This means that you provide services to businesses instead of individuals. Other than that, LinkedIn is also a great place to showcase your company culture, share industry insights, and attract top talents to your company.
The Role of Influencers in Social Media Marketing
Influencer marketing is an online marketing tactic wherein brands leverage a network of people to promote their products. But is it effective?
Ten years ago, influencer marketing was limited to celebrities, well-known bloggers, and vloggers. Nowadays, anyone can be an influencer.
What Makes Influencer Marketing Effective?
The influencer marketing industry is expected to grow into an $85 billion industry by 2028. That’s because there is a growing demand for businesses to be relatable to their target market. Plus, influencer marketing can help you stretch your marketing budget.
Influencers Operate Across Multiple Social Media Platforms
While social media influencers have a favorite platform, they tend to share content across multiple channels. Tapping into such influencers can help you reach a large audience.
Small Follower Count Means Higher Engagement Rate
As mentioned, influencer marketing is no longer limited to celebrities and internet-famous people with large followers. If you want your customers to relate to your brand, consider working with nano and micro-influencers. These social media influencers have a few hundred to a couple of thousands of followers.
What’s great about working with nano and micro-influencers is that they represent your ideal customers. They also have the highest engagement rate of at least 5%. One reason is that their followers are close to them, like family and friends, and they actively engage with their followers.
Enable Ongoing Partnerships
In relation to the previous point, working with nano and micro-influencers can help you maximize your marketing budget. That’s because your $1,000 budget enables you to engage dozens of nano and micro-influencers. The more people talk about your products online, the wider the net you cast to capture your target market.
Build Product Awareness and Foster Trust
According to a study by Oracle and CRM Essentials, 28% of consumers discover new products through social media influencers. Moreover, 37% of consumers trust influencers more than brands. That’s why it comes as no surprise that 8 out of 10 Gen Zs purchased a product in response to seeing social media content.
Don’t believe us? Look at the compilation of “TikTok Made Me Buy It” videos.
These statistics prove that leveraging influencer marketing can help spread the word about your brand and products. It also allows you to build trust among your target market by engaging people that relate to and represents your ideal customers.
Overcome Issues with Online Ads
On average, 4 out of 10 internet users have ad blockers on their website. This prevents your search engine marketing tactic from exposing your brand to your target market. Luckily, influencer marketing can be an effective workaround.
For one, influencer content is not disruptive like online ads. They blend in well with other social media posts. Second, influencers are creative enough to talk about a product as if it is one of their regular posts. Lastly, influencers will likely talk about the products they are keen to use. Hence, it is deemed a product recommendation instead of an endorsement.
Just look at this post from Seth Hughes. He is a Colorado-based professional photographer who uses Fujifilm X (hence, the hashtag). But he also enjoys the great outdoors, so it is easy for him to talk about skiing in one of his posts.
10 Recommended Social Media Marketing Tools
Effective social media marketing can help build brand awareness, foster meaningful relationships with your customers, and drive sales. However, it can be cumbersome to execute. As such, you will need the right tools to ensure consistency with your promotional tactics on social media.
Scheduling tools are designed to help you save time. That’s because it allows you to curate, queue, and organize social media posts without going back and forth between multiple tabs.
Publer lets you create, curate, and schedule social media posts on different platforms that you manage. Thanks to its drag-and-drop feature, you can do it one by one or in bulk. Moreover, you can collaborate with your team so that everyone can contribute to your business’s social media marketing efforts.
Like Publer, Plannable lets you schedule social media posts and organize them through drag-and-drop. The tool boasts a sleek calendar view and an approval process that ensures your team is producing on-brand social media posts.
Posting on different social networks daily is just one part of social media marketing. You also need to be responsive to your followers, which can help build customer loyalty.
Buffer is an intuitive social media management tool that can help you drive engagement with your followers. This tool lets you see and reply to comments in a single dashboard. Buffer also uses machine learning to alert you when a post has questions or negative sentiments.
Sprout Social is a social media management tool that provides a customer relationship management feature. This means you can see your customer’s complete social media profiles, giving you an idea of how to serve them best.
As previously mentioned, you can use social media to listen to brand sentiments. Doing so lets you define your ideal customer, know when to pivot, and grow your following.
If you want to know what content is gaining traction on major social media channels, BuzzSumo is what you need. It boasts the Content Discovery feature, helping you identify the most popular posts across different platforms.
Falcon.io is an all-in-one social media management tool that lets you listen to what people say about your brand online. You can also use this to manage your social media inboxes and communities and assign specific messages to one of your teams.
Social media monitoring differs from listening, wherein monitoring helps you track your social media activities in one place. It also lets you capture mentions of your social media handles, official hashtags, and target keywords.
Hootsuite is a beginner-friendly social media monitoring tool that lets you monitor your activities across multiple platforms. It features customizable streams that allow you to zero in on brand mentions, relevant topics, and identified competitors.
Nexalogy uses data visualization to help you determine your niche’s popular keywords and active accounts. The latter is the best use to identify competitors and influencers.
Analytics can help you capture the complete picture of your social media marketing efforts. That way, you can point out which platform, content type, or format brings desired results for your business.
HubSpot’s analytics tool can help determine whether your social media marketing efforts drive business growth. What’s great about this tool is that it has graphs and data visualization that enables you to track social media performance by platform, audience, session lengths, and impressions.
While it is not a social media management tool, Google Analytics lets you track website traffic from various social media channels. You can maximize this tool by using an Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) to track your social media campaigns.
Use Social Media Marketing to Expand Your Market Reach
Social media marketing can be a powerful way to build brand awareness, reach and engage with your customers, and boost sales. To do that, it is vital to identify what social media channels you will use. You can start with just one social media account for your business or sign up on different networks if your resources allow.
Doing so helps you figure out how to make the most of it. This can include the following:
- Making your business human
- Building a relationship with your target market
- Building brand awareness
- Driving traffic to your business
- Generating leads and boosting sales
- Listening to brand sentiments
Remember that social media is best used to connect with your potential and existing customers. You can also leverage this digital marketing tactic to spread awareness about your business and products with the help of the right influencers.
So, start creating a social media account for your business and discover what social media marketing can do for you!