We live in a world where social media plays a more critical role in influencing us than our actual physical environment and its people. Almost everybody has a social media profile on multiple social media platforms. Almost everyone is updating something or the other about their lives on social media every single day.
Businesses are aware of this and have therefore started using social media marketing as one of their primary marketing sources. Big and small companies know that the way to penetrate people’s mindsets these days is to show up in their social media timelines. The way to convince someone to buy a product is by showing them that their friends are talking about the product on social media. Even the most effective way to make a marketing campaign go viral nowadays is to increase its shareability on social media.
When businesses take on this opportunity and gear their marketing efforts towards various social media platforms, they are said to be focused on social media marketing. Before we talk about how to do social media marketing, let’s define what social media marketing really is.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing refers to the concept of promoting a brand, product, or service by mentioning and displaying it in different ways on various social media platforms. It can be done in multiple ways.
The most cost-effective social media marketing method is to create social media pages to represent your brand online. These include Facebook pages, LinkedIn pages, Instagram account (full of Instagram stories), Twitter account, and even a Youtube channel. On these pages (or channels), you regularly upload your product photos or company culture photos and share regular updates about your products and services. Some of the things that are commonly shared on a brand’s social media page are as follows.
- Announcements of a new product launch
- Upcoming sales offers and discount deals
- Ongoing sales promotions
- Events sponsored by the brand or company
- Pictures showing the company’s corporate culture
- Most popular product photos
- Customer testimonials
- Survey questions to get customer feedback
- Job vacancies
All these keep customers informed about what’s going on with the brand. These also keep customers reminded about the brand so that they buy from them whenever they need.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing For Your Business
The benefits of social media marketing for your business are endless. Here we will attempt to discuss a few of them.
1. Enhances Your Brand’s Authority
Building an online presence is not so easy. Most people think that your job to create an online presence for your brand if you make a website for your business is done. But this is far from the truth in the digitized world we are facing today. To establish a good online presence, a company needs to build an integrated network of web pages all across the internet. To do this, your website needs to be linked with various social media platforms that have very high search engine rankings and are popular among your targeted audience.
When your prospects see your brand name appear on multiple platforms, the perceived value of your products in their eyes increases. They assume you must be a well-established brand, as you have been able to maintain your information on in mamanyaces. This is a tremendous benefit of social media marketing.
Most of the ready-made website templates these days come with the feature to insert social media icons on the site’s landing page. The purpose is to show the site viewers that the brand exists not only on the site. It also exists on all these other platforms with a certain amount of following and ‘likes’. A prospect might not be adept at browsing through your online store, but would surely be used to checking their Facebook newsfeed. If your product is recommended to them in their Facebook feed, they will be more likely to give it a look and click on the call-to-action button. Since everybody is accustomed to viewing their social media feeds regularly, the key to building brand authority is to figure out a way to show up in those feeds. You need to be marketing on social media to maintain your brand loyalty.
2. Provides Platforms for Running Cost-Effective Advertisements
Gone are the days when, if a business could not afford a television advert, it wouldn’t be able to run advertising campaigns. These days, businesses can easily set a very low budget on a social media ad and run an entire month’s campaign by spending less than a quarter of what they would have to spend on a TV ad. That’s why using social media for marketing is a lot cheaper than any other means of paid advertising.
Paid advertisements run on social media are very cost-effective. Most platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, allow you to set a daily budget of as low as $1. This budget can even be changed any time you like. For instance, in the first week of running a Facebook Ad, you observe that it’s showing fabulous results. In the next week, you can increase your weekly budget from $100 to $200, and wait to see the results. If by doubling your budget, your conversions also double up, you can continue to spend $200 a week. But if your sales drop on raising the budget, you can go for some weekly budget that’s somewhere between $100 and $200.
Since you are only spending a minimum amount of money in social media marketing, it is easy for you to do trial-and-error, until you figure out the optimum budget required to get the best return error ad expense.
3. Gives Customers Easy Access to Brand Updates
Updating your customers with new information about your brand is a lot easier to do on social media than on your website. A good social media marketer would in fact do that on a daily basis. Even if you regularly update your site, you cannot be sure that your daily viewing it every day. But what you can be sure of is that your customers are definitely viewing their social every single day.
If a brand is selling tickets for an upcoming event, it would be a great idea to promote that on social media too as that would definitely increase the number of ticket sales. This is why you too should definitely use social media for marketing.
Image taken from Strikingly user’s website
4. Increases the Chances of Your Campaigns Going Viral
The quickest way for a brand message to go viral is to encourage your customers or prospects to share it on social media. Social media marketing and sharing often have a snowballing effect. Every time one person shares your ad with another, the chances of the ad going viral increase. This is because people love to forward and share posts on social media. Social media geeks will act as free marketers for your brand, and even enjoy themselves during the process.
5. Generates More Traffic to Your Website
More people are able to view your advertisements and marketing on social media than on your official website. If you create a sales funnel where your customers are directed from your social media presence to your site, you will be able to generate a lot more organic traffic to your website than otherwise. In other words, through social media marketing, you can get more people to visit your website.
Building traffic to your site through social media works even faster than applying all the search engine optimization techniques to your online store, blog, or site.
6. Produces Higher Conversion Rates
When more people visit your site and they presume your brand to have good authority, they will be more likely to make a purchase. This will give you higher conversion rates through social media marketing. And the best part is, these customers will also be more likely to make repeat purchases because they will have trust in your brand equity.
7. Creates Better Customer Satisfaction
It is easier for a business to interact with their customers on a personal level through social media. For example, someone having an inquiry about your product after seeing its photos on your Facebook page can straight away contact you through Facebook messenger and expect an instant response. Hence, social media marketing creates better customer satisfaction.
8. Improves Search Engine Rankings
As mentioned above, social media integration with your website enhances your site’s search rankings to a great extent. All these factors work collectively to give your brand more discoverability for Google bots.
Image taken from Strikingly user’s website
9. Captures Marketplace Insights
As a social media marketer, when you run ads on social media, you get access to their statistics in addition to your website’s statistics. If your website is built in a tool such as Strikingly, you have access to the Strikingly statistics and Google Analytics, should you submit your website to Google. Thus social media marketing helps you capture marketplace insights.
Image taken from Strikingly
Which Social Media Platform to Use For Your Business?
The kind of business you have and the type of products you sell are the determining factors in deciding which social media platform will be most suitable for your business. For example, if you are selling end-consumer or durable products, you can do social media marketing for them on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. On these platforms, users view posts very quickly and also make their buying decisions very fast. If a Facebook user sees a long description about a service that you provide, they would most likely not even give your post another glance.
Image taken from Strikingly user’s website
If you are selling, let’s say, human resource consultancy services, the best platform for you to do social media marketing for those will be LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, we find people who are serious and professional. They are either looking for a job, or looking to hire someone for a job, or simply building up their professional network to increase the chances of having better career opportunities in the future. These people will happily read posts related to HR, and will be more willing than Facebook users to go through a long and descriptive post. This is how you choose the most suitable platform for social media marketing.
Using social media for marketing is fun for both you and your customers. When there are so many benefits, you should definitely include it in your business’s initial marketing plan. That would help you build your social media profiles on time and make marketing on social media easier once your business is officially launched.