There is no secret about it: social media has proven to be one of the biggest events in our world in the last few years and nowadays is an instrumental aspect of our daily lives. This is mostly due to the fact that there is constant content and interaction that we get on these platforms, which results in an influx of information that we are not going to get in any other way.
So, that is why social media marketing strategies have proven to be such a fascinating and successful way to reach a lot more people; considering that there is such a wide audience out there using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatnot on a daily basis, it’s almost mandatory to tap into these platforms to get a lot more reach and relevance.
That is why we are going to explain you a few key aspects of social media marketing to make you comprehend how vital this tool can be.
What are the main benefits of social media marketing?
We need to start with the benefits because that is going to give us a major insight as to why we have to bother with social media marketing strategies and how it can help us to prosper in that regard. So here we give you the main benefits of social media marketing:
- It gives your brand a more professional look. Nowadays, if your brand is not part of social media platforms is not going to be taken seriously, so you have to deal with that as soon as possible. Remember: it’s not only about acting like a professional brand, but also to look like one. It’s a very uphill battle to succeed as a business in 2019 without a social media presence.
- Much better engagement and interaction. This is one of the focal points regarding social media marketing: when you share your content on Twitter or Facebook you are not only getting a lot more exposure than you would do without it, but you are also given the possibility to engage and interact with your target audience in a better manner, being capable of answering their doubts, questions and any other type of comment that may warrant a reply.
- The content tends to be more instantaneous. This is what makes a social media marketing plan so flexible and useful: in the world of social media marketing strategies, you are in a more live and instantaneous environment, where content adjust itself to all the different tendencies that might be going on at the moment and this can be quite helpful because it helps you to tap into what your target audience might be thinking or feeling in that particular time.
- Different uses for different platforms. The great thing about social media platforms is the fact that each and every single one of them offers something different to the table, which makes things a lot more useful and practical for you. Facebook has a little bit of everything, sure, but Twitter is more focus on text, Instagram is more imagery-based and, of course YouTube is all about videos, so all these different characteristics make your social media marketing strategies a lot more complete and varied for you at short, medium and long term.
- Marketing costs decrease. Although social networks are not free, it is true that the costs of managing a social media strategy are significantly lower than those of hiring a campaign in traditional media. Hubspot shows that companies are able to obtain results in terms of referential traffic by dedicating 6 hours per week to the management of their social media strategy.
Types of social networks
Social networks mean a space or platform where the audience connects in different ways. As we mentioned earlier, each social network has different functions and within social media marketing each and every one works in a unique way looking for specific objectives to be achieved with the strategy.
Can we say that one social network is better than another? The answer is no. The truth is that each one is important for different variants and differs from the others for its characteristics and functionalities, making them all important for one purpose or another, depending on the strategy, the audience and the goals we want to achieve. Each social network has characteristics that satisfy specific needs of the users or the audience, below are those social networks that currently stand out:
For years, Facebook has represented the most used social network that has developed in the world and tops the list of favorites. According to statistics, there are more than 1.86 billion monthly active users on Facebook, which includes an increase of 17%, year after year, since 2016 and representing a number of almost triple or quadruple of the numbers of the rest of the social platforms.
If you wonder how Facebook has achieved these numbers, the answer is very simple: they are open to change. This platform was the first to generate continuous changes in its algorithm, its look and feel and its options, always seeking better features that generate better experiences in its users. Videos and photographs generate approximately 70% of the engagement of this platform, which has given rise, to many experts in digital matters, for the study of audiences, their tastes and needs within the web.
Given the continuous change and movement of the digital world, many have predicted for years the fall of Facebook, but this platform has struggled with nails and teeth to keep its audience happy, whatever it is, being as we were introduced to the videos in the platform, GIFs, memes, live streaming and even a continuous change to visually make the platform more and more friendly to the eyes and the handling within it.
In an era where the audience wants to consume content immediately, the text has moved to a second place, where the video and images have taken advantage to reign and give the consumer what they want more quickly and visually more rewarding, what makes that content one that gives more positive results within the Social Media Marketing strategy.
This is how YouTube has become the king of videos, a platform unique in its style where almost 1.3 billion users have found a community that meets their tastes and needs. This platform, in addition to being a perfect space for digital marketing, in its search to implement a more effective strategy according to the audience, is a space where the same audience has a voice, not only through the comments they can leave within the videos, but also through creating their own channels where they can echo their ideas and join the brand or product.In addition, the consumer is not only seen as a final link within a chain of consumption, but also as a companion of the product or the brand itself.
YouTube has become a perfect space to make social media marketing much more organic (and therefore more efficient), because the content lends itself much more to open creative spaces and have constant communication between the brand or the product and the consumer or the audience
Instagram is undoubtedly one of the favorite platforms of the audience (of different ages) because it refers to the sharing of moments through photographs immediately. It has more than 400 million registered users. The power of this platform in Social Media Marketing has a significant weight to the extent that brands or products show experiences with which the user can identify.
In 2016, advertising officially arrived on Instagram and in this way users then have a space, every certain post, that suggests brands or products that invest to be visible to potential new customers. Some loved this measure, others hated it, but it is here to stay, making the network one of the platforms with the most requests to invest in the market.
There has been a lot of talk about the death of this social network and it is happening that you used to enter Twitter every day and now maybe you do it a few times a week when you want to inform yourself of a timely news.
But although this social network has cost to join the changes and we no longer use it like the other social networks, it remains one of the most used social networks with 320 million users by 2015 and there is a fundamental factor for the which continues to maintain it among some of the most famous social networks and is: the chronology of messages in real time.
And you know why he still likes this feature? Because current audiences want to know everything now and Twitter tells them at the moment. Do you want to know how much is the game of your favorite team? You will probably look for it on Twitter. The first action of a user before finding out a world news is to enter the Trending Topic of Twitter and see what it is, a functionality that you do not get on other social networks.
Within Social Media Marketing, it is a challenge to compete with the news nature of Twitter, but it is necessary that, perhaps not with the strength of other social networks, consider it within your digital ecosystem, because in a network that can work very well to detect trends and conversation topics of users.
If you work in a B2B field, this is the Social Media network you should focus on. Connecting with business professionals in any industry is easier with LinkedIn, as it allows you to guide them by industry, job title, among others.
As with all social networks, LinkedIn prioritizes building relationships more than any other. Don’t take it to a sales pitch: you must start building a connection.
One of the best features for companies is LinkedIn groups. Companies must establish groups in their niche market or industry and invite others in their target market to join.
This platform is very useful only if you have excellent images to share. Quality images are perfect candidates to become viral on this site due to their visual nature. If your image is set by a member very often, you have the potential to be seen by millions. It is also ideal for promoting products.
On the other hand, it is important to highlight that according to statistical results the social networks most used for the promotion of electronic commerce are Twitter, especially in the electronic and software sector; LinkedIn to offer professional services and marketing, as well as Facebook and Pinterest that have a large number of users.
Why should your company be present in social networks?
Although there are more and more companies that are present in different social networks, there are still many who are reluctant to make the leap to digital transformation. It is undeniable that we are increasingly exposed to social media, that there is no day that we do not invest time in them, and that their influence is increasing by leaps and bounds. Therefore, it is hard to believe that there are still people who think that this social media is useless.
Before we begin, we must be clear that, as with any business action, the management of social networks requires prior planning. There are many companies that underestimate their importance, create accounts in different social networks trusting their management to anyone without knowledge in the field, and begin to share content randomly and aimlessly, believing that it will be enough. After a short time, as expected, they end up leaving them without having obtained any benefit.
What is certain is that social networks have great potential, in addition to offering great opportunities to companies. One of its main characteristics, and perhaps key to its success, is bidirectional communication. Until now, the traditional media launched a message in order to persuade users, the latter being mere recipients of information. But this form of unidirectional communication is becoming less common because consumers do not want to listen to a monologue, but to feel partakers and listeners.
Other reasons why social media marketing has become so important for companies are:
- Social media applications such as Facebook are easily accessible to anyone with the Internet.
- Social media marketing is relatively cheap for companies to carry out marketing campaigns.
- Social media marketing can reach everyone.
What are the most important tips for social media marketing?
We have to understand how we can use social media marketing strategies in order to get the possible results; there are a lot of brands that think is just about posting content on social media, but it’s a lot more than that and it’s important to pay attention in that regard. So here we provide the most important tips about how to implement social media marketing:
- Set the objectives. The first thing to define is what is the goal you want to achieve. To do this, you must perform an analysis of the current situation of the company, both in its online presence and reputation, and this is possible through a SWOT analysis (Weaknesses, Threats, Strengths, Opportunities). Depending on what you want, either increase your online community, increase web traffic, among others, start establishing the strategy.
- Stablish a target audience. You are never going to appeal to every single demographic out there, so it’s important that you stablish that one group that is going to be more naturally interested in your content–you can do this by analyzing age groups, location, language, gender and many other different aspects. This is something that happens in every single aspect of a business and with social media marketing is no different: you need to focus on those that are more naturally interested in what you have to offer.
- Create attractive content. The content is paramount; it is essential to produce a content strategy that involves a clear, useful, consistent and quality message, with regular and differentiated publications for each network, thus generating trust in your target audience. In addition, this strategy must have an adequate design, easy to use and attractive for the channels to be used. An example of compelling content is writing lifestyle, humor tips, as well as sharing any promotion, discount or offer on social media.
Herschel Supply Co. has become a master of social media interaction, by sharing quality content that captivates large audiences, while effectively presenting its products. Its Instagram community has grown to an impressive 700.000 followers, and its content, often generated by its network of loyal buyers, never fails to impress. For this reason, it is extremely important that you do not focus only on selling, first add value through the means to build trust and increase your sales.
- Always post on a regular basis. This is one of the most important tips that we can provide on social media marketing, regardless of how basic it may sound. Posting on a constant basis is pretty helpful because it gets your target audience used to that schedule and it generates a lot more engagement as the days, weeks and months go by. Consistency is one of the most important elements of every single project in this world and the more regular you are sharing content on social media platforms, you are going to get very positive results.
- Always interact with your public. Interaction is paramount in any type of social media marketing plan, so it’s important that you implement this from the very moment that you start with your different accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on. If they have questions, answer them. If they have doubts, answer them. If they are reporting something, please communicate with them. This creates a much stronger relationship with them and it makes them feel valued by your brand.
- Make sure that the tone is the same in every platform. One of the keys of every social media marketing plan is to be consistent on all the platforms that you use. For example, if you want to use humor in your publications, make sure to replicate that on all the platforms because it delivers a sense of consistency and personality to your brand as a whole. It doesn’t work to have a different approach on all these platforms because the end result is going to be disjointed.
- Develop a content strategy. Plan a strategy with the intention of attracting social media users to your website. There are many ways to be creative and effective in social networks, such as conducting visual campaigns, contests and blogging fun and relevant content.
- Connect with influencers, competitors and customers. Search and follow the influencers of the industry or niche of your business. Once you have put together a list with the most relevant people, be encouraged to interact and make meaningful connections. Take every opportunity to ask influencers to share the products or refer their followers to your store, as this will dramatically increase the organic reach of your business.
- Research tags to motivate users to drive campaigns. Consumers of social networks use tags or “Hashtags” to follow trends. Therefore, it is important to find and add relevant tags for your clients’ publications, as this will help increase brand awareness and allow you to track the performance of your social media campaigns.
- Follow and measure success. Finally, it is important to analyze the results to measure whether social media actions have been effective. You must have defined your objectives well through the KPI (Key Performance Indicator). KPIs are the type of measurement that determines whether our social media plan has been effective, so it is important to analyze them to know what aspects can be improved.
Social media marketing is essential to every single brand out there and is a necessary step for your business’ development, so work hard, focus on delivering quality content and the results are bound to happen.