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Social media and marketing (SMM) is the practice of sharing content on social media platforms to attract an audience, build trust and form long-lasting relationships.
As of 2017, 81% percent of the US population has a social media profile. That number was 24% in 2008, less than a decade ago. As more consumers shift towards conducting their online activity through a social network, it’s important for businesses to integrate and deploy a social media marketing strategy in order to survive and thrive.
However, if you’re new to digital marketing and social media trends, all of this may sound overwhelming. How does a business succeed on social media, and how does social media and marketing even work?
The Current Social Media Landscape
First, let’s scout the social media landscape of 2017. Here are the current social media titans that dominate the web:
Facebook tops the chart, with over 2 billion active users per month. If you’re a business looking to create an online presence, Facebook is simply too big to ignore. However, plenty of other platforms exist, some of which may offer a more strategic way to reach your core demographic using SMM.
How Does Social Media and Marketing Work?
When you create and publish content online, you have a chance to attract new followers on any given social network. This includes creative content like text, images, videos, GIFs, white papers, and eBooks—essentially anything that generates engagement like sharing and commenting. As you provide more value to your audience, you create more leads, which in turn improves your SEO and increases your search result ranking. This makes it much it much easier for people to find your website and social media pages.
How Do I Use Social Media and Marketing?
The first step to implementing and using social media and marketing is to formulate a social media marketing strategy. This is a concise roadmap that details who your target audience is, which social networks your business will focus on, what your messaging will be for each one, and how you’ll achieve each goal in a timely manner. Without any direction, your SMM won’t deliver the results you expect.
Which Social Media Site is Right for my Business?
Ultimately, the social media platforms you decide to invest resources in depend largely on the services you provide. For example, Twitter is excellent for providing real-time updates and announcements to followers, as well as hyping or teasing upcoming product releases. Facebook acts as a community bulletin board for your brand, while Pinterest helps fuel personal brands and generates click-through conversions.
Carefully consider your demographic and choose the social network they likely spend the most time on. As you grow, you can gradually extend to more networks that cover a particular user base.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media and Marketing
Finally, here is a bit of etiquette to remember as you and your business journey onto social media.
DO post regularly. A stagnant social media account is quickly overlooked. To retain interest and attract a larger base, you must provide consistent, valuable updates to your followers.
DO focus on discussions, rather than overt promotions. Remember, people don’t use social media to be sold to. It’s a place to interact with friends, share photos, and enjoy bits of news and pop culture.
DO track data. Social networks such as Facebook provide tools specifically for businesses to track data and analytics. Utilize this information to identify successful campaigns that increase conversions.
DON’T spread yourself thin. It’s tempting to create an account on every platform available, but this will quickly drain your attention and resources. Instead, focus on 1-2 platforms that your target audience is already active on.
DON’T pander to your audience. Today’s digital consumer is savvy and smart, with little patience for blatant advertisements disguised as premium content. Be funny and creative, and invest in your followers regardless of whether it translates into an immediate sale.
Build Long-lasting Relationships with Social Media and Marketing
The best relationships take time, dedication and patience. Whether you’re helping a customer face-to-face or engaging with them online, a sincere interest in who they are, what they need and what you can offer them goes a long way towards creating a rich, long-lasting relationship. When it boils down, that’s what social media and marketing is all about.
Contact us today if you’re looking to learn more about how you can benefit from social media and marketing.