Social Media Marketing
Learn how your business can benefit from the power of social media marketing
With social media marketing, businesses use social media platforms to promote their product, service, or brand. It involves strategy development, post creation, monitoring, engagement in comments, and more.
The Role of Social Media in Digital Marketing
Social media has transformed the way we do business.
An essential part of a digital marketing strategy, social media marketing allows you to:
- Connect with your audience
- Compile valuable customer data
- Move people further down your sales funnel
Social media’s strength lies in its ability to connect businesses with their audience, give them a place to interact, and compile valuable customer data. Social media has become the leading method to engage with audiences at all stages of the customer journey, and it has become an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. You can use content platforms like YouTube, social sites like Facebook, or microblogging sites like Instagram to move your prospects further down your sales funnel.
The primary channels are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, along with other channels that may or may not be relevant to your audience – including SnapChat, TikTok, or Pinterest.
The Pros of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is pretty much a requirement for all businesses and will need to be incorporated into your digital marketing strategy. The question is – how much? Here are some of the advantages of social media marketing.
Social media platforms allow businesses to market their products and services, promote brand awareness, and engage with their audience for free. This, of course, does not include paid ad options. That said, many of the advertising options are affordable and allow you to expand your reach for the short term and gain exposure using highly targeted ads.
It takes a while to organically build your social media presence, but if you use paid ads, you will get fast results that you can measure in real time. Social media also provides immediate results, in the sense that you can connect with followers in real-time, which will prove beneficial at all stages of the customer journey.
Content can be quick and easy to create
You can quickly publish short form content that will appeal to your audience, with very little expertise required. Social media platforms help you create stories, host livestreams, add filters, develop ad campaigns, and more – all in a matter of minutes. Then, using a social media tool like Buffer, you can program your content weeks in advance and it will automatically be posted to your pages on the specified dates.
Build your brand
A new brand can quickly gain credibility on social media. An active and thoughtfully presented page will attract new followers and potential customers. It gives credence to your brand, products, and services, and people feel more comfortable purchasing from you. The content you share reflects your brand’s personality and people start to feel like they know you and what you offer.
Your content on social media has the potential to go viral. If you create interesting, valuable, or even fun content, your followers will want to share it with their network. This includes anything from a video of a compelling client testimonial and memes, to an educational infographic or article. So, even if you don’t have lots of people following you yet, if just one of your followers shares one of your posts, it has the potential to be shared multiple times over.
Social media is not only an effective way for you to connect with your audience, it’s a highly popular way for them to connect with each other. Social media has fantastic community-building potential, with people forging relationships with each other and with your brand, all brought together by a common interest or problem that needs to be solved. This connection also allows you to get to know your audience better and customize your content and products/services. Built-in analytics gives you valuable insight into your prospects and customers.
The Cons of Social Media Marketing
Social media is an essential component of digital marketing, but it does come with its own set of challenges.
Long time to see a return on your investment
No matter what your digital marketing goals are, it can take time to build a following and see results. Social media requires patience and a considerable time investment.
You need to provide your audience with fresh, relevant content to keep them engaged. Research, content development, and interacting with your audience can consume a significant amount of your time and resources.
Sometimes it feels like once you get into a rhythm with your social media marketing, everything changes: news feeds, which content and accounts are prioritized, updates, the rise of stories vs regular feed, increased use of video, and more. It can be difficult for businesses to keep on top of these trends, stay relevant, and continue appearing in their followers’ feeds.
Related to the previous ‘con’, businesses have limited control over their social media pages. They have to constantly adjust their content and tactics in order to appear in news feeds. If there is a major overhaul to your dominant platform, it can have a devastating effect on business. Negative publicity can go viral. Your branding can be diluted.
Is Social Media Marketing Right for You?
Of all the digital marketing tactics, this one is pretty much a given. The question is, knowing the pros and cons of social media marketing, how much time will you dedicate to it? How many platforms will you spend that time on? What percentage of your digital marketing strategy will go towards it?
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