Marketing is intrinsic to any business’s growth and finding newer and more effective ways to promote a business’s products and services are always welcome. When social media became the new norm for people to connect with others and share their ideas, thanks to the internet, businesses saw it as a great opportunity to market themselves and increase their reach to the farthest possible regions. That’s how social media marketing was born.
Today, social media marketing has become a very complex concept that involves keeping a track of a myriad of elements before publishing advertisements on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc to obtain greater visibility and is now one of the major pillars of “Internet marketing”.
Social Media Marketing has time and again proved to be one of the most technically and financially viable mediums of marketing and its popularity graph has been on an exponential rise since the day of its inception.
I See. Now Tell Me, How Does Social Media Marketing Work?
Marketing is always about reaching out to more and more people. In 2021, the second decade of the era of the internet, social media platforms are enjoying greater popularity among the masses than ever before. More than half of the world, 53.6% to be exact, is on one or more social media platforms and with the internet becoming a household name, people are staying in touch with their friends and known ones almost 24*7.
Social Media Marketing is all about leveraging this immense popularity of social media platforms.
Social media marketing is, in a sense, a term denoting the symbiotic relationship between social media platforms and companies looking to market their products and services. Social media platforms provide companies with a stage where they can showcase their products to the masses and in turn, these companies provide social media platforms with some monetary compensation for using that stage.
But as simple as it appears, there’s more to social media marketing than meets the eye.
Gone are the days when just creating an advertisement and paying the social media platform of choice to host that advertisement was the only thing to do. In today’s times, social media marketing is a highly technical and competitive domain where marketers need to come up with unique strategies to make their advertisements stand out in a sea of “marketing noise” that floods the domain of internet marketing.
Below are the following steps needed to make sure that your advertisements meet the glances of the audience:
- Market research: The first step before drafting an advertisement is to know the industry you are targeting. Social media platforms have dedicated tools and means which you can use to analyze the market and formulate a marketing strategy accordingly.
- Deciding on a format: Before creating the content for an advertisement, you need to pinpoint the medium via which you are going to showcase that content. Do you want to make a video, a catchy photo or just written content to woo your audience is up to you to decide. One suggested method is to analyze the marketing strategies of your competitors. See which formats they’re employing and in what frequency and then see if their strategy is getting them results.
- Drafting & publishing: Once the above two steps have been fulfilled, now it’s time to draft your advertisement and publish it on your choice of social media platform. This, we’ll leave up to you, for you know your creative limits the best.
A piece of advice: don’t exactly copy your competitors but at the same time, do not try to go all avant-garde. Keep it simple and catchy. No one likes complicated stuff.
- Monitoring: Once your advertisement has been published, now it is time to see how it performs in the real world. No matter how creative and unique you think your advertisement is, it is ultimately the sentiment of the audience and the social media algorithms that decide the reality.
Social media platforms have various tools for analytics. Use them to figure out the performance and engagement of your advertisement on that platform.
- Learning and evolving: The internet is ever-changing and so are the habits and interests of the people who dwell in it. A marketing strategy developed today may or may not stay relevant in the next week or even the very next day. So stay up to date with the trends on social media and formulate your strategies accordingly.
Enlightening! Now May I Know The Advantages Of Social Media Marketing?
The effectiveness of Social media marketing cannot be contested. But every now and then we find blokes who question the efficacy of marketing on social media platforms. How Social Media Marketing can save a dying brand. So to convince them, and to remove any speck of doubts from our minds as well, let’s list out the advantages of social media marketing.
- Wider reach: As has been reiterated above, one of the biggest advantages of social media marketing is the exposure it provides and this is especially beneficial for small businesses that cannot afford the huge monetary remunerations of advertising on television and via huge billboards.
- Targeted delivery: Another advantage of SMM is that your advertisements reach only the audience demographic that you want to target. The platform’s algorithm will then make it so that people who require stationery supplies will come across your advertisement the most.
- Analytics: Knowing how well a social media advertisement performs is the key to devising new strategies for more effective marketing. Using the tools provided by social media platforms, you can generate analytics and use them to tweak your marketing plans.
- Freemium advertising models: Social media platforms work by displaying posts created by an individual to other people based on various factors. On platforms such as Facebook & Instagram, you don’t always need to pay for creating a post. If you have a good following, you can always share an advertisement in the form of a post and wait for your followers to view it. Additionally, to increase reach, you can always choose to pay some remuneration to the platform.
Thus social media helps to build a brand or can save the dying brand.
How Do I Choose The Right Social Media Platform For Marketing?
If you are serious about using social media marketing for your business then it’s always best to play safe and go with the platforms that are popular, your targeted audiences are using that platform and can guarantee results.
Here is a list of 5 most effective types of social media marketing that’ll bring in sales:
- Facebook Advertising: When we talk about social media, Facebook is a name that always comes to mind. A household name today, Facebook is the world’s most popular social media platform with a user base of nearly 3 BILLION and as such, the number 1 choice for social media marketers.
Facebook allows a variety of ad formats such as images, videos, carousels, slideshows and more.
Facebook ads are displayed in people’s feeds, Facebook live streams and in the messenger (specifically in the case of a business page). You can take the help of social media marketing experts.
- Instagram Advertising: A product of Facebook.inc., Instagram is the most actively used social media platform, second in popularity only to its elder sibling Facebook.
Instagram is more of a “visuals more, less text” platform and advertisements on it require a high amount of creativity.
Apart from displaying ads as regular posts, Instagram also allows ads to be shown as stories.
- Youtube Advertising: The largest video-sharing platform on the internet, Youtube is an inseparable part of the holy “social media” trinity: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube (if such a thing exists).
Youtube also allows video and image-based ads though the former precedes the latter in popularity.
Millions of people watch videos on Youtube clocking millions of internet hours thus making Youtube the go-to platform for hosting ads.
- Linkedin Advertising: The largest social media platform for professionals, it is the most recommended social media platform for B2B companies and for any other business alike.
Since Linkedin is composed almost entirely of professionals, there’s a high chance of your ads reaching people who actually require your services and are not just checking you out.
Linkedin also provides image-based & video-based ads that are visible as posts in people’s feeds.
- Twitter Advertising: A unique social media platform that caters to all age demographics and where actively participate in discussions, sharing their opinions on a plethora of topics, Twitter as a platform for social media marketing carries much potential.
Twitter, apart from allowing images and videos, also allows solely text-based ads (tweets) and even promotes. Though, speaking straight, all ads on Twitter work on a promotional basis and as such, like every other social media platform, it charges some monetary value for it.
Social Media Marketing is a powerful means to increase your business’s reach for a fraction of the price you pay for television, newspapers or billboard ads and carries a higher chance of people responding to your ads and requesting your products and services. All it needs is the right strategy, creativity and the patience to learn and evolve with the changing dimensions of the internet.