what is social media marketing

What is Social Media Marketing: Understanding The Basics

If you haven’t noticed that every business, service, store and platform out there is using social media, where have you been? Gone are the days when having a static website was enough to get your name out there. Today all companies, from mom and pops to restaurants to brick and mortar shops, should be on at least one social media platform. If you don’t have a social media presence, start one! Get online to give your potential customers a place to learn more about your business, stay updated and connect with you. Gain an understanding of social media marketing and use this knowledge to your advantage.

Understanding Social Media Marketing

If you’re sitting idly by with your website waiting for the world to discover you, get comfortable. It could take a while. Social media amplifies your presence, like getting on stage and using a megaphone to broadcast your message. With regular posts, you can boost your brand visibility, share your expertise, and talk about what sets you apart from the competition. This is attractive to your audience because it allows them to familiarize themselves with who you are and what you do.

As potential customers grow more comfortable with your brand and its offerings, this sets the stage for conversion opportunities. Social media can help with this too. You can also boost your sales by spreading the word about ongoing promotions, contests and special offers. In some cases, you can even sell directly from your social media platform.

The Biggest Social Media Channels (And a Couple More)

To get started, select the social media channels you want to be active on. There’s more than a few out there, but the most popular are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

With over 2.2 billion users, Facebook needs no introduction. Everyone and their mother (and grandmother) has an account. The multifunctional platform also offers an opportunity for you to publish ads, start a group, speak to individual clients, and create a business page.

While Twitter’s utility is more limited (each tweet is capped at 280 characters), it still serves as a vital component for a social media strategy. Its 335 million users often use it as a “direct line” to a company to resolve order and service issues. It’s also an excellent platform for company updates and announcements.

The photo-driven Instagram is very popular with millennials. While the platform does not allow for direct links from posts to your webpage and products, you’re at risk of missing out on their eyeballs if you skip over this platform. Its 1 billion users spend hours daily liking and commenting on images published by their friends and brands alike. In other words? Engagement on Instagram is sky-high.

A side note: If your brand is a B2B or has a corporate bent, consider joining LinkedIn as well. Despite the smaller audience, it consists mainly of business professionals on the lookout for their next opportunity and could be the perfect place for you to devote some of your marketing energies. On the other hand, retail or lifestyle B2Cs may find the visuals-heavy Pinterest to be a useful auxiliary platform since it can be very effective at showcasing your brand in an aspirational light.

If you’re doubting the feasibility of managing three (or more) social media accounts at once, there’s good news—there’s no need to create entirely new content posts for each platform. Feel free to use a unified strategy, publishing similar posts across all your socials as a jumping-off point, and creating platform-specific types of content later on if needed, once you’ve learned what works or have additional resources. Remember, don’t let perfection get in the way of progress.

How to Get Started With Social Media Marketing

With social media, it’s essential to stay active on your platforms. Not sure what to talk about? You can draw attention to specific products or services you offer, or drive traffic to your website. If you’ve recently published a blog post or are hosting an event, mention it in your socials. Feature testimonials or past clients who have used your product…the list goes on. If you’re genuinely stuck for ideas, here’s a hint: follow your competitors. Check out what they’re doing, what’s working for them and what’s not sticking. Experiment with incorporating elements of their strategy into yours. Use their content, as well as that of other accounts you admire, as inspiration to shape your own action plan.

While understanding social media marketing isn’t difficult, it does involve the coordination of many moving pieces to manage, in order to deliver a unified and compelling message. A good digital marketing firm can help you develop a strategy and execute it to optimal effect. Book a free consultation call with Asset Digital Communications to find out more about what we can do for you.