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If you are a business owner, you must at least have heard of social media marketing. Perhaps you are already using this marketing tactic to some degree. Maybe, it’s one of the primary channels you use for your marketing initiatives. But are you tapping into its full potential to achieve your business goals? Do you know everything you need to know to make the most of the unprecedented marketing opportunities that social media offers? The objective of this article is to acquaint you better with the basics of this quickly growing field so you can use it optimally for your marketing pursuits.
Social media includes all the web-based applications, sites and platforms that enable people to share information and communicate with each other. People can access these digital media networks with any of their internet-powered devices such as mobile phones, tablets, smartwatches and computers.
Different types of social media sites allow users of their platform to connect, share content, and communicate in a specified manner. Each site has its own framework for facilitating engagement between its community members. And, consequently, each site holds unique opportunities for marketers.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn
Flickr, Imgur, DevianArt, Pixabay, Unsplash
YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, IGTV, Vimeo
Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, Clubhouse
Pinterest, Medium, Pocket, Digg, Flipboard
Tumblr, LinkedIn, Medium
Reddit, Quora, TripAdvisor
Social media marketing aims to leverage social media platforms to promote products and services and build brand awareness. It is considered to be a part of digital marketing, which the American Marketing Association defines as “the use of digital or social channels to promote a brand or reach consumers. This kind of marketing can be executed on the internet, social media, search engines, mobile devices and other channels.”
The two most important factors that make social media marketing a rewarding endeavour for any business are the reach these platforms enjoy and their ability to gain the attention of their users daily.
Reach – 3.6 billion social media users worldwide.
As per this report published in Statista – “In 2020, over 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 4.41 billion in 2025.”
Time spent by users daily across the globe – Average social media usage is more than 2 hours daily.
As per this report published in Statista – “As of 2019 and 2020, the average daily social media usage of internet users worldwide amounted to 145 minutes per day, up from 142 minutes in the previous year.”
It is easy to see why social media platforms are an absolute must-have tool in your marketing arsenal, considering their widespread reach. In addition to their reach, social media platforms enable businesses to find the specific target segment they cater to effectively. What’s more, these sites provide companies with the opportunity to converse with their target audience as frequently as their marketing strategy demands, be it daily, weekly, monthly, or as often as required.
As far as social media marketing is concerned, the massive reach is just the starting point. You can use this ability to reach, engage, and stay connected with your target market for taking your business’ overall marketing efforts to the next level!
By developing your social media presence, you can connect with your target audience and establish your brand identity. You can use these platforms to achieve your branding goals by creating, publishing, and sharing content that speaks to your target audience, ignites their interest and holds their attention. This involves finding the right platforms and developing messaging that is consistent with the vision, mission, and values that drive your brand.
As social media platforms have access to essential information about their users such as location, gender, language preferences, age group, marital status, education level, hobbies, interests, occupation, and other important characteristics, you can effectively use this data to target your advertisements to your target demographic segment. With social networking sites, you have great chances of reaching your prospective customers as they promote your advertising to users that match the demographic characteristics of your target audience.
It has become much easier for businesses to converse with their customers and client prospects because of social media platforms. Unlike other forms of marketing such as television commercials and hoarding advertising, social media sites enable two-way communication between the business and its target segment. On social media sites, your target audience can comment on your posts, chat with you, share feedback and reviews. This makes your customers feel valued and engages them. Social media marketing facilitates your business to go beyond merely promoting your products and services – it allows you to build a connection with your customers and inspire customer loyalty. You can strengthen your customer retention efforts and grow your customer base through these platforms in the long term.
You can use social media platforms in multiple ways for generating leads and converting them. You can do this by directly promoting your products and services on your page, by developing gated content, creating contests, offering discounts, and more! As you explore social media marketing further, you’ll be able to assess which type of marketing activities and campaigns create buzz, generate leads and drive maximum sales for you.
With the enhanced measurement and analytics tools that are built-in to social media platforms and the third-party solutions that you can integrate with them, you can access, organise, analyse, and store valuable insights about your target customers and easily measure the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts. You can use this information strategically to improve your customer engagement, brand building and digital marketing activities.
Like traditional forms of marketing, your social media marketing planning should begin with defining your long-term and short-term marketing goals. Then you can move to the next step, which is developing your marketing strategies bearing in mind your target audience and their preferences. This, in turn, will dictate which social media platforms are the most appropriate for achieving your objectives. And, based on these factors, you can then create the content and digital marketing assets for carrying out your social media marketing activities and campaigns.
Each business targets its products and services to a specific segment, so the platform that works well for one company is not necessarily the best marketing solution for another company. This is simply because different social media sites engage their audience differently. Once you define your social media marketing objectives and the demographic that you want to reach, you can determine which platform caters to your target segment the best. Also, a single platform cannot serve all your marketing needs. For example, some platforms are ideal for sharing visual content (images and videos), while others work best for text communication. Hence, it makes sense to connect with your target segment via multiple platforms as each site can be used in a different way to build your social media presence and promote your offerings.
Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. And those two apps, along with Facebook Messenger, were reported to have had over 3.1 billion monthly users in the second quarter of 2020. So, the core Family products of Facebook together have helped this social media giant become the top choice of marketers in most parts of the world.
Social media has done an amazing job of connecting the world and has enabled businesses to achieve their marketing goals in a way that was unimaginable at the start of this century. As social platforms evolve, they create more and more opportunities for marketers to promote their brands, products and services to their customers. This is undoubtedly one of the most effective forms of marketing that is at our disposal today and it is expected to grow further with time. Whether you are a start-up, a single-person business or a multinational conglomerate, social networks present an incredible range of opportunities that you simply cannot afford to underutilise, especially since your competitors are fully taking advantage of these platforms. A great way to up your social media marketing game is to use the tools and technologies that have been developed for this specific purpose.
From posting content, filtering the comments section for spam or derogatory messages to integrating CRMs for leads management, social media management tools cover a broad range of functions. Depending on your needs, strategy and budget, you can select those that are most beneficial for you.
AdEspresso, Facebook Ads Manager, BuzzSumo, Qwaya
Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer Publish, Meet Edgar
Hootsuite, Brandwatch, Socialinsider, Mention, Talkwalker
The two terms you are likely to come across often in social media marketing are organic vs paid. In fact, this is one of the key strategic decisions you’ll have to make when you plan your social media marketing activities and campaigns.
As the terms convey, one is the organic approach to promoting your brand, products and services. The other approach involves using paid services to achieve the same goals.
Here’s an excellent example to understand how this works. Suppose you publish a post on one of your business’s social media pages. You can expect it to be visible only to a limited percentage of your followers. If some of these followers share your post or comment on it, their friends and followers on the platform might see your post too. If you have used relevant hashtags, then the reach of your post will also include those who follow the hashtags. This is the organic reach of your post.
If you want to go beyond the limited percentage of your followers, their friends, and the hashtag followers, you will need to employ paid methods. You can use the paid promotion services of the social media platforms on which you have shared your post. For example, on Facebook, you can boost a post, promote a page, promote an event, and create product ads through their paid marketing services. This enables you to reach a wider audience, gain new followers, build brand image and advertise your products and services to a bigger pool of potential customers than you can do through the organic approach.
Similarly, like social media platforms, third-party solutions can also help you gain more followers through paid services. As mentioned above, through organic methods, you can only reach a limited number of people in your followers’ friends’ circle. This makes it a challenging and slow process to build your follower base organically. Hence, to grow your followers faster, you can use reliable social media solutions like YouMeViral, a digital marketing solution from which you can purchase real social media services. This will enable you to grow your social media presence quickly and reach a larger audience for promoting your products and services.
Of course, this is not to say that the only paid services, whether it’s YouMeViral or others like Facebook ads, are the best approach to social media marketing. Organic reach is just as essential, and ideally, your social media marketing policy should include an appropriate mix of organic and paid strategies for reaching your goals.
The opportunities and advantages that social media marketing offers are countless. Your business, too, can benefit from it if you plan well and invest time, resources and money into this constantly evolving digital marketing channel.