Social media is very popular today. Over 40% of the world’s population is connected to social media.
That’s roughly three billion people or almost half of the world’s population.
Now, It’s totally insane to neglect social media in all of our marketing effort.
Out of this big opportunity, it’s hard to penetrate it without knowing what it is and how it basically works. Our understanding is a starting point to success.
But how do we start taking advantage of this gigantic opportunity to market our business? Or to promote our blog?
Today, that’s what I’m going to talk about.
Let’s understand it without going crazy.
C’mon, let’s go.
Table of Contents
- 1. Start with the Basics
- 2. Discover the Importance of Social Media Marketing and its Advantages
- 3. Know the Popular Social Media Sites
- 4. Find out how to be effective in Social Media Marketing
- Final Thoughts
1. Start with the Basics
In order to know the basic, we have to know the meaning of social media marketing.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Searchengineland gives a simple meaning.
“Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites.”
To put it simply, it is anything we do online to promote our business or blog using any social media platforms.
It is the cheapest way to get attention online.
Social media marketing is a form of internet marketing to share our content to reach more people for brand awareness and increase visibility online.
That’s it. Pretty straightforward.
However, posting and promoting content is not enough. What matters the most in social media marketing is ENGAGEMENT.
What is a Social Media Engagement?
Social media engagement is different from our relationship engagement, once your engaged, you’re done! I’m joking.
Seriously, social media engagement is vital in relationships. In the same way in all of our social media marketing activities. It is a continuous effort and actively engaging with our potential market.
Engagement means you are not merely existing (posting content), but you’re actively responding with your followers, and keep them entertained.
In social media marketing, engagement is the most important factor.
It is a success measurement for marketers.
A key metric to gauge all our marketing effort.
What are the Types of Social Media Engagement?
Each social media channel has different types of engagement. Let me give you the four most popular today.
Facebook: Shares, Likes, Followers, Comments
Twitter: Retweets, and clicks anywhere on the tweet.
Instagram: Likes and followers.
Pinterest: Impressions & reach, repins, clicks, followers.
2. Discover the Importance of Social Media Marketing and its Advantages
We are social beings.
Human nature allows social media continue to grow. The need to connect with others, to be part of the group, and above all to be appreciated and recognized by someone. One of the ways today is to fulfill this desires or feelings through social media.
A majority of people use social media to stay in touch with what their friends are doing, stay up-to-date with news and current events, fill up their spare time, etc.
These tell us why social media continue its popularity.
This means the market is existing. All we need to do is to capture their attention and to get them to engage with our great content. This is our chance to showcase our products, brand, blog/website, push sales, and offer services.
Depending on our goals, our strategy varies on what we’re really trying to achieve.
Social media marketing is as important as promoting your idea offline. The difference, It is way quicker and cheaper to build our audience (aka followers). Especially we have a budget to spare for ads to multiply our reach.
Social Media Marketing Advantages and Disadvantages
Let’s take a look at them closely of what are the advantages and disadvantages of using social media for online marketing.
Very large audiences
FREE to create
Increase brand loyalty
Effort is measurable
Gain valuable insights
Reduced marketing cost
Opportunity for customer feedback
Greater access to international markets
Greater brand transparency
Increases website traffic
Negative feedback might go viral
Potential for embarrassment
Time-consuming to be effective
You have to spend on ads or tools to multiply your reach
Additional resources (people) may be needed to manage online presence
Return on investment may not be recovered quickly
Now, you might feel fearful to use social media marketing because of its disadvantages. But if you manage your social media well, the disadvantages might be taken out in the picture.
The significant action is to understand how it basically works. So that you can be effective in your campaign (More on this later). It allows you to interact with your customers directly. Or communicate with them on a personal level.
3. Know the Popular Social Media Sites
This is the most exciting part. There are actually over 60+ social media sites today.
What are the most popular social media channels to take advantage to promote our business or blog?
Let me list down the most popular.
Top 10 Social Media Sites
Here they are. Drum roll, please…
Well, It’s not surprising. Facebook continues to lead. There are over 2.20 billion monthly active users. And more than half of them are mobile users. That’s why Facebook is too big to ignore to market our business and establish a strong presence online.
I know you’re familiar with Facebook. Let me guess. If you’re reading this, it means you have a Facebook account. Right?
It has over 1 billion active monthly users today according toTechcrunch. With its meteoric rise continues, it’s a must now to a lot of social media marketers today to have Instagram in their online marketing. It is owned by Facebook. So, Facebook may not worry at all that one day it might be overtaken by Instagram in terms of popularity.
Today, It has over 300 million monthly active users. And a staggering of 500 million tweets sent per day. Humungous numbers, right? Imagine half a billion twit sent per day? Man, users are really active twitting in Twitter. This is your time to shine to increase visibility online using Twitter.
A newcomer that growing like a lightning speed. It might be an exaggeration. Do you know that more than 200 million are actively using Pinterest? And Truth be told, 40% of pinners have a house income of $100k per year. The market is so good. You have a lot of ready-buyers.
This is a hybrid platform: a search engine and social media combined. People can search for products and information on Pinterest. So, don’t miss this out. It is one of the hottest channels for social media marketers today.
It has 1.8 billion users every month. Impressive! Isn’t it? It is the leading video search site. It almost beat Facebook in terms of monthly users. This is Google’s most popular service. You might think twice before you ignore this channel as part of your online marketing mix.
Is a microblogging and social networking website. It has over 400 million users. The most popular microblogging site to date. A lot of bloggers use Tumblr to drive traffic to their website. Businesses as well create an account on Tumblr for brand positioning and sell their products. So far, I haven’t used Tumblr yet. I would like to give it a try soon.
It has more than half a billion monthly visitors. More than 50% of its users are from the US alone. Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 websites in Alexa. Reddit name is a play in words, “Read It”. This is a social platform where users can submit posts and others will upvote or downvote for it. Base on if they like it or not.
A social networking site designed for the business community. Business owners and professionals use Linkedin to connect with each other. It is a good platform to easily attract potential candidates to hire for the company. It has 250 million monthly active users and half a billion members. I use Linkedin personally to promote my blog, looking for clients, and brand positioning.
Many bloggers use Google Plus for SEO purposes only. But it cannot be underestimated the power of this social media platform that has an estimated 2 billion registered users. It has 395 million monthly active users. I also use Google+ to post regularly my blog articles for SEO purposes and to promote traffic for my blog.
Though Snapchat growth has slowed down this year, still it has 191 monthly active users. It functions like Instagram. When you send or receive a photo or video, it is called a snap (story). The users are called snapchatters, though it is not as common anymore. Snapchat is a mobile app that most of the users are millennials.
There you go. You have the list. It is now up to you which social media marketing channels are right for your business. It varies with your market profile, locations, and the type of business you’re running.
For bloggers, it depends on their niche, target readers (local or international) and which channel is responding positively.
Let’s proceed to the next step.
4. Find out how to be effective in Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is quite a big task. It’s not easy to market in social media given its huge population that is bigger than China and India combined. As discussed earlier, engagement is the primary objective of marketers.
According to the study, over 60% of companies struggle to measure social media marketing ROI. This means, that even companies who spend for advertising, find it hard to measure their success according to what they spend.
There’s a challenge on how to be really effective.
Truth be told, the top three goals of marketers are brand awareness, web traffic, audience reach/share a voice.
Frankly, I’m still learning about social media marketing. Due to the vastness of the market, information overload, and stiff competition, getting attention is really really tough. But, it doesn’t mean there’s no better way.
Let’s find out.
How to be Effective in Social Media Marketing?
1. Set a goal
Each company has a different goal in social media. In the same way, bloggers have a different goal too. Social media goals to consider are increasing brand awareness, higher quality sales, drive in-person sales, improve ROI, create a loyal fanbase, better pulse on the industry, and drive website traffic.
All of these can be attained when the right strategy is used. It requires a lot of planning, experimentation, and a good budget for marketing.
2. Invest in creative content
Now, according to Social Media Examiner study, 61% of marketers plan to increase their usage of video. That means videos are the most effective marketing strategy online. That’s the power of visual content.
Creating visual content can consume a lot of time and money. But it still depends on the type of content you’re creating. A mix of text, images, and video is the most cost-effective.
In social media marketing, a quality content mix is a key to success. Because quality content beats quantity.
Furthermore, invest wisely in creative content. Remember, social media marketing is always evolving. So, adaptability, creativity, and staying up-to-date is the best approach for marketers.
3. Know your Audience
Most adults use Facebook while some social networking sites are dominated by millennials. And a majority of Pinterest users are women. It’s important to know your audience and where they hang out.
This is sometimes the most difficult part especially when you’re just started using social media to promote your business. Knowing your audience is a good start and a smart move.
It’s pretty basic in marketing. Where the target audience hangs out, you simply follow.
4. Follow Ethical Practices
There are ethical practices for social media marketers. I’ve read in advance before I entered the arena. The top of it all is never ever spamming people. Sending too many messages or post in a day to people’s timeline or group pages is pretty a bad idea.
We have to know how many times a day we should post. Each social media channel has a different frequency of posting to be effective.
But the best approach is consistency and not frequency according to successful marketers. And again, quality is more important than quantity.
Social Media Examiner laid out the steps to ethical social media marketing. Make sure you read it. It explains in details the common ethical standards which are: honesty, disclosure, monitoring, and compliance.
Observe what matters to you.
Test different channels according to your market audience. If one channel is responding positively, then it would be good to focus your resources there to boost your audience and gain leverage.
Not all social media marketing channels are created equal. There must be one that really works for you and me.
Open at least four channels for marketing mix. Test and see which way to go for you to focus on according to positive engagement.
Do you have some questions? Or anything you would like to add? Drop your comments below.