8 min read
Social media marketing is a central pillar of many successful marketing strategies. By effectively leveraging the power of popular social media platforms, you’ll find it simpler to reach your customers and achieve your marketing goals.
But, what is social media marketing and what benefits can it provide? Let’s take a detailed look.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is the process of creating relevant, unique, and interesting content for social media platforms. This is done to:
- Promote your product, service, or brand
- Build a community with your target audience
- Drive traffic to your business
On top of this, social media marketing involves:
- Maintaining and optimising your company’s social profiles
- Responding to customer comments and queries
- Engaging with followers
- Monitoring your brand’s reputation
In essence, social media marketing involves meeting your target customers where they are online and interacting with them (and allowing them to interact with each other). This process helps generate and build brand loyalty/advocacy.
Social media marketing is incredibly valuable for businesses. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach and your strategy will differ based on your audience and your chosen social media platforms.
Benefits of social media marketing
Social media marketing provides businesses with a number of benefits. However, as social media platforms continue to grow and new platforms emerge, the importance of social media marketing will only grow further.
There are a variety of reasons why your company should use social media marketing. Here are three of the biggest.
1. Increase brand awareness
Millions if not billions of people use social media every single day. So, if you don’t have a presence on popular social media platforms, you’re missing out on the opportunity to reach these people.
Social media marketing has been proven to boost brand awareness by driving engagement. After all, each comment, like, share, or retweet is a form of engagement. Social media marketing can also help drive traffic straight to your website via links you post on your profile.
2. Generate leads and boost conversions
Promoting and sharing your products on social media is a simple way to improve lead generation, boost conversions, and increase sales. This is because, when you post on your social media profile, you’re advertising to people who have chosen to engage with your account and your content.
3. Improve relationships with customers
When you connect and engage with your social media followers, you can actively cultivate lasting relationships. On top of this, by asking your followers questions about their experience and responding to their queries, you can learn more about pain points and ensure you’re resolving customer complaints before they become problematic.
If you can build trust with your customers and show them that you value their input and support, you’ll build relationships that generate greater brand loyalty.
Social media marketing platforms
As we mentioned, new social media platforms are emerging constantly. Each social media platform suits a different purpose. As a result, each of these platforms is tailored to a specific audience and demographic.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the major social media marketing platforms used by brands in greater detail.
Facebook is the largest social media site in the world. It boasts 1.9 billion daily active users worldwide. In recent years, younger users have tended to move away from the platform. Now, Facebook is predominantly used by those from Generation X and Baby Boomers.
Facebook is an invaluable tool for B2C businesses who are looking to either advertise or increase their brand awareness. Today, the platform offers a suite of advanced advertising tools, as well as organic opportunities.
Owned by Facebook’s parent company Meta, Instagram has taken the world of social media by storm. The platform is only 12 years old, but it already has 1 billion monthly active users. Most of these are Millennials, and the audience skews younger than Facebook’s.
Instagram is where brands go when they want to share visually compelling content. However, one area where Instagram has made great strides recently is in its e-commerce offering. Now, users can discover brands, browse their products and/or service, and complete a purchase without ever leaving the app.
While Instagram focuses on visuals, Twitter is more focused on the written word. With 221 million daily active users, Twitter is popular with brands who are looking to improve their public relations, provide outstanding customer service, and build communities.
In the last couple of years, Twitter has been highly innovative. The social media platform has recently launched an audio tool called Twitter Spaces, a community-building tool called Twitter Communities, and Twitter Moments.
Twitter’s primary audience is Millennials. However, it’s incredibly useful for both B2B and B2C businesses.
The most professional platform we’ve listed here, LinkedIn targets business professionals. As a result, many of the platform’s 839 million users worldwide are Baby Boomers and people from Generation Z.
LinkedIn’s audience is clearly defined. It’s primarily for working professionals who are looking to network and seek out new opportunities. As a result, it’s the perfect platform for B2B companies who are looking to identify key decision-makers and build an industry-specific community.
TikTok burst into the public consciousness in 2020, when its user numbers began to soar.
Known for short-form videos and viral content, TikTok is an excellent platform for community building and user-generated content. It can also be a great tool for boosting brand awareness.
Although it’s relatively new on the scene, TikTok’s popularity shows no signs of slowing down. Today, it has 1 billion active monthly users. These are a mixture of Millennials and those from Generation Z.
Starting a social media marketing plan from scratch
Starting a social media marketing plan from scratch may seem like a daunting prospect. However, you can ensure that your strategy is both sustainable and impactful in only five simple steps.
1. Research your audience
Before you start your marketing activities, you need to be certain that you know exactly who you’re targeting. This way, you can ensure that all of your activities are aimed at the interests and needs of your target market.
So, think about the people you’re trying to reach and why. By considering your buyer personas and audience, you’ll be able to determine what content will attract the type of followers and customers you hope to gain.
2. Determine your platforms
As a social media marketer, you need to decide which platforms you’re going to share your content on. After all, unless you have an unlimited budget and a vast team, you’ll be unable to target every channel. In all likelihood, this would also be a pointless exercise. As we know, the audience on LinkedIn is different to the audience on TikTok, so it’s unlikely that both of these platforms are right for your marketing efforts.
That said, there’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer when it comes to assessing which platforms are right for you. But, when considering which you should use, you should focus on where your audience spends their time, and what their needs are.
Remember, if your ideal client isn’t active on a certain platform, there’s no need for you to spend time and marketing budget there. For example, if you’re selling an aspirational lifestyle to Millennials, then it’s probably wiser for you to spend your time and budget on Instagram and TikTok than it is to pour budget into a LinkedIn marketing strategy.
3. Establish your metrics and KPIs
Now, focus on the social media metrics that matter to your business. The best social media strategies focus on metrics such as:
- Hashtag performance
- Organic likes
- Brand sentiment
4. Research your competition
At this stage of the process, you should run a competitor analysis. This will help you learn more about who your competition is, what they’re doing well, and what they’re doing badly.
By running a competitor analysis, you can learn more about what’s expected of a business in your niche. You’ll also be able to spot gaps in the market that you can exploit. Using all this information, you can set ambitious but achievable targets.
5. Create content
Now you know who you’re targeting, the platforms you’re using, and what works, you can start crafting your content.
Each piece of content you post must be engaging and must stand out. Thankfully, at this stage of the process, you already know what your audience likes and dislikes, so it should be simple for you to create content that resonates with those interests.
On top of this, you should also make content that is channel-specific. For example, you can use live videos on Facebook and Reels on Instagram.
Finally, you should never be afraid to join in with the latest trends. However, you should always ensure that you interact with a purpose and with a clear goal in mind. Otherwise, it will look like you’re inauthentic or trying too hard.
How to analyse and report on social media data
As with any form of marketing, your social media marketing activities should be data-driven. Depending on the platforms you’re focusing on and the posts you’re publishing, these metrics may include data about your level of engagement, likes, follows, or shares.
That said, 10 important metrics you can track and focus on include:
- Video views
- Profile visits
Remember though, that the exact metrics you’ll focus on will depend on your goals. For example, if you’re looking to build your audience, then reach, impressions, and audience growth are your most important metrics to consider. However, if you’re looking to retain and nurture current customers, then instead focus on likes, saves, comments, and DMs.
How Apteco can help you make the most of your social media marketing strategy
Here at Apteco, we understand that social media campaigns are now integral for brand awareness, the promotion of offers and services, and customer service.
Due to this, our solutions have been designed to integrate with social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Whether you’re looking to upload a customer audience on Facebook, publish adverts on Twitter, or publish a direct post on LinkedIn, our integration process makes it simple.
Plus, our solutions can not only fulfil the delivery of posts and adverts, but they can also track the engagement on these posts so that campaign success can be tracked over time and future social strategies can be improved.
Plus, whether you’re looking to learn more about your customers, automate sections of your campaigns, or segment your target customers, our best-in-class software can help you. What’s more, you can even use the insights you’ve generated to create simple campaigns and monitor results. With our help, you’ll have no problem getting the right message in front of the right customer at the right time.