So. What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to connect with and market to your audience. This can help build relationships, increase brand recognition as well drive website traffic and sales. This means putting out content worth following across your social media platforms as well as engaging with your audience and running social media advertisement campaigns.
The big platforms right now are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat.
There are a number of tools available for the management and scheduling of these platforms. Some for individual platforms, some help to bring them all under one roof.
Now you have a general idea of what social media marketing is. Let’s talk about why social media marketing is the best.
With the numerous ways out there that exist to market your business it’s hard to decide where to start. Well, not all of these marketing avenues are good. Some are much better than others. You don’t want to spend large sums of money on ads that ultimately don’t bring in revenue, and therefor don’t pay for themselves.
You may have noticed that much of marketing has switched over to being online rather than more traditional methods like TV, billboards or newspapers. This is because they simply can’t provide the same reach as social media marketing. Not only do they not have the potential to reach as large an audience, they’re also more expensive. With more than 3 billion internet users worldwide (a number from 2015) online marketing’s reach is unparalleled.
Here are some numbers of active users from the biggest social media websites.
- Facebook 2.3 billion
- YouTube 1.9 billion
- Instagram 1 billion
- Reddit 330 million
- Twitter 330 million
This is as of April this year (2019)
that’s just over 11 billion from just 5 platforms.
Social media is set apart from other tradition methods through sheer volume alone. Not only is the number already insane, its growth is just as crazy. with an average of a new user every 15 seconds.
Traditional marketing methods such as newspapers are shrinking and couldn’t ever hope to achieve the kind of growth social media is experiencing and it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. This means you can have trust in your ad money invested not being wasted as the marketing outlet is still growing.
Your business has access to the billions of active users on these platforms. It gives you a direct way to communicate with them and them with you. No method before this has given you a way to directly communicate with so many people, instantly and simultaneously. You can communicate with a global audience.
Getting your brand recognised.
Being able to communicate with your users in an instant doesn’t just mean you have the ability to talk to them. When people follow your brand, regardless of platform, it means they’ll keep seeing updates and posts from you. This helps keep your brand active in the minds of your target audience. You can then use social media to grow your influence, not only increasing the number of followers, but also customers. Building a strong relationship with your followers should be a priority here as it will keep them following and they may even recommend your brand to others. What other platform allows you to directly build a relationship with your audience? Target people that are likely to show an interesting in your product or service, and your audience will grow
Growing your brand.
How many times have you seen a new brand and one of the first things you do is either look for their website or social media? Exactly. You’re not the only person that does this and this is why its so important to maintain a presence online. Are they going to click on an outdated website? Or go to your Facebook or Twitter page only for it to be dead? Or worse. Boring. This needs to be maintained (luckily it isn’t too difficult) in order to keep people following. Whether your twitter account is witty, lighthearted or more professional. Keep your message consistent across platforms and with your brand.
Building a relationship with your followers.
As mentioned above, social media allows you to build a relationship with your followers. More followers isn’t just a number you can brag about these numbers also translate into sales and conversions. Building a relationship with your followers, building trust, keeping them informed and up to date with your business helps them feel like they know your brand. If you’re up front and transparent. People will trust your brand. This can mean repeat and long term customers.
Getting to know your audience.
I don’t mean getting to know them in the sense of building a relationship with them as mentioned above. I mean knowing your audience beyond just a basic demographic. Men between ages 18 – 55 is pretty broad. People have different interests. Not every man in that age range is going to be interested. Luckily for you, people on social media literally show you what it is they “like” so you can learn what your audience likes and what they’re likely to respond to.
Why social media marketing is so effective.
Building a relationship with your audience is key. This helps to establish trust in your brand and make followers feel like they know you. Engaging with your audience, and subsequently them engaging with you means they will remember you. This makes your content more likely to be promoted to other people. Whether this be through your followers sharing your content or the platform itself promoting your content to new people. Engagement means your audience (and ultimately customers) will grow.
One of social medias most powerful tools is the hashtag. particularly on Instagram, if you post an image with a hashtag, you can potentially get that image in front of millions of people. Anyone who searches that hashtag will be able to see your image, of course the more popular a tag, the more things being posted, so it could easily get buried under other posts. Hashtags make it unbelievably easy to search for and find relevant content. If you use the correct hashtags and post good content, your social media presence can grow very quickly especially if a post goes viral.
imagine your content going iral.
Going viral is a term specifically associated with online content, particularly on social media. The concept and the term however first started around 1995 in a Hotmail marketing campaign. Things were going viral long before social media (Remember “Star Wars Kid?”)but it is far more common nowadays. “Going viral” is essentially when a piece of content, whether it be just a post, video or part of a marketing campaign gets a huge amount of shares, lets say your content usually gets around 30,000 interactions and then suddenly a post gets 100,000+. That’s an example of something going viral. Think of the “ALS Ice bucket challenge from a few years ago”. The ALS association didn’t come up with this but they definitely took advantage of it.
Why videos are so effective in marketing.
People are mostly visual, we remember around 80% of what we see. This is why videos tend to perform much better on social media that just static images or text. Facebook in 2015 had around 8 billion video views (This is the most recent number I can find) That is an insane number.
Finding out who is mostly likely to want your content.
No matter your target demographic, they’re most likely on facebook. Regardless of age. 45% of US adults over the age of 65 are on facebook for example. These demographics change depending on the platform. So make sure you look into this and figure out which platform is best for you to reach your target audience.
Time spent on the platform.
The average user spends almost two hours a day on social media (116 minutes) and 76% of people check facebook everyday. This adds up to 1.5 billion people checking facebook everyday the sheer potential of the amount of people you can get your content in front of is almost unbelievable.
Increasing your website traffic through social media.
Regardless of if you’re using paid traffic alongside your social media campaigns it’s still an incredibly cheap way to market especially when you consider the sheer number of people you can reach. No matter which method you use, the potential for increasing your websites traffic is staggering and if you’re doing it properly, its relevant traffic. Many of these social media platforms have their own marketing platforms. For example Facebook and Instagram (Which is owned by Facebook). You can even run “Conversion campaigns” which will put your ads in front of people who are more likely to actually convert to customers rather than just click on your ad.
Keeping track of your campaign performance.
Not only do these campaigns claim to be “conversion campaigns” they actually provide you with the data to track whether they are actually converting or not. Facebook has what is called a “facebook pixel”. It’s a small piece of code you place on your website that helps you collect data from your facebook ads, such as clicks and conversions. You can then use this information to refine your target audience and figure out what is and isn’t working. This doesn’t just apply to the ad itself either. You can track performace throughout your sales funnel, from your landing page, email capture etc. Facebooks pixel will tell you how many people made it to your landing page but then didn’t fill out their email. This means you can adjust your ads or even send different ads to different parts of your audience thus increasing the effectiveness of your marketing.
Social medias integration with other platforms.
Hundreds of thousands of first party websites have some form of integration with major social media platforms. You can use facebook to log in to a lot of other places, meaning creating a new account every time isn’t n necessary. 53% of people will use their facebook login rather than create a new account. Facebook tracks all of this data and helps them, and ultimately you, the marketer, better understand your audience.
Let’s get into some of the specifics of each platform.
Here are some of the numbers related to Instagram.
- 800 million monthly users
- 1/3 of users have used the app to make a purchase
- 4.2 billion likes per day
- 95 million uploads each day
- 90% of users are under the age of 35
So let’s take a closer look at some of these numbers.
The audience is huge.
800 million monthly users is a lot. Not everyone uses all social media platforms so there could be a huge audience you’re reaching on one platform but not another. If you consider than we remember vastly more of what we see than we read or hear. It only makes sense that Instagram is a great place for marketing whether it be with images or video.
They’re not just browsing, they’re buying.
The fact that one third of users have used it to make a purchase means that people aren’t only there to brows pictures, they’re using it to help make their buying decisions.
They’re interacting and engaging.
4.2 billion likes per day means people aren’t just passively browsing, they’re engaging with the content. Whether it be from a brand, influencers or just individuals.
over 95 million uploads. Daily.
Even with the unbelievable number of posts per day. Instagram is still growing. This is one of the main factors of its increased growth. This also means other businesses, large or small can grow a long with it. Larger channels, usually referred to as “Instagram influencers” will make sponsored posts about a product or service, usually at a lower price than it would normally cost to reach an audience of their size. Although the price of sponsored posts has gone up in the last few years. When you consider the numbers involved with some of these Influencers and the potential for conversions. It can still be well worth it.
Instagrams audience is almost exclusively below the age of 35 (90%).
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If your target audience is under the age of 35 this is definitely the place you’ll want to invest your marketing. Younger generations have grown up with ads constantly being shoved in front of them and so they’ve gotten used to it and are therefor harder to market to. So when you can market to them organically through a sponsored post or simply by posting your own content, not even necessarily related to a product but that keeps them interested. It’s easy to see why this is becoming the most popular, and probably most effective way to market to them.
Let’s see some of their numbers.
- 500 Million tweets each day
- 326 million users per month
- 500 million visitors per month without logging in
- 24% of US Adults use Twitter
- 75% of B2B Businesses market on Twitter
500 million tweets per day?
Twitter is definitely still a relevant platform both for initiating and partaking in conversations. 77% of users feel more positive about a brand if their tweet is replied to meaning joining in these conversations is a great way to improve relationships with your customers. One of the most well known brand twitter accounts would be Wendy’s. It is notorious for its wit and the (often insulting) responses they give to not only other brands, but also customers. This doesn’t mean you should start insulting everyone who shows an interest in your brand. But if you are going to, be funny and more importantly, consistent.
326 Million users per month.
Still a huge number considering its expected downfall. Though this is a lower number than it has had in previous years. 326 million is still a lot of people.
Add on another 500 million.
Twitter gets around 500 million visitors that don’t log in each month. Regardless of if a user is logged in. They can still see your content.
75% of B2B businesses market on Twitter.
This is more than YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat and is only surpassed by LinkedIn (81%) and Facebook (89%)
65% of B2C businesses also market on Twitter. Outranking Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and even YouTube.
Pinterest has around 200 million active users each month. Mostly female and mostly creative and artsy types. So if your target audience is either of these. Pinterest is a good place to market.
- 1.3 billion total users
- 300 hours of video uploaded every minute
- 5 billion videos watched per day
- 30 million visitors per day
- 6/10 people prefer online video platforms to live tv
- 1 billion hours of video watched per day
With videos being one of the best ways of marketing, and the sheer amount of content being watched on YouTube. It would probably be a good idea to market there. There is a pretty good chance you’ll get noticed there, especially if you put some advertising behind it.
Almost half of YouTube views are from mobile users.
With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, you don’t need to be sat in front of a computer to watch videos online anymore. People can watch them whilst traveling on the bus or train, taking breaks at work (or not) If you want your users to take a desired action, its best to reach them when its convenient.
This is by no means the extent of what can be done with social media, but as you can see just from the numbers right now the potential is astounding. And they’re still growing!
So if your business isn’t already on social media. Get on it! and pick the right one for your business.