Social Media Marketing is an opportunity to communicate your brand’s message to your target audience or consumers. In other words, it is used to promote your business or organization using social media platforms.
Marketing on social media isn’t as simple as posting content on a weekly basis, getting people to like your page, and selling a product. While most of you may already know and already do that, it’s important for everyone to understand that it takes more than a platform and a brand message to succeed on social media.
If you’re one of those businesses who are still doing it old school and don’t have an active social media presence, it’s time for you to ride along the wave.
Social media is constantly changing, and its impact is felt in the world’s history. It is one of the biggest and fastest innovations and trends in decades and it’s showing no signs of stopping.
Just a decade after social media sites launched and gained public attention, the number of users has grown to one billion. This does not only tell us how fast social media has risen to popularity, but how fast it has taken over the world.
Even without the statistics, it’s safe to say now that social media plays such a huge part in a lot of people’s daily lives. For marketers or businesses, it is now critical to maintain an online presence through social media if they want to keep selling their products regardless of how small or big their brand is.
Social media marketing offers businesses a lot of opportunities to raise awareness, promote, and sell their product or service. It has the power to connect people who are miles away from each other. This goes the same for marketers in finding their potential customers and building their brand.
Here are the known benefits of social media marketing for businesses:
However, social media marketing is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. What works for one may not work for another. That’s why finding your target audience, the right strategy, approach, and platform is the beginning of creating a strong social media presence.
Knowing the different social media platforms and how businesses are using every single one depending on their goals will help you better understand what campaigns you want to run or what value you can offer your target audience through these platforms.
Currently known as the biggest social media platform, Facebook was able to reach almost 2 billion monthly active users back in 2017 less than a decade after it launched back in 2006.
With the world’s population currently at around 7.5 billion, one out of four people in the world has a Facebook account. Facebook is now the biggest social media site and platform. It is widely used by individuals, businesses, and huge organizations alike.
Unlike other social media sites, Facebook is popular due to the wide variety of content you can post. You are not limited to a specific character count. All types of content from text, images, and videos work. You’ll have the freedom to choose the type of content that you think will work best in resonating and reaching your target audience.
If you’re planning to advertise on Facebook anytime soon, you’ll have to understand and learn all about the Facebook Business Manager. It is a tool that will help business owners manage their pages better.
Aside from your page, you can also run and manage advertisements through the Business Manager tool. Other than the actual advertising costs, the tool is free and quite easy to understand and use.
From creating an account to your business profile, the process is as simple as creating your personal Facebook profile. You just need to go to Facebook and check it out for yourself to find out how easy it is.
If you’re concerned about accidentally running campaigns, don’t worry! While it is plain and easy to use, there are quite a couple of steps before anything goes live. Whether its content or campaign, don’t be afraid to check out the tools interface and familiarize yourself with its features and capabilities.
Here are some of its features:
Bigger organizations or businesses managing multiple pages or accounts will benefit largely from the Business Manager. By using the tool, they can access everything in one place making it the central location for the admin to manage everything when it comes to their Facebook.
Under the Facebook Business Manager, you’ll find the Ads Manager. It’s the tool that will allow you to create, set-up, and run ads.
After creating a Facebook profile and setting up your Business Manager, you’ll be able to navigate to the Ads Manager and create an Ad Account. This will be the foundation of your journey towards advertising on Facebook through the Business Manager tool.
The Ads Manager tool can be used to run ads, optimize campaigns, and view and analyze data from your ads. Through Ads manager, you can select the type of ad which will help you achieve your business goal.
You can choose whether your campaign will help you raise awareness, engage people to know more about your products, and actually sell or convert customers who are already aware of your brand.
If you get confused between the two, think of Ads Manager as the tool that will allow you to create and run ads. On the other hand, the Business Manager tool will allow you to manage and access all Facebook activities and features relating to handling a public page for a business or organization.
The Facebook Pixel is a code for your website which is used to collect data that will support your future ad and remarketing campaigns.
Adding a Pixel through the Facebook Manager is an important part of running a successful ad campaign. Once you have set up your Business Manager, adding and setting up the pixel will be easy.
With more than 20 billion messages sent monthly, a good response rate using Facebook Messenger can net you loyal customers.
Most customers nowadays would like to instantly have answers to their questions. This is where Facebook Messenger comes in. Used in conjunction with a good market presence via Business and Ad Manager, a great messaging strategy can allow you to reap the rewards of your hard work, turning inquiries into sales. In fact, according to a Facebook research poll, it is found that more than 74% of users message business pages to make a purchase.
This means that if you’re not responding, you’re definitely missing out on some opportunities!
Starting humbly as a photo sharing social media platform, Instagram has exploded to become a major platform not just as a widely-used social media site but also a marketing channel.
Today, Instagram users are not just sharing photos — they can now create various types of content from images, short and long videos, stories, do live streams, and even shopping posts.
Those working in various industries, specifically under e-commerce, education, media, and publishing will benefit a lot from building a strong Instagram presence. Regardless, companies with a good Instagram presence are still somehow able to use the platform to their advantage due to the site’s massive daily users
But if you really want to start strong with your Instagram game, you need to understand how to use the platform to your advantage which will resonate with your target audience.
For e-commerce businesses, Instagram offers great opportunities to sell your products through almost any type of content that can be shared on the platform – and these can be in the form of photos, videos, or stories.
The app is a successful platform because it came at the right time. Just after three months of its release, it recorded 1 million users. After seven years, the app still offers the same but much more improved functions on top of the ones that people enjoyed in the first place.
Instagram is all about photos and visuals. The users of the social media platform are much more engaged due to the visual input provided brands on their Instagram profiles.
A study reveals that the buying decision of Instagram users, which reached 800 million back in 2017, is largely influenced by what they see on the platform.
Although it appears that Instagram will likely be the best platform for B2C businesses, any business can use it to their advantage to promote their products or services and use their customers as their influencers as a start.
Non-e-commerce businesses can build brand awareness, find new audiences, and connect with potential customers through Instagram. Businesses also often use the platform for employee and employer branding – further strengthening their brand values internally. You just need to understand how the Instagram algorithm works and find out what type of content marketing will work for your audience.
Even though it is technically easy for an individual to follow hundreds or thousands of people on Instagram, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to see every single post from those lists.
If there are 400 out of 500 people who posted on the same day, an hour or two of scrolling through images will probably be not enough for a person to see them all. This resulted in people missing an average of 70% on their feeds when it showed posts chronologically.
As a result, Instagram created an algorithm that would show only relevant content to them. Now, in the simplest terms, posts with higher engagement, hence, more likes and comments are seen by Instagram as a quality indicator which will lead them to show it to more users and make it appear first on every user’s feed.
It’s important to know that it is not the only factor. Aside from engagement, Instagram also takes into consideration how fast a post gets engagement. If it instantly trends among its audience, it will have a higher chance of getting more likes which overall help boost your post impressions, reach, and engagement.
Other factors such as viewing an Instagram profile, sending posts to friends, and the type of content shared has also been reported to influence how Instagram displays posts on a user’s feed.
Since the time a post was posted doesn’t matter much when it comes to making sure that it gets maximum engagement, optimizing for the Instagram algorithm is the way to do so.
As a start, marketers should ensure that it uses a combination of the following:
Even though it appears to be a lot of work, building a large following and community on Instagram can help you achieve sales, lead generation, and customer acquisition.
With over 330 million monthly active users and a whopping 500 million tweets sent per day, you know you should be on Twitter, one of the leading social media platforms in the world.
To effectively leverage your marketing strategy on the Twitterverse, you can strengthen your brand recall with a strong Twitter presence – especially during the weekends – where most people interact with the app more.
It is also crucial for businesses who want to succeed in Twitter to use the right kind of hashtags. These should be relevant to the content you’re putting out while being timely, too. Online hashtag analysis tools such as Hashtagify can help you find some of the best tweets for your niche. It can also identify which hashtags are strongest are from the bunch, so that you don’t go overboard with hashtags in a single tweet.
Twitter is also a great platform where you can use multimedia, such as photos and videos, to diversify your content marketing strategy. You can also use twitter to follow important people with a lot of visibility. Be sure to interact with them and they might mention you back!
We go to YouTube for all sorts of things — look for easy recipes, watch music videos, watch reaction videos, and even learn a whole bunch of stuff we never knew existed.
For marketers and business owners, it’s another great platform to share another type of content to your audience. This time in the form of long or short videos. Depending on your products or services, creating YouTube content might work the best for your audience.
Just like industries like fashion and design, their target audience would want to see more visuals instead of long and wordy blog posts.
Say you’re posting blogs on your website. Somehow, they’re not helping you improve your SEO or page traffic. Aside from the fact that the content you’re writing does somehow work, it might be because it’s not the right type of content that will work for your target audience.
By using other social media channels like YouTube, you can attract more people which can help you drive them to other channels such as your website.
Through YouTube, you can create and repurpose blogs into small, bite-sized videos that can be consumed by users easier. Instead of making them read a thousand-word blog, it might be easier for them to digest content in video tutorials, animated infographics, and teasers.
To implement a strong and successful YouTube strategy, you need to be able to either educate or entertain an audience. Without being able to do so, you’ll end up with a dead YouTube channel without subscribers. Don’t forget to always maintain a consistent voice across your channels.
When it comes to building your YouTube page, you can start small. No need to prepare a big production at the beginning. Start with a simple setup and video. From there, get some feedback and evaluate what may work and provide value for your business.
Even though Facebook is a lot more popular than the rest of the social media sites, LinkedIn actually launched earlier than the rest back in 2002. It only had very few sign-ups and its growth was undeniably slow. To date, it still hasn’t reached the same level of popularity and active users as Facebook but all for a good reason.
LinkedIn’s market is a lot different than Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. Now with more than 400 million users, LinkedIn has become a major platform for professionals.
LinkedIn has features and tools that allow you to finetune your searches. If you’re looking for a job, you can choose a specific industry, work setup, and location. As a business owner or recruiter, you can find potential candidates based on those criteria and many more.
Publishing valuable content is the best way to grow your audience on LinkedIn. It will not only provide your followers value but will also help your page reach the feed of those who are related or working in the same industry as yours.
As for growing your LinkedIn page, you can start by asking your employees to update their profiles, add you as their employer, and follow your page. This is a good start as your employees will be your major supporters.
It will give people an idea of your company culture. Companies with regular employees are also more likely to be trusted by potential candidates when looking for new opportunities. You don’t need to require all your employees to do so. Encourage them and start fostering trust within your organization.
Xing is a Hamburg-based, professional social networking site that focuses on the German-speaking professional market. It is seen as a direct competitor to LinkedIn.
If you’re planning to run a marketing campaign in the DACH region (Austria, Germany, Switzerland), then you shouldn’t miss out on using XING as it roughly has around 15 million people. You can utilize it for B2B campaigns, where you can zero-in on decision-makers in German companies and strike up deals with them. Or, make them your customers.
Xing’s social demographic is made up of experienced professionals, mostly in the IT, Finance, and Trade Service industries.
You can create a business account, run ads, or simply make Xing your official business card that the DACH countries can easily recognize.
While initially known as a messaging platform, businesses are starting to see the viability as integral to their marketing and advertising strategy.
Well, one of the most important considerations is the strong end-to-end encryption, allowing it to become one of the safest apps to use today, which makes it popular. You can opt to do 1 to 1 marketing with clients. In fact, brands like Footlocker, Guess, Macy’s and more are partnering with Viber for both sales and customer care service.
Brands are also joining in to drive a lot of engagement with customer-communities. You can opt for a one-way or two-way communication model for this – but either way (no pun intended), the bright purple social media platform is truly something you should consider for your marketing strategy!
You may not know this, but one of the platforms in this list that have over a billion users is WhatsApp. While we know it isn’t strictly a social media platform per se, it is popular, and you could use it to bolster your marketing efforts.
SMS have a 98% open rate – which is more powerful than email’s average of 40%. This fact alone should motivate you to create an account and a marketing strategy on WhatsApp.
WhatsApp gives users a lot of ways to communicate to audiences. With a versatile app on the hands of a large user base, you can create a community and group and work your way from there.
For instance, news outlets like BBC have begun using WhatsApp to give users regular news alerts. They now have thousands of members in the group – and they will be able to dictate the conversation within said group.
You can also use WhatsApp to drive other content to your followers and increase your organic engagement and reach.
Despite having only 250 million users every month, Reddit has a very unique audience which makes it a strong social media platform regardless of the numbers.
Just like Facebook, Reddit started off as a college-originated site that focuses on a community. The site’s users are known for their aggressive stand against spammy and too many promotional links
But if you do it right, Reddit users have the power to drive incredible traffic to your site.
Engagement on the site is measured through karma depending on links and text posts.
Posts with the highest number of karma are considered popular and are placed on top of searches and even on the homepage.
For marketers, always remember that Reddit does not offer the same marketing and advertising opportunities as Instagram and Facebook. You cannot pay just to reach more users although advertising is still very much possible on the platform but not to grow an organic or huge following.
This is why a lot of people overlook Reddit but once you’ve understood how the platform works, the audience, and their behavior, you’ll see that there are actually a lot of opportunities to promote, market, and even advertise.
Everyone knows Pinterest is the go-to platform to find nice images, easy recipes, quick ideas, visuals, and inspiration for almost anything you’ll need.
Pinterest is known as a visual search engine with a majority of users going to the platform to find photos. By the end of 2019, Pinterest reportedly had more than 320 million monthly active users all over the world.
Around the same time, Pinterest released a report stating that it has recorded that there are more than 200 billion Pins users can browse through. This can come in handy when you’re looking to drive more traffic to your website through social media marketing.
A social media marketing strategy that involves Pinterest can help you achieve the following:
If you think Pinterest is a good choice for you, get ready to make tons of content by creating a strategy around Pinterest.
A lot of people don’t understand what Tumblr is all about. In simplest terms, you can say that it’s a platform that’s somehow a mix between Twitter, Instagram, and a blog.
Most users see the platform as a primary way to curate image and content through reblogging and liking. Similar to favorites and retweets on Twitter.
Tumblr is a microblogging platform. Unlike bigger and well-known social media sites like Facebook, it takes some time and study to see if this platform will benefit your goal to raise awareness and market-specific products or services.
Although it is seen as rather small, it actually has more than 375 million blogs and is even used by popular celebrities like Taylor Swift.
Small businesses have grown through the platform by providing curated content that users can consume. Tumblr is also known for being a visual platform allowing media files such as photos, videos, and GIFs to be shown and viewed on its feed.
Businesses from fashion, e-commerce, and other related industries can benefit from the platform.
Tumblr is not a platform that’s made for marketers. However, marketers can still benefit from Tumblr by using the demographic of the users to their advantage. In Tumblr’s case, it’s their 18-34 age group that marketers can capitalize.
This means that more people are on the platform to pass time or to be entertained. So they’re definitely not in the right mindset to make a purchasing decision. This means you can only do brand awareness on the platform at the beginning and explore your options base on the response.
If your product or service matches Tumblr’s audience, then it’s worth spending a little time trying to understand how you can use the platform to your advantage.
Telegram is a cloud-based messaging app that allows users to go on “Secret Chats” that can be deleted, or which can be programmed to self-destruct at any time.
For this reason, Telegram’s popularity boomed in Hong Kong, where large scale protests happened in light of the proposed extradition bill by China.
Telegram channels are widely used by marketers over the years, as they can be a handy tool for content distribution to a devoted number of followers who are deep in the marketing funnel.
Since Telegram is a very popular messaging platform, there is already a steady user-base of potential clientele waiting to be tapped. Users usually join groups and communities where like-minded people gather. You can create your own channel surrounding your own interest and market away.
Although it has been overshadowed by the emergence of stories on Facebook and its Messenger and Instagram subsidiaries, Snapchat, as of July 2020, is estimated to be worth around $32.29B.
But if you think that’s enough to make you ignore the platform, you might be skipping on a good marketing opportunity.
If your target market is teens around the age of 14 and above, not using Snapchat might be a missed opportunity.
Even though it’s would be easier to do it on Facebook and Instagram, short-lived 10-second moments are a platform that may prove useful to you in the future.
So there’s no harm in trying out your creativity and slowly building your presence on the platform.
Who knows? The one-time opportunity to view your Snapchats may prove useful in offering exclusive content in the future.
Considered as the king of location-based apps, Foursquare offers a rich slew of functions for business owners and marketers who would want to tap into its over 20 million users, who all go to the platform to look at the best places to check into.
Foursquare is used in conjunction with Facebook and Twitter to enhance the check-in experience. With over a million businesses on there, you should be able to leverage your own Foursquare presence through an account and build a strong customer base with a rewards system – or simply make yourself even more discoverable.
Through Foursquare, you can claim your business’ location, promote local updates for users who recently checked in, offer special deals, add tips and tricks about your establishment (maybe create a secret Foursquare drink!) to encourage customers to visit, and drive attendance with fun, creative events.
Quora is an underrated social platform for content marketing.
While we go to Quora to get a lot of our itching questions answered, we can also use it to our advantage when it comes to branding, advertising, and even promotions.
As a marketer, you need to establish yourself, your client, brand, or business as a thought leader in the industry you’re in.
You’ll want people to see you as an expert in your field. By doing so, they’ll trust you more and be interested in what else you have to offer.
Take a look at this Quora entry for example:
At first glance, you might not see how you can prove yourself as an expert just by answering a seemingly simple question.
But with smart and data-based responses like this, people would see you as someone with expertise on the subject matter on a higher level than what non-subject matter experts would have.
You can use Quora to find topics to write for your blog or social media. Take those questions and create content based on them. That way, you are writing content that people are talking about or are currently interested in. You don’t need to waste your time creating content that people are not interested in at all.
Since we already mentioned TikTok…
Tiktok is one of the, if not THE fastest growing social media platform in the world, especially for the youth. It is so popular, that many brands have decided to join in the fun. However, as with most platforms, joining is just one thing – engaging is another. Being relatively new, a lot of marketers and strategists are still unsure if it’s for them.
Videos drive the content of Tiktok, and you can partner with high-level creators and influencers there for your brand. You can also engage with people with likes, comments and shares. Tiktok is also a platform where trending videos are king – but trends can be fast-moving, so be prepared to change and adapt on the fly. Make sure they fit your brand, too!
You’ve probably never heard of this platform before, but Baidu Tieba is one of the largest social media communities in China. And if you’re considering tapping that market, then you should definitely utilize this platform!
Baidu Tieba is a keyword-based forum discussion platform, similar to Reddit. Users are able to look for “Tiebas” based on their interests where they can discuss topics. The advantage of using Baidu Tieba is in its name – it is developed by Baidu, which is the country’s number one search engine, allowing “Tieba” to rank high.
QQ is from Chinese tech giant Tencent, is a social platform that is popularly used by Chinese living in Tier 1 cities in the youth demographic.
From workplace communication to celebrity channels, QQ has a wide reach, making it one of the best options for marketers trying to target young Chinese users. Capturing them via QQ might give you a customer for life. The platform is also ideal for brand managers looking to sell their high-volume consumer products. Companies like Xiaomi, Nike, KFC, and Oreo found success marketing their brands here.
WeChat isn’t just a chat app – it’s an entire internet ecosystem and digital payment platform in China. That alone should be reason enough for you to have a presence in the platform!
As mentioned, since it is an entire ecosystem, having a page on there would be tantamount to creating an entire website. Because of this, and the humongous user base of the system, you’d commonly see companies in China investing more into their WeChat presence rather than traditional digital marketing efforts.
And since WeChat is already a trusted brand among the Chinese, having your brand there adds a sense of credibility already. You can opt to operate a WeChat Service account, as these have advanced functionalities over the normal WeChat accounts. These features include push notifications, which could definitely help you reach your audiences.
WeChat is also a great place to foster customer relationship management (CRM) systems, as well as monitor your activity through the WeChat index.
But one of the most active things that exists on the platform right now is crypto. In fact, it also exists in Telegram, which is why we placed it right above this entry.
WeChat and Telegram are both popular for cryptocurrency communities and users. As the crypto companies have limited choice when it comes to marketing channels and advertising platforms, most crypto traders utilize these apps to create communities within and find trading circles within their own countries.
Before you create a profile for your business with every known platform out there, it is important to know that not everything will work for your business.
You need to determine where your customers and competitors are. By researching your target audience, you are able to know their demographics. From there, you can choose the channels which are largely used by your defined audience. Aside from demographics, you can also choose a platform based on interests and online behavior.
A simple search would tell you the demographics of every social media channel. It will also provide you a view at industry reports and surveys which can tell you more about each platform that will ultimately guide you in your decision.
If you’re a B2B business, you might want to go focus on establishing your LinkedIn presence since it is actively used by professionals and decision-makers. If you’re targeting a mass-market and is a B2C company, creating a Facebook page is the best way to start.
If you’re struggling with managing multiple social media pages, you might want to focus all your energy in managing and creating content for one profile at a time. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you might be able to find it easier to manage another channel.
If you thought that was a lot of information to take in, remember that you’re just at the very basics of everything you need to know about social media marketing.
Just like how Snapchat lost its popularity in less than a couple of years, there will definitely be new trends in the coming years or even months. Soon we’ll find ourselves going crazy for another social media site or app and losing interest for another within a short time.
Regardless, it’s safe to say that establishing your social media presence is of utmost importance to maintain an online presence for your business or organization. Even non-profit groups use social media to get their voice heard.
Once you find the right platform, identify your voice, and find your audience, you’ll have to work on maintaining an active presence on your chosen platform.
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