We’re sure you’ve heard that social media is an increasingly effective means of marketing. To not include social media in your marketing strategy would be... Well… stupid.
Social media allows a cheap way to advertise your business using text, images, videos and even GIFs. It also creates two-way communication between your business and potential customers. On social media you can start a conversation with these people, find out what products they enjoy and what else they want from your business. This simply isn’t possible with traditional marketing strategies.
Yet social media can be daunting, especially with the rise of fake news and clickbait. Which platforms will help your business cut through the clutter and effectively communicate with your audience?
Facebook currently has over 2.23 billion active users per month compared to only 335 million active users on Twitter. Instagram used to be classed as a smaller social network but now with 1 billion active users per month we would argue that it has become a member of our ‘Top 3.’
Does it surprise you that we’ve included YouTube in our Top 3? With 1.5 billion active users per month and the rise in social media influencers YouTube allows a new way for your business to interact with your audience.
What would you rather? Read a 2 page blog post or watch a 20 second video? Vlogs are an excellent form of content marketing that not only saves your audience their precious time but allows a type of face-to-face communication that can only compete with a salesman. Think of a vlog as a door to door salesman, except you don’t have to get up from the sofa to answer the door.
Facebook is not only a great way for us to connect with our friends and family. These friends and family share companies and their products with other friends and family. Facebook has become word of mouth marketing, but online. You are definitely more likely to purchase a product or service if your friends have said good things about it. All you have to do as a business is create content that is shareable.
This is a great example of shareable facebook content by Boohoo which isn’t obvious advertising for the company but encourages the audience to tag their friends to find out their ‘honeymoon destination.’ By encouraging their audience to share this post however, boohoo is getting their brand name into the minds of more potential customers.
Facebook audience insights are also very useful at finding out more information about who your audience are and what posts are engaging best with them!
So which social media platforms are right for your business?
We suggest that your business should have a presence on all three of our top social platforms. However, you may find that your business communicates better on one platform compared to another. Social media is all about trial and error, all you have to do is find out what works. For example, a clothing brand may find more success on instagram; especially with their new shopping feature. This feature allows a user to buy your products directly through instagram!
In comparison, Instagram shopping is not a useful feature for an insurance company that may find that Twitter and linkedIn to be better platforms to interact with other businesses and individuals that are interested in their product.
Social media marketing is all about finding where your audience are and engaging with them. They may be using a smaller social media platform...
It may also surprise you that Twitter is a member of our top 3 smaller social platforms. We would argue that twitter used to be a very popular platform but has become less popular in recent years. Personally we find Twitter a good way to communicate with other businesses in our industry but we engage with our customers better on other platforms. You don’t have to listen to us though.. There are plenty of companies that are fantastic at communicating with their audience through Twitter. Again, social media is all about trial and error.
Here is a great example of the use of Twitter in social media marketing…
British airways uses Twitter to respond to customers comments and complaints. Twitter allows British airways to listen to exactly what they have done to upset a customer and respond instantly. This protects their brand identity and builds trust between the company and their customers. Also, when these polite responses from the company are read and shared by others on the social platform… it becomes a form of marketing!
LinkedIn is also a fantastic platform for business to business marketing and a worthy member of our top 3 smaller social platforms. LinkedIn now has over 500 million users and we like to think of it as a professional social platform. This means that is it a niche platform. For example, if you run children’s toy company it is clear that your audience will not be found on LinkedIn. Therefore is is okay to simply ignore it and post your content on other platforms.
Snapchat is an odd little social network but has come creative marketing options such as sponsored filters, location filters and articles in the ‘Discover’ section of the app. Snapchat has up to 400 million daily users so if you think your audience is using it, why not give it a shot!
To conclude then, every social media platform has it’s advantages and disadvantages when it comes to social media marketing. To have a successful social strategy all you have to do is research your audience, find out which platforms they are using and then create great content that they enjoy and want to share with others! If you can’t be bothered, or simply don’t have time to work on your businesses’ social media strategy there are plenty of management options where social media experts can develop a successful strategy for you!
In this toolkit you will be guided through the steps to start building out a brand strategy for your business or yourself. This is going to help you fine tune your marketing efforts to make sure your brand is memorable and engaging for your ideal customers.
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