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What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to gain exposure and brand recognition.

Social media marketing can:

Making it part of your marketing strategy is helpful due to social media’s presence in users’ everyday lives.

Almost half of the world population uses social media, and each person spends three hours per day online. Whoever your target market is, you can find them through social media.

Business owners are expected to spend $102 billion on social media marketing in 2020, an 8.7% increase from 2019.

That number comes as a no surprise. A huge 73% of marketers report seeing a positive outcome with social media marketing.

With those statistics, it’s easy to see social media as a good investment to grow your business.

Why does your business need social media marketing?

You might know what social media marketing is, but do you know how it can impact your business? Here’s what a successful social media marketing will help you achieve:

  • Build brand awareness — social media platforms allow you to reach a wider audience, and get people to engage with your content.
    Eventually, your social media presence will help your brand become familiar. This type of exposure increases word-of-mouth recommendations, and boosts customer loyalty.
  • Increase web traffic — sharing your website content on social media will open up opportunities for people to visit your site.
  • Boost leads and conversions — thanks to social media sites, your posts will be displayed to people who have specific interests.
    As a result, you’ll get targeted traffic that can increase your sales.
  • Build customer trust — people react well to relatability. Social media gives your brand the chance to appear human.
    You can interact with current and potential customers, use memes, or give a shout out to your staff. In the long run, this strategy will help build customer trust.
  • Stay ahead of competitors — improve your marketing plan by knowing what your competitors are up to.
    Use social media sites to learn competitors’ promotions, campaigns, and tactics.

7 Social media marketing tips for your business

Follow this advice to make sure your social media marketing strategy is successful.

Tip 1. Choose the right platform

Different social media sites are used by different demographics, so it’s important to know which platforms your audience prefers.

For starters, identify who your audience is. Be as specific as possible:

  • What is their age range?
  • Where do they live?
  • What kind of content do they like to consume on social media?
  • What are their interests?

Facebook, for instance, is fairly popular amongst all age groups.

According to Marketing Charts, 76% of people aged 18-24 use Facebook. That number is pretty consistent with 84% for 25-29 years old, 79% for 30-49, and 68% for 50-64.

In terms of content, it’s quite surprising to know that videos perform better than any other content.

What’s more, content that gets the most shared is usually:

  • Entertaining
  • Inspirational
  • Showing life hacks
  • Raising awareness about important issues

If you want to use social media sites to engage with your customers, Twitter is a great choice. It’s the ideal platform to show how you interact with customers and handle complaints.

In terms of demographics, Twitter is dominated by people aged 25-34, followed by those in the 18-24 age group.

If you need to present your products or display testimonials, we recommend using visual-based social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube.

Instagram is mostly used by Gen Z and Millennials, while YoutTube has widespread use among all age groups.

Tip 2. Have consistent branding across all platforms

While Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube offer different features and functions, one part of your social media marketing must stay the same — branding.

Having consistent branding across different platforms helps your brand become memorable and easily recognizable.

Assuming that you already know who your target audience is, make sure to:

  • Adjust your aesthetics and both voice and tone according to your audience
  • Ensure your voice and tone convey the same message and values
  • Build a consistent brand-persona on all platforms.

This includes the type of content you put out and how you respond to the audience. Are you witty? Are you serious? Have a distinct voice.

For example, if your audience is 35-45-year-old conservative males, you most likely won’t use memes to brand your business.

Tip 3. Create a great customer experience

Making sales is the main mission of any business. However, to achieve that, you need to build a relationship with customers first.

An easiest way to do this is to be actively responding to customers’ queries and complaints. Customers use social media for customer service and expect a reply from brands in less than an hour.

When answered, customers feel okay if products or services raise 20% in price.

To improve customer experience through social media, build relationships. Make engaging content, like contests and promotions, respond to customers on all platforms, and be sensitive.

The failure to stay active can lead customers to complain publicly about your brand on social media. Over 55% of customers seeing this will not make a repurchase.

Tip 4. Build beautiful landing pages

A landing page is a one-page website with one goal in mind: to generate leads and conversions.

Social media marketing is one of the most effective tactics for getting leads.

Make sure to optimize your social media accounts for leading users to your landing pages. Create content relevant to the landing page you want to promote.

Zyro takes care of all elements of a good landing page, and makes landing page web design easy. You get easy-to-use website templates that are both visually pleasing and have great UX.

All of Zyro’s templates are user-centric and mobile-friendly. This ensures your website design looks great on any device.

Zyro's template page

What is more, you can utilize tools as the Website Heatmap to ensure your content is placed in the right spot.

Zyro's AI heatmap for social media marketing

Tip 5. Post testimonials

Testimonies create trust.

Potential customers want to see how other people view your brand:

  • Does it look good in real life?
  • What do people say about your products or services?
  • Is your brand popular?

By looking at other people’s past purchases, potential customers feel safe about buying your products or using your services.

What’s more, testimonies sway customers to go with your brand instead of your competitors’.

Two types of testimonies are commonly used on social media: user-generated content and influencer-generated content. These testimonies can be texts, photos, or videos.

Influencer Testimonies

Over 45% of consumers rely on influencers’ recommendations for their purchases.

As a brand, you have to look for influencers who will genuinely use your products or services. Social media users know when the advertisement is forced and they don’t like seeing it.

There are three categories of influencers:

  • Mega-influencer with over one million followers
  • Macro-influencers with 100K to one million followers
  • Micro-influencers with one thousand to 100K followers

Your choice of influencer affects your social media marketing success. Here’s what to keep in mind when choosing who do you want to work with:

  • Niche be where your audience is.

    Collaborate with influencers in your niche to make sure your message is seen by your target audience.
  • Engagement — pay attention to how many followers like, comment, or share an influencer’s post.

    According to Influence.co, micro-influencers have the highest engagement rates and mega-influencers the least.

    Check your potential influencer’s engagement rate with Instagram Money Calculator to help your decision.
  • Reach —determine how far and wide your messages can reach.

    The more followers your targeted influencer has, the further reach you’re going to have.

    This leads to brand awareness and growth in social media followers. In this case, mega-influencer have the furthest reach.

User Generated Testimonies

User-generated content (UGC) plays a big part in your audience’s decision-making. It serves as social proof that will give your brand credibility.

Audiences want to see real people with real photos associated with your brand.

A report by Stackla found that UGC positively impacts potential buyers nine times more than advertisements.

As a brand, you can try to collect and generate UGCs by creating a hashtag to gather customers’ photos.

Later on, repost customers’ content on your social media platforms as a thanks to your existing customers, while building trust with potential ones.

Tip 6. Analyze your results

Analyzing your social media performance helps you identify your reach, engagement, leads, and conversions.

By identifying these metrics, you can understand your audience more and know the best social media platform to use. This will help to create content that drives results.

Social networks have their own analytic tools like:

  • Facebook Insights
  • Instagram Insights
  • Twitter Analytics
  • YouTube Analytics

If you need more in-depth insights and get the most out of social media analytics, there are third-party analytic tools you can use.

These include Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and Google Analytics.

Tip 7. Hire a social media manager

Being active on social media is a full workload. Some businesses or individuals, might simply not have the time for it.

If you have the budget for it, consider hiring a professional to take care of your social media campaigns.

Social media managers usually handle the following tasks:

  • Monitoring social media trends, such as strategies, tools, and channels
  • Preparing a social media marketing plan
  • Creating written, visual, and verbal content
  • Analyzing, reviewing, and revising social media marketing and campaigns

You can hire an in-house employee, a freelancer, or use a marketing agency. It’s important to get a quality social media strategy prepared and executed.

In-house employees are great for the long-term. They will also have more familiarity with your company’s culture and brand. However, an in-house social media marketer may need training and a higher salary.

You can find in-house employees on job portals like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor.

If you’re tight on budget and satisfied with a freelancer, you can look for social media managers on sites like Upwork, People per Hour, and Freelancer.

Upwork website to help set hire the best social media marketers

Lastly, for in-house quality without the training, you should go with marketing agencies as long as you have the budget.

Examples of great social media marketing

Let’s take a look at how some businesses use social media to promote their brands.

South Africa KFC proposal via Twitter

Back in November 2019, a man proposed to his partner in KFC South Africa. There was a lot of backlash for such an unusual choice of location.

Brands later gathered on Twitter to shower them with wedding gifts.

Tweet from Audi South Africa saying "These honeymoon destinations look far. Someone needs to drive them there. We got you."

They got honeymoon transportation from Audi, tickets to Toni Braxton in Cape Town from McDonald’s, a camera from Canon, and much more.

McDonalds Tweet to show social media marketing

This social media marketing connects with the audience through empathy, making brands more reliable, trustworthy, and human.

Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino via Instagram

In April 2017, Starbucks rolled out a limited and colorful drink called Unicorn Frappuccino. It generated over 150.000 posts from Instagram users.

The drink is visually appealing, which got people taking photos and uploading them to their Instagram pages. This created consumer-generated content for Starbucks.

Starbucks Unicorn Frappacino with colorful haired girl

What is social media marketing recap

Social media marketing is essential to business success.

You must know who your audience is and where they are.

Once you know your target audience, focus on choosing the appropriate platform, creating quality content, and building trust by giving great customer experience.

You can do all these by yourself or by hiring an agency, a freelancer, or an in-house employee.

When your brand does all that, your business will reap benefits such as:

  • Increased brand awareness
  • Staying ahead of your competitors
  • Increased website traffic which leads to conversions
  • Builds and fosters customer’s trust and loyalty

Hopefully, by now you understand what social media marketing is, why your business needs it, and how to get it going.

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