- What is social media marketing?
- Why social media marketing is important for businesses?
- 4 essential types of social media marketing
- Best platforms for high ROI in social media marketing
- How to start with social media marketing?
- Social media marketing strategy to meet your KPIs
- Key facts about social media marketing
- Social media marketing tips
The Old Spice Body Wash that once nestled cozily on the bathroom cabinets of American homes was on the brink of becoming a mere memory. A once-popular men's grooming staple, with time, it had lost its sheen among the current crop of men. But the marketing think tank at Old Spice decided to give this iconic product a makeover — that involved not just rebranding but a reinvention of the brand itself.
It was as if Old Spice had sprung to life, shedding its traditional and conservative image and emerging as a brand that knew how to have fun. And guess what? The internet couldn't get enough of the new Old Spice! Its "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" YouTube video clocked over 61 million views, making Old Spice go from “back in the day” to “talk of the day.” And just like that, the brand was resurrected from a slow death to becoming a must-have item in every young man’s grooming kit.
This story is a testament to how powerful social media marketing is. It's not just about raking up a few thousand likes and shares. It's about connecting with your audience with content that resonates with them. It's about sharing your story and your brand's personality and, perhaps, pulling off an extraordinary makeover and making waves just like Old Spice.
Now, let's dig deeper into the world of social media marketing to understand its potential and how it can turn your brand into the next big thing. But first, let’s begin with the basics.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing refers to the practice of using social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, X, formerly Twitter and LinkedIn, to promote products, services, or brands. It involves creating and sharing content that is engaging and relevant to a target audience, with the goal of building brand awareness, increasing website traffic, and driving customer engagement.
Social media marketing utilizes various techniques, such as posting regular updates, sharing appealing visuals, running targeted advertisements, and interacting with followers, to effectively reach and connect with potential customers on social media platforms.
Simply put, social media marketing is how you can promote your brand, engage with customers, and even incorporate user feedback into your marketing strategy.
Why social media marketing is important for businesses?
By understanding how different channels can aid your social media marketing endeavors, you'll be able to able to reach your target audiences right where they're at. In this section, we're going to explore four significant benefits of social media marketing.
Increased brand awareness: By engaging with a broad audience of consumers, you can establish your brand presence and increase your brand's recognition and reputation.
Higher engagement: Social media platforms provide the perfect space for direct interaction with your customers. Through comments, likes, shares, and reviews, you can hear directly from your customers and address their needs promptly.
Better customer insight: Social channels give you direct access to invaluable data-backed insights about customers' interests and behaviors. This can help tailor your marketing strategy to better address your target audience’s expectations and needs.
4 essential types of social media marketing
If you want to succeed at social media marketing, it's essential that you know there are numerous channels out there for connecting and engaging with your target audience. Here are the four major types of social media marketing.
No, it doesn’t just entail snapping a cool photograph for the gram and calling it a day. Content marketing involves creating entertaining and educational posts, videos, blogs, or even reels that are so absorbing that your audience can't help but engage and share them with their contacts.
Social media advertising
Ever had that moment when an ad pops up in your Instagram feed and it's so spot on that it feels like Insta is reading your mind? That's social media advertising at work. Platforms like Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram let you tap into your audience's interests, making your ads feel more like organic conversations than a sales pitch.
Imagine a well-known blogger or social media personality, with a considerable following, who reviews your product on YouTube. This single act can spark curiosity among their audience, driving them to your brand in hordes. The strategy is quite straightforward — team up with individuals in your niche who have a sizable social media following and collaborate with them to create compelling content that puts your brand and your offerings on the map.
Social media engagement
Every move you make on social media has a consequence, it can either promote interaction or deter engagement if your audience feels overlooked. Social media engagement is nothing but making your audience feel seen and heard. It's about driving conversations, answering queries, and even hosting giveaways that lead to your audience raving about you on social media.
Best platforms for high ROI in social media marketing
There are some amazing platforms you need to know about. But remember every platform has its idiosyncrasies. Find the one that vibes with your brand and your audience, you're golden.
With over 2.27 billion monthly users, Facebook’s popularity is at an all-time high! And with options to create and target ads with its Ads Manager, it's always been the go-to platform for most brands. And the interesting part? You can use your customer database to reach out to them with upsell and cross-sell campaigns on the platform and even target prospects who've only visited your website and not interacted with your FB page.
Owned by Facebook, it offers similar ad options. Instagram is where you can go all out and flaunt your brand's personality. It's great for sharing snazzy product images and killer videos. Plus, with hashtags, stories, and live videos, you can reach a broad cross-section of the target audience.
X, formerly Twitter
186 million users tweet and retweet daily on this platform. It’s fast-paced, trending, and perfect for companies dropping fresh content and updates about almost everything regularly. The trick is to share original stuff or curate valuable content.
It’s an offshoot of Instagram that emphasizes communication over visual content. Users can use their Instagram login to share text-based updates and participate in public discussions. The aesthetics of the app mirrors Instagram's comment section but incorporates X, formerly Twitter-like features such as the ability to respond to and reshare posts.
This is a social network meant for working professionals. From a brand’s perspective, it’s perfect for sharing company updates, recruiting top talent, and connecting with industry peers. This platform is great for B2B marketers who are looking to generate quality leads.
Everyone knows YT as a popular video-sharing site but it’s also perfect for showcasing company culture and creating how-to videos and demos. You can either embed your marketing videos and advertisements on your website or let users access them directly on the platform.
Reddit is a niche user community and with 430 million monthly users, it's a perfect place to amplify your content and initiate audience interaction. Marketers can use it to understand the latest trends and tweak their content strategies accordingly.
Last but not least, TikTok has over 689 million monthly users and the platform is famous for its short, fun videos. From viral dance tutorials to quick product unboxing, it's a great place to make your brand appealing to the Gen Z crowd by showcasing the fun side of your brand.
How to run marketing on different platforms efficiently?
The best possible way to manage & run all your social media marketing activities is by using a comprehensive tool or software. Check out the 10 best social media management tools to manage your social media marketing efforts from a single centralized platform.
How to start with social media marketing?
Social media marketing when done right can transform a brand's reach and impact in extraordinary ways. It involves conducting market research, finding new ways to engage with your audience, creating a robust social media marketing strategy, and continuously refining it based on feedback. Here’s a quick refresher on how social media marketing works.
1. Identify trends and aids in market research: With social media, you can understand customer demands, stay in the loop about consumer buying trends, scope out the market, and discover the tactics used by your competition. For instance, Spotify utilizes data analytics and natural language processing (NLP) to offer highly personalized music recommendations according to individual tastes as well as deliver a superior music streaming experience to its subscribers.
2. Discover engagement opportunities: Identifying new opportunities is easy in the real-time world of social media. Find ways to engage your audience on their favorite or preferred platforms. Let's look at Airbnb. They actively engage with their community on Instagram. By encouraging users to share their own Airbnb experiences, they are not just nurturing existing relationships but also generating new leads.
3. Formulate a strategy backed by data-driven insights: Once you've unlocked opportunities, you need to turn them into a viable and long-lasting strategy. The online fashion retailer ASOS does a fantastic job with this. They've found that their customers appreciate body diversity in fashion representation encompassing various body types and sizes. As a result, they've developed an Instagram strategy that features diverse models and customers, making their content more relatable to a wider audience.
Social media marketing strategy to meet your KPIs
Brands such as BooHoo, Depop, and Chipotle do exceptionally well when it comes to social media marketing. Know why? Because they've mastered the art of bringing together the key pillars that make social media marketing click.
Here's the complete rundown of the five steps that are essential for any social media marketing strategy.
Understanding your audience like your BFF
Social media marketing demands an intimate understanding of your audience's preferences, or, in this context, the platform they prefer. TikTok, Instagram, or LinkedIn, each platform is home to a unique set of audience. Your mission is to understand who your audience is, and their likes and dislikes. This is the foundational step to becoming a brand that everyone loves to discuss on social media.
Content is king, queen, and the entire royal palace
Now that you've nailed your audience, it's time to woo them and earn their trust. And how do you go about accomplishing those things? With your killer content, of course. Think memes, videos, polls, and anything that can make your audience pause midway through their scroll, take a moment to check out the post, and then share it with their network.
Consistency is the key
Have a consistent posting schedule. Keep your content, tone, and brand aesthetic consistent across all platforms. Your followers will appreciate it and will keep coming back for more.
Engagement is your magic wand to earn back your lost trust
Initiate conversations, ask questions, respond to comments, and slide into those DMs (professionally, of course!) religiously. The more you interact with your audience, the stronger your relationship with them. Give them a safe place to voice out their concerns. But be careful not to come across as a friend who just talks about themselves all the time.
Analyze, optimize, and repeat
So you've put your content out there, and it's doing its thing: getting you the likes and shares. Awesome! But how well is it doing? That's where social media analytics software comes in. You can figure out what's working, and what's not and tailor your strategy accordingly.
Key facts about social media marketing
Everything in this world has its pros and cons. Well, the same thing applies when you're kickstarting your brand’s social media marketing journey. And it’s important to know its tricky bits so you know how to overcome them and up your social media game. Below are a few limitations of social media marketing.
It’s not for everyone
There's no denying that social media marketing has been a game-changer for many brands, but the reality is, it's not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Yeah, sure, people from all generations are on social media. But let's not forget, not everyone's using these platforms for the very same reason or goal. And then some folks don’t use social media at all. So you can’t put all your eggs in one basket and hope to double your sales and revenue overnight.
No matter how much time, effort and money you put in, social media marketing isn't going to be an overnight win. It's more like running a full marathon, not a sprint. And here's the bitter truth we all need to face if we want to ace social media marketing. For new brands out there, who have just stepped into the market, expecting a stellar social media ROI right off the bat from your social media marketing can only result in broken hearts. But we’ve all got to start somewhere, right?
Time-consuming and tedious
When you're all set to start a campaign on social media, the first thing that'll probably pop into your head is TIME. You’ll have to put in the hours posting across various platforms and connecting with new customers through those platforms. And the payoff from all this effort isn't going to happen in a hot minute. Remember building a standout brand takes time no matter how outstanding your social media strategy is.
Social media marketing tips
When it comes to acing the social media marketing game, there's nothing like taking a leaf from the playbook of those who are nailing it. Follow these social media marketing best practices to elevate your social media marketing.
Let's check this Case Study:
The Boohoo Group, a fashion powerhouse, achieved remarkable social media traction since the pandemic. Its sales rose by 45% in a quarter that ended in May 2020. Now, there could be tons of factors behind this feat, but the brand’s killer social media strategy is undeniably the major reason behind its success.
Boohoo leverages influencer marketing to good effect. On Instagram alone, it has crossed 6.6 million followers thanks to regular influencer collabs. And the brand doesn’t just stop there. It also comes up with entertaining and relatable content that's always on point, all in a tone of voice that's super chill and friendly.
In fact, during the Covid lockdown, it even pivoted from its regular posts to debut #BoohooInTheHouse — a hashtag that captured the then-prevailing mood of its audience. This helped the brand stay relevant and this is what makes Boohoo’s social media marketing strategy a masterclass for all social media managers.
Here are the social media marketing tips for you and your brand.
Ensure your strategy is flexible enough to adapt to current trends and changes in your audience's behavior. For example, Boohoo quickly adjusted its content during the lockdown to drop the #BoohooInTheHouse tag.
Engage with your followers in a genuine, down-to-earth manner. Boohoo does this by providing fun, relatable and pop culture-fuelled content.
Partner with influencers who identify with your brand’s mission and core values. Boohoo reportedly spent £80m on influencer marketing in 2018, and they've continued to harness their pool of influencers since, amassing a huge following on Instagram.
Produce relatable content
Create content that resonates with your audience. Boohoo nails this with content that's friendly, current and always in tune with what's happening in the fashion space.
Consistency is the key
Maintain a regular cadence of posts and a uniform tone of voice in all your social media communication. Boohoo consistently uses a laid-back, friendly tone in all their posts across platforms.
Experiment and analyze
Try new things and keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Boohoo's success is in part due to their willingness to try different strategies and see what resonates with their audience.
Invest in paid social
Consider investing in social media ads and finding the best social media management platforms to increase your brand visibility. Boohoo made invested heavily in social media marketing and that gamble seems to have paid off big time.
Remember, just like Boohoo's journey, social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires patience, creativity, and an ongoing commitment to keep your audience engaged.
Now that you're armed with the requisite knowledge about social media marketing, it's time to chart your course.
Begin by identifying where your target audience likes to spend most of their time and focus all your attention on that platform. Create compelling content and tailor it to your customers’ preferences before deploying them on their preferred channels.
Remember the social media landscape is highly competitive, but with the right social media marketing goals, your brand can become the next big success story.
Frequently Asked Questions
Social media marketing lets businesses leverage various social media platforms to connect with audiences, build brand recognition, increase sales and drive website traffic. It involves creating and sharing engaging content, running paid advertisements on social media and analyzing their performance. The end goal is to engage with customers, cultivate strong relationships and convert these interactions into tangible business results.
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