What is Social Media Marketing?
The internet currently has around 4.2 billion users. That’s more than half of the world’s population. Over 3 billion people use social media.
Around 91% of brand companies use at least two social media channels. Of the small and medium-sized enterprises, about 81% use a social media platform.
Over the past decade, social media platforms on the internet have opened up to a broad audience.
While at the beginning of social media it was mainly young people who were enthusiastic about it, older people are increasingly becoming the target group. Therefore, social platforms have become a valuable marketing tool for companies, artists and politicians.
Today, all groups of people are represented in the social networks from grandsons to grandfathers. Facebook is not only cool but also of strategic use for market communication, product presentation and the provision of services.
Social media marketing includes all measures aimed at achieving corporate goals through social media.
These goals include:
- The branding
- Customer loyalty
- The sale of products/services
Strategic branding takes place primarily through public relations. Due to the increasing digitization, however, the appearance on the internet is becoming increasingly important. Social media are particularly well suited for this. Before you crash into the social media marketing campaign, you should be able to answer a few questions.
- What should the brand or your company stand for?
- On which topics do you want to become a leader?
- How do you want to communicate?
If you are able to answer these questions, you can define your social media strategy. Then you have to decide which form of social media you want to use.
How do you best reach your target group? Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube also appeal to different user categories.
However, a presence in social media requires daily engagement. So you have to do post regularly, make comments or ask questions. If you sometimes ask questions on social networks, it’s best to trigger a response from your users.
Social media are also ideal for customer loyalty. Here you have the opportunity to address customers and to communicate with them. However, this requires appropriate content that stands out from the mass of content that is found on social media.
This content should, therefore, be engaging and encourage users to visit your websites more often. For that, you should know your target group and their wishes exactly.
Then you can quickly respond to questions and provide solution-oriented answers, which in turn put your company at the center of attention.
Sales of products and services
A big goal of all these efforts is selling your products or services. With the help of social media, you can inspire your target group for you or your company.
Enthusiastic customers will, therefore, recommend you. Thus, you are able to increase your customer base steadily. That is also the goal of Online Marketing.
Which Social Media Channels are There?
If we are to create a ranking of the most used platforms, Facebook tops the list with over 2 billion users, followed by YouTube with 1.5 billion users and Instagram with 900 million users.
This is followed by LinkedIn with 500 million users, Twitter with 330 million, Pinterest with 200 million, and Snapchat with 178 million users.
In 2016 alone, around 40 billion dollars were invested in social media marketing worldwide. The most popular online marketing methods include social media marketing, blogs, and newsletters.
The Most Popular Social Media Platforms Include:
Tips for Social Media Marketing
There are many possibilities in social media marketing. The individual social networks offer different forms to be present in the network.
But behind all these uses is a common strategy. Before you go with your company or your products on social networks, you should ask yourself some questions:
- Situation analysis?
- What does my target group look like?
- What goals do I want to achieve?
- Which channels are suitable for this?
- Which resources do I have?
- How do I perform a success check?
At the beginning is the question of which social networks you already use. Are these sufficient or do they require revision?
How does your competition work in social media? If the use of social media marketing is already common in your industry, you have to work harder to implement your strategies.
In addition, you also need to know how much time and money you can put into pursuing social media strategies.
An important point is the target audience. If you know which people are most likely to use your products or services, then you should be aware of where this audience is in social networks.
If you know who you want to address, you can get a clear picture of the individual content forms.
The Goal Definition
A clearly defined goal facilitates the implementation of each strategy. While your primary goal may be to sell your products, it should not be the focus of the strategy.
This overflows with the time each user. One goal, however, can be building a brand, acquiring new customers, building up efficient customer service or communicating with customers as fans.
The Selection of Channels
When choosing the appropriate social media channels, you must orientate yourself towards your target group.
For example, if your audience is primarily focused on video content and images, you’ll need to adjust your content accordingly. You can also create videos about your products or offer informational videos. For example, the platform YouTube is ideally suited for this.
This includes both your time budget and your financial budget. After all, working with social media requires almost daily employment.
You have to do regular postings or answer user requests. In advance, you must also be clear how much money you want to invest in advertising banners or in the boosting of your content.
The Success Check
Each marketing measure also requires a successful review. In social media marketing, which actually forms part of online marketing, the so-called ROI is used for this. This return on investment describes how much of the profit generated by the marketing measures are compared to their cost.
Here are the key points you need to keep in mind when social media marketing:
- First, decide which goal you are following with social media and then which social media platform is the right one for your business.
- Also, observe the activities of your competition. Where are they active and how do they use social media?
- Communicate with your users in a friendly manner and respond to any questions in detail.
- Create added value for your users through your content.
- Pay attention to unique content.
- Use meaningful photos or videos.
- Make at most three contributions per day but at least one informative contribution per week.
- Get involved daily on social media.
- The majority of your fans should have a high affinity to your products or services.
- Watch out for followers and fans who act as an opinion leader.
What Role Does Social Media Marketing Play?
Social media marketing is part of the entire online spectrum. It should be used mainly as a supplement. For each content and audience, there are platforms that are less or better suited to disseminating content.
That depends primarily on your offer but also on your target audience. If the people in your target group are spread across multiple platforms, you should also consider this in your marketing mix.