Market Research for Retail: 5 Reasons Why It’s Important
Welcome to the first chapter of our comprehensive retail business guide. You’re in the right…
Sean ThobiasSeptember 29, 2023
July 3, 2023
Social media has become essential in our daily lives in today’s connected world. Over half of the world’s population, or 4.76 billion people, use social media as of the start of 2023.
We all know what social media is, but do you know how to use it effectively for marketing? It’s important to understand that using social media for personal differs significantly from using it to promote your business. That’s where our guide comes in, inspired by Jason McDonald’s helpful Social Marketing Workbook (2023).
In this article, we’ll explore the world of social media marketing and give you valuable tips and strategies to make the most of this powerful platform. Whether you’re new to social media marketing or want to improve your efforts, our guide is here to help you succeed. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets to using social media for the success of your business.
Social media marketing (SMM), or digital marketing, uses social media platforms to promote a company’s brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic.
It enables companies to connect with existing and potential customers through social networks and information-sharing platforms.
Social media marketing also provides valuable data analytics that helps marketers track their success and discover new ways to engage with their audience.
Before we delve into how to market on social media, let’s first understand why businesses use this platform to improve their operations. Here are a few reasons why we use social media marketing:
Businesses can reach a vast audience using social media to promote their products and services. Let’s take a look at the numbers. As of the beginning of 2023, there are around 4.76 billion social media users globally. Facebook has the most significant number of users of all the platforms, with 2.89 billion as of April 2023. TikTok, a newer platform, has also gained popularity and already has a billion users.
Social media platforms are popular among the younger generation and have become integral to everyone’s lives. It’s not just limited to a specific age group or demographic. People from all walks of life have social media accounts regardless of age or background. Whether you’re a teenager, a young adult, a middle-aged individual, or even a senior citizen, you likely have a presence on social media.
Businesses use social media for marketing because it’s usually free. Social media apps don’t cost anything to use. People enjoy using them because they can connect with their friends, family, and the brands they like. From a marketing perspective, there are many things businesses can do on these platforms. They can go viral, get attention, stay relevant, and interact with the public.
Social media platforms offer many opportunities to promote your brand and connect with your audience. You can share content, run interactive campaigns, offer special deals, host live videos, and talk directly with customers through comments and messages. These activities help you show off your brand, create a community, and make customers more loyal. Using these features, you can engage with your audience and build a strong presence on social media.
In recent years, recommendation engines have emerged in social media. These algorithms work behind the scenes and suggest content to users based on their likings and preference. As users scroll through their feeds, the algorithms tailor the content they see to their interests.
Now, this is where it gets interesting for marketers. These algorithms can help marketers reach new customers by “pushing” their content toward them. It’s like a targeted approach that allows marketers to connect with people more likely to be interested in what they offer.
This technology, powered by artificial intelligence, has changed the game for brands on social media. It allows them to expand their reach and engage with a broader audience more effectively.
Let’s talk about how social media marketing works. It’s like going to a party for the people who want to buy things. When customers go to this party, they do different things and then go home. However, how they feel after leaving can be good or bad depending on the experiences.
Jason McDonald wrote a book called “Social Media Marketing Workbook.” In the book, he says marketers should perceive social media marketing as organizing a party. Here are three ways that social media marketing is similar to throwing a party:
When you plan a party, you need to promote it to ensure a successful turnout. In marketing, promotion invites customers to use or purchase your products and services. Here are what you must consider before starting your campaign.
When we organize a party, we usually take inspiration from other parties we have seen or attended. Similarly, as a marketer, you should watch what other brands are doing. Take the time to conduct competitor research, identify your target audience, and thoroughly analyze how to spread the word about your brand effectively.
As a marketer, you must have a purpose for your social media campaign. What is it that you want to achieve? Do you want to build brand equity or generate more sales?
Setting SMART goals is crucial for the success of your marketing campaign. It provides a clear framework and direction for your efforts. Without clear objectives, measuring your efforts’ impact and return on investment (ROI) becomes problematic. So, make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Picking the right platform is essential, just like choosing the perfect spot for your party. Understand the social media channels available and pick the ones that suit your brand the best. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others have unique audiences and features you can use.
At a party, delicious food and entertaining activities make guests stay longer and have a great time. Similarly, in social media marketing, content plays the same role.
Content marketing is a strategic approach that creates and distributes valuable, relevant, and consistent content. The goal is to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, ultimately driving profitable customer action. Remember, the keyword here is “valuable” to your audience. Your content should address their needs, interests, and pain points.
Here are five elements to help you create more engaging content for your audience:
A buyer persona is a profile that represents your target customer. It involves creating a fictional version of your ideal customer by considering their demographics, interests, behaviors, and pain points.
This persona helps you understand who your ideal customers are, their daily lives, their challenges, and how they make decisions. It’s like a character sketch that enables you to empathize with your customers to attract better and serve them. By creating a buyer’s persona, your marketing stays centered on your targeted audience.
How often should you post content? Well, it depends on the platform you’re using. The key is to be consistent. Being consistent keeps your audience engaged and can boost your profits. Consistent brands are valued 20% higher than those with inconsistent messaging.
Find a schedule that suits you and meets your audience’s expectations. Sticking to a regular posting routine keeps your audience interested and eager for your content, whether daily, weekly, or monthly.
Stay up-to-date with the latest trends, news, and events in your industry or related to your audience’s interests to keep your audience interested. When you provide content that is timely and relevant, it builds trust and authority in the field.
However, if your content is irrelevant, it may fail to resonate with your audience. Your audience might perceive it as outdated or unrelated to current needs and interests. People may become disinterested and overlook your content.
Humans love visuals. Did you know that most people, about 65%, learn better through visual content? Pictures, videos, infographics, and illustrations can make your message more impactful.
Visuals catch our attention, help us understand the information quickly, and make content more shareable and memorable. Without relevant and eye-catching visuals, your content may not grab people’s interest or stick in their minds. So, when creating marketing content, remember the power of visuals to connect with your audience and make a lasting impression.
Emotions are powerful motivators that can drive engagement and action. Create content that taps into your audience’s emotions, whether it’s through storytelling, humor, inspiration, empathy, or nostalgia. When your content strikes an emotional chord, it becomes more memorable and encourages your audience to connect with your brand.
The purpose of your social media marketing is to get people to take action. Marketers must include a call-to-action (CTA) in their content. A CTA prompt tells your audience what action to take after seeing your content.
A CTA can take many forms. It could be to visit your website, sign up for your newsletter, buy something, share the content, or join a conversation. By adding clear and compelling CTAs, you can guide your audience toward the desired result and measure how effective your content is.
Comparing social media marketing to a party, simply sending invitations and offering food and entertainment isn’t sufficient for success. As the host, it’s your responsibility to actively engage and work towards making the party a hit.
Don’t overlook the social element of social media. Your active participation is crucial to creating a memorable customer experience as a marketer. Here’s how you can do it:
By adopting these practices, you’ll be able to better connect with your audience, ensure a smooth experience, and lay the foundation for successful social media marketing.
Now that we’ve discussed social media marketing, let’s explore the six popular platforms commonly used in this field.
Facebook is the largest social media platform with a massive user base, making it an excellent choice for social media marketing. Its dynamics encompass all aspects of social media, making it a comprehensive platform for reaching your target audience.
One of the key advantages of Facebook is its algorithm, which rewards engagement. It favors content that captivates and retains users’ attention. It assigns scores to profiles, pages, and individual pieces of content, with higher scores given to content that is engaging or even addictive.
Facebook is great for:
LinkedIn is an excellent platform for business networking because most professionals have a profile on it. You can connect with customers and prospects from different industries. It’s different from Facebook, which is more for close friends and family.
LinkedIn has a business-focused culture where people can share ideas and talk to strangers. Pitching concepts or discussing ideas with people you don’t know is not unusual.
Having a company page on LinkedIn is beneficial. You can showcase your products, services, and company culture to followers. It’s a great way to keep people updated on your latest developments.
LinkedIn is perfect for:
Instagram is crucial for social media marketing and is often considered more important than Facebook. Its large user base and focus on pictures and videos make it perfect for mobile content. Instagram thrives on user-generated content (UGC), which adds authenticity and fosters a sense of community.
The platform seamlessly integrates with e-commerce, allowing businesses to showcase products, link to online stores, and drive sales. Its visual appeal enhances the shopping experience and encourages conversions.
Instagram is the perfect platform for various marketing goals:
YouTube is a platform where you can share longer videos compared to Instagram. It has many users, so you can reach many people and make your brand more visible. It’s easy for people to find and interact with your content.
You can see how well your videos are doing on YouTube using Google Analytics. It tells you how many views and time people spend watching your videos. You can also learn about your audience’s demographics and how engaged they are. This feature helps you understand your audience better and improve your marketing.
YouTube is an excellent platform for:
TikTok is a popular social media platform changing how we do marketing. It’s different from other platforms because it’s all about videos. The focus on videos lets brands show off their products and services excitingly. It’s more interesting for users and helps them remember your brand.
TikTok has a unique recommendation system that suggests videos based on users’ liking, so people spend time on the app. That means there’s a better chance for your brand’s content to be seen and liked.
TikTok is all about being relatable. That’s why it’s great for brands to grow naturally. By making authentic content, brands can connect with users personally. The platform helps build trust and makes people more loyal to the brand.
TikTok is great for:
Email marketing is a robust tool that often gets ignored compared to social media marketing. People like your product or service when they willingly sign up for your email alerts. Email is a great way to communicate directly with your audience. You can use their name and send personalized messages based on their interests or preferences.
Email marketing is a winner in getting a good return on investment. It’s affordable and can give impressive results. With a well-thought-out plan, you can get a high conversion rate without spending much money.
One of the benefits of email marketing is that it gives you measurable results. You can track how many people open your emails, click on links, and make purchases. This data helps you see your campaigns’ effectiveness and make intelligent choices for future improvements.
Here are how email marketing fits your overall social media marketing strategy:
Social media is now a crucial part of our daily lives, with over 4.76 billion people worldwide using it. However, when using social media for marketing, you need to do things differently than when you use it personally.
Earlier, we discussed how social media marketing works by comparing it to attending a party for potential customers. Just like at a party, customers do different things and leave with either a good or bad feeling. The idea of social media marketing as throwing a party emphasizes the importance of creating a positive and exciting experience for your audience.
Next, we’ll focus on Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and how it connects with social media marketing. We’ll explore how SEM can work with social media efforts to improve your digital marketing strategy.
McDonald, J. (2022, July 4). Social Media Marketing Workbook: How to Use Social Media for Business.