Social Media Marketing For Beginners

by | Business, Marketing | 0 comments

The seventh in our “For Beginners” series, covering all the basic realms of digital media marketing for those new to the tools.

What is social media?

Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram. They’re all “social media”, but what does that mean?

Social media is the broad umbrella term used to refer to websites and programs that emphasize collaboration, sharing of information, engagement, and community-based feedback. Social media is used by people to connect and communicate with their friends, family, and other communities.

Social media apps allow businesses to promote products, keep track of performance data as well as to interact with the public through a wide variety of formats.

Why is social media important?

As we mentioned earlier in our “For Beginners” series, the use of mobile devices is exploding globally. Devices can be found in the hands of users all over the globe. Though social media apps all have a desktop component, one of the biggest selling points of this marketing avenue is the huge mobile component that all the major companies focus on.

By design, all social media apps are designed to adapt to the likes of the device owner, gathering data across channels to tailor an experience that closely mirrors the interests of each user. Not only that, the app creators spend vast sums of money developing their interface and interactivity to be as engaging and addictive as possible. Moreover, apps such as Facebook have been structured in such a way, and have achieved such market saturation that it is actually difficult for people to AVOID using certain kinds of social media.

All this to say that social media gives business owners the opportunity to specifically target the exact kind of people that would be interested in their products, anywhere in the world, at any time, in a way that is highly, highly addictive.

It may not be entirely ethical, but we’d be lying to ourselves (and to you) if we said it wasn’t incredibly powerful.

What are the 7 functions of social media?

It is commonly recognized that social media fulfills at least 7 basic functions for users:

#1 Establishing an identity- Users create a unique profile and identity. This may or may not be consistent with their real name actual personal details.

#2 Facilitating conversation- In a variety of formats, users can communicate with one another. This communication can be moderated according to rules, or uncensored.

#3 Providing a place for content sharing- Anyone using the service can contribute content in the format/s allowed by the app, such as images, video, audio, documents, reviews etc.

#4 Fostering relationships- To differing degrees, people using the service are encouraged to communicate with one another. These communications are sometimes fostered (or manipulated) via the use of algorithms to time interactions according to different desired social outcomes.

#5 Creating and leveraging your presence- Those utilizing the app can build a following to increase their social influence.

#6 Creating and maintaining groups- Users can join groups with similar interests.

#7 Managing reputation- Social media apps often (though not always) double as tools for public relations and reputation management, allowing individuals to respond to customer issues in real-time.

What are the benefits of social media?

Create whatever you want, post as much as you want

A common perk of social media for businesses is the ability to submit your content for free, whenever and wherever, opening the gate to word of mouth campaigns and lead generation. Depending on the social media network, you can either publish as many photographs, videos, audio files, recipes, reviews as you are able, or as many as the often generous limits permit. Youtube for example has a gargantuan allowance of up to 12 hours per video upload, which is utterly mindboggling when you consider their number of active users.

Have it go viral

In contrast to other types of internet marketing, content on social media is frequently shared, You can reach more people than you could with a conventional marketing campaign since your followers can share with their followers on the same app, who in turn can share with their followers, and so on. Whatever the content, people love to pass on the things they like to others. If your content is thoughtful or entertaining enough, you could receive an explosive positive response and viral spread.

Drive people to your landing page

You may post material with a link to your website on the majority of social networking sites, which people will happily click if your posts are eye-catching enough. These links should typically lead them to your website so they can find out more about your product or service. When this strategy is carried out on a widely used app like YouTube, you have the potential to garner thousands or even millions of clicks through to your landing page, depending on the efficacy of your visual content of course.

Get seen by millions- no, billions

The kind of numbers that you see associated with social media usage statistics are almost impossible to really envision. Facebook for example, has almost 3 billion active users. Youtube about 2.6 Billion. Instagram over 2 billion.

There really just isn’t anywhere else to go online than social media apps, if you want to get yourself and your products before such unspeakably large audiences.

Grow your brand

The potential to establish your brand is one advantage of social media marketing. By seeing your content anywhere and everywhere online, whether mobile or desktop, on any and all apps they use, customers can be targeted and repeatedly exposed to your ads in a manner that feels measured and natural. Among those customers who have followed through with a purchase, new video or new content notifications for example can serve as gentle reminders that lead them to stay engaged with and loyal to your brand.

Connect with your audience

Pretty much all major social media companies provide tools in their app that facilitate customer service and direct communication. Some, such as Facebook even allow the possibility to use chatbots to automate the initial customer inquiry and assist businesses with more rapidly prioritizing and responding to help requests and customer concerns.

Via a rapid response over the inbuilt messenger services, you can build trust with your customers, get to know them and take care of issues on a personalize one-on-one basis before any unnecessary escalation of issues occurs.

Boost your reach with paid ads

Running sponsored adverts is typically an option if you want to do more than just publish content organically. The sponsored advertising options vary from app to app. Some platforms such as Facebook have a well developed toolkit and set of features, whereas others are more rudimentary, or even non-existent. With the help of paid marketing, your company may reach out to prospective customers who haven’t yet discovered you. Your ads can be customized to show in the feeds of users who have a history of searching or purchasing similar goods and services.

Analyze and refine your performance

Don’t waste time screaming into the void and hoping for the best- post your ads and content with the confidence that you can surgically track the operation of your campaigns, by digging into the key metrics relating to your content. Though the quality and detail of these tools vary by platform, the major platforms typically offer fully fledged tools for data tracking and analysis. That video you posted a week ago on YouTube? Head to the Creator Studio and you will be greeted with information about the views, watch time, likes, dislikes, comments and more. This is just one example.

It’s free baby

Breathe a sigh of relief, you eternal penny-pincher you. Not a penny need be spent for most of these platforms to get you through the door and using their sophisticated content marketing systems. Not only that, for those who want to get some premium action and access paid features, the major players all have reasonable offerings for advanced tools. Facebook for example allows businesses to run campaigns with a set limits on your daily ad spend, ensuring that you don’t quickly lose track of your advertising budget.

Automation across the nation

Short on time? No problemo. Social media apps typically integrate smoothly with software that allows the automated posting of content, meaning you can structure your posting around a more efficient workflow. Film 7 short videos on Monday and post them each day across the week. Write out all your twitter posts and set them up to be posted at peak times for maximum engagement. These are just two often used ideas that automation can accomplish.

What social media platforms should I use?

It really depends upon your goals, though it’s always good to start with stalwarts like FB, YT, Insta, Twitter and TikTok. The truth is that for most businesses, simply maintaining a presence on the aforementioned outlets will likely prove more than sufficient to drive growth and sales. That said, if your strategy is to go after a particular niche, you could be served well by investigating the features and performance of lesser-known apps.

To get a better idea of what platforms would better suit your needs, tomorrow we’ll be taking a look at 16 of the most well known types of social media. #staytuned

The Parting Shot

We can argue with the future, we can fight against it like an old man trying to throw an uppercut into the ocean waves, but the fact is that in the coming decades, social media’s juggernaut will only continue to solidify it’s place in the pantheon of the marketing gods. When you are talking about a series of apps that almost 50% of the ENTIRE FREAKIN WORLD make use of, you would have to have been flat lobotomized to not understand that this advertising medium is where the smart money is. This may sound eerily similar to the last post in this series, BUT-

If you are advertising and you aren’t on social media yet, you should be. End of.

Getting run down running your business? Want to see explosive growth in your online presence and impact? Contact us for a free consultation to see what we offer.


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