Digital marketing has surely branched out to many different forms. It started through content marketing which made use of blogs and other multimedia platforms, online advertisements and then came social media marketing.
What is social media marketing? How can it help in business growth? In this post, tech expert and entrepreneur Adrian Rubin gives us his concise on social media marketing and business.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing, put simply, is the act of driving a business’ growth through the use of social media platforms. There are many social media platforms, and here are some of the popular ones:
- Facebook – the widest social media platform, containing billions of users worldwide
- Twitter – known for tackling recent events and other important issues, this network is also large in population
- Instagram – a social media platform known for posting photos and short videos, business use it to create engagement
- Pinterest – another wide network of users who post pins about their specific interests such as DIYs and solutions for daily problems
- LinkedIn – known as a social media platform in professional networks, LinkedIn is used by companies for business to business transactions, for finding clients and for hiring employees
Depending on your business type, you may employ the use of different social media platforms to achieve your goals. The primary objective of using social media is reaching out to people who are already in the network who might be interested in your products or services.
Social media is a powerful tool because people spend at least 1-2 hours daily checking out their feeds on these platforms. Being able to use these tools to showcase your business can give a great contribution to increase brand awareness, find clients, and improve user engagement.
Benefits of social media marketing
There are many benefits of using social media to accomplish your business goals. Many of them include:
- Rapid growth – social media following is easier to grow than search engine optimization tools. This is because you can reach people in real time, and do not have to worry about implementing keywords, backlinks and other SEO tactics. As long as you have followers, people are able to see your posts.
- Connecting to people who are not using search engines at the moment – some users will not use Google, Yahoo, or Bing to find solutions online. They might just be browsing, or looking for a solution using social media. You can target these users by utilizing social media tools for a minimal amount or even at no cost at all.
- Increasing engagement – as you attempt to build awareness about your business, you will realize that it may be difficult to establish a connection with your users when you don’t have a vehicle to showcase your main website Social media helps you find these actual people and create opportunities for engagement that will make them want to visit your website.
Although the level of benefits in social media may differ from one business to another, employing these social media tools can create a positive effect in establishing your business’ authority aside from having your own website. In fact, some companies grow even without a website but have a steady growth on their social media platforms.
The key to maximizing the benefits of social media is to pick which social media platform suits your business. Whether you will use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or LinkedIn is entirely up to the nature of your company, what kinds of users you want to reach out to, and which platforms create the most results for you.
The difference of social media marketing from other forms of digital marketing
Social media marketing is one branch of digital marketing, but since there are many types of digital marketing tools, Adrian Rubin explains how it is different from others.
- It can form a two-way communication – social media provides an opportunity for users to react to your posts. This means that you know which posts are effective or not. Additionally, you can establish engagement by replying to their comments or asking for their opinions.
- It gives your brand a personal voice – unlike advertising or forming a website, social media gives your company a personable voice. This makes your brand more familiar, more approachable, and less intimidating. When brands are more familiar to users, the more that they are enticed to learn more about your offers.
- Social media can also be a way to understand your followers – as a result of your interaction with your audience, you can identify their needs in a better way. You have the opportunity to learn more about their needs, and what other products and services you can offer given these needs.
These additional insights can set you up for an advantage compared to competitors who do not use social media as a way to market their business. Often times, companies think that social media is ‘unprofessional’, or something that is only used for informal transactions.
This very far from the truth. In fact, it can also be a determinant of your business growth especially when done the right way.
Strategies for social media marketing
Make use of engaging multimedia forms
When creating posts in social media, make sure that your content is engaging. Whether it’s a text, photo, link to a website, video or audio, make sure that it is something that resonates to your audience that makes them want to react, comment, or share your content. Engaging also means that your content is useful, and gives value to your audience.
Another important thing to remember in social media marketing is posting consistently. Unlike blogs and website growth tools, social media has a limited posting life. This means that by the time you post your content in social media, there are other posts from people that might overtake it from being exposed in your follower’s feed.
This is why it is important to post consistently, whether it’s hourly, daily or weekly. Posting consistently helps build up your page authority and sends a signal to social media sites to place your posts in people’s feeds.
Indicate a call to action
Call to action is not just limited to content marketing. In fact, it can be as effective when used in social media marketing. All you have to do is to place your call to action using buttons provided by your social media platform.
For example, Facebook boost posts can give you the option of creating a button that either allows people to message you, go to your website, or buy products. Other platforms offer the same call to action tools that will help you easily capture the leads and turn them into sure customers.
Try out social media sponsored posts
Have you been in social media, but you’re not getting the results you want? Perhaps it is time to try out sponsored posts. Sponsored posts are those tools offered by social media platforms that help your business grow by picking a target audience where your posts can be seen.
This is a very helpful tool to find users who have a high likelihood of being interested in your business, rather than just blindly showing your ads to millions of people who do not have an interest. The great thing about social media sponsored posts is that they can get insights from a person’s profile and show your offers to people who are most likely looking for something that your business offers.
Have promotional offers to grow your network
Another helpful strategy is making use of promotions to grow your network. For example, you can start a contest where people can like and share your content in exchange for a free gift.
As people share your post, more audiences become aware of your business, and therefore it is a major plus that increases brand awareness. Not only that, there might also be a high chance that these audiences from your follower’s network are also potential customers in the long run.
Challenges for social media marketing
Even if there are benefits to social media marketing, it is important to understand that these social media platforms also have their own sets of challenges. Adrian Rubin discusses some difficulties you may encounter as you try out this marketing strategy.
- Irrelevant in search engines – you may have a strong following on social media platforms, but this doesn’t guarantee that you will get the top results for a certain keyword in Google. If you are planning to rank in search engines, it is important to focus both on social media marketing and SEO at the same time.
- Short post life – social media is unlike SEO where content placed has a high chance of retaining its ranking in the years to come. Each post is social media is volatile, and may only have a single day to be seen in feeds. This is why social media marketing needs to have a high consistency rate.
- Prone to unwanted reactions – social media works real time, so you can expect that as your business grows, there are some people who will leave distasteful reactions, comments and even ratings in your profiles.
Future of social media marketing
Given these challenges, it is interesting to note that social media marketing is at its all-time high. More and more businesses are interested in connecting with users who are on social media platforms, as this proves to be another vital tool for business growth.
Adrian Rubin sees the continuous growth of social media as a vehicle for businesses, and he is predicting that there will be more features available for companies to post their content online. One of the things that interest him is the implementation of artificial intelligence in gathering information to improve marketing strategies in social media. This includes getting certain demographic information, typed interests, and other data to gain insights about users.
This proves to be a helpful tool to improve return on investment in social media marketing costs. Additionally, it will also provide audiences improved social media user experience by showing posts that appeal to their interests.
About the author:
At present, Adrian is a consultant for many tech companies ranging from startups to the most established ones. For more info about Adrian Rubin, you can visit his website at adrianrubin.info.