You’ve probably heard of social media, maybe even used it yourself, but how exactly does it work and what can you do with it?
If you’re looking for an answer to those questions, you’ve come to the right place. This article will give you an overview of the most popular and effective ways to use social media to market your products and services.
The Basics Of Social Media Marketing
To understand the basics of social media marketing, you need to know a few terms used in this context. First, you’ll want to learn about micro-blogging.
A micro-blogging platform allows you to create and post short content such as articles, photos, and videos. Basically, any type of content that can be shared on social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram.
This type of content usually has a maximum of about 500 characters, so it’s perfect for Twitter.
If you want to blog the perfect blog post, consider using a micro-blogging platform such as blogspot or tumblr to do so. You can then use a tool such as Blogger’s built-in analytics to track the results.
Why Should You Get Started With Social Media Marketing?
There are a variety of reasons why you might want to get started with social media marketing, but here are a few of the most common reasons.
- To Create Brand Awareness
- To Enhance Product Knowledge
- To Establish and Maintain Relationships With Potential Customers
- To Identify And Narrow Your Target Markets
- To Gain Visibility In Existing Communities
- To Drive Traffic To Your Website
- To Grow Your Email List
- To Measure The Effectiveness Of Your Marketing
- To Identify The Best Times To Post To Maximise the Amount of Liking, Sharing and Click-Throughs
- To Grow Your Following
- To Build A Residual Income Stream
- To Just Have Fun!
The Key To Successful Social Media Marketing
To ensure you have a successful social media marketing campaign, you need to adhere to a few key guidelines.
You first need to establish yourself as an expert in your field with specific credentials. Having a proven track record in your industry is a great way to establish authority and trustworthiness. You can then use social media to disseminate your expertise and gain credibility.
Next, you need to identify and analyse the key metrics that can accurately measure your campaign’s success. You can’t expect to just jump into a social media marketing campaign and expect it to be successful. You need to have a clear idea of what will and won’t work in terms of garnering interest, engaging potential customers, and converting them into paying customers. Analytics tools such as Hootsuite’s Keyhole can help you get a clear picture of the marketing metrics that matter most to your business.
Effective Social Media Channels To Get Started
Now that you’re equipped with the basics, let’s discuss the various social media channels and which one you should consider using for your business.
You’ll want to pick channels that match your target audience and have the highest engagement rate. There are over two hundred million monthly active users on TikTok, a smartphone app and video platform. It’s the largest social network by monthly active users. What is TikTok?
TikTok is a social networking app that allows users to connect with friends, watch and share short-form videos, and engage with content creators through likes, comments, and shares.
TikTok is extremely popular amongst Gen-Z (64% use it compared to 58% of millennials), and amongst men and women between the ages of 35-44. According to TikTok, 77% of their users watch videos on the platform for entertainment. Only 14% of their users watch videos to teach or inform themselves about something.
In terms of business impact, over 60% of businesses use and recommend TikTok to their customers. This platform is a must for any marketer’s toolbox.
Instagram is slightly less popular than TikTok, with over 500 million monthly active users, however, it is much more widely used. Instagram offers a similar service to TikTok in terms of connecting with friends, sharing short-form videos, and engaging with content creators. You can also use Instagram to discover and follow content creators who can help you grow your business.
One of the most popular uses of Instagram is to promote and grow a business. 58% of businesses use and recommend this platform to their customers. This shows that even though Instagram is slightly less popular than TikTok, it still has great potential to grow your business.
Twitter is another popular social media channel, with 284 million monthly active users. Twitter is ideal for general communication, news stories, and engaging with customers.
However, only 14% of businesses use and recommend this platform to their customers. Why? Well, over 60% of businesses say that they don’t feel comfortable sharing too much information on this platform. This could be because of the platform’s general nature, where users can post about anything, anytime, to the audience.
That being said, businesses can use this channel to disseminate important information about their products and services, or follow prominent public figures to stay informed of the latest trends and news.
Last but not least, we have YouTube. This is an incredible platform for content creators, marketers, and businesses. You can use this channel to create educational videos, product demos, explainer videos, or anything else in between.
What is YouTube?
YouTube is a video platform that was started in 2005 by three students looking for a way to share their music with more people. Since then, this platform has grown to become one of the largest in the world with over 1.9 billion active users per month. (Statista)
One of the most popular uses of YouTube is to educate and inform, particularly amongst Gen-Z and millennials. Over 30% of YouTube users have indicated that they’ve watched videos to better understand something or learn something new. (Statista)
This is a great place for marketers to distribute product demos, explainer videos, or any other type of video content. Plus, you can use various types of videos, including but not limited to:
- Product demos
- Explainer videos
- How-to videos
- Vlogs (video blogs)
- Comedy shorts
- Cooking/food videos
- Educational videos
When it comes to using YouTube for marketing, it’s ideal to create and upload videos regularly, but not too frequently. Too many videos will make your audience tired of your content, while infrequent uploads will make your content seem less relevant.
YouTube also allows users to discover content they might not have seen before if you’re using the platform to its fullest. This is why 56% of businesses recommend YouTube to their customers as a marketing platform.
However, if you’re a small business or brand, don’t expect to gain a huge following overnight on this channel. It takes a bit of time to establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry, and then you can use YouTube’s many features to build a bigger audience.
If you’re looking for an answer as to which one of these social media channels is the best, it’s quite a difficult question to answer. Each one has its perks, but as a rule of thumb, you should go with what your target audience and previous experience on similar channels.
The most successful businesses and marketers on this planet are those who utilize multiple platforms and channels to grow, promote, and educate people about their products and services.
You can use the aforementioned platforms to follow and connect with content creators, bloggers, and public figures who have a relevant message or persona that relates to your products or services. In addition, you can gain access to large audiences by using relevant hashtags.