Being social media-savvy is a key to success in digital marketing. Why? Because when it comes to effective digital marketing, social media can help you build exposure for your brand in ways other marketing tools cannot. By successfully building a presence on social media, you can drive greater traffic to your website, maximize new leads, target those leads through your advertising, and foster improved relationships with consumers—to name just a few advantages.
Social media and how we use it is constantly changing—and this is one of the unique challenges of working in this fast-paced, dynamic industry. Five years ago, TikTok didn’t even exist. Today, the short video sharing platform has more than 2 billion downloads, making it a must-have for any aspiring social media professional. With approximately 3.6 billion people using social media worldwide as of 2020—nearly half the world’s population—there’s great incentive for businesses to take full advantage of using social media for digital marketing. Read on to learn more!
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing involves all digital marketing that takes place over a social media platform, and can be organic or paid. Organic social media marketing involves promoting your brand on a social network without paying them directly to so, by sharing posts, interacting with followers, and liking their comments. In addition, you can also pay to promote your brand through advertising campaigns, boosted social media posts, and more. A number of businesses use Facebook ads or pay to promote their posts on social media. This is a great way to reach new audiences and increase brand awareness.
Identify Your Target Audience
One of the first things you will learn at digital marketing college is how to identify your target audience. This should be the first step to any digital marketing strategy, since you will want to build a community with those interested in your business. By gaining the best possible understanding of your consumers’ behaviour, as well as which of your content is most successful at engaging them, you can more easily tailor your social media posts and advertising to their wants and needs.
For example, a platform like LinkedIn is heavily focused on businesses and networking, so you can use it to target people with a certain job title or level of education. Additionally, it may be a more productive strategy to focus your social media marketing efforts on select platforms that your audience engages with most frequently, as opposed to trying to cover every single one. This way, you can tailor your strategies and allocate your resources to the platforms where you can get maximum engagement from your consumers, and create better content friendly to that specific platform.
If your brand is young with a main audience of students aged 15 to 20, you might want to focus on ‘young’ social media platforms like Snapchat and TikTok, and use these in a fun and engaging way. Alternatively, you might want to use social media to reach a new demographic of consumers. As of 2019, for example, Millennials in Canada rank among the most heavy users of social media channels such as Facebook (88%), Instagram (59%), and YouTube (72%).
Adapt Your Content for Different Social Media Platforms
If you are new to social media marketing, it can be tempting to take the same post and share it across all of your social media channels. However, this is a common mistake, as all content will need to be adapted for each platform. This will include changing the size of images or videos, adapting language, and even adding in or removing hashtags. This is important because this can allow businesses to produce user-friendly messaging that can more easily drive engagement, such as hashtags that are trending on Twitter or are heavily followed on Instagram, language more appropriate to specific platforms (eg. a more formal tone for LinkedIn versus a more playful one for Instagram), and videos and images that best fit the parameters of certain platforms. Remember that the use of social media to research brands and products is done by 54% of social media users from various age groups, so successfully adapting content to increase engagement is key.
Keep Your Brand’s Voice Consistent Across Channels
Another important element to social media marketing is developing a plan for how your brand’s voice is going to stay consistent despite the nuances in how different posts best engage users of different channels. For example, you could brainstorm a list of hashtags representative of the brand that can be used for various social media posts, as well as create a style guide including detailed descriptions of all best practices for social media communication for the business.
Brand voice should be reflected across the language and visuals used in all social media content, as this will help audiences to better connect with the brand. Another reason this is important is because, according to a Lucidpress survey of more than 200 different companies, brands that produce inconsistently-voiced content can be negatively affected in multiple ways, such as a damaged reputation and market confusion. With this in mind, having a clearly defined voice and brand image can go a long way in bringing your business to a new level.
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