a smartphone showing the social media apps
Content Marketing, digital marketing basics, Social Media Marketing

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing seems simple enough. It’s marketing on social media. But what does that really mean? How do you market on social media? It’s not like you just create an awesome poster and put it in public areas enticing people to come to your store and buy your product. Well, it kind of is, but in a digital way. 

To truly understand what social media marketing is and how it works, let’s take a step back and look at what social media is. 

So, What is Social Media?

Based on the more technical sites likes Investopedia and Oxford dictionary, social media is a way for people to connect, interact, and share ideas and articles on an online platform or social network. 

A woman with a laptop on your lap browsing social media.

You’ve probably at least heard of, or are on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, or Youtube. If you haven’t heard of these, then give us a call because an article won’t be enough to help you start social media marketing.  

Other social platforms that are less common but still have the social elements are Medium, Reddit, Tumblr, and DeviantArt. These may not be applicable to your business but keep in mind, there may be more niche social media platforms that do pertain to your business.  So, look beyond the big-name sites and do a search for niche social media platforms.  

All these different social media sites let like-minded people come together and share their common interests, learn from each other, and exchange passive-aggressive comments. 

Now that we’ve taken a birds-eye view of social media let’s look at how it relates to marketing!

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing (SMM) is when you market to people on platforms like Facebook or Twitter, based on their interests. There are two ways to go about marketing to individuals on social media: 

There is the more organic, soft marketing method that involves pulling people to your site by: 

  • Creating a page
  • Managing a group
  • Participating in other groups
  • Posting relevant information to those individuals
  • and/or commenting on others’ posts or threads.

Then there is the more direct, hard marketing that almost involves stalking people across the internet. 

Like when you viewed those shoes on Amazon but decided not to purchase them because they were a bit too pricing and now you see them everywhere including in your social media feed. This is the process of tracking with technology and posting ads targeting prospective buyers and those who’ve visited your site but didn’t purchase. 

It’s a little creepy when you think about it but as a business owner, it’s an amazing marketing tool to have at your fingertips. 

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Social marketing leverages these platforms like Facebook to get your brand front and center where people are spending a large portion of their time. A recent study shows that people spend an average of 2-3 hours per day scrolling through social media feeds every day.

The major benefit to social media marketing, besides the number of people on their sites, is that you can create targeted ads. Most of these sites like Facebook or LinkedIn have great analytics on the back-end that makes it easier for you as a business to get your ad in front of the correct people. Likewise, just by having a Twitter page or Facebook group you are constantly collecting data on the types of people who are interested in your products, giving you a greater understanding of your market demographics. 

As an added bonus your social media presence let’s loyal customers promote for you taking word of mouth marketing to a whole new level.

Social media marketing also gives you another way to build a relationship with your customers. 77% of people are more willing to buy from brands they follow on social media. By providing tips, life hacks, or helpful articles you are able to build a relationship with your customer. It takes your interactions from being just a transaction to a memorable experience. This helps build more brand loyalty for people who have already purchased from you. For people who have not purchased from you, this is a great way to get your brand in front of them which helps people remember your brand. It usually takes about ten times for someone to remember your brand.

Two men and one woman standing on a train platform scrolling through their smartphones looking at social media while waiting for the train.

So many people are on social media these days, making it a great way to meet both your customers and potential customers in their preferred medium. For many people, social media has become the primary way they want to communicate and this isn’t a bad thing. By talking to your customers through social media, or other chat methods, you can actually help service more customers at once, providing faster response rates, and improved customer service. 

Communicating with your customers through social media allows you to:

  • Track your marketing efforts
  • See what works 
  • Change what doesn’t work
  • and increase your ROI. 

Even if you are a small company, social media platforms provide tools and accessibility that large companies have and give you a wider audience than just your local market, if that’s desired. And if you know what you’re doing, social media marketing can be a cost-effective tool to use in conjunction with other marketing methods. If you don’t know what you’re doing, we can help you. 

Quick Social Media Marketing Tips

  • Start by picking one or two platforms that are best for you. This way you will actually post and get into a routine.
  • Use compelling pictures as most people won’t read the text but will be inspired to if they like the pictures.  
  • The best time to post on social media depends on your industry but on average it seems as though the middle of the week around the afternoon is generally good. Check out this post by Sprouts for more specific dates and times for your industry. 
  • The best time to get on social media is now. It doesn’t matter if you’re posting regularly yet, although that is beneficial, you want to have a presence on social platforms and grab your desired social handle (e.g., @Collabink) before someone else does.
  • Run contests to increase your followers and brand reach which will help increase your purchases in the long run. 
  • Use social media to promote your content marketing or build your email marketing list.

If you are unsure where to start with your social media marketing, need assistance finding direction, or want help executing your social media marketing, we at Collab.ink would be happy to help you. Contact us today or view our full list of services to get started with us. 

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