Social media marketing has long taken over as the foremost means to drive up brand awareness, website traffic, and sales. With the dominance of social media in internet audience share, it is not hard to see why.
Traditional media such as TV, radio, and print still offer a significant influence over the masses, but social media marketing has long won the competition in terms of offered reach and exposure.
Social media is now the undisputed king of reach. With social media’s unprecedented level of accessibility, anyone who has a phone is social media marketing’s captive audience.
Anyone with a phone maintains some sort of social media app they check multiple times a day. This makes for very fertile ground to gain awareness for brands. And there are more than a few ways brands can take advantage of this fact.
Table of Contents
What Is Social Media Marketing?
What is social media marketing anyway? To put it simply, social media marketing is using social media to market a brand’s product or service.
Once upon a time, when social media was not a thing yet, traditional media was the all-powerful gatekeeper to anything marketing and advertising. In those days, you had to deal with either print, TV, or radio to publish your brand’s marketing.
Everything was also costly, and nothing came for free.
Social media revolutionized all that. It gave brands the option to D.I.Y their marketing solutions via using social media in marketing. This way, the cost of marketing and advertising became only how much a brand was willing to spend.
How Does Social Media Marketing Work?
A more relevant question should be, “how does a brand use social media marketing?”
Social media was designed to be a virtual world where people can create personal accounts to interact with other people who also have accounts. In this lies how any brand can use social media.
Brands create social media accounts that allow them to have one-to-one interaction with their target market.
Social media is very effective because of these reasons:
Social media is cost-effective – With social media marketing, you can spend zero dollars and still be quite effective in marketing your brand. Traditional means of marketing through traditional media immediately start at a premium price.
Social media marketing is what you make it – What is social media in marketing? It is what you make it! With social media marketing, brands will have total control over what creative direction their online marketing will take. Brands become their own publisher, and only their imagination and creativity will be their marketing campaign’s limits.
Social media marketing has the widest reach ever – Anybody who has a phone is your audience. And since everyone has a phone now, your brand potentially has exposure to anybody you wish to reach!
Types of Social Media Marketing
Advertising or Sponsorship
This is done exactly like how a brand would do advertising on traditional media (TV, print, and radio) except on someone else’s social media platform.
Your brand pays, say, a social media influencer to feature your brand’s marketing message on its social media platform in the form of paid ads.
Examples of these are having a Twitch streamer recite a marketing spiel, posting ads on YouTube, or making an Instagram model do a demo of your product or service.
In this type of social media marketing, your brand makes already-known social media influencers create content about your brand. Influencers can be Twitch streamers, YouTubers, TikTokers, etc.
Content can include but are not limited to the following:
- Featuring your brand’s story
- Content featuring your brand on their platform
- Co-branded content collaboration between your brand and your chosen influencer
- Making influencers share your brand’s coupon codes
Content Marketing/Content Creation
This type of social media marketing is a strategic approach to content creation that aims to seamlessly incorporate brand promotion into vlogs, podcasts, videos, and other social media posts.
Well-produced, interesting content is at the heart of this approach, and attraction and retention of new clients or customers is its aim.
Paid Social Media Marketing
These refer to inorganic marketing efforts that involve paying agencies like YouTube, Google, Facebook, and the like. This is the direct social media counterpart to a brand paying a TV network for precious minutes in the form of TV commercials.
Types of Social Media Marketing:
- Search engine ads
- Paid social media
- Native ads
- Banner ads
5 Basic Principles of Social Media Marketing
This principle dictates that you efficiently identify your goals, what social media platforms to use, and what kind of content to use as a vehicle to achieve your social media marketing goals.
Begin with the end in mind and identify whether you want an increased website/social media traffic, brand awareness, sales, or all three! You can also set your own goals, like being a venue for nurturing your brand’s niche and community.
Choose platforms that will be the venue of your quest toward your goals. Choose from a multitude of platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, etc.
Streamline your approach and pick a genre of content and stick with it. If you feel like your brand’s message conveys its message best in a vlog, then stick to that and be consistent.
Planning and Publishing
Now that you have a streamlined strategy, you can plan out a timeline to publish your content on your chosen platform. Take a calendar and mark days and specific when you plan to post content. Do this consistently through audience engagement and the lack of it.
Listening and Engagement
If plans are implemented, and posts are published strategically, your following will inevitably grow. Engagement between your brand and its fans is an important aspect at this stage. Your brand’s social media presence relies on this habit of engaging with and listening to your followers.
Analytics and Reporting
Collect all usable data and observations to interpret later on. This will point to the next steps you must take in social media marketing.
When marketing on social media itself nets your brand a lot of profit, it is time for your brand to advertise on social media. This is a surefire way to extend your brand’s reach and recognition on top of your already existing social media presence.
Social Media Marketing Is Here, Social Media Marketing Is Now!
No brand, big or small, can afford not to be doing social media marketing. As traditional media takes the backseat, missing out on social media marketing is self-sabotage. Enhance all efforts toward social media marketing, and you will not just conquer now but also master the future.
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