Understanding Social Media Marketing
With the increased rise in popularity, understanding social media marketing can become one of the best ways to promote your business. It has now become a full-time job to try and leverage the power of social media marketing to promote products and services.
Unfortunately, it can be easy to get lost in the online activities to promote your business and drive traffic to your website, resulting in lost hours with little accomplished.
The truth is, you don’t need to spend hours a day marketing your business on social media. In fact, you can create a simple routine of interactions that will take you about an hour a day.
With a bit of common sense and some of the convenient tools that are available, you can build your social media presence through, mostly automated, postings on the top social media platforms.
Carefully planning your social media marketing activities can provide you with an excellent opportunity to drive more traffic to your site, generate more leads, and earn more profits.
Planning is one of the most critical elements to the success of most endeavors but is especially crucial for online marketing. There are so many pieces to the puzzle that is online marketing that it can be easy to overlook one, or not see where it fits into the whole picture.
Many businesses opt for a “scatter-shot” approach when they are planning their social media marketing campaign. They decide to hit every single platform in hopes of hitting it big and going viral.
Unfortunately, because their efforts are so scattered, they often fail and don’t see any return on their investment. It will be more beneficial for you to take a “rifle” approach, hitting your marketing targets with precision.
To do this, you want to first focus your efforts on the top three social media platforms, avoiding the distractions of the rest of the social networks. When you are first starting out, you don’t want to become overwhelmed with more work than you can handle.
The sheer number of social media platforms can get confusing. So, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to be on everyone to be successful, you just have to find the right ones for your market.
Understanding Social Media Marketing – Facebook
Facebook is by far the largest of all the social media platforms, and despite some of the recent complaints against the company, it is still an extremely popular network, with more than 2 billion users per month.
It has a lot that you can do and see. You can share posts, videos, memes, and more with a main page or wall with your specific interests and recommendations.
Due to their strict rules, Facebook’s ad network has not been ruined by spammers. It offers both free and paid work in conjunction with each other and is cheaper to use than Google AdWords.
It allows you to promote your site and posts you know to be popular. It provides a logo indicating a “hot post” to promote, and a suggested budget.
You also have access to a lot of paid and free features. These include events, polls, special offers, giveaways, contests, and more.
The great thing about these features is you can experiment with all of them to see what results you get, without having to spend a ton of money.
If you use WordPress and have a blog, many great plug-ins can help you take advantage of these features on Facebook. You can also post your article headlines to Facebook automatically.
If you are using AWeber, you can share your email marketing messages the same way. All you have to do is connect the accounts and choose whether you want to post the content to Facebook when you send out the email.
The best feature of Facebook that business should utilize is the ability to engage in daily conversations with your subscribers and fans.
Not only will this help you build credibility but helps you to stay on top of the latest trends and happenings and allows you to create your own viral or buzz linking.
Having a Facebook page with numerous fans is an excellent way to showcase your business.
Understanding Social Media Marketing – Twitter
Utilizing short post of no more than 140 characters, Twitter has become known as a “microblog.” Rather than one post per day, people often make multiple posts throughout the day, telling people what they are doing.
People sign up as followers of a business or person. This is usually based on a niche topic that they are interested in. Once they sign up, they will start receiving tweets posted by those they follow.
The tweets are piquing interest and keeping the followers informed. In some cases, a follower might be so interested in the information, that they re-tweet the original tweet out to every one of their followers.
When numerous people re-tweet the same tweet, it can be said to be going viral. The comments that you might get can range from personal to professional.
People will often click on a Twitter link to read a full article, whereas they might tend to ignore it if you were to send it in an email. To get the most out of your tweets, you need to treat them like a great headline.
Twitter, over the years, has become popular due to its fun, immediate and compelling format that causes people to want to interact with it on a daily basis. Perhaps its popularity is because it is so similar to the newspaper or blog headline.
Twitter also makes it extremely convenient to contact any follower who happens to be online at the same time you are. Since so many people are now using the Twitter app on their phones, many people are only a tweet away.
The best business use of Twitter is staying in touch with your followers and making yourself highly visible by tweeting at least once a day.
It can also be used to send reminders to people, post news of contests, etc. Twitter provides a quick personal connection to all your followers and can help you drive traffic to your full articles and blog posts.
Understanding Social Media Marketing – LinkedIn
LinkedIn is another one of the networks that you shouldn’t ignore. It helps you connect with like-minded individuals in your niche in a professional capacity, rather than a personal one.
It was designed for professionals who want to stay linked, even if they don’t work for the same company.
LinkedIn is designed to showcase your skills and experience, be located by others regarding new opportunities, and stay in touch with colleagues and friends; with the latter being particularly handy given the state of flux in the current job market.
Chances are, if someone is on LinkedIn, you’ll be able to find them sooner or later. For freelancers, the networking site can provide instant access to quality contacts from the moment you join.
You can also join special interest groups and follow industry insiders, allowing you to know what is going on in your field.
Top-level clients and prospective employers routinely look at the LinkedIn profiles of anyone they are thinking about doing business with.
The site’s strength also lies in the recommendations, which your network members are prompted to provide for you.
The site was initially designed to cater to the college-educated, professional demographic, but has become much friendlier over the last several years, allowing you to take part in ongoing discussions with both individuals or groups.
As a business, you should use LinkedIn to profile and position yourself as an expert in your industry. It can be an excellent source for new contacts and a place to provide targeted information and showcase testimonials, specialties, and accomplishments.
Understanding Social Media Marketing – Google+
Much like Facebook, Google+ allows a range of content. It is a highly visual platform that is preferred by chefs and photographers.
The “Hangouts” area of the platform is a great place to post webinars. It allows you to cross-post your content with Twitter and YouTube and can be accessed through Gmail and YouTube accounts. It is slanted more toward a younger male audience.
Understanding Social Media Marketing – Tumbler
Tumbler is also similar to Facebook in the types of content that you can post. Unlike Facebook, it will accept your YouTube video embeds, as well as allowing you to upload your videos to the site directly.
You can use the share buttons on YouTube to post a still image or thumbnail of your video. There are currently 550 million users on the site that span 16 languages.
The demographics tend to lean toward the Millennials, with more than 80 percent of them accessing the site from their mobile phones.
Understanding Social Media Marketing – Pinterest
This site is a virtual pinboard, shopping site, and vision board. It can be used for a range of marketing activities.
Nearly 90 percent of the users of this site are women, and more than 50 percent of the users have made a purchase based on something they saw on the site.
If you have high-quality images that you want to share of your products, this is a great place to market them. Here’s a great resource to learn how to build a good income on Pinterest.
Understanding Social Media Marketing – Instagram
Instagram is another extremely popular photo-based site that is popular with the younger audiences. Because Facebook now owns it, you can advertise on the site via your Facebook account. It also allows you to target mobile uses only.
Understanding Social Media Marketing – YouTube
YouTube has become the number one video sharing site in the world, along with being one of the top five social media platforms. It leans a bit more towards a Millennial male audience but is utilized by just about everyone.
Creating your own channel is like setting up a TV station with playlists, with your content organized by niche. It is also a social network where people can chat, comment and vote.
It is important to monitor the activity on your account because users have been known to misbehave. A great way to monitor as well as study what works on YouTube is a tool called TubeBuddy.
When you post a new video on your page, you can cross-promote it on Google+ and Twitter. You can also share it on Pinterest, Tumbler and other sites with their easy to use share buttons.
Understanding Social Media Marketing – Conclusion
These are the most significant social networks that you can use to gain a considerable following as long as you take the time to learn the rules of each one.
Make sure to check out some of my other posts that cover the different social networks and how you can find the right fit for your business.
I hope this post has given you insight on understanding social media marketing and you put it to use in your business. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.