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April 16, 2019

By Ryan

What is social media marketing and does your business need to be doing it?

 
If you havent heard about social network marketing, 'smm' , social networking, e-marketing, or any of the hundred other synonyms for social media marketing, let me help you up. We need to get you out from underneath that rock that you've been living under and bring you back into the modern day. In this post we're going to cover a newcomers overview of what social media marketing is and why everyone is always talking about it these days. Let's get started.
 

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is the process of marketing something by earning website traffic from social media sites. More precisely from a business' perspective, it's the process of creating content specifically tailored to social media users in order to drive user engagement, sharing, and awareness for your brand. We've created a helpful visual below to help explain this concept, but before we get to that lets cover some definitions first.

Definitions



Content:

Content can be anything. In our context, it's whatever you are creating to share with your audience from a photo on Instagram, a video on Youtube, to a status post on Facebook.


Social Media Profile:

A social media profile is the profile that a business creates on a platform to interact with others on that network. Every social media network is different, therefore no two social media profiles should be the same as well.


Engagement:

This is a general term and it encompasses many things like views, shares, mentions, likes etc. It really boils down to a measurement of the amount of people that are interacting with piece of content.


Shares:

Shares are the most valuable currency in the social media world. At the end of the day, shares are both the best predictor of a message' success and its longevity in this fast paced environment. .


Users:

Users are, well users. They are other members of a social network. They are other people. Just like a business they want to view/share/mention/content, and want others to view/share/mention their content.


Now that we know the most important key terms, lets see it in action!

 

Social Media Marketing

For most businesses social media marketing is an ever constant activity. It might begin with a well built social profile on a social network platform, but it doesn't really get going until a business creates content.

Content lives and dies by how interesting, useful, entertaining, or helpful it is. Depending on how good that content is, it will earn itself engagement and interaction from fans and followers.

Once its out there, content can be posted all over the web, but it's especially easy to find business related content on a business' social media profiles. However, if you're stuff is good enough, your content will finds its way into all corners of the web through shares mentions, comments, replies and the like. In the end, the potential of your efforts are dependent on your quality.

As time passes, content might get old and become less relevant, accurate, or useful to fans and followers. This is why many companies have started to become content producing machines, always trying to pave the way for a steady stream of potential fans of their brand/products.

 

Social Media Marketing & Social Networks

There are a lot of social networks out there. If you're considering embarking on your own social media marketing journey, you're going to want to be selective on which wants to work with. So how do you select which social networks to grow with which ones to leave alone? The answer is it depends. It depends on your demographic, your goals, and your product. But surprisingly enough, It also depends on the social networks themselves.

Social media marketing relies exclusively on the social networks they work on, which is why it has become increasingly important for anyone marketing on these platforms to keep up to date with the latest news/ rules/recent events about the social networks they work on. Keeping up to date with whats going in will compliment and feed your strategy, guiding it in the right direction as time goes on. Here are a few examples of some important news/stories that you'll find during your research:

  • NEWS: Why did Facebook lose an estimated 15 million users in the past two years?
  • REPORT:Trust Barometer Special Report: Brands and Social Media
  • POLICY UPDATE:Google: Our commitment to GDPR
  • EVENT:Google Algorithm Update
  •  

    The Importance of Trends

    The pace at which things move online is sometimes hard to follow, and social media marketing is no exception to that rule. Its not a overstatement to say its gotten difficult for pretty much everyone, no matter how engaged your industry is. That's where following trends comes in handy. It pretty much becomes a necessary habit for anyone who is seriously interested in capitalizing in the digital world. It's kind of a way to cope with the mind boggling pace of change slowly but over long stretches. Trends are also helpful because they're always complimenting your strategy, guiding it in the right direction. Keeping up with trends in social media marketing will tell you which social networks to spend time more on, how to go about using those social networks, and any other information that will help protect your most valuable investment: your time. Trends like these will be super helpful:

  • Social media is becoming more ‘pay to play as networks aim to make more money
  • Social listening platforms are becoming more popular
  • The Importance of Strategy

    The social media marketplace is insanely competitive and still growing. Worldwide digital ad spend is set to grow by 17.6%, reaching a record $333.25 billion dollars in 2019. The biggest players in the game are not trigger shy either spending upwards 2.49 billion dollars to dominate in their respective industries. All of this is just one reason why anyone with the intention to get into social media marketing, need to have a good strategy if they're going to make a name for themselves.
    Another reason why strategy is so critical to social media marketing has already been mentioned, and that's the sheer pace of the developing technology. The speed at which digital technologies progress is disruptive to say the least, and it only gets worse if you don't have a healthy understanding of what your goals are. Developing a well defined strategy will help you know what you've tried, know where you've been, and give you a better idea of where you're going.

    The Eco-System

    In the increasingly-complex digital world, strategy has become more important than ever. In the new era, we expect to see more development from "Internet of Things" , progress and widespread use of API's, and more reliance on AI automation across all economic industries. With all this increased digital activity, it becomes necessary to find an easy to understand framework that captures the essence of all this complexity. According to Mckinsey & Co., that framework is called the digital ecosystem. A digital ecosystem represents "highly customer-centric model, where users can enjoy an end-to-end experience for a wide range of products and services through a single access gateway, without leaving the ecosystem."
    Understanding your digital ecosystem is one way to help you decide on whether or not social media marketing is one of those strategies that will work with your other efforts and business. Whether your ecosystem is complex with dozens of output and input channels intertwining with across many departments, or just one or two tools used by you, understanding how your campaigns work together and compliment each other is the best way to ensure your efforts are successful.

    What others are saying about social media marketing...

      Why do 73% of Small Businesses Invest in Social Media Marketing?

      • "Without a doubt, social media marketing and advertising is our most successful digital marketing channel. Our team measures the success of our campaigns through strict analytics, campaign sales, and the human conversion surrounding the service, product or brand" - Maria Kiagias of Social Gold Group
      • "I'm finding cost in social to be a fraction of what we'd normally see in the traditional marketing space"
      • "You’re able to measure ROI directly. If you’re an e-commerce business, you’re literally able to see the dollars spent and how much you’re making off that dollar. For small businesses, they’re able to see how many people are actually coming in." - Keith Kakadia of Sociallyin

    Last Words...

    Social media marketing can either be your best friend or your greatest enemy. With over 73% of small businesses officially taking the dive, many have already started their digital campaigns in this ad space. . With that being said, competition across the social media channels has also risen, increasing the demands for greater awareness, strategic savvy, and high calibur content. If you think social media marketing might be right for you get in touch with us and we can help you along your journey .

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