Social media marketing is a subset of digital marketing. It refers to a wide range of marketing activities that can be conducted on the world’s most popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
The most basic form of social media marketing is simply setting up a social media presence in the first place, such as by setting up a Facebook page for your business or a Twitter account for your brand. You can then use these pages and accounts to interact with customers, let them know about upcoming specials and promotions, run contests and provide behind-the-scenes updates about your business.
When customers “like” your page on Facebook or “follow” you on Twitter, they will hear from you every single time that you update your account. Thus, if you run a local restaurant or pub, you might tweet out a special promotion every Monday (e.g. a two-for-one special only available to social media followers). The key here is to offer a different form of content for each different social media platform, so that users have an incentive to follow each of them.
After you’ve set up a basic social media presence, the next step is experimenting with the different advertising solutions that are possible on these platforms. For example, Facebook makes it very easy to set up a highly targeted advertising campaign that can last for as long as you’d like, even just a few days. Best of all, you can build this advertising campaign so that only certain types of people will see the ad. For example, if you are a restaurant business, you might only want to show Facebook ads to people who live within 10 miles of your restaurant. (Why waste money by showing ads to people who live too far away to ever stop by?)
As you start to learn what types of content resonates with your customers, you can start to branch out into more engaging types of content. For example, on Instagram, after you’ve posted a few standalone photos, you might want to start collecting photos into “Stories,” so that you have a much greater ability to tell a narrative about your business. On Facebook, you might want to experiment with video (especially live video), which has been shown to be the most engaging form of social media content.
In addition, you can also experiment with a subset of social media marketing known as influencer marketing. This can be an enormously powerful form of marketing if you are in certain industries, such as fashion, travel or beauty. For example, let’s say that you run a clothing store that offers fashion for young millennial women. You could find a social media influencer in the fashion business; this person would promote your products and store for you on their own social media accounts. Since these influencers can have tens of thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of followers, even just a few sales made from an influencer marketing campaign can have a very high ROI.
It might seem easy to set up your Facebook page or basic social media profile by yourself, but if you really want to achieve results and experiment with some of the more sophisticated forms of social media marketing, you should consider hiring an expert. All of your social media platforms should work together seamlessly, and that’s one big advantage of hiring an expert: your social media platforms will work, and they will work well together.