Why social media marketing should matter to you
A business reach can be noticeably improved with social media marketing for the simple reason that regardless of the industry and audience, a high and increasing percentage of clients are frequent users of social media. A research performed by the Pew Research Center showed that a majority of American adults use Facebook and YouTube, while young adults have a significant presence in visual platforms, such as Instagram.
Created to be a medium where students could connect and exchange information,
over a decade later, it’s overwhelming to see how social media transformed human interaction. Not only did they become the ultimate medium where to socialize, and spend entertaining moments, but also an invaluable marketing tool.
Social media is where your clients are, and there is where your business needs to be too.
Social media marketing has become essential for businesses as social networks enable you to connect with your clients, increase brand awareness, and drive traffic to your site.
However, social media for entrepreneurs is not the same as for social users. You can use it, for instance, to:
Build a brand or promote it
Inform your customers about your products or services
Discover how your customers feel about your business
Attract new clients
Build a strong relationship with your existing customers and retain their loyalty
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from this tool. Not to waste your time and chances, it has to be handled following a plan. Before putting your hands on social media, you need to become familiar with some basic concepts, so let´s get into them.
Social media for beginners: what you need to know
The goal of marketing is reaching the desired consumers by applying the most effective strategies. Defining your audience is one of the first steps, and that applies to social media marketing too.
One distinction is based on the type of client. Is your client a final consumer or a business? Depending on this answer, we have B2C (business to consumer) or B2B (business to business) marketing. You don’t talk to an individual in the same language as you do to a company. Final consumers and businesses have totally different objectives and needs and take different types of decisions, that’s why they require different kinds of approaches and plans.
B2C and B2B marketing
B2C marketing is the most known marketing type; it’s about selling a product or service to individual buyers, like you or me. The buyer is also the end-user. In this case, the consumer wants to solve personal needs while having fun and enjoying the experience. The decisions of the buyers are mostly emotional, based on desires and benefits. The B2C audience is likely to seek offers and promotions to fulfill its desires.
Consumers want fast and immediate results; and they want to obtain satisfaction. In most cases, the relationship with the seller is short. The sales volume here is easier to measure, and it involves many clients with a low amount of purchases.
On the other side, B2B marketing directs its efforts to businesses. Businesses buy to resell, to produce something, or for corporate consumption, for example, when a company buys office supplies or hires a catering service for its events. They seek solutions for their operative needs. In B2B, clients are within specific and reduced markets, so the strategies need to be more precise.
Unlike in B2C marketing, where buyers seek an entertaining and emotional buying experience, in B2B commerce, the customer requires plenty of information to make an informed decision. Decisions are not impulsive or emotional; they are taken based on the features of the product or service, after a logic evaluation of pros and cons. B2B decisions typically require the approval of several decision-makers. Also, usually, the buyer company wants to establish a long-lasting relationship with the provider. The volume of clients is reduced, but the sales volume is large.
To sum up, the difference between B2B and B2C marketing is the public you are trying to capture and how to approach it. Their main differentiators are audience targeting, motivation, timeframe, language, and decision-making process. With these in mind, you can start creating your social media marketing campaign tailored to your audience.
Plan your social media marketing strategy before acting on it
Once you defined your audience, determined which channels are best for you, and how you should talk to your customers, you are almost ready to get into action. Almost. Posting on social media requires developing a content strategy.
You need to define your goals and figure out how can social media marketing help you reach them. Apply the following steps to maximize the results of your campaign:
Set SMART goals, focusing on what’s relevant. Write them down considering they have to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.
Target your audience. You must understand the market and your users, their interests and objectives to make it easier to find and engage them.
Get insights on what the competition is doing, analyze their approach and strategies.
Build valuable content. Provide your users with what they are looking for. Give them something they will want to share. That’s how you engage them and make them spread the word and increase your reach. You can reuse content, especially if you’re active on several channels.
Create a social media schedule and follow it. You don´t need to post daily. Weekly, daily, or every two days, what matters is doing it regularly, following your schedule.
Measure the results. The results will show if your efforts are heading you towards your goals. See how many followers you gained, how people are interacting with your posts, which posts are being liked and shared, and how much traffic you’re driving to your site. Major social media provide analytics platforms that give you access to relevant metrics (followers, reach, engagement, clicks, etc.)
Learn and optimize. Analyze what is giving you the best results and what is not functioning as expected, and optimize your posts and schedule accordingly.
Promote your products or services. Before betting your money on social media ads, try posting exciting offers in your channels.
It doesn´t matter if yours is a small local business or a big company, social media marketing is what will connect you with your customers, right there where they are. Find them, and let them find you.