I’m about to make two statements: one uncontroversial, the other divisive. For marketers, the internet is the single greatest technology ever invented. It’s the greatest because it gave us social media.
Now before an airstrike is called in on my position, by a disgruntled career marketer with a direct line to the US consulate, let me state my case.
I know when I say the word social media, there are a few ‘usual suspects’ that come to mind. Facebook, of course, always being at the forefront of anyone’s mind when the topic gets brought up. Although it’s important to any social media discussion, it’s definitely not the be-all, and end-all. Some businesses may not even need Facebook in their social media marketing strategy at all!
It is best for you to get your head around the basic concepts before I go into any specifics.
Social Media on a Grand Scale
In social media marketing terms, we’re talking about any site or app that facilitates online communities, where users produce the primary content and they have relatively large control over their online experience through the way they interact with the site.
Social media is always evolving, moulding and being moulded by our advancing technologies and demands. But they generally fall into one of three categories:
1. Social Networks
As already mentioned, social networks are primarily facilitators of everyday social interactions. They allow you to add friends, communicate with one another, join groups and have discussions.
2. Photo and Video Sharing Sites
As the name suggests, centre around sharing videos and photos for the wider public to react to in some way.
A wiki allows its users to create and edit web pages. It usually revolves around some sort of topical information sharing.
As you’ve probably guessed, there’s often a lot of overlap between these categories. And there are many common features that you already understand, such as liking, commenting, subscribing, sharing, and so on.
So, why is Social Media Marketing worth talking about, Olivetree?
The reason I, as a marketer, love social media is because it allows me to earn attention for my clients. Even better than that, it allows me to build communities of enthusiastic users around their products.
Traditional advertising has an undisputed place in any good marketing strategy. But Social media marketing allows you to generate incredibly deep connections between your company and your target audience. By empowering them to interact with and co-create meaning with your brand, social media marketing allows your customer to come to you willingly, rather than wasting time and effort fighting for their attention.
Each social media will allow us to achieve this goal in different ways, but I want to give you some nice juicy specifics. Let’s talk about the features that help your business thrive on social media. Let’s talk about our top three social media platforms, beginning with:
Facebook and Instagram
Fun Fact 1: The number of monthly Facebook users as of January 2021 is 2.7 billion.*
Fun Fact 2: The number of monthly Instagram users as of January 2021 is 1 billion.*
Back in 2012 when Facebook acquired Instagram, everyone in the social media marketing game was grinning like the Cheshire cat. The cross-platform compatibility streamlining allowed for half the work with double the results, and the analytics became even more powerful.
Now that we have the Facebook business suite, things are even better. You can add call-to-action buttons, schedule posts to best suit your business, arrange business events, and showcase your products and businesses with 360-degree photo compatibility. Best of all, you have access to powerful analytics to find out exactly who are interested in your brand. Facebook’s advertising algorithms get better every day, allowing you to target highly specific ads to highly specific demographics. Of course, you still need someone making great content for you, but we can handle that.
Finally, Facebook user groups are creating new opportunities to build those communities I was talking about earlier. Not only do these groups provide fertile ground for collecting data that are specific to your brand, but the research shows that a product recommendation from a peer is worth infinitely more to a customer than even the best advertisements.
You might be surprised that I’ve included LinkedIn in this list. But if your business is mainly B2B, LinkedIn is non-negotiable. Although LinkedIn doesn’t have the post scheduling features of Facebook, you can easily overcome this with third-party plugins. And in return, you’re getting access to the internet’s largest concentration of business owners. If you’re looking to generate leads, there’s no better place to showcase your business, and that’s not just me talking, the stats back it up.
Another great function of LinkedIn is attracting the right employees to your business. You can have your Job advertisements spread to a massive network of highly capable candidates. And in no time, you will receive the Top 50 candidates matching your criteria. No muss, no fuss.
Why isn’t every business with a social media page raking in the cash?
As we implied at the start, some marketers find social media marketing to be frustrating, to say the least. Everyone sees social differently.
One thing that most people forget is that managing a company’s social media accounts needs experience, knowledge, strategy, and most importantly time. Not to mention the fact that social media is constantly changing. So, without the proper know-how and knowledge of the latest trends and changes, you will end up spending a lot more time and money. Which will then result in very low ROI.
Another issue is that negative experiences with your brand can do a lot of damage through social media. Even if you’ve got one hundred other positive reviews, a single bad one can hurt if you did not handle it properly.
Luckily, Olivetree Marketing has got you covered on both counts.
We’ve been in social media marketing since Facebook was still competing with MySpace. Although that makes us feel a little old, it means we’re veterans of social media marketing. In fact, we’re so confident in our abilities to help you with your social media marketing that we’re just giving away our strategies for dealing with bad reviews!
Want to know more?
We will dive deeper into social media marketing strategies early next month, so stay tuned for Part 2.
Need a hand with your social media marketing strategy right now? Get in touch.