A lot of brands think that as long as they’re posting on social media, they’ve got everything covered. The truth is, that just isn’t enough these days.
Social media is quickly becoming the go-to for consumers and brand advocates. While websites will always have their importance, social media is a popular channel for people to learn more about brands, follow along, and find out more information quickly. Brands need to be taking advantage of social media popularity to not only get their brands out there but to tap into their audience demographics to actively advertise their products and services.
Let’s break down social media marketing so you can get a better grasp on what it is, how to implement it, and why pairing it with email marketing is a fail-proof way to create more revenue.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing involves utilizing social media platforms—where users can build networks to share information—as part of a marketing strategy. Businesses can use social media platforms to help build their brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. Social media marketing provides a way to engage with existing customers and reach new ones. Using purpose-built data analytics, marketers and businesses can track the success of their efforts and identify more ways to engage. With social media marketing, companies can promote content that drives engagement to extract geographic, demographic, and personal information that helps messaging resonate with users.
Why Your Business Should Practice Social Media Marketing
The use of social media has consistently trended upward, with more than 4.9 billion users in the world as of 2023. Plus, forecasts suggest that by 2027, it could be a staggering 5.85 billion worldwide. With these impressive numbers comes the significant impact that social media has on buying decisions. There’s no better time for marketers to make social media marketing a part of their overall marketing strategy, with dedicated roles to manage the strategy, content creation, and platforms.
Compared to traditional marketing, there are several advantages.
- The creation of “sticky” content: With social media marketing, brands can create content that engages customers at first glance, gets them to purchase products, and makes them want to share the content. This helps reach an otherwise inaccessible audience and carries the implicit endorsement of someone a recipient knows and trusts. This can be one of the most important ways social media marketing can drive growth.
- Earned media: Social media marketing is the most efficient way for businesses to reap the benefits of earned media, with customer-created product reviews and recommendations.
- Viral marketing: With this sales technique, companies can attempt to trigger the rapid spread of word-of-mouth product information. Once it’s shared with the general public beyond the original target market, it’s considered viral, which is a simple and inexpensive way to promote sales.
How to Put Together a Social Media Marketing Strategy
A social media strategy helps outline your social media goals, the tactics used to achieve them, and the metrics tracked to measure performance. This will help identify the channels and tactics that are successful versus the ones that do not work for your brand. The more targeted your strategy is, the more effective it will be.
To create a social media strategy, you’ll want to:
- Set social media goals for your business
- Research your target audience
- Research your competitors
- Choose your social media platforms
- Plan your content
- Manage and engage your community
- Grow your following
The Top Social Media Marketing Platforms
Over the last two decades, the amount of social media platforms has grown exponentially, and those that led the way in marketing just a few years ago are different from what they are now. To figure out which platforms you want to use, you have to consider your product, your brand, your audience, and your budget.
Facebook has close to three billion monthly active users. It is the largest app in the world, with over 71% of the entire US population using it. 84% of US Millennials are users, whilst users aged 65 or older make up the platform’s fastest-growing demographic.
The type of content businesses share on Facebook ranges from short copy posts to full product videos. It’s how you share them that differentiates Facebook from your own website or other platforms.
Pros of Facebook Social Media Marketing
- The potential to reach a large audience
- Advanced, specific targeting capabilities through ads
- The ability to talk directly to customers to help strengthen your brand and build authority
Cons of Facebook Social Media Marketing
- The high demand for ad space can mean a higher cost to advertise
- Difficulty monitoring and maintaining a positive reputation (negative reviews and comments on every post)
- The larger commitment to run the Facebook page can drain budget or time restraints
Instagram is accessed by over two billion monthly active users worldwide. With nearly 50% of the world’s smartphone owners using Instagram every month, the average user spends 24 minutes per day on the platform. Over 60% of users fall between 18-34-years-old with 70% of “shopping fanatics” using Instagram to find new products.
The type of content businesses share on Instagram primarily relies on visually appealing content like images and videos. Most social media marketing platforms and strategists suggest using less copy on Instagram posts for better engagement.
Pros of Instagram Social Media Marketing
- Drive traffic to your website
- Increase visibility and brand awareness
- Piggyback advertising options with a Facebook connection
Cons of Instagram Social Media Marketing
- Instagram has a limited audience in terms of demographics
- Ad features for Instagram are less advanced
- Working with influencers can get complicated
TikTok has one billion active users across 154 countries. Since its popularity growth, it has overtaken Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat in active users. A majority of the users are between 19 and 29 years old.
TikTok relies solely on the creation of trend-driven organic video content using popular hashtags. The videos can last anywhere from mere seconds to a maximum of three minutes. TikTok also offers a live video feature, similar to live streaming.
Pros of TikTok Social Media Marketing
- Brands can reach a much wider audience
- Easily engage with your audience by showing off company culture and behind-the-scenes stories
- Increase brand awareness and authority
Cons of TikTok Social Media Marketing
- GenZ dominated; this is a disadvantage if that’s not part of your audience
- If you need to convey a lot of information or complex data, TikTok Ads might not get the point across
- In-app editing tools are not sophisticated enough, which can mean needing to invest in editing software
Ads on Twitter have the potential to reach 8.8% of all internet users. Most Twitter users are between the ages of 25 and 34, but only 20% of 18-34-year-olds have a positive or favorable opinion of Twitter. The U.S. has the largest advertising audience on Twitter.
The type of content businesses share on Twitter are posts that allow you to include images, links, copy, and videos.
Pros of Twitter Social Media Marketing
- A great potential ad reach if you’re marketing in the U.S
- You can advertise to a different audience versus other platforms
- Users could be more open to reading detailed content
Cons of Twitter Social Media Marketing
- It has poor conversion tracking, which is a disadvantage when monitoring campaigns
- The spending on Twitter can run too fast
- It’s not as user-friendly to advertise on
With over 830 million users, LinkedIn is the second most popular platform for B2B marketers. Around 52% of buyers list LinkedIn as the most influential channel during their research process.
The content type shared on LinkedIn includes a variety of different options. Businesses can share thought-leadership content, post with varying lengths from 150 characters to thousands, share external articles, use ads to convert leads or share more content, and use polls to engage with their audience.
Pros of LinkedIn Social Media Marketing
- Improves SEO
- For B2B it is a more professional option
- Increases business’s online visibility
Cons of LinkedIn Social Media Marketing
- It can be less personal, a disadvantage for eCommerce brands
- There are fewer interaction types
- There can be hidden expenses
YouTube has 2.6 billion active users every month, with one billion daily hours of video watched. 81% of US adults use YouTube, including a strong majority of people between the ages of 18 and 49. In fact, 84% of viewers reported buying from a brand after seeing it on YouTube.
YouTube is primarily an organic video channel, but advertising on the platform can include videos, text, and graphics. It is also another platform that allows businesses to work with influencers.
Pros of YouTube Social Media Marketing
- Direct contact with your audience
- Platform efficiency and simplicity, especially for eCommerce brands
- Establish a strong emotional connection
Cons of YouTube Social Media Marketing
- Too frequent display of ads can lead to negative emotions
- The advertising budget can run higher
How Social Media Marketing and Email Marketing Work Together
Social media marketing serves as a great tactic for attracting new, potential customers to your website. With social media ads and posts, you can direct new site traffic to specific promotions and pages on your website and, from there, convert them into email subscribers. Through the power of email marketing, you’re able to further engage those new leads, send them personalized content, and, eventually, convert them into paying customers. Social media and email marketing can work hand-in-hand to build your email list, boost sales, and generate more revenue for your company. Together, these two are extremely powerful tools for growing your audience.
Make sure you’re using social media for more than just the occasional post. Flesh out a strategy and be more intentional with your social media posts and advertisements, and see what great things can come from it.
Are you ready for a smarter way to engage with your customers?
Benchmark helps you do email marketing the practical way. Create an ongoing relationship with your subscribers that leads to increased sales and happier customers.