The following 7 fantastic questions people have about social media marketing cover topics including what is social media marketing, how social marketing works and what are the best social media platforms for my business.
1. What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing makes use of third-party apps to promote a business online. Apps are available from companies including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Using social to promote a businesses requires a strategy. This strategy must take into account that each app has a different audience type.
Content created should be original, informative and use an agreed tone of voice. Great content generates trust between a company and customer and assists sales.
2. How social media marketing works?
Social media marketing works by establishing profiles on social media networks. These profiles contain information on your business. Once established you then post content to these networks. Feedback mechanisms in these networks enable visitors to like, subscribe or repost your content. This content then spreads on the social media network and gets liked by further visitors. This spread is what helps to boost your profile and awareness of your business.
3. What social media networks are best for my business?
This is a difficult question, but depends on your business type and the audience for each social app. I've covered this more in the article "Best social networks for your Business"
Most B2C businesses should have a Facebook page to create a community, share news and offers. B2B service style businesses will struggle here.
Business such as restaurants, hairdressers, personal trainers etc should be on Instagram. These types of businesses thrive on social proof. Instagram is a very visual app so these lend themselves to this.
Businesses that want to show expertise or promote lifestyle products should use Pinterest. Businesses such as travel agents, home renovation or redecoration will do well. Pinterest is also great if you have content with a long shelf life, for example a blog.
Businesses targeting a younger market will market on platforms with this demographic. Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat are options for these businesses.
B2B service style businesses tend to navigate to LinkedIn. It offers users a chance to network with decision makers and connect with companies. The app is more subdued and professional and reflects its market well.
4. Is social media marketing effective?
4.55 billion people are active on social media around the world. In the UK there are 53 million people on one or more networks (a total of 77.9% of the total population) as of 2021.
81% of consumers buy based on friends social media posts according to Forbes. Hubspot reports that consumers are 71% more likely to buy based on a social media referral.
Social media still offers the benefits of traditional media without the costs. Whilst it has become more difficult to grow an audience without ads, it is still possible even in 2022. The key is to understand your audience and create content that drives engagement.
5. Is social media marketing free?
Generally yes, social media remains free. It has though become more difficult to build an organic audience on social media. This is due to networks pushing their advertising product. It is not impossible though. You should, if you want to grow without ads, prepare for the long haul.
Having someone manage your social media marketing is not, however, going to be free :)
6. How social media marketing helps small businesses?
Small businesses tend to have constrained budgets. Traditional media offer very limited ways to understand the effect of marketing efforts. Social media is different. You can track your efforts in real-time and make changes to preserve budget and boost results.
7. Can social media marketing increase brand awareness?
Yes. Social media works well for brand awareness by boosting recognition for your brand. It can further help in the think and do stage when friends and contacts post and sharing your content. A positive review on a social network can work wonders for your conversions.