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What is Social Media Marketing?

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What is Social Media Marketing?

The use of social platforms to meet your businesses communication and performance goals is generally referred to as social media marketing. The major platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Due to the exponential growth of these networks, this method has changed the way brands can build their reputation, increase sales and create valuable connections.

Paid Social

Social media is no longer limited to just organic posting. Now, you can use a paid marketing strategy to gain more exposure and share targeted posts. The great thing about paid social is that you are not limited to your current followers. This means your posts can be shown to targeted users outside of your existing social media community.

Social platforms offer a variety of advertising tools which allow us to breakdown analytics. We can also understand the most relevant audiences, demographics, platforms and more. When planning paid posts, the key is to consider your target customer profile. This is made easier by useful tools and insights about social media users’ interests, internet behaviour and other relevant criteria.

The cost of your paid social campaign will depend on a number of things. One factor is the format of your ads – for example, text, image or video. It is essential to understand what platform, format and tone is best suited to your unique brand and audience. It’s also important to know how to communicate differently on each platform. Paid social can generate huge results when you utilise the advertising features in the right way.

Organic Social

Social platforms allow you to build your brand reputation and create strong and valuable relationships with your audience. Social media isn’t restricted to just sharing content. It gives you the opportunity to speak directly with your audience and respond to their comments.

Social media management covers the creation and scheduling of social media content. Also, it refers to analysing results and creating reports. How and when you post on your platforms will depend on your aim. Your goal could be anything from increasing engagement, gaining a following or driving website traffic.

Social media management also includes:

  • Content brainstorm – coming up with content ideas suited to different platforms
  • Content calendar – bringing the finalised content together and creating a plan for the month ahead – scheduling tools can also be used instead of posting manually
  • Reporting – measuring and analysing social data and comparing against competitors
  • Analysis – keeping track of what content works and what doesn’t, for example trending theme, the best formats and optimal posting times

The role of social community management focuses more on building relationships and growing your platform. For example monitoring comments, mentions, messages and other engagement.

Social Listening

Social listening is used to understand your audience. When done right, it can lead to producing more specific and appealing content. It is a way of tracking, analysing and reporting on trending conversations on social platforms.

Social listening uses insights which can help you be more relatable to your target audience. By understanding what your audience is interested in right now, you can tailor highly relevant content and creative that is current and more likely to be well received by your audience. This approach allows you to present your brand as being touch with the interests and tastes of your target audience. As a result, it is helping you build a more lasting bond through this shared dialogue.

As your brand grows, it’s likely more people will be talking about it. Tools such as Buffer Reply allow you to keep track of all of your mentions, comments and private messages. Also, you can monitor posts that do not directly tag your account – across all your platforms.

This indirect feedback provides a window to valuable insight that otherwise you would not receive. It allows you to identify issues with campaigns, ad copy, customer service or anything else that could be influencing your brand perception negatively.

Social Media Platforms

The platform or multiple platforms you choose to advertise on will depend on your main goals. Here we have briefly explained the various tools available on the major channels. We’ve also introduced our social media services.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn lets you avoid the hustle and bustle of other social platforms. There are millions of users on LinkedIn who are hoping to build networks and connections – making it the ideal channel if you’re hoping to reach specific groups of professionals.
LinkedIn allows you to target people based on specific criteria related to job roles and where they are based, whether it’s industry, location, education or job title etc. The various targeting options can make sure your LinkedIn ads will be valuable and create direct results for your business. Paid LinkedIn advertising includes options such as sponsored updates, showcase pages, InMail and dynamic ads.

To make sure you get the most out of LinkedIn – your company profile needs to be optimised to grow your audience and stand out in your industry.

Instagram

Instagram has grown into a popular marketing channel. It’s a place for you to tell the visual story of your brand – sharing any relevant photo and video content. Many brands are using Instagram now to drive traffic, create brand awareness and encourage sales or other conversions.

Organic posting can be measured by interaction such as ‘likes’ and comments, but paid advertising can gather specific insights to guide your future posts. It can also take your content beyond your following – meaning they can be shown to Instagram users who are likely to be interested.
Instagram offers various in-depth tools which can help to create a strong campaign – for example ‘custom audiences’ enables you to reach out to your customer profile and post more specifically targeted content.

Facebook

With over 2 billion users, it comes as no surprise that Facebook advertising has become one of the most popular channels. Facebook offers advanced targeting options which can lead you to the people who will be interested – what makes this especially useful is that you can keep updated with changes to your audience, for example their occupation and location.
Ad formats on Facebook have a clear call to action – helping to encourage your audience to convert – whether that’s buying your product, sharing your post or liking your page etc. Facebook offers innovative split testing tools which can ensure your ads are having a positive impact – using the right image, copy and format.
Facebook is constantly updating and improving their advertising landscape – which is why a specialist can help keep on top of new opportunities for your business.

Twitter

Twitter offers a simple solution for customers wanting to contact companies. It is unique to other platforms as you are only given 280 characters for each tweet – meaning there is little room for errors.
Twitter is mainly used as a customer service platform because of how easy it is to communicate directly with users. It can also be used to create brand awareness, increase your following & website traffic, and generate leads from multiple user timelines.
Twitter will also help your company to keep up with trending topics and conversations – knowing what people are talking about can ensure you’re continuing to provide current and relevant content.

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What Next?

If you’d like to talk more about how your business can benefit from social media marketing on one or more of these platforms, please get in touch!