We’ve written previously about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed some aspects of online behavior, including social media use. But one thing that remains the same is how important social media marketing is for brands’ overall marketing success.
The Importance of Social Media Marketing
“Social media for business is no longer optional,” says Christina Newberry writing for Hootsuite, pointing out that social media is an affordable, effective way to gain huge reach. She goes on to highlight the following advantages of social media marketing campaigns:
- Brand building: Hootsuite points out that social media marketing helps increase brand awareness, humanize your brand, establish thought leadership, and stay visible to your audience.
- Brand growth: According to Hootsuite, more than 3 billion people use social media worldwide, and more people follow brands than celebrities. Benefits for brand growth include increased website traffic, lead generation, higher sales, and influencer partnerships. (To learn more about the current social media marketing outlook, read our blog, 14 Social Media Stats for 2020 and Beyond.)
- Content marketing: Hootsuite highlights the role social media marketing campaigns play in content promotion, content sourcing, and viral marketing.
- Customer, reputation and crisis management: According to Hootsuite, social media can make customer service, reputation management, and crisis management easier and faster by putting you in more direct contact with your audience.
- Gaining insights: Through “social listening” and the use of the right tools, you can track brand mentions, monitor brand sentiment, keep tabs on your competitors, stay informed about your industry, and learn about your customers.
- Advertising: One of the best benefits of social media marketing campaigns is the opportunity for targeted advertisements and retargeting campaigns.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits and importance of social media marketing campaigns, let’s discuss some tips for how to do it right.
Tips for Your Social Media Marketing Campaign
Ads vs. Content
Most brands use a combination of social media advertising and other types of social media marketing. In other words, some of your social media marketing budget will go toward targeted advertisements that you create and pay to display on a given social media platform, while other resources will go toward sourcing and sharing content, building a follower base, engaging with followers, social monitoring, and more.
When designing display ads for a social media platform, carefully consider that platform’s guidelines. Facebook/Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and others all have their own metrics for what makes a successful ad. Ignoring them can really cost you on ad spend, not to mention create a negative user experience for anyone who sees your ads.
Types of Social Media Content
There are some basic types of content you should definitely be sharing on social. Every time you publish a blog or infographic, share it to your social profiles to boost your exposure. Social media is also a great place to share relevant news and content from partners or from other brands related to your industry (but, of course, not competitors!).
But that just scratches the surface. You can also use social media to share:
- Custom graphics that communicate your brand’s aesthetic and values
- User-generated content & customer testimonials
- Contests and giveaways
- Personal posts that give a “behind the scenes” look into your brand
Choosing a Platform
Gone are the days when Facebook reigned supreme. Now your options for social media platforms are vast and diverse:
While there is some overlap, each platform has its own average user base and is optimized for different types of content. Instagram is best for visual content (with a slight advantage for still images over video), LinkedIn is best for professional thought leadership and industry news, TikTok is best for video and most popular with teens… you get the picture.
So, how do you know what platform is best for your brand? You should already have a good idea of your target audience before you get started on any social media marketing campaign. Carefully consider where your audience is most likely to be found, plus what types of content your brand is best able to produce/share vs. what kind of content is best for the platform you’re considering.
Hashtags are the backbone of any social media post. It’s how your posts actually get in front of new users and potentially win your brand a few extra followers.
Now that hashtags have become the norm across virtually all social platforms, the proper use of hashtags for marketing has become an art form. As with average user, types of content, and ad metrics, each platform has a slightly different hashtag ecosystem, and you’ll need to spend time researching the most relevant hashtags for your brand on each platform.
Additionally, keep the following tips in mind:
- Always use at least one branded hashtag in every post. That way, users will start to associate your brand name with your content.
- Don’t just stick to hashtags with huge search volumes. These hashtags are highly competitive, and your posts will probably get lost in the crowd. Opt for a mix of high-volume and low-volume (“niche”) hashtags to round out your posts.
- Social media is not a set-it-and-forget-it marketing strategy. Perform hashtag research with some regularity to keep up with trends.
Trust the Experts
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into setting up a successful social media marketing campaign. Beyond knowing your target audience like the back of your hand, you’ll need to perform substantial research on each platform’s advertising guidelines, content type, and user base. You’ll also need to stay on top of your campaigns to gain insights, make adjustments, and manage any PR issues.
If that sounds overwhelming, don’t hesitate to reach out to the social media marketing experts at Bloom Ads. We’re well versed in the art of social media for marketing, and we’re ready to turn our obsession into your success.