Social media marketing was in its infancy when Inner Architect launched as a social media marketing agency in 2008. As first adopters of blogging in 2006, Twitter 2007, Facebook and LinkedIn shortly after, we understand the impact social media can make on your business. Let’s take a closer look: (8 min read)
- What is Social Media Marketing?
- Which Social Networks are the Best Return on Investment (ROI)?
- What are the Benefits of Social Media Marketing?
Today social media is widely accepted, yet many business owners are not completely clear about the value that it brings to their goal of winning new clients and growing their business.
How do you gain clarity about where you should invest your time and marketing budget?
What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?
Entrepreneurs to the largest multinational corporations utilize social media marketing.
SMM can be defined in many ways. The brief answer is: Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service. But there is so much more!
Here is what we know:
Social media marketing is one of the most prominent channels within digital marketing.
Companies and individuals implementing SMM use social media sites and networking platforms to do the following:
- Identify and find their audience of customers and prospects
- Understand and monitor their audience’s actions on a platform
- Engage and interact 1:1 with their audience
- Share valuable tips and information that solves problems
- Sell company products and services
- Build brand awareness
The promotion of products or services, using SMM, can be accomplished through paid advertising or organic (free) content marketing activities.
One More Time: What is Social Media Marketing?
It is a digital marketing channel, made up of dozens of social media and networking websites.
It is where entrepreneurs and companies can interact with prospects and customers.
It is many places where you can provide valuable information to solve problems and proactively perform customer service.
Places you can announce new products and services, get feedback and recommendations and most importantly build communities.
Which Social Networks are the Best Return on Investment (ROI)?
Every year the number of active social media users increases dramatically. Currently, there are more than 3.4 billion active users.
Social networking takes time – lots of time if you are doing it right. How to do social media marketing is not just an investment in posting content.
There is a steep learning curve on most social networking sites. It requires an understanding of the platform rules, of the audience’s unwritten rules, and knowledge of best practices that humanize a brand rather make it an outlier.
It is not necessary to be actively involved on every social network to produce results. But what you must do is research and answer the following questions before launching your social media marketing activities:
- What is your business?
- Who is your target customer, audience?
- Which social networks does your target audience hangout in?
- Which social networks are the best for your business?
An experienced social media marketer can help you to identify what social media platforms are the best fit for your business. Much of the answers have to do with what your business is, who your target client is and where they tend to hangout in the social media landscape.
What is Your Business?
Are you a B2B business selling to companies? Are you a consumer products business with an ecommerce store on your website? Do you sell experiential journeys where the customer connects through their experiences with your products or services?
Who is Your Target Customer, Audience?
If you know what your business is then you can pinpoint your target customer and audience. Consider using these filters to make your best determination:
- Demographics: age, race, ethnicity, gender, marital status, income, education, and employment
- Business Demographics: annual revenue, number of employees, company mission statement, products, services, industry or vertical
- Geographic: local, regional, statewide, national, or global
- Hobby/Interests: sports, music, entertainment, reading, etc.
Which Social Network(s) Does Your Target Audience Hang Out In?
Once you can identify the background, interests, and makeup of your target audience, you can begin to see what social media websites would fit and where they would go.
Which Social Networks are the Best for My Business?
LinkedIn is a fantastic B2B sales opportunity with interest groups, company pages, and an active audience sharing business related content. C-level executives, global leaders and decision makers gravitate here.
This is the place people congregate to share their lives, tell their stories, share images and video, and meet with friends from their past. Facebook is the largest social network when measured by monthly active users with over 2.9 billion. Facebook supports a vibrant advertising opportunity.
Twitter is the best social network for 1:1 direct engagement. People can network and connect with celebrities, businesses, media companies, newspapers, and like- minded individuals.
Companies and entrepreneurs can promote their brand, sell their products and services, and step into the roll of go-to-sources of information for their target audience.
YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google and the premiere site to share videos and watch video content. Every day people, around the world, watch 1 billion hours of video on YouTube (YouTube, 2022)
YouTube is the video home base for mass media, business, celebrity, science, politics, and countless other niches.
Video is becoming increasingly more important as mobile consumption continues to dominate. A YouTube channel is a very effective way to demonstrate your product or service as well as educate potential clients by sharing your expertise.
Instagram and Pinterest
Both sites have massive followings based on image sharing and storytelling—Instagram at 1.4 billion and Pinterest with 433 million active users Entrepreneurs and companies build their brands, communities of followers, and share their expertise in the most visual way.
Any product or service that relies on visual appeal, sells activities, or experiences is well suited to these networks
Blogging aka “Citizen Journalism” became a mainstay over 17 years ago. Businesses that blog showcase how they solve problems, provide solutions, educate consumers, and continually act as a go-to-source of valuable information. Boost your SEO, control your messaging, and raise brand awareness today.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Business Owners
Legitimize Your Brand
We live in a day where people trust other people more than they trust paid advertising. We look to other people to give us a thumbs-up on the quality or popularity of a business.
Consumers may look first at your business’s website yet if they are curious about how popular or active your business is, they will look for your business on social networking sites.
Not having a presence can deliver the message that your business is not up with the times, does not care about their audience, or is ill-equipped to participate.
It should also be said that letting your social media pages go dormant can also have a delegitimizing effect. If you suddenly stop posting, a consumer can assume you have gone out of business.
If people are posting questions or comments and you are not there to respond, consumers can get the impression that you just don’t care about customer service.
Increase Your Brand Awareness
Social networking is the top online activity making social media a powerful platform from which to introduce and promote your brand. Research from Harris Poll, on behalf of Sprout Social, surveyed more than 1,000 US consumers and 250 business executives. The results shows 55% of consumers learn about new brands, products, and services on social media.
Legitimizing and increasing your brand awareness should increase sales, yet social networking can also be used to deliver sales offers or other call-to-actions.
You can share links to offers from posts shared with your business’s connection. There are also opportunities to target ideal prospects through paid advertising on the social networks for users who are not currently connected to your business.
Improve Customer Service
Social media has become a preferred method of communication for many consumers.
These consumers use social networks as a vehicle to ask questions of businesses, report problems and generally engage with a brand.
This is reason enough to maintain a social media presence—to have a vehicle to serve your customers where they want to be talked to.
We can help you understand how to develop a social media strategy that makes sense for your business and your budget. You have opportunities and options.
Inner Architect can build your social media marketing program.
We can train you to run your program, collect data, house the data in a CRM, and analyze the data for important insights.
If you don’t have the resources or time, Inner Architect can manage your social media marketing as your outsourced team.
If you want to participate but not to manage your social media marketing activities, we can develop a program where you participate when and how you want.
For a no obligation free social media marketing consultation contact us and lets discover the opportunities available to your business.