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What is Social Media Marketing (Benefits and Latest Trends)

Social Media Marketing Usage Rate
Social media marketing usage rate from 2013-2022 (Source: Statista)

These days, social media marketing is used widely by savvy marketers and business owners. Social media has become an essential part of the marketing arsenal for large and small businesses. In fact, over 90 percent of U.S. businesses employing more than 100 people use social media marketing.  

What is Social Media Marketing? 

Social media marketing simply means using social media platforms to attract and communicate with current and prospective customers to promote a company’s products or services. It is effective means of marketing because most consumers access social media daily. Indeed, statistic showed that the average spent time on social media is 147 minutes per day in 2021. 

Why is it important?

Social media marketing is important because it works, as simple as that. Social media captivates a huge amount of attention from most people over the age of 12 and it helps build awareness for the brands. It encourages and achieves engagement between individuals and the content or message sponsor.  

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

According to the Indian Institution of Digital Education, the benefits of social media marketing include: 

  • It captures individual attention. You always see people walking down a sidewalk engrossed in their social media feeds. They check posts while watching sports, while riding in a car, and even while eating a meal. Attention? Yes, they’ve got it. 
  • It helps create brand awareness and recognition more quickly and easily compared to traditional media. 
  • It provides an effective way to tell a brand’s story. 
  • It allows much more measurability compared to traditional media so a business can determine what messages and incentives work best. It also facilitates better consumer listening so your brand can identify and create more effective means of connecting with your customers. Besides, it helps your business gain important marketplace insights. 
  • It helps a business achieve better customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. 
  • It encourages and generates meaningful audience engagement. 
  • It increases the perceived authority and trust of a brand. 
  • It is a much more affordable marketing approach than traditional media. It is cost-effective and cost-efficient. It thereby levels the playing field so small businesses can create effective marketing to compete against larger and more deep-pocketed competitors. 
  • At last, it works to grow sales, turning the unaware into the aware, the uncertain into the convinced and also prospects into customers.

How Social Media Marketing Works?

Social media marketing works when a brand creates attractive messages and the messages are able to connect with potential customers. So, the first requirement for success is to identify the business’s target prospects and create a brand persona. For example, does she have kids, work part-time, drive a Chevrolet, and make more than $75,000 per year? And does she have pets and love to cook? 

Second, a brand must determine which message channels to use to reach the desired audience effectively. This is important because you can’t effectively utilize all social media platforms because all the social media platforms have different content styles and audiences. You have to choose one or two platforms that your target prospects use and manage effectively. 

Besides, the business should create a social media marketing strategy. It should include setting goals and defining what type of message content will reach and resonate with the target prospects. 

Next, a plan must be developed including how often social postings will be posted, who “owns” the postings, what messaging follow-up will look like, and when it will take place. 

Furthermore, concerted effort to get followers must be undertaken. Then, it will take continued and consistent efforts to engage with them. For example, create the brand voice like should it be humour or what type of visuals should be used. Humanizing the brand on social media is one of the creative ways to build good relationships with target prospects.

Last but not least, try to listening, tracking and analysis your customers because it will brings good impact on customer engagement. Know that social media marketing is an iterative process, so keep looking for ways to improve your messaging and engagement quality. 

Social media marketing is not a stagnant business marketing strategy. It is important to know how this successful approach to business marketing will continue to evolve. Consider these 2022 trends from Hubspot and Forbes

Social commerce forecasts 2021
Social commerce forecasts 2021 (Source: Insider Intelligence)

1. Increasingly used for social commerce

According to Insider Intelligence, around half of US internet users made one or more social commerce purchases in 2021. Besides, Statista reports that 80 percent of U. S. businesses anticipate selling on social media in the next three years. That’s why more and more businesses are looking to launch on digital platforms. 

2. Social channels will be highly used for customer service

The reason is the brands are becoming more easily accessed via social channels and their ubiquity makes brand service and easy to contact through multiple business channels.

3. More interactive elements are envisioned to be used in social media marketing

That includes augmented reality and virtual reality, thus making the social media experience more immersive. For example, a brand could feature store tours, product demonstrations, and even “how does it look on me?” approaches. Research has indicated that AR can improve click-through rates by 33 percent.

4. Hire talents through social recruiting 

Companies scramble to get the most qualified and committed employees. According to CareerArc, 92% of employers tend to use social media to hire potential talents. The key is that it can reach passive job candidates, especially Gen-Z. 

5. Brands humanize their social media

Creating a lifestyle social media brand accounts will attract more followers and potential customers. A lively and humorous brand account able to draw attention and followers will share your content automatically. Tell your brand story and build a great relationship with your followers.

6. Increase authenticity and trustworthiness

The challenge of social media is fake news and information. Companies should check on the news and information that is related to them everyday (at least) as a gatekeeper. So, you can respond to the fake news immediately as people always search for information online nowadays.

Using Social Media to Increase Website Traffic 

It is critical to have social media feed into and link with a company’s website which is the “home” of your business personality and information.  Here are some important ways to accomplish this.

  1. Make sure to fill in your company profile on your social media account including your web address.
  2. Promote your company’s blog content on social media and share it frequently.
  3. Schedule your posts strategically so they’ll have the most visibility and link them to your website.
  4. Make all the website contents good to share. Additionally, share more visual content and optimize your calls to action. 

Closing Thoughts 

Effective social media is both compelling and necessary for today’s business success. The exciting thing is small businesses can use social media more effectively than many other traditional marketing tools. Explore the suitable ways to reach your target audiences through social media.

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