Hi, welcome back to Sellpore Systems. In this article we’re going to talk about the all different social media platforms. But our focus will be on marketing opportunities for your small business.
We’ll discuss the different types of social media platforms. The advantages and disadvantages of social media as well as the strategy you can use to get the most out of it.
We hope you find this article helpful and if you’d like some help with your digital strategy, we’ll be happy to help. Let’s start at the beginning.
What is Social Media?
Social media is a form of online community where users can go to share information. Where people share ideas, personal messages and other similar content including personal videos. It helps people keep in touch with their friends or other people with similar interests.
Social Platforms are the websites that people use to build these online communities. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are just a few examples of these sites. Then there are platforms like LinkedIn that are business specific.
For the purposes of business, we use socialmedia platforms in our digital marketing. Because of the volume of users on these sites, it makes sense to use these platforms to attract new business. So they are quite useful in promoting a brand, or marketing a product or just building awareness.
As you’ll see in this article, this is certainly an area you’ll want to focus on to improve your brand visibility and to further your business. Reaching people is easier than ever thanks to social media and used efficiently this can be a great tool for your business.
The Importance of Social Networks
Because of the popularity of social networks, they attract people from all over the world. As a business owner, having access to any market any where on the globe is vital for your business.
These networks also help increase your knowledge on your target audience. Collecting useful data and information helps you create a marketing strategy. The more you understand your target audience the better you’ll be able to serve them.
So all this leads to building better connections, trust and creates awareness. Ultimately leading to new business relationships. So making use of social media promotes commerce and expands personal networks.
These social networks are also a handy tool for attracting new visitors to your website. By making proper use of social media you can generate some high quality leads that may end up in sales. It all depends on how you use these sites and what your ultimate goals are.
What is Social Media Used For?
For the majority of users social media is a vehicle to keep in touch with family and friends. Others use it to find career opportunities. Yet others use it to join communities with the same interests or insights.
For business, it’s an opportunity to engage an audience. Create brand awareness and promote their products and services. Because of the nature of social networks, it’s easy and cost effective to attract any audience anywhere on the globe.
It has also created several new markets for professionals to take advantage of. Youtube has created a new career path for individuals to become part of their channel. Other social networks have created new careers in digital marketing and online advertising.
So much has come from Social Media that the possibilities are endless as is the usefulness.
Social Media Advantages
As a small business, it can be very hard to grow when competing with larger companies. Social Media Marketing has leveled the playing field making growth almost a guarantee.
The sheer numbers of users on social media and the low costs associated with reaching them, means with little strategy you can go a long way. Reaching success has never been easier than it is today. We can thank these social networks for these opportunities we’ve never had before.
Here are some of the advantages a Social Network has to offer.
For the small business marketing on social media allows them to target a large number of people. The vast number of social network users makes this a valuable market place. The more people a small business can reach, the more brand awareness is created.
But it works both ways. The user is also benefited. A large number of users have reported to have discovered new products on these platforms. Products they otherwise would not have known about.
Through these platforms there are many new customers who may want what you offer. For brand awareness, these social networks are the best lead generators available today.
Increasing Traffic to Your Website
Making use of social networks is one of the fastest ways to drive traffic to your site. You goal will be to create interest in your brand, your products and your services.
The advantage of driving traffic to your site is that you’ll get your visitors full attention. You’ll have the opportunity to explain what you do and what you offer. They may not buy at first, but if you’ve done a good job, they’ll likely return at a later time.
An important goal is to get people to express interest in what you offer. This is called lead generation. Social media offers the opportunity to increase your visibility at a fairly low cost.
With media marketing you’ll get more people interested in what you have to offer. This gives you a unique chance to turn a visitor into a lead and finally into a customer.
Whatever business you’re in, social media marketing can help you boost your sales. It should be a key part of your overall digital marketing strategy.
As the trend towards social media continues to grow, so sales tools will continue to evolve as well. These tools will help you in boosting sales further. At the same time they’ll give you feed back on other potential customers.
Social media networks are aware of how important it is for you to make sales. They rely on your advertising money to stay in business. So this is their incentive to continue to improve your chances of making more sales.
This is really a good time to begin tapping into your social marketing to boost your sales. Much of your competition is most likely already make use of these channels.
As social media companies have developed, engagement has become more important. People have now grown accustomed to engaging their favorite brands.
This is a major benefit as brands can gather information on customer expectations. Business is able to learn more and reply to customers in real time.
This all leads to brand loyalty and customer satisfaction. A major advantage over companies that ignore this tool.
Your Brand Will Be On Their Mind
By connecting and engaging with your audience, you’ll be the brand that first comes to mind. By keeping you at the top of their list for go to resources when ever they’re needed is key.
Often in conversations with their friends, they become your brand ambassadors. Word of mouth from a happy customer is the most powerful marketing tool you’ll have.
These people should be highly regarded by your brand and should be rewarded for their loyalty. Often a small gift or a personalized thank you goes a long way in showing appreciation for those that are on your side.
Top 10 Social Media Sites for Small Business
Here’s a list of the 10 best social media platforms for business to help you with your digital media marketing. Be Aware these are not necessarily the most popular social media platforms on the internet.
The largest social media network on the globe and the most widely used by users and businesses. Excellent platform for digital marketing. Well worth the time to learn for a good ROI.
Things to be aware of with facebook. This platform can be quite addictive and may cause loss of sleep and sometimes depression from overuse.
Youtube is a social digital media network for video. It’s a great platform for promoting your business through educational and entertainment videos. Once you have a following, you’ll drive plenty of traffic to your website.
Be careful of the audience on youtube, they can be quite ruthless with their commenting. It’s also common for users to raise a complaint for no reason against you.
Tumblr is a social network for blogging. It allows users to upload their own posts and other digital media. You can follow other bloggers, participate in community engagement and share their posts.
This is a great place to learn or improve your skills in article creation . It will also give you new ideas for content as well as attract new visitors to your site.
Instagram is a social network for publishing personal photos and videos. You can follow and be followed by other users and share each others content.
Be mindful not to ignore your followers’ comments and don’t steal other users’ content on this platform.
Twitter is a micro blogging social networking platform. It is designed for short bursts of 140 character micro blogs.
Be careful of spamming and be aware of this networks addictive power.
Pinterest is a social networking site for publishing digital images and video to share with others. Discovering other posts of interest and pinning to your pages and sharing with your followers.
The disadvantage of pinterest is the sheer numbers of make up and recipies on the channel, so your exposure may be limited.
LinkedIn is a social media networking site designed for career and business professionals. The purpose is to connect with other professionals of interest to work and business purposes.
Reddit is a social news network that allows users to post, analyse and vote on content they or others have submitted.
Be aware that reddit can end up being a massive time waster.
Formerly known as StumleUpon. Mix is a social networking site for collecting articles around a particular interest. The content you collect is shared and made available to others.
The disadvantage of mix may lie in the fact that it changed domain names recently and this may impact its user base.
MeetUp is a social networking platform to find and join groups of like minded people. The purpose is to organize meetings in locations suitable members of the group.
Not well known as a networking platform. Even if a user is a part of your MeetUp group, there are no guarantees that your events will be seen by these people.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a process of getting attention on social sites. We do this by sharing blogs and other content with the hopes of driving traffic to our own site. Done strategically we’re also able to build our brand and increase sales.
Basically, we want to create blogs, videos and images around the topic of our website. If you sell your services, then write about the different services that you offer. These can be both educational and entertaining. You may also find that you might attract new people just by discussing what your services solve.
If you sell products, then creating articles and posts around these products may be useful to your audience. They may be unaware of how your products may help them. Or better yet they may discover your product and find many ways to get benefited by them.
Once you have created and uploaded your new articles to your blog, then you may want to share on as many relevant social sites as possible. It all depends on which networks are more appropriate for your content. As you can see from this post, there are different social networks that cater for different products and services.
Like everything else that we do, we need to plan a strategy first. We need to consider our goals;
- are we creating brand awareness?
- are we planning to drive traffic to our website?
- do we want to build engagement?
- are we looking to increase sales?
- are we promoting a new product or service?
- do we want to build a community around our products or brand?
- Are we looking to offer support on these platforms?
- How many new customers are we looking to attract?
These are all important topics that we need to think about. We also need to consider which digital or social platforms we want to focus on. It is always better to start with less, master those platforms before moving on to others.
Then we need to look at what type of content do we want to share with our users. Would images or video be more appropriate? Or should we write an article on the subject and share it? Should we aim to educate or entertain? All these questions are vital for your digital strategy.
Your strategy also needs to evolve over time, so be willing to be flexible with your planning. You might find that one part of your strategy may work better than others. In this case you may want to analyse your results to further develop that part of your strategy.
However you plan this out, look at gathering regular updates on your analytics. Check how many people reply, comment or share your posts. This type of information will help you assess and adjust your strategy as you move forward.
Despite it being simple to share a post, an image or a video, you need to make sure the content is high quality. During your social network operations, you need to consider when and how often you want to publish your content. Your timing and frequency of publishing is also important.
Again, checking your social analytics will give you a good idea of user engagement with your posts. The times when you have the highest engagement, are the times you should posting.
Social Media Advertising
These are digital ads that are placed on social media sites. The purpose is targeting a certain demographic that may be interested in your products or services. Social media advertising has the benefit of increasing conversions at a lower cost per acquisition.
Social media advertising offers powerful targeting options that will reach the right audience. This is a massive benefit for businesses as they can exclude people unlikely to have an interest. This means that by having fine grain control over who you’re advertising to, you’ll be saving money.
Another benefit you can gain through advertising on social media is what is known as retargeting. Through your social analytics you’ll be able to see who showed interest in your ads.
By making use of this information, you can further refine your targeting towards these people. The idea is to “re-target” these individuals who showed some interest and continue to show them ads. A higher percentage will become new customers by default.
So retargeting allows you to focus your ad spend on potential customers that have already shown interested in your product. This reduces the loss of unnecessary advertising budget. So you get a higher return on every advertising dollar that you spend.
Benefits Of Advertising On Social Media
With social media marketing attracting customers may be a little slow a first. This is because your content is creating awareness and you’re building brand equity.
With social media advertising you can benefit from consistent sales right from day 1. Bringing in new customers to your website is highly important to your business. So this may be very important for you to do, whilst you’re working on your digital marketing strategy.
Facebook is the best social network for lead generation. You can aquire leads for less than $1 each. The most common way to use facebook is to use ads to drive traffic to a product landing page. It’s common to use one of the following incentives to do this;
- Case Studies
- White Papers
- Product Coupons and discounts
- Limited Time Offers
- Give Aways / Free Shipping
Those people who have shown interest and followed a link back to your landing page either made a purchase or not. Those that didn’t buy, you would use re-targeting to nurture and maintain their interest in your product.
Because Instagram has a heavy focus on images and video. Selling products through visually appealing photos tends to perform very well. This market is also slightly more appealing towards the female gender between the ages of 18 to 29. If you’re in this market, then taking advantage of Instagram will be a wise choice.
You can also link your Instagram ads directly to your product page or landing page. The fewer the clicks, the higher the chances you’ll make a sale.
Having created a decent following, your brand doesn’t need to pay in order to advertise a product. You can still take advantage of their paid advertising to increase your followers. At the same time, you can run ads promoting your brand. You’ll never have too many followers and you can never make too many sales.
Pinterest is a great site for e-commerce sales. Engagement is usually high and images are built around products. Your promoted pins blend into your boards and don’t distract Pinterest users.
You can take advantage of high performing pins to create strong performing ads on your behalf.
LinkedIn is where you’ll find your highest quality leads. This social platform targets Business to Business advertising. If you’re in this market or your customers are generally other businesses, this is the place to advertise.
So Let’s Recap…
In this article we have discussed what social media is, the advantages and disadvantages of social networks. I have given you my social media sites list and my opinion of the best social media for business. I have given you social media examples and how to use them as well as the most used social media networks.
We have discussed the difference between social media marketing and social media advertising. We have also discussed different types of content, whether it is words as in blogs, or photos and video and how you can make use of these media.
Don’t forget about using social for targeting your audience and then re-targeting those who showed a little interest.
I really hope that you have gotten some value from this article. I did my best to try an incorporate as much information under this title as possible. Having said that, if you like what you have read and you feel that you would like us to do similar articles for you, then please feel free to contact us.
You can get more information on our home page and our services page.
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Have a great week and stay safe.