what is social media marketing

Social media marketing is the culmination of combining a variety of consumer intelligence ingredients to create irresistible offers. It’s taking every bit of insight available online – intel that would do little for you on its own – and creating a cohesive campaign that’s precisely what consumers want. And we’re going to show you how to do this; how to bake your own batch of whatever your specific audience craves – in this post.

It helps to think of social media marketing as a targeted type of advertising, one that helps you spread brand awareness or promote your products across various social media channels. And there are techniques that can give your brand a much-needed boost, if you know how to use them. We’ll be sharing ways to use social channels to build an engaged following, including:

  • How to get the most out of your social media presence
  • How to elicit an “I do” and get consumers engaged on popular social channels
  • Ways to be successful, and to avoid costly mistakes

And building a social media following is a must for any brand, as these stats bear out:

  • The adoption rate of social media users grew by more than 12% in 2020.
  • 71% of brands use social media marketing for building and managing engaged followers.
  • 39% of customers only trust brands if they have interacted with them on social platforms.

Additionally, more than one-third of total online time globally is spent on social media. So, your brand needs to be actively connecting with consumers online – wherever they’re participating online. And this is particularly true if you’re neglecting a particular channel that a competitor is dominating.

mentions by channel

Top skincare brand earning extensive mentions on Twitter and missing out on Instagram entirely. Other brands in this category are capturing lots of consumer love there though and is something to consider when planning. (May 1, 2021- June 1, 2021)

Making the Most of Social Media Marketing

Keeping pace with trends is more easily done when you’re engaging with the beings who make or break them – consumers! And today, that means having a presence on social media as the adoption rate for social media users is growing, with more than a 12% increase in 2020. It’s a full-time job to analyze and manage on its own though, so who has the time? Luckily, we are here to show you the ropes, detailing how to make the most of your social media marketing efforts.

Clearly Define Brand Value with Social Media Marketing Intel

The first step is understanding where you stand with consumers. What do they love about you, and what could use improvement? This benchmarking is key to successful social media marketing, as it gives you a starting point, revealing consumer concerns and directing your brand’s campaign strategy. And sometimes this direction takes you places you’d never have considered otherwise.

For example, you may be focused on a variety of lipstick shades, while your consumers are more concerned about cosmetics that are sustainably sourced. If you’re focused on the wrong thing, your brand perception will suffer, as you’ll be viewed as tone deaf. And you’ll likely lose your consumers to a brand that has leveled up its social listening game.

Drilling down to the granular level to capture the specific consumer views and the sentiments behind them is critical to understanding your brands’ true value to consumers, as well as its share of voice in the social media marketing arena.

Create Winning Offers with Social Media Marketing

Once you’ve dialed in how your brand is viewed on social media, it’s time to discover what your customers’ desires are.

Part of building your engaging online presence involves creating winning offers that your consumers want to see. Consumers are talking about what they want all day, every day online.

What better way to keep you followers engaged by providing them a service or product they’ve specifically requested? Your social media marketing should include robust social listening capabilities so you can uncover discussions about unmet needs in the marketplace. This allows you to move quickly to meet those needs and become the category hero.

Connect Deeply with Consumers Using Social Media Marketing

71% of brands use social media marketing for building and managing engaged followers. Additionally, 39% of customers only trust companies if they have engaged with them on a social channel. By staying engaged with your audience, you can connect in a deeper way with them, showing you care. This is often discounted by brands as they think it’s too transparently salesy – but that’s a short-sighted understanding of it.

By tracking consumer sentiments not just about you or your product, but about what consumers believe in, the current social climate and topics that are near to their heart, you have the opportunity to create stunning content that they can relate to. These brands are viewed as companies seeking to sell a product, of course – but they inhabit an elevated status in the consumer mind, as they’re doing the work to understand and do better. That sort of social media marketing matters – a lot.

Consumers talk about everything and wear their heart on their sleeve when it comes to social media. Social media marketing is a way to provide a listening ear and produce the right messaging or product at just the right time. And consumers are disappointed when you do not.

A social listening tool can help you discover trending terms, hashtags, even emojis to give you an insider’s look at the consumer side of things. Then you can dig underneath that popular term and see what gold it can yield for you to mold some beautiful and authentic messaging for your campaign.

trend score

Trending terms around ‘shopping’ show “June” speaking to re-opening malls, and “lip service companies” capturing consumers doubting brands truly support diversity – implying brands are saying one thing and doing another. This is an opportunity for a brand to set themselves apart and set the bar at the same time.

How to Build an Engaged Social Media Following by Channel

Not all social media channels are the same. Therefore, it is necessary for companies to understand the subtle nuances when considering social media marketing for each channel. Below, we have four popular social media channels to get you on the right path, and ways you can maximize your efforts.

Social Media Marketing on Twitter

500 million tweets are sent each day, so your brand needs to be savvy to stand out. Here’s how: .

  • Twitter Lists – Forty-seven percent of Twitter users prefer brands that are culturally engaged; enter the Twitter list. Twitter lists are curated social feeds you can curate to show evolving and current issues that may be close to your consumers’ hearts. You can also curate lists based on your competitors or other influential people such as key opinion leaders (KOLs) that you’d like to align yourself with. These lists can be public (for consumers to use) or private (informing your competitive intelligence efforts).
  • Twitter Polls – These get users engaged. Ask them questions and provide different answers they can choose from. It’s an excellent way to get to know your audience.
  • Brand Hashtagging – If you don’t have a brand hashtag, get one. They can be used for specific offerings, conversations and events. On the surface, they offer quick insight around what’s popular with your audience. Beneath the surface, they can reveal intel that helps you identify new audiences, times to post and relevant topics and offers to create or pursue.

Social Media Marketing on Facebook

Facebook users now total 2.8 billion and it is the leading social media platform with 59% of consumers using it. This makes it a top contender for social media marketing. That being said, you do want to be careful with how you go about it. Fifty-one percent of Facebook users say they unfollow companies that post irritating content and 27% say they will flag the brand as spam or block it. Let’s look at how to be engaging, but not annoying, to your audience.

  • Take a Picture – A picture is worth a thousand words. In fact, a picture post sees higher traffic and engagement rates than one that is all text. These photos should be useful and on-point, sharing images of your product in use (for example), not random whatevers that your Facebook person thinks are cool.
  • Live Videos – Live video viewership increased by 50% this past year. A live video offers an intimate setting to authentically connect with your viewers. Consumers no longer feel they are talking to the wizard behind the curtain, but to a real live breathing person. This definitely offers an uplift in brand awareness and perception.
  • Post Links to Relevant Content – It doesn’t need to be all you, all the time. A link posted to your page about your industry or a global matter can generate just as much engagement if not more than brand content. This is especially true if your’re using consumer intelligence to discover these issues.

Social Media Marketing on TikTok

@netflixJune 13 is the last day to enter #TheGreatUntold #contest from @adobe  and #netflix!♬ original sound – Netflix

TikTok usage has notably risen in the past year. In fact, it is the fastest-growing social media platform. People were drawn in by the uniqueness this social media app offers, such as hashtag challenges, highly engaging and interactive video content and an overflow of influencers.  For maximum engagement you’ll want to:

  • Use Hashtags – From hashtag challenges to trending hashtags, this is one tactic you’ll need to get comfortable with if you hope to win visibility on TikTok. Using relevant hashtags as a part of social media marketing allows your brand to increase your followers by making you discoverable.
  • Collaborate – Influencer strategy has never been more applicable than it is on TikTok. Enlisting an influencer can be a winning combo to help spread your messaging to a demographic you may have missed out on otherwise.
  • Don’t be Shy – Fair heart never won fair lady . . . or consumers. You must be courageous and put yourself out there. Create a hashtag challenge as a part of your social media marketing, or a dance that’s just about your brand. Hold contests and encourage creative timelapse videos to capture your fans attention. TikTok is known for its creativity, and this group of users love a creative challenge. So be bold!

Social Media Marketing on Instagram


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A post shared by Coca-Cola (@cocacola)

Sixty percent of people say they discover new products on Instagram. And this app is a social media marketing playground. But there are a few features that make this platform unique and the perfect habitat for your company:

  • Live videos – Videos see higher engagement rates than photos, and this is true on Instagram. If you want to engage followers and get them to see a softer side, live videos can be helpful. Users can ask questions and leave comments which you can respond to in real-time.
  • Stories – 300 million people use this feature daily. This is an excellent way to promote yourself by sharing behind-the-scenes videos or images. Or you can run contests or share meaningful content that resonates with your followers.
  • Use Geotags – Yes, use hashtags too. However, geotags help your brand to become discoverable by people in your physical vicinity. Even if you don’t have an IRL storefront, creating a local vibe is beneficial.

All of this can help you reach your social media marketing goals, especially when used alongside a social listening tool. You want to target your audience authentically and correctly. And that brings us to social media do’s and the don’ts.

Social Media Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

There are lines you don’t want to cross with social media marketing, or you’ll risk losing your audience, and with it – your share of voice. You want to be in consumers’ line of sight, but it’s a delicate balance. Some real no-no’s of social media marketing include:

  • Using complicated jargon. Be human. Consumers know a bot when they see one.
  • Posting too many times a day. This can do your brand damage. You may come off as being spammy and you don’t want that. Utilize other tools that channels have (as mentioned above), like Facebook Stories or Instagram Reels.
  • Reusing the same old messaging over and over again. You don’t want to bore your consumers or risk being seen as behind the times. Keep your messaging fresh.
  • Ignoring comments or complaints. This defeats the purpose of engaging with your consumers. Reply directly to posts which mention you – good or bad. This illustrates that you’re not just laying back, drinking cocktails and being fanned by a good-looking model. Maybe you are. We try not to judge. Either way, respond.

Likewise, there are definite do’s of social media marketing that may get you noticed for all the right reasons:

  • Show your personality, and make sure it’s consistent across all platforms.
  • Build trust by being sincere. Your goal is to build life-long relationships, not throw up ads every two seconds.
  • Stay engaged. Respond and interact with your audience like a human. If you make a mistake, admit it and get to work fixing it. A brand that shows it wants to improve wins consumer love.
  • Encourage user generated content to spread awareness of your brand! UGC is one of the best ways you can advertise because it’s straight from the fans themselves. And by reposting or sharing their shoutouts, you solidify the fact that you’re paying attention.

On top of these ‘must do’ tactics, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter all have tools which show you the best times of day to post and which posts are seeing the most engagement so you can apply that intel as well. Use these along with a consumer and market intelligence to dial in your campaign messaging and dramatically improve engagements.

Making the right moves in today’s ever social world is critical. And you can’t hope to be successful without the right social media marketing tools! Reach out for a demo and see how social media analytics can grow your share of voice and your online presence.

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