Social media has received a ton of scrutiny in the past year. From Facebook’s misinformation and privacy controversies to Twitter’s banning of certain polemical accounts. Even before the pandemic, there were problems such as cyberbullying, body image issues, and FOMO (fear of missing out).
All these events have left consumers, marketers, and businesses with mixed feelings about leveraging the power of today’s social platforms to their advantage. Many researchers focus on the bad side of social media marketing that they actually disregard the good side of social media.
Why Businesses Should Not Give Up on Social Media Marketing
Because of technology’s massive effect on today’s society, more people are spending time online now more than ever. 4.66 billion people use the internet, which is close to 60 percent of the world’s total population, according to Hootsuite’s Digital Trends 2021. The average internet user spends almost seven hours per day online, the article continues.
Sure, there are negative effects of social media, but if used carefully, social media marketing can help businesses grow. With the right planning, social media can bring many benefits to businesses. Keep reading to learn how social media can help improve businesses and discover how to make the most of the different social platforms available!
Social Media Can Increase Brand Awareness
With many active users on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, social media is a great way to reach out to new viewers and spread the word about a brand or product.
Think about all the advertisements that pop up on Instagram and Facebook; that’s called social media marketing. Because information spreads so fast online, social platfoms can drive more people to a brand or product.
Social Media Can Help Businesses Keep Up with the Latest Trends
Brands must keep up with the latest trends to avoid getting left in the dust as the world evolves. Think about it as survival of the fittest. Older businesses must compete with younger businesses and think of new ways to satisfy their audience, especially because people nowadays have shorter attention spans.
Social Media Marketing Can Increase Website Traffic
Social media gives viewers a taste of what a business is about. So, if the target audience likes what they see on each social platform, they’ll become more interested in the brand and head over to their website to check out more stuff. Never underestimate the importance of social media marketing!
Social Media Can Increase Customer Engagement
Though businesses can’t physically interact with their audience, there are ways to “communicate” with them. Live Streaming provides a great opportunity for brands to engage with their customers in real-time and build genuine relationships with them.
Businesses can also post polls on social media to receive feedback for an idea they may have for an upcoming project. By doing so, businesses can transform their social accounts into something way more than just a tool to build a community, but also to perform research.
Social Media Can Provide Useful Analytic Tools for Businesses
Social platforms provide easy ways to keep track of who’s viewing your content, how many click-through rates you’re getting, and which topics are most popular with your viewers. This feedback allows businesses to re-evaluate what they’re doing and provide better content that satisfies their audience’s needs.
As said by author Scott McKain, “If you want customers to know they matter to you, show it by being interested in what matters to them.”
Social Media Can Keep an Eye on the Competition
Keeping an eye on the competition is another way that social media marketing can help businesses grow. Businesses can follow their competitors on their social accounts and see what they’re doing to engage with their audience. They can see what works with their competitors and what doesn’t with them and then apply the successful strategies to their marketing plan.
Which Social Media Platform Should Your Business Use?
The social platforms you choose for your business depend on your business’ specific goals and the different functions of each platform. Before jumping right into social media marketing, let’s discuss the different platforms to choose from and how they work. There are many platforms to choose from, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Facebook is not only a great way to connect with friends and family, but it is also suitable for professional and business outreach, according to The New York Times. Businesses can do live streams with Facebook Live, where they can do behind-the-scenes content, Q&A sessions, and other events, the article continues.
Businesses can take advantage of the tools Facebook offers by connecting with influencers, following other businesses for possible job opportunities, and sharing their content for the world to see through hashtags (there is also a setting to make your posts private).
Instagram is all about visuals. So, if viewers stop and look at your photo, then they’ll want to learn more about your business! The platform offers great resources like Instagram Stories, which allow users to give short life updates and some small behind-the-scenes action as well (these stories are available for 24 hours only). Instagram Live is another live stream feature that businesses can take advantage of.
Just like Instagram, Pinterest is all about visuals. According to business.com, users can explore the different pins (whether that’d be photos, videos, texts, and GIFs) available on the platform and put together their own Pinterest board that they can refer to for inspiration. Many people use the platform to gather new ideas for room decor, arts and crafts, fashion, website design, weddings, and more.
You can also link your website to your pin if you’re a blogger. If users like what they see, they can click on the link that takes them to your website!
Twitter is probably the most political option out of all the choices listed; it’s amazing how many stories there are about the COVID-19 vaccines and the government on that platform. People can share news articles, do retweets, direct message people, do direct group messages, and reply to other people’s tweets. I’ve seen a lot of strong opinions on Twitter, so it’s important to be careful what you say, or else it can haunt you later in the future.
TikTok is what inspired Instagram to create Instagram Reels in 2020. They’re basically short videos for users to share with the world. Users can simply add texts, music, use different filters, and show off their personality in their videos.
TikTok isn’t just for silliness and short ‘Day in My Life’ videos, though. Users can also tackle serious subjects such as mental health and social justice on the platform. I know people can make big money from TikTok; just ask Charli D’Amelio.
Unlike TikTok, which is simply a video-sharing app, Snapchat is a mobile messaging app, which includes photos and video, according to Filmora. Snapchat’s target audience is geared towards millennials, while TikTok is more popular towards Gen-Z individuals, the article continues. Snapchat also gives brands the tools to promote themselves through advertisements, branded filters, AR lenses, and native checkout.
LinkedIn is perhaps the most professional platform of them all. Its focus is to enable brands and professionals to connect and open opportunities to capture talent, share company updates, and network online.
Even if you don’t think so, companies do look at your LinkedIn profile with your resume and writing samples. Users can post content for their connections to see, network, and build connections with people in a similar profession, expand your business by building an online community, and get recommendations for new job openings.
YouTube is how Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande got record deals; enough said! YouTube has replaced TV, in a way, because it gives viewers the option to watch whatever they want. You can find anything on YouTube, from music videos to makeup and hair tutorials to sneezing pandas to documentaries to vinyl collection videos. People can make a career out of being a YouTuber, and trust me, it isn’t easy!
Final Thoughts on Social Media Marketing
Because I watch a lot of YouTube, I’ve seen so many YouTubers build their brand through social media, merchandise, and sponsorships with other brands. Social media marketing has opened so many doors for people that never would’ve been possible 20 years ago.
Here are a few tips for those that want to grow their business through social media marketing:
- Be careful what you say online
- Have a consistent posting schedule
- Plan out how you’re going to incorporate social media into your business
- Make sure everything you do is with good intentions