It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of social media in daily life. Did you know that more than one-quarter of the world’s population is on Facebook?
With such a vast network of viewers available at the touch of a button, tapping into social media for business marketing is essential. Learning how to reach your target audience and create ads that make a statement can:
- Generate leads
- Increase your brand awareness
- Humanize your product to connect with real consumers
Interested to know more about social media marketing strategies? Check out the Advanced Social Media Marketing Training. Enroll now.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is all about promoting your business or product on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. Though it sounds simple in theory, understanding best practices when designing ads will increase the odds that viewers will share and interact with your content.
In 2018, Hootsuite reported that nearly 3.2 billion people actively used social media around the world. That’s 42 percent of the world’s population!
Because social media has become so ubiquitous, the importance of social media for business has increased dramatically in the last five years. The best practices for each platform vary, but overall, social media marketing allows you to:
- Build your brand
- Connect consumers to your story
- Increase visibility
- Generate leads and sales
Your Brand Tells a Story
A huge component of using social media for business is developing and refining your brand. The content you share tells a story about your company’s values, interests, and personality. People share content on social media for a variety of reasons, including:
- Exchanging information
- Promoting a cause or idea they admire
- Building or showcasing their image
- Connecting with others
One of the benefits of social media is that it allows you to associate your business with certain value systems and ideas your clientele may not otherwise see. For example, you might promote a political ideology or align yourself with volunteering or charity work. Every post you make contributes to the associations that viewers have with your brand, and thus with your product. If you’re a clothing company, for instance, you might promote body positivity by having diverse models in images and sharing op-eds on the consequences of body shaming.
Another benefit of social media marketing is that it enables you to find and speak to a target audience. Unlike ads of the past which blanketed a geographic location or viewership, social media marketing lets you target specific age groups, races, genders, religions, and even hobbies or interest groups. You can define your brand and ensure you’re reaching the ideal audience.
Connecting to Real Consumers
An often-unsung benefit of social media is its ability to connect in real-time with current and future customers. Many businesses use social media platforms today to respond to reviews, offer customer support, and quickly address bad publicity.
Social Media for Customer Support
Using social media for business means you can provide real-time customer support via comments and private messaging. Consumers can ask questions by commenting or sending a private message. This real-time connection enables you to respond more quickly than email correspondence and provides a public forum for future and current customers to see your responses. For example, a customer might comment on an ad for a pair of shoes to ask about the availability of a color that’s out of stock. Your answer is then visible to all other followers and customers who might have an interest in that product, encouraging them to pre-order or add themselves to a mailing list.
Social Media for Timely Messaging
Social media also enables businesses to respond quickly and effectively to sudden changes, both within the company and around the world. If your company is experiencing a PR crisis, for instance (and let’s hope you’re not), you can post a response within hours.
Rather than sending out a response via a mailing list, which has a much smaller scope, a response on social media will reach everyone who follows your brand. Social media is also an ideal place to comment on current events, like shifts in the political or economic climate, human rights campaigns, and other major headlines. These posts become part of the public face of your business and demonstrate that you’re actively engaged in local and global communities.
Improving Your Bottom Line
Ultimately, the real importance of social media marketing lies in its ability to grow your business and improve your bottom line. Well-crafted, targeted ads allow you to generate leads and make sales that would otherwise go to competitors. Social media ads are also frequently less expensive than comparable marketing campaigns.
According to WordStream, social media marketing is “…a highly cost-effective way to expand your reach. If you play your cards right, you can get your content and offers in front of a huge audience at a very low cost.”
Are you well-versed with social media marketing and its nuances? Try answering these Advanced Social Media Test Questions and find out!
Fast-Track Your Career Today
Fortunately, learning how to use social media to best represent your company is easy with self-paced, affordable online programs like Simplilearn’s Advanced Social Media Certification Training—your best bet to get the level of professional training needed to navigate the social media seas.
The course provides critical information for beginner and intermediate social media marketers, and teaches you how to design ads, schedule and manage your channels, and understand web analytics so you can keep posting content your audience loves. Set yourself up for success by taking the time to learn with Simplilearn!