One of the defining marvels of this day and age is social media. Social media platforms are constantly changing the way we think about and receive information and is actively reshaping the world as we know it.
The number of worldwide social media users is expected to reach one third of the world’s population by 2020, and by then, it will have thoroughly reshaped our understanding of marketing. The number of small and medium businesses advertising on social media is predicted to reach 81%, and 91% for retail brands that use more than two Social Media profiles.
The numbers have skyrocketed over the years, and the question is: is your business among them?
If not, it should be.
In light of the number of voices fighting for recognition on social media and the importance of building a presence there, it’s becoming more important than ever to build a strong marketing strategy that uses the best of what platforms have to offer.
The marketing possibilities available on social media are what no one could have imagined. It’s become the place where advertisement types abound, hyper-focused segmentation is getting more and more sophisticated, and reaching new and ever-growing audiences is at the tip of your fingers.
But that also means they are becoming more complex and nuanced, and you have to know how to use them in the right way.
We know that Facebook is the king of all platforms you are probably (definitely) already utilizing, but let’s take a minute to explore how to use it most effectively. In 2018, 82% of all social media traffic is going to be video, and for Facebook, video is already becoming especially important.
Facebook’s algorithm favors native videos and improves their reach, so incorporating videos directly to Facebook is a marketing tactic you shouldn’t set aside.
This giant of a network is constantly rolling out new ad types that offer new options to personalize your marketing. Partly utilized as a tactic to find new ways to show ads as it’s now officially running out space to display ads on, Facebook has actually spread ad placements even beyond its strict digital boundaries (such is the case with Audience Network).
Video too expensive for you? Try Facebook Slideshow and spend only a fraction of what you spend on video production cost.
Have an online product catalogue on your website? Try the Carousel or the Collection ad type. Or optimize your ads for mobile with the mobile oriented interactive Canvas ad type.
Facebook can also be incredibly beneficial for local businesses that maintain a profile, or even separate profiles for stores of the same franchise, as users can check in, review, contact and find information more easily.
When it comes to your social media marketing strategy, Facebook is an absolute must. All in all, the sheer number of users (almost a third of the planet), the depth of engagement, and the fact the platform is incredibly versatile makes it the best place to start with an emerging business and a social media marketing strategy in the making. For more information on how to properly optimize your facebook marketing strategy, check out Amplifr’s Facebook marketing guide.
But whatever you do, don’t stop there.
On YouTube, you can combine consumers’ love of visual content and their insatiable appetite for video, along with a plethora of possibilities for reaching influencers.
Not to say that running ads on YouTube isn’t worthy in itself, but actually incorporating mentions of your content on famous Youtubers’ channels (or ones famous in your field of interest or niche at least) is a pretty hot and effective marketing technique nowadays. After all, it seems like 45% of people who buy online are influenced by the opinions of other people, so why not use it to your advantage?
On the other hand, creating a full-fledged YouTube channel of your own can be an awesome marketing idea, as people usually go on YouTube not only for product reviews and opinions, but also for “how to” videos and tutorials.
Similar to YouTube, this is an amazing platform if you want to reach influencers and market your products. After all, marketing on Instagram is all about aesthetics and lifestyle, and building your brand with these two important concepts in mind can be incredibly rewarding.
Marketing content from a selling point of view has become outdated – nowadays you have to tie your products to consumers’ personal experiences and use storytelling in the most subtle manner possible to appeal to their desires.
Consumers have become resilient to old-school marketing – and given that they are flashed ads daily, they can become easily irritated with too much of a salesy approach. But not on Instagram, as this is the number one platform where users engage with the products they love. Especially while surfing on mobile.
Twitter’s unique social environment can sometimes make marketers reluctant to include it as a vital part of their social marketing strategy. But the platform has grown at a rapid rate and has seriously become a big player.
First, it’s become the number 1 platform for support issues, so having a Twitter account for your support issues can be very beneficial for your business. The platform also uses hashtags unlike any other, so searching fleeting mentions of your products, services or brand, finding out what people think about you, and tapping into that audience can be an amazing marketing tactic. Consumers mostly turn to social media to voice their opinions about products, and in Twitter’s hectic environment this can grow to amazing proportions.
Understanding that Twitter is the platform for conversation, and using it to leverage customers’ experiences and attract new consumers can be just what your social media marketing strategy and business need.
With audiences whose attention span is ever on the decline, Snapchat is the number one platform to use for momentary content. It might be confusing or scary for marketers to try their hand in this volatile environment where the lifespan of carefully created content is no more than 24 hours, but in doing so, you’ll be embracing the realization that the attention span of your potential audience has become the most prized commodity.
On Snapchat, you can embrace short-lived content and reach millennials and generation Z unlike on any other platform. You won’t bother your audience with calls to action that lead to conversion as you normally would. Instead, you’ll be embracing short-lived content they will engage with from fear of missing out (FOMO). You can be creative, snatch their attention, and in the process work on your brand recognition.
Pinterest is a platform unlike any other – the focus of Pinterest isn’t as much about posting your own ideas, thoughts or content, but saving things you find valuable for later.
This can be great for businesses that are looking to have their content or products purchased. Unlike Snapchat, where the focus is on ephemeral content, the word you’re looking for is: evergreen. Both can be incredible tools to have in your arsenal just the same. You must have saved products on Pinterest and purchased them later on yourself, and if you have, you’re not the only one.
Users often turn to Pinterest to research purchasing options before buying, and many of them buy products they’ve stumbled upon on the site.
Your potential consumers can find pins by typing in a relevant keyword, so creating boards tailored to suit a particular persona’s taste is a very fine art in itself. This means that you can make it very easy for them to find your pins organically if you create just the right Pinterest marketing strategy
Here’s an interesting fact: 80% of B2B marketing leads that come from social media are actually from LinkedIn, and at a much lower cost per lead than, say, Google Adwords. This means that LinkedIn is especially valuable if you are trying to market your services.
People on LinkedIn (more accurately wealthy people, according to statistics, as 44% of LinkedIn users earn more than $75,000 in a year, and 41% of millionaires use it.) are turning to LinkedIn to find solutions for their professional problems, and the platform offers advanced audience targeting that can help you make sure they come to you.
If you want to meet and engage with B2B buyers, LinkedIn is definitely the #1 platform. And if you’re not already using it, you’ll be one of the very few remaining – as only 6% of B2B marketers don’t.
Unlike some other more versatile platforms, this microblogging network won’t work for all types of brands. That being said, there are a few types of businesses who can benefit from it a great deal: fashion, lifestyle and publishing or broadcast media (not exclusively). The key term here is microblogging: In order to market on Tumblr, your presence needs to be more visual and less verbose.
To publishing media, this means they can show their audience glimpses of snippet-like, shorter forms and quotes adapted from longer, more in-depth content, just for marketing purposes.
Fashion and lifestyle businesses can benefit from Tumblr in the same way they can from Instagram.
All businesses that use Tumblr have the unique chance to easily reach the youngest of audiences when it comes to demographics, as 70% of Tumblr’s audience are users between the ages of 16 and 34.
On top of all that, unlike other platforms, there are Tumblr visitors who actually don’t have an account and just follow microblogs as they would follow normal blogs.
There has been some heated debate about the correlation of social media, google rankings and domain authority. But although there is no conclusive evidence that shows social media engagement (likes, shares or follower count) have a direct impact on google rankings, Google + seems like the proper platform to use when you want to boost your SEO efforts. Many sites report increased traffic to their website coming from Google+, and posts from the platform are indexed amazingly fast in google’s SERP.
Not only that, Google+ is great for reaching particular communities and circles, which makes it a surprisingly safe bet for networking. As circles and communities are based off of interests, there’s no reason for a feed full of friends and families (which also means your posts won’t be competing against them).
On Google+, people visit with the intent on finding out topics, products and services they are already interested in, and there aren’t many other examples in the social media world of target audiences coming to you themselves.
- Use Facebook for every type of business and focus on engaging, visual content
- Use YouTube to reach influencers and spread the word about your products or services
- Use Instagram to build brand recognition
- Use Twitter for conversation: updates and customer support and research people’s opinion about your business or brand
- Use Snapchat to build brand recognition with ephemeral, fun content and reach younger audiences
- Use Pinterest to smartly create keyword oriented pinboards for consumers to tap into when making purchasing decisions
- Use LinkedIn for B2B marketing and networking
- Use Tumblr to reach younger audiences, and market businesses in fashion, lifestyle and publishing media
- Use Google+ for content you are trying to rank on Google
The biggest social network prediction for the future? Change.
With corporate integrations, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of who owns what in the digital world, and what updates they have in store. Best practices change with lightning speed, and you have to stay informed in order to keep up with the ever evolving social media environment.
Different social platforms offer unique ways to engage with current or potential audiences, and every opportunity to do that is certainly worth exploring.
Learning how to adapt to the fast-paced social media marketing world will be one of the most important trait you’ll have to adopt in 2018.