Let’s start with 2 definitions to answer the What:
websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking
Source: Oxford Dictionary
social media marketing
the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites
Simple, right? Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s dive right into the Why!
Social media marketing has gone from what was perceived as a fad in the early 2000s to a must-have for brands today. Every brand, business, and entity wants to have a presence on every social media platform.
Why should YOU think about social media marketing?
Well, it starts with you as a brand. Social media is an opportunity for you to build your personal brand, and grow your authority on your subject.
Your social media profiles are the first thing to show up in a Google search for your name. These are the best places to start with establishing you as a brand. Twitter is a great place to weigh in with your opinions. LinkedIn is the best place to detail your professional experience and showcase your expertise. Facebook allows you to keep in touch, and share your views. Instagram provides a place to chronicle your life’s journey.
When it comes to your business, social media lets you reach a staggering number of people at a fraction of the cost of traditional media.
Take Facebook, for example. There are more than 15 million Nigerians on Facebook. For $10/day, you can reach up to 40,000 people. That’s a staggering amount of people and dirt cheap when you compare it to the cost to reach those people through traditional media channels.
The best part is you don’t always have to pay to reach them. It’s all about how you communicate with them. The variety of social media channels means you can showcase your business and its personality in different ways. Social media allows you to get in front of your consumer where they are. And believe me, they are everywhere!
Social media is becoming an integral part of the marketing funnel. With the advent of messenger bots, live video, and VR, it is now possible to sell a product and an experience without any physical process. That is huge in itself and signals a drastic shift in how consumers’ purchasing activity.
So how do you start?
For starters, do not go and create an account on every social media platform for your business. Yes, that’s right, do NOT.
It starts with listening. You understand your business and your target audience. The next thing is to see where your target audience is and what they’re saying. When you’re armed with that knowledge, you can then think about which platforms your business needs and how your business is going to join in the conversation on them.
Remember each platform has its own nuances, and it’s best to understand them before jumping on them. Take the time to study each platform.
Some tips for your content:
- Keep it relevant and informative. Statistics show that consumers engage most with relevant and engaging content.
- Use an 80:20 approach. 20% of your content should be sales focused. The 80% should educate, showcase, inform and entertain your consumers.
- Always be ready to adapt. What works today might not work tomorrow, and the landscape is always changing. Be ready to change with it.
- Be conversational.
- Integrate. Your social media sales communication should not be in isolation of any other marketing activity you’re running.
Social media marketing is not a thing of tomorrow, it is a thing of now. And every passing day, it’s evolving. All aboard?
This article was written for She Leads Africa by Prashant Kirpalani. Prashant is the Social Media Manager at Wild Fusion, Wild Fusion is Africa’s leading Digital Marketing Agency. For more expert advice on digital marketing, do the right thing and join our community to find out more about how we can help you become a #Boss.