What Is Social Media Marketing?

It’s clear. Social media is here to stay. According to Statistia, in 2019, an estimated 2.95 billion people were using social media worldwide - a number projected to increase to almost 3.43 billion in 2023. Social media has become the norm for how people communicate, and as the stats show, this is only going to increase. As marketers, we strive to reach our audiences in a way that will communicate with them, and in many marketing plans, social media is often one of the starting points. If you’re getting started, here are a few of the key basics to know about social media marketing.

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing includes promoting and advertising your products online through digital outlets to bring about desired results for your business or brand. Some of the most common results businesses and brands want to see include:

  • Building awareness

  • Increasing customer engagement

  • Growing sales or leads

As the internet has grown, more and more social media platforms have developed. A lot of them are meant for different purposes and have varying formats. If you want your content to reach your target market via social media, you need to be acquainted with that social platform and create tailored messages that resonate with how the audience uses that platform.

Different Types of Social Media

There are well over 200 different social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, VSCO, Reddit, YouTube, just to name a few. We’ll just start with the basics for a few we’re sure you’ve heard of and/or use frequently.

1. Facebook

Facebook has grown to become a social platform for just about everything. According to Statistica, during the first quarter of 2020, Facebook reported over 1.73 billion daily active users that use it daily, making it one of the largest social platforms used. Facebook really ushered in the social media advertising era, and they continue to expand their ad efforts everyday. Marketing and advertising on Facebook includes a ton of options, such as Business Pages, Facebook Ad Accounts, Facebook Marketplace, etc. You can place ads just about anywhere on Facebook, including on Facebook stories or in Groups. They also give you real-time analytics that you can use to leverage your business decisions. 

Here’s what you’ll need to set up your business page:

  • Add your business name and description. This will be the first thing potential customers see. If you have other social media pages or a website, make sure the names are consistent so customers don’t get confused. And don’t be afraid to use the About section to highlight what your business does.

  • Add a profile picture and cover photo. Choose something that represents your business, your logo could be your profile picture and your cover photo can be your products or a current ad campaign.

  • Add a call-to-action that directs your page visitors to do something. When customers visit your page, do you want them to go to your website, call, email, or visit your store? 

2. Instagram

Instagram was formed in 2010 and was bought by Facebook in 2012. Although Facebook is the parent company, Instagram has its own unique flair and interaction process. A mostly visual platform, Instagram allows users (and brands) to truly display their personalities. You can upload nearly-perfect pictures with built-in filters, add quirky stickers to your stories, or upload full-length content to IGTV. Instagram is quickly becoming one of the top platforms where you can grow your brand. With Facebook’s support and data access, you can definitely reach your target audience. However, don’t be so quick to count out the organic growth you can get. Here are a few ways to build your brand on instagram for FREE:  

  • Generate buzz for your page with contests, stories, giveaways, and live videos

  • Collaborate with the influencers who reach your target audience or complement your brand

  • Highlight testimonials and word-of-mouth referrals from your current customers. User-generated content creates awareness, is authentic, and can be free.

3. LinkedIn

LinkedIn isn’t always top of mind when discussing social media, but it shouldn’t be counted out. LinkedIn is the social media platform for professionals, and is really kind of in a league of its own. It’s a one-stop-shop to find your dream job, get in contact with like-minded business professionals, get some daily motivation, or find out news about your industry. If you have a business or service that sells to other businesses, this is where you want to be. LinkedIn’s ad platform offers many marketing opportunities and subscriptions that allow you to add interactive add-ons to increase brand awareness.

Here are three ways you can utilize LinkedIn’s marketing opportunities:

  • Join or create a LinkedIn group to become acquainted with like-minded individuals, and communicate regularly. You never know who they know.

  • Showcase your company or product and how it can truly benefit others. Users on this app are all about adding new skills and adding to their professional portfolio anyway they can.

  • Use LinkedIn traffic to bring in potential consumers to your other social pages, website, ad campaigns, etc. 

At Consult FGC, social media marketing is one of our specialties. If you’d like a consultation with the Consultants or a customized social media marketing plan, get in touch with us today.