Social Media Marketing: Networking for Brands

Social Media Marketing

I confess, I waste far too much time on social media.

We all do, right?

Even the social media snobs who are too intellectual to be scrolling Instagram are all secretly checking out what Kim Kardashian is doing while they wait for the kettle to boil.

So, if we’re all logged on to social media, surely that’s the best place for businesses to be if they want to get on our screens.

And that, my friends, is what social media marketing is all about.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is a way for brands to engage directly with customers via social media, to achieve their goals. Brands can use it to build their target audience base, grow brand awareness, and ultimately drive sales.

Should Your Business Be on Social Media?

I’m going to give it to you straight. Yes. Yes, it should.

Social media is huge, and as much as some of us might wish it was just a fad (anyone else dreading the day their daughters get TikTok?), it certainly isn’t. Social media is here to stay, so jump on board, or be left behind.

The opportunity social media provides to grow brand awareness and reach new customers is impossible to ignore. Not to mention the fact that it’s free.

So if your business isn’t on social media, or you’re not making the most of your social accounts, you should be.

What are you waiting for?

What Can You Gain from Social Media Marketing?

Build Brand Awareness

It doesn’t matter how big or small your brand is, social media marketing gets you exposure. For the small fish out there, the exposure you can benefit from on social media can make you a household name without even having to spend anything on advertising.

For the already-renowned brands, AKA the big fish, a consistent presence on social media can nurture trust and customer loyalty. There is quite literally nothing to lose in getting your brand in front of more customers.

Foster Relationships

Social media allows you to develop connections with your customers or potential customers, and in fostering relationships you help to build loyalty.

If a user needs to purchase facewash, are they going to place an order with a brand they’ve heard of, or a brand that regularly directly responds to their comments on Instagram?

Generate Leads

Social media marketing, for the most part, should be engaging and informational.

You don’t want to spam your followers with constant sales-led posts.

However, as a business, it makes sense that occasionally you will use a call to action in your posts or direct messages.

You can help harness the power of social media to generate leads, which could include people making an appointment with you online, or sending you an email query.

Increase Site Traffic

Increased traffic to your website is one of the major benefits of social media marketing because once users arrive at your website you have the opportunity to convert those visitors into sales.

Be sure to include links in your social media profiles to your website, and you can also create links directly to blogs you are posting about or offers you are running.

As a bonus, search engines use social signals to establish trust and authority, so you’ll also be boosting your SEO efforts by running social media accounts.

Reduce Costs

Social media marketing is free (although there are paid options available, such as sponsored posts and pay-per-click if this is a route you want to take).

If you can develop a strong strategy, you may be able to reduce advertising costs elsewhere and focus more heavily on this free platform for reaching customers and building your business.

Making the Most of Social Media Marketing

Understand Your Audience

Before you start posting on social media, you need to think about who is seeing your posts. That way, you can cater your posts to your audience.

Determining your audience can also help you figure out which social media platforms to concentrate on. Instagram and Twitter (or X) tend to have older users, TikTok and Snapchat have younger users, while Facebook and YouTube are a mixed bag.

If you have a universal product, such as pet accessories, you might want to target all of these platforms. If you’re selling a product targeted at teens, like an acne skincare line, then TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube are where you’ll want to be.

Create Consistent Content

Your content should have a consistent voice that resonates with your target audience. If you run a recipe website for vegans, post content that vegans are typically passionate about, such as animal welfare issues.

If you run a hair salon, then you’ll want to be posting content about the latest hair trends and hair care tips.

Ideally, content used in social media marketing should be largely informative or amusing.

Reserve between 10 and 20% of your content for sales-led messages.

Build a Community

There’s a saying I like: ‘The grass is greener where you water it.’ I think it applies to all areas of life, but it’s especially applicable to social media marketing.

That’s right, if you want to make the most of your social media business accounts, you have to water them. (Metaphorically speaking, of course. I cannot be held liable for anyone pouring water over their smartphones.)

There are plenty of ways you can build a community, and the route you take to do this will depend on the type of business you have and your brand identity.

Typically though, social media communities are built best when you foster engagement. This means participating, rather than just posting, and this can be done in various ways. For example, by conducting a poll, responding to user posts, or liking and sharing user comments.

Study Your Statistics

Business social media profiles provide analytics so that you can see how well your content is resonating with your audience. You can track which posts got the most engagement, along with which posts didn’t hit the mark.

There is so much to be learned from analysing your social media analytical data, for example, you might notice when your users are more active, and therefore schedule posts to appear during that time, or you might recognise which type of content is best left unpublished.

Conclusion: Next Steps

Ready to dive into social media marketing with your business or brand? What have you been waiting for?! Come on in, the water is warm (or tepid, at the very least).

You can get as invested in social media marketing as you want to, but as with most things in life, you can expect that the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.

Some business owners prefer to have a hands-on approach with their social media accounts, while others keep their socials in-house with a full-time social media manager.

It’s also common to outsource the running of social media accounts to SEO pros who have the expertise and experience to build a following, fast.

Hint: That’s us!

Get in touch now to see how we can help you get your social media accounts in ship-shape.

Karli Edmondson-Matthews
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