Learn more about Social Media Marketing

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Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service. Although the terms e-marketing and digital marketing are still dominant in academia, social media marketing is becoming more popular for both practitioners and researchers. Social media marketing works to increase sales, traffic, and brand awareness, all with a digital presence. The major social media platforms for marketing at the moment are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Tiktok.

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So, how does a social media marketer use and navigate each platform?

Facebook: The biggest tip for marketers using Facebook is using ads and promoted posts to boost your traffic. The most important tip for posting for Facebook is finding the correct timing because Facebook selects posts that maximize engagement with a focus on specific post timing. Facebook is a great way to weave video content and text together to provide more information about your brand and introduce a note of creativity. Social media marketers know to include a call-to-action button on your Facebook page to make your contact easily accessible to consumers. They also use Facebook Groups to build a community of followers and connect with them on a more personal level. 

Instagram: According to Statista, Instagram (owned by Facebook) has over 1 billion monthly active users, and Instagram is most popular in the United States, India, and Brazil. Compared to Facebook, Instagram targets a younger audience; more than half of the global user population is 34-years-old or younger. The international user market is consistently growing with Instagram, meaning that brands can use this platform to start to successfully market globally.

Instagram stories are a great way for social media marketers to get your message out to the public because Instagram stories are posted chronologically. When just posting on a general feed, it's hard to know how the Instagram algorithm will process the posts, but your Instagram story will be shown on a first come, first served basis. Instagram is the platform to show off your brand’s aesthetics, and it’s a place to create a trendy feed to highlight your brand’s image. Attaching previous Instagram stories as highlights on your profile allows for greater engagement, and your post won’t go away after 24 hours like a regular story. 

Twitter: Social media marketers know that Twitter users tend to prefer culturally relevant brands as well as brands that are inclusive, transparent, and align with their morals. Twitter users also spend 26% more time interacting with ads than other social media users. 

Twitter is great for engaging with all users, even if they don’t follow you. Continuing a thread on other people’s posts allows you to be a part of the conversation and invite others to join too. Social media marketers use hashtags to boost traffic and make it easier for users to find your posts and content, making sure the hashtags are relevant to the conversation and content. If you know your target audience is pretty active, social media marketers will use Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Trends to put your message in front of the right people.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn has over 660 million users, with the U.S. being the largest global market. Only 9% of U.S. users visit LinkedIn more than once a day, but those who have LinkedIn accounts and are passionate about professional careers tend to love this platform.

LinkedIn is great because not only do posts show up on the feeds of your connections, they also show up on the feeds of those tagged. Depending on how many connections the tagged user has, your reach can be expanded by over two times, considering your tagged user’s connections can view the post as well on their feeds. A huge social tip for social media marketing success for LinkedIn is uploading content, especially videos, organically onto the platform. The LinkedIn algorithm is favorable to those who upload content directly into the post rather than embedding a separate link. These videos must be visually engaging and informative from the beginning, as about 85% of social media users play video without sound. LinkedIn recommends keeping brand awareness videos under 30 seconds for the highest level of engagement. 

TikTok: TikTok proves to be one of the hottest social media trends to date. TikTok has over 800 million monthly active users, and the platform has increasingly made a switch from entertainment-based content and challenges to sublet marketing plugs. According to SocialMediaToday, branding and promotion is quite simple on TikTok; users can create their own brand channel, partner with influencers to gain a broader reach, and pay to advertise TikTok's new campaign options. Social media marketers are using TikTok as the perfect platform to be unconditionally yourself, furthering your brand's personality and style. Showing off the behind the scenes work of your brand and including funny bloopers or tricks allows consumers to get an inside look into the raw fun of your business. Try out the different trending TikTok challenges and apply them to your brand, and explore your For You Page.

Why should you hire a social media marketer?

It’s hard to keep up with all the different rules and strategies for brand success on each social media platform. That’s why hiring a social media marketer, someone skilled in the industry to create content for each platform, is one of the smartest marketing moves. 

Social media marketing is one of the strongest tactics to expand your company’s reach. Each platform uses a different algorithm for what posts are shown and how much traffic is generated, so it’s important to know all the strengths and tips of each platform for a successful social media presence. Social media marketers are professionally trained to produce content on each individual platform, as well as creating a strong digital brand identity. 

The most important skill in mastering social media marketing is adapting to the constant changes in each platform and incorporating an element of flexibility into your marketing strategy. Investing in a social media director, which can often be a great freelance position, can greatly benefit your brand's online presence. 

State of the Industry:

Over half of the world uses social media- 3.96 billion people. According to DataReportal, global internet traffic increased by 30% this year, partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than half of the world uses social media, about 3.96 billion people, and the way we consume content over social media has changed drastically. 

Social media purchases have also greatly increased as a result of the closure of brick and mortar retail. 52% of online brand discovery is found in public social feeds, and 27% of social media users report that they find new products and brands through paid social ads.

What skills do every social media marketer need?

Content creation: Social media marketers need to know what content performs well on each channel, each social media platform, on each marketing email. Strong writing skills are a must, as well as an eye for appealing visual graphics. Social media marketers should have an understanding of the consumer and the type of content they are looking for. 

Graphic design: Social media marketers need to know how to use different tools, like Adobe Illustrator and InDesign, to create a specific look for each brand and apply these graphics to each social media channel. Part of having a strong brand identity is finding a clean, captivating, and consistent look for your brand, which can be done on different graphic design platforms. 

Research: It is impossible to succeed in social media marketing without researching and analyzing a client’s industry as well as current market trends. Being knowledgeable and staying up-to-date is one of the most critical responsibilities of a social media marketer, as the trends continue to shift everyday. 

SEO skills: SEO, or search engine optimization, is crucial in gathering traffic to your site. SEO helps companies to understand how consumers are searching for your brand online. Good social media marketers know how to use SEO to increase web traffic, boost visibility and rankings, and expand your social media presence . 

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