Social Media is now a staple of any modern marketing campaign or strategy, whether you're a business-to-business or business-to-consumer company, a small start up or a massive conglomerate, social media marketing plays a large part in shaping how individuals and businesses consume media.
But for some businesses, social media marketing is still an emerging channel.
Some businesses are yet to grasp the full power of using social media to expand reach and grow their customer base.
In this guide, we talk everything there is to know about social media marketing, what it is, whether it's worth investing time and money and for those interested in starting a career in social media marketing, we talk through the pro's and con's of becoming a social media marketing professional.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
But first, what actually is social media marketing?
We we can break this down in to what is social media and then what is marketing.
Social media is a collective term for websites and apps that focus on the sharing of user generated content, user interaction and the building of communities online.
The most common being Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, and for businesses LinkedIn. Social media allows individuals, businesses and content creators to reach their audience directly, share content and grow their community of followers and fans.
Marketing is defined as the action of promoting or advertising products or services. But as I am sure you're aware, contains a lot more than this.
Marketing can include lots of different aspects such as branding, creating a selling process, pricing among other things. Hubspot defines marketing as "any actions a company takes to attract an audience to the company's product or services through high-quality messaging. Aiming to deliver standalone value for prospects and consumers through content, with the long term goal of demonstrating product value, strengthening brand loyalty, and ultimately increasing sales."
Now when we combine social media and the action of marketing we are able to see how businesses and individuals can use their online platform to directly communicate branded messages and promotions for a product or service at a relatively low cost and with explosive results.
Is Social Media Marketing Effective?
For any test of success you first of all need to define your measurement of success. Quite obviously, the biggest marker of success for companies would be sales of their product or service.
This is exactly the same with any social media marketing campaign or strategy. You need to define your levels of success before you can render a campaign successful.
There are however some really handy statistics and analytics you are able to see in social media.
For example you are able to see how many people see your posts (Impressions), how many people liked your posts (Likes), how many people commented or shared your content with their followers. Not only this but importantly you can track how many people visited your website as a direct result of social media posts by looking at your traffic sources.
So with social media marketing you are able to measure your change in sales, website traffic, likes, shares and impressions to measure the success of your campaign, and with the right content, social media marketing can be very effective.
Is Social Media Marketing Easy?
There are so many social media marketing tools that help businesses and individuals market their products and services more easily.
Hootsuite, for example, allows you to schedule in social media posts to post in the future so you don't have to spend extra time posting every day.
Once you are able to learn the basic functions of your social media channel, social media marketing then becomes a case of creating content.
Understanding your target audience and your ultimate social media marketing goal can help mould the content that you can post on your channels.
This content needs to interest, excite and engage your target audience as well as reach your existing and potential customers. This means choosing the right social media platform that your customers use and making sure you're creating the most engaging content.
This can also mean making sure you're posting on social media the right amount and at the right times.
Canva is a free design tool with 100's of templates for social media images and videos to make it easier to create highly engaging posts.
Is Social Media Marketing Expensive?
One of the most common questions I get asked is whether social media marketing is expensive, the short answer: no way!
Social media is one of the last truly free forms of PR or promotion in the marketing world at the moment. Anyone with a smart phone or computer can reach millions of people on a daily basis, with little or no budget at all.
For businesses this means a potentially lucrative return on investment for organic social media marketing.
However, there is potential to spend lots of money on social media marketing by paying for adverts or to hire someone to run your social media for you.
Paying for adverts means that you create an ad that can be shown to millions of potential customers. Social media advertising can be really effective in getting new people interested in your products and when done properly can be really cost effective too.
By spending smartly you can actually increase your profitability using social media advertising.
Hiring a social media marketing consultant can often be a way to spend lots of money but much like advertising can have a high ROI when done properly. A social media marketing consultant can help create better, more engaging posts, create a strategy that shares the right messages and can save you (the business owner) time and effort and ultimately money.
Is Social Media Marketing Worth It?
If you're not already considering social media marketing then you may be missing a large portion of your target audience out. 59% percent of the world's population uses social media with the average daily usage of 2 hours and 29 minutes.
So imagine that 59% of your target audience is spending over two hours a day looking at your content, you can almost guarantee that they will be more likely to purchase your products.
Learning how to use social media is such a valuable tool for any marketing department and creating an effective social media marketing strategy is so important for accessing a huge proportion of your target audience.
If you need help in starting your social media marketing journey, I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
Considering a career in social media marketing?
Social media marketing is a great way to start your marketing career and help businesses grow and flourish quickly.
Is Social Media Marketing A Good Career?
Being a consultant means that you're not only self employed, managing your own finances and managing your own work.
Being a social media marketing expert means that you need to know everything there is to know about helping a business grow using social media: the best strategy, content ideas, the best tools, how to write captions, what the best conversion strategy is... It's not just being able to create really cool videos.
You have to keep on top of social media trends as well as gather new leads for new work and keep your clients happy.
Once you have that nailed, social media marketing is a career with virtually no overheads so you can work from where ever you like and if you have the training, you can take on the clients you want and manage your income where the sky is the limit!
Is Social Media Marketing Agency Profitable?
A Social Media Marketing agency or consultant is one of the most profitable new business ideas out there at the moment, because with the right training all you need to be successful is an internet connection and a willingness to help out businesses get the most out of their social media.
The only overheads you might see are hosting costs for your website and potentially technology upgrades like a new phone or laptop to keep up with your work.
Is Social Media Marketing Easy To Learn?
Social media marketing is easy to learn with the right attitude, learning materials and the willingness to help out other businesses.
Very often will you see social media experts who will churn out content because it worked with their last client.
Mastering social media means understanding the clients' needs, their audience and the content that works best for them and their social media platform.