By Laia Cardona, on 27 March 2019
Social media is responsible for so many changes, from new ways of communicating to new ways for businesses to reach consumers to new ways of interacting. Social media is full of constant changes so marketers will need to keep up and to stay ahead. Companies need to be ready to adapt quickly and leverage all of these changes to their advantage. Whether you need to start creating visually pleasing images or videos, changing your strategy to post more interesting and engaging content or even start selling your products through social media marketing. Below, we'll look at why social media is important, how social media marketing works, and what social media marketing is all about.
Social Media Marketing: Why It's Important
1) 65% of marketers plan to increase their use of Facebook and YouTube
It seems that no matter how much changes, the social media giants continue to thrive like never before. When contemplating their upcoming social media plans, it seems marketers continue to consider Facebook and YouTube very important.
2) 90% of marketers witnessed a positive impact on their ROI due to social media
It is now more than say to safe that there are no questions left: marketing on social media has more than proven to be a profitable investment. So much so that Social Media Examiner confirms that 90% of marketers consider their time on social media to be very well invested.
In terms of how much time they invest, 80% of respondents said that spending at least 6 hours per week on this type of marketing showed positive results in terms of both traffic and brand awareness.
3) 70% of marketers use social media to improve brand loyalty
Studies have shown that users who are loyal to a brand attract more sales and more traffic. Social media makes it very easy for marketers to maintain and nurture that loyalty with content. Which is why it does not comes as a surprise that almost 70% of marketers use social media to create a fanbase and gather market data (according to Social Media Examiner).
4) Marketing and engagement techniques are 90% of marketers’ main concern
Within the realm of social media marketing, engagement tactics and techniques are what marketers most concern themselves with. To be able to live up to these expectations, social media platforms offer audience customization options as a way to increase engagement.
5) 50% of marketers will use live videos in their strategies
Thanks to technological advancements, live videos on social media are here to stay. In fact, Social Media Examiner tells us that 1 in every 2 marketers are considering incorporating them into their strategies.
Social Media Marketing: How It's Done
Social media marketing is not what it used to be. Nowadays, buyers don’t want to deal with sales until they are sure they want to buy and have done their previous research online. Social media sales through marketing has arrived, which is why I would like to tell you today about social media sales through marketing , how it's done, and 8 tips for you to sell more through social media marketing techniques.
How to sell through social media marketing?
Social media marketing achieves sales through employing social tools to identify and create relationships with potential clients. The sales department uses social media to provide value to consumers, answering their questions and comments and sharing content.
Social media marketing is appropriate for B2C as much as B2B sellers, considering both types of clients do online research before purchasing any product. In fact, according to a recent study by the IDC, social media sites significantly influence 75% of B2B product buyers.
1) Choose the most relevant social media channel for your company/sector
A very common mistake in any social media strategy is to launch your brand on all social channels at once. To know how to sell, however, the first thing you need to do is find out where your audience is.
In order to choose the most appropriate medium for your brand, you need to be very sure about your consumer’s profile. For example, Pinterest is currently the king of anything fashion or wedding related, LinkedIn is the ideal place to promote B2B services and Snapchat and Instagram are very popular amongst the teenage audience.
2) Follow the right Twitter accounts
Twitter’s tools are a great help when it comes to constructing your network. To be sure you are following the right users, I recommend Followerwonk, that allows you to search Twitter profiles by topic and keywords. Once you have a list of users who you are interested, you can follow them directly through Followerwonk with just a single click.
3) Create you list of dream clients and follow them
Would you love to work with that one specific company? Well thanks to social media marketing , your dream clients are right within your reach. Make a list of 10 to 20 companies you would love to collaborate with, look for their profiles on Twitter and LinkedIn and follow them. This way, you can always be up-to-date with what’s going on as well as interact with them, for example, congratulating them when they win a prize or sending them information about your products if they ask for recommendations.
4) Activate your LinkedIn notifications to follow your prospects
LinkedIn’s saved searches tool lets you search for ideal clients… even before they become a part of the network!
To use this strategy, the first thing you need to do is do a search on LinkedIn with the characteristics of your ideal client, for example, Human Resources professionals form the pharmaceutical industry. You will see that, in the results, you will first see the people you are already connected with, which is not very useful in this case. To eliminate them, go to “Connections” in the left column and check “2nd Level Connections”.
Now, look at the top part of the page and click on “Save Search”. Choose a name to clearly identify what you are searching for and choose how often you would like to receive notifications (weekly or monthly). Done! Now, LinkedIn will let you know every time a user with these characteristics joins the network.
5) Join LinkedIn groups and participate
Did you know LinkedIn has over 400 million users? No matter what your professional sector is, you are sure to find some interesting contacts there.
One of twitter’s most useful features are its groups, where you can share knowledge and expertise with your potential clients and develop relationships with them. To find groups that interest you, use the search bar and type in your potential clients’ job titles and interests (for example, small and medium enterprises in marketing).
6) Connect with your potential clients on LinkedIn
As you contribute to groups on LinkedIn, you will see that your profile will attract more visitors. You can make the most of these visits by sending them an invitation to connect.
When you send invitations on LinkedIn, I recommend personalizing the message as much as you can to catch the users interest and give them a reason to start a conversation. For example, “Hello, thanks for visiting my profile. I really enjoyed the post you published today on group XXX. I also usually write about these kinds of topics on my company blog. Would you like to connect on LinkedIn?”.
7) Contribute to existing conversations about your brand
As you have probably already understood, one of the main keys to social media sales through marketing is bringing value to your potential clients. To do so, you can start with a very simple first step: listen to what they tell you, and answer. Use the Twitter search tool to find conversations related to your brand and start interacting with your users. You can just like and retweet their posts, or you can go a step further and answer their comments and questions.
8) Share relevant content
Last of all, another way to bring value to your potential clients: content. More than 50% of B2B buyers search for information about products or services on social media. In the world of technology, whitepapers are a particularly interesting and demanded content. No matter what you sector, I’m sure you will be able to add to the conversation by sharing blog posts, videos and other types of content. Just be sure to make sure they are truly relevant: unrelated or excessively promotional content will surely be counterproductive to your goal.
In conclusion, if you want to know how to sell more, social media marketing is your ally! Be consistent, bring value to your conversations and you will start to notice all the positive results of it for your company.
10 New Social Media Marketing Tools
“Adapt or die” is pretty much any digital marketing expert’s motto, where changing and keeping up with the market is not optional. Here are 10 new social media tools that you can use to make your life easier by helping you curate content, launch and measure campaigns and connect with your audience.
If you are one of those who have been brave enough to start promoting their brand on Snapchat, you will need a reliable analytics system that will let you know what’s working and what’s not. This tool will allow you to analyze your brand, create multiple accounts, program content and much more.
2) Adobe Spark
An image is worth a thousand words, and with this tool, you will be expressing yourself in every color. Use it to create graphs and tables to share on social media, to tell stories in web format or even to create animated videos.
Quuu makes curating content as easy as it can get: all you have to do is select a category from among over 300 suggestions and let it do the work for you! It can even publish directly on your social profiles (although personally I would recommend manually approving its suggestions in order to keep control over what your publishing).
Yet another fantastic content marketing tool. Integrated with Chrome, Zest offers content suggested by other marketers, all of which is moderated manually. You can chose the most relevant topics for you, and personalize your page to your taste.
Video is one of this years’ top marketing trends, and you can use Rocketium to create your very own, hassle-free! Upload images, and text and animate it to your heart’s content with different themes and formats. You can also use it to publish directly to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Tired of managing countless accounts at once? This social media tool is the solution to all your problems, allowing you to sign in to one website with several accounts at once.
If you need a hand with your email marketing campaigns, Mailshake might just be exactly what you’re looking for. This tool lets you create personalized emails to promote your content, build relationships and generate leads, in an easy and uncomplicated way.
Need to get some influence in your life, but aren’t sure where to find one? Well search no further! IntelInfluence is the platform to search for the best influencers to represent your brand. Use it to communicate with them directly and manage all interactions in one place.
How far do your posts actually go? PostReach helps you find out the data on your posts’ actual outreach, whether on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest. It is perfect to keep all your social media metrics under control.
Social Media Marketing: What Not to Do
Life is full of occasions to sin and social media marketing is not an exception. But if you want your social media marketing strategy to succeed, it's crucial for your brand to understand how social media marketing is not done.
Sin no. 1 of social media marketing: Gluttony
Pinterest, Instagram, snapchat, Vine, Vimeo, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter ... There are social networks for everyone, but it makes no sense if you're going to be sacrificing quality. Before opening a new profile, evaluate the capabilities and user profiles for each network: is the type of audience you want to reach?
Sin no. 2 of social media marketing: Envy
You look at the Facebook of your neighbor and you turn green with envy… Beware! Jealousy is not good for advisers on social media. Instead of letting it corrode the success of the competition, use it as inspiration for improving: study their success stories, analyze what can you learn from them and put it into practice in your new social networking strategies.
Sin no. 3 of social media marketing: Sloth
It is not enough to "be" in social media, we must also use them. If you spend a week without checking your profiles, you are causing a very unprofessional impression and people will not show interest in talking to you. Good online marketing strategies depend on consistency.
Sin no. 4 of social media marketing: Greed
The “want everything now!” mentality is not only bad for your patience it is also impossible. The best thing is to set realistic goals and focus on consistency and quality content to go slowly getting results. If you are using deception to go faster, like buying followers, your users will notice and it will cost you a lot to regain lost prestige.In no time you’ll have thousands of followers, but we cannot then generate interaction with them. By purchasing invented users you loose the essence of a social medium, ceasing to be social and to become a real desert where there seems to be no life.
Sin no. 5 of social media marketing: Wrath
Remember, giving a professional image in social media is essential, do not get carried away by your emotions! If you respond badly to a crisis in social media, you are jeopardizing your entire brand image. Keep a cool head and always keep assertive, appreciative and funny messages.
Sin no. 6 of social media marketing: Lust
Sure you've heard that that "sex sells" but do not be tempted! Avoid the contents, images and obscene or risqué videos: they are not a good way to look professional and become a benchmark for your sector.
Sin no. 7 of social media marketing: Pride
Social media marketing is not the mirror of Snow White's stepmother. Even if you are convinced of being the prettiest of the kingdom, do not overdo it by talking about your company and your brand. To promote yourself without falling into narcissism, test the 80/20 rule: use 80% of your content to share news about your sector and help your audience and the remaining 20% to talk about you.
Social Media Marketing: Key Points
What is social media marketing all about? It's about engaging with your audience and sparking interest in potential customers or clients. 3 of the key ideas in social media marketing include: strategic keywords, listening your audience, and communicating with your audience.
1. Strategic keywords
The first step in social media marketing is setting up a tracking of keywords, hashtags and topics related to your industry. To do this, you can use tools like Mention or make your searches directly on social networks that interest you.
Now that you have all the information at your disposal, stop to analyze: what things matter to people and what kind of content are they offering to other brands? You may find that your audience needs more specific information about common problems, or real examples of mistakes made by others.
2. Listen your audience
Watching keywords will give you an idea of the big picture, but you also need to pay attention to specific details. Here are three simple ideas to put the magnifying glass on more specific problems:
- 1) Pay attention to questions about your brand. Obviously you need to answer questions directly that your followers have risen, but do not stop there: search your brand, product or service and study the messages that appear.
- 2) Create groups of experts and follow them. Find your industry’s influencers and watch closely to see the latest news and views that they share.
- 3) Pay attention to emotions. The sentiment measurement tools are still not perfect, but they can give useful clues. For example, you can search for tweets that express negative emotions and find ways to solve these problems.
3. Communicate with your audience
If you want to know what your audience really thinks about you, you need to contact them. Takes every opportunity to start a conversation, for example, when you thank your content or share. Ask questions about your tweet or post and listen carefully to the answers. Remember, social media is a place to talk to other people, not only to cast, so use them! I’m sure you'll be surprised what you can learn!
Choosing the Most Appropriate Social Media Channel for Your Brand
Have you launched social media marketing campaigns in every conceivable social media site at once, without stopping to think about which interest you? Have you lost time (and money) in a social network that does not give you benefits? It is a common mistake, but as a marketer, your time and resources are limited. Your brand cannot be actively engage in social media marketing across all sites at once, but you shouldn’t afford to ignore the ones that can give you the most benefits. So today we will help you choose the sites to invest time in for social media marketing.
Facebook is still by far the most popular social network, with 1.19 billion users worldwide (one sixth of the planet!). In addition, these users are spread across all age groups, genders and locations. However, recent studies suggest that teens are putting considered a favorite to go to others.
Therefore, Facebook is the ideal site to improve the visibility of your brand and connect with consumers. If your target audience is the youngest sector, we recommend supplementing it with other networks such as Instagram or even snapchat.
Twitter is the second most popular social network, but the fourth level of use. Up to 60% of its members use it to listen and receive updates, but do not publish their own content.
If anything characterizes Twitter users it is their interest in the news, as it is the fastest network to get the latest news. If your brand has a relationship with the present news, do not hesitate to use it! And do not forget that, like Facebook, it has advanced advertising options, including the possibility of experiments on the effect of your ads.
Only in the last 9 months, Instagram has managed to add 100 million new users, who are also the most active in social networks. If you also add them to their new ad formats, we find that without doubt this is the time to bet on Instagram.
If your brand has great visual potential (restaurants, fashion, architecture, design) or if you focus especially on the segment of people between 18 to 29 years old, do not hesitate: Instagram is your network.
Although it is not one of the first networks that come to mind when planning a social media strategy, Pinterest has very attractive demographics: 84% of its users are women and a third are in the higher range of income. In addition, possibilities for conversion are soaring as much as 70% use the network specifically to buy. If you have an online store where users fit this profile, do not miss this opportunity.
Google+ is one of the big forgotten parts of online strategies, but if your brand is in the field of technology or engineering, it is worth paying attention to. Moreover, its "+1" is a very important factor in SEO positioning.
Brands Who Aced Social Media Marketing
Get creative and use the unique tools put at our disposal by social media sites and do something no one has ever done before, and you will see how quickly you earn your audience’s love and attention. Here are some examples of brands who deserve a gold medal in social media marketing.
Admittedly, Snapchat may not seem like the best social media form for marketing your brand. Who wants to pour money into an ad that quite literally self-destructs after being seen? Incorrect. The World Wildlife Fund absolutely nailed the use of Snapchat for their raising awareness campaign, in the (successful) attempt to reach out to the younger generations who are now on Snapchat.
They used the unique, fleeting nature of Snapchat, where images disappear after only 10 seconds, as a metaphor for the lives of endangered species who, like the their selfies, will disappear before our eyes if no action is taken.
In their campaign they ‘snapped’ beautiful pictures (the #LastSelfies) of endangered species, with lines such as “Don’t let this be my #LastSelfie” and “Better take a screenshot because this could be my #LastSelfie”, encouraging people to take screenshots and share them on social media, raising awareness and donations for the cause.
With this campaign, the foundation was able to reach their monthly donation target within no more than 3 days. After only one week, 40,000 tweets had been viewed on 120 million Twitter timelines, around half of all active twitter users.
“In a way Snapchat is a mirror of real life. The images you see are transient, instant, unique, yet only live for a few seconds. Just like these endangered animals.”
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
The ALS Association may very well have pulled off the most successful social media campaign the world has ever seen. They are a non-profit organization, raising awareness and donations for people suffering from a disease called ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). The truth is that most people had never heard of this disease a couple years ago, but in the summer of 2014 all of that changed.
In a brilliant stunt that made the most of social media’s interactivity, the challenge was so: To film yourself pouring a bucket of ice cold water (preferably with ice cubes in it) over your head, upload the video onto a social media platform with #ALSIceBucketChallenge and nominate some of your friends to do the same. Simple enough, and yet effective beyond their wildest dreams, becoming one of the world’s largest global social media phenomena.
To date, there are over 17 million Ice Bucket Challenge videos circling the Internet, which have been watched by 440 million people more than 10 billion times. The association raised over 115 million dollars in just 2 months and more awareness than they could imagine. Hundreds of celebrities participated as well, including Bill Gates, Justin Bieber, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah, Lady Gaga and even Kermit the Frog and Homer Simpson.
The association has decided to revive the trend every summer, #EveryAugustUntilACure.
Urban Hilton Weiner’s #UrbanSelfie
Yet another brilliant idea to use social media to boost sales. South African fashion store urban Hilton Weiner came up with a great idea for giving discounts to their loyal customers.
All people had to do was take a selfie of themselves trying on clothes in the Dressing Rooms inside the store, tweet their selfie with #UrbanSelfie, and show their tweet at the counter to get an easy 10 dollars off their purchase. If their selfie was awesome enough, they could even get 20$.
They found a fun, quick and free way to engage their customers and interact with them, offering them a small reward and a great way to get themselves shared all over Twitter! And who can resist buying that dress that just looked so perfect!?
Back in 2011, Audi fan Joanne McCoy shared her longing for the Audi R8 with Audi themselves on their Twitter page, using the hashtag #WantAnR8. Sensing a brilliant opportunity for marketing, Audi rewarded her by showing up at her house with and Audi R8 that was hers for the day. They then encouraged other Audi lovers to enter the contest simply by tweeting #WantAnR8, after which a few lucky winners would be chosen to share Joanne’s day of Audi Bliss – a free day with an AudiR8.
Domino’s One Tweet Order
Talk about breaking through the wall dividing sales and marketing. In a stroke of genius, Domino’s launched their One-Tweet-Order campaign, in which hungry, impatient customers could order a pizza with – you guessed it – one simple tweet.
Users simply had to link their Twitter account to their Dominos account and save, on their website, their favorite pizza as a setting, and from that moment on, all they had to do was literally tweet #EasyOrder or a Pizza Emoji and @Dominos, and their order would be a-cookin’ in a matter of minutes. Ordering food online has never been easier.
Not only did this campaign encourage people to order Domino’s by making it so much easier, they created a self-propelling Twitter marketing campaign. Every time someone easy ordered a pizza, it would inherently be shared with all their followers. It doesn’t get much cleverer than that.
The GoPro Cat
There aren’t many certainties in life, but the unprecedented level of popularity of cute animals on the Internet simply isn’t arguable. Which is why they are an all but foolproof way to wiggle your way right into your consumer’s heart to stay.
Cats are pretty much lurking in every corner of the Internet, making people ooh, ahh and fall in love. Which is why it was brilliant of GoPro to coax one out of the corner, and take advantage of a totally authentic and consumer-created video of an adorable cat skateboarding around like a human, filmed with a GoPro camera. How could this video not go viral? Didga the cat was all the rage in Gopro’s Instagram ads featuring her feline friskiness, and earned them a place in many a cat-lovers’ homes.
It is important to point out that the organizations or brands didn’t all necessarily come up these ideas with themselves. The brilliance of social networks is that everyone is exposed to everything, and not only can consumers more easily see what brands are saying, but brands can just as easily see what consumers have to say about them! The essence to social media and nailing social marketing is to be constantly tapped in to what is going on, and a consistent, ever-present bond with your followers. Jump on any ideas or opportunities that they may give you, and make them go big. Where as advertising used to be a static, long term carefully planned out ordeal, social advertising must be constantly updated and changing, flexible and adapting to new ideas, suggestions and consumer reactions, blowing so many limitations out of the water. So let your creative flag fly and start sharing!
These were some of our favorite social media marketing initiatives of all time, what are yours? Share them with us!