Social Media Marketing Guide | Definition & Choosing The Right Platform
The climate of social media marketing in Nigeria has changed since it was ever created.
Social media isn’t just another tool to communicate and talk with your friends, but it has grown to become this amazing opportunity to create an experience for your target audience, engage with them and boost your bottom line.
For example, I use Facebook to connect with my family and friends and possibly share memories of pictures, videos and just essentially keep up with the interesting things that are going on in the lives of my friends.
On the hand, I use LinkedIn to connect with CEO’s, Editors and other people that will find my business proposition valuable.
Whichever platform you choose to use, it’s important to understand where your target audience is doing and the platforms they frequently use.
The amazing thing about having a multi-platform strategy is you get to reach as many clients as possible that are engaging on all these other social media channels.
If you have the strength and capacity to maintain a multi-platform strategy then there’s nothing wrong with that.
But any business lacking the resources to maintain several social media platforms will find it very difficult to succeed in their social media campaigns.
So if you are a small company, it might be best to take it easy, start and perfect one social media platform before jumping to others, most people underestimate what it takes to make one successful.
The truth is, at the end of the day, what’s most important is, whichever platform you choose to roll with, you must always, put out relevant and quality content on a consistent basis. Always engaging, always active and always producing content.
So in this guide, I will break down the various platforms that makes up all the popular social media websites in the world at the moment. And some useful links to further understand how you can leverage those platforms to grow your business.
Before we proceed, let start by understanding what social media marketing is?
What is Social Media Marketing?
Here are social media marketing definitions by top online marketing experts:
Tunji Ameen (Communication Manager): Defines social media marketing as the ability to effectively use social media to convert engagement online to actual customers.
Henrietta Anuforo (Course & corporate partnership manager): Social media can be described as the utilisation of social media as a tool to create awareness of a particular brand, topic or phenomenon.
Demola Ojulari (Creative Manager): Social media marketing is a concept that came out of the new digital age, it tends to destroy traditional marketing. You see, social media marketing was born out the mere fact that audiences, potential customers, customers and people generally spend most of their time on the mobile phone — doing what? Looking at other people’s picture on social media. At this junction, brands realise that the only way to reach their target audience, the only platform that can give them their target audience or their publics, in general, is to go to those social media platforms and engage with those people that are looking at other people’s picture and advertise to them.
Looking at the definitions above, we can come to the conclusion that social media has 3 critical elements which are content, engagement, traffic.
So if you ask me, my own definition of social media marketing is this…
Social media marketing is the process of channelling the right content tailored to a specific type of people across different social media platforms with the goal of increasing engagement, traffic and conversion.
We all want to drive traffic and conversions to our website from social media but how do you think it’s possible?
It is by feeding users with the right content to drive possible user engagement in the form of comments, social shares and likes.
Your content has to be good to make Demola want to share with his friends on Facebook, Twitter etc.
Okay, since we now know what social media marketing is, let’s look at some key social media terms.
Key Social Media Terms
Content: Content is whatever you are posting. It can be a Facebook status update, a photo on Instagram, a tweet, to pin something on a board on Pinterest, etc.
The graphic already showed you that content comes in many different forms and it needs to be custom-tailored to each platform. What’s even more important than content though, is context.
Packaging your entire blog post into one tweet is hardly possible, so try a good call-to-action with some relevant hashtags instead. Speaking of which…
Hashtags: By now, they’re a very common form used to add meta information on almost all social media channels. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all use hashtags to let you describe the topic of your content or mark them as part of current trends.
They make your content easily discoverable and, thus, more likely to be shared.
Share: The currency of the social media world. Shares are all that matters on social media. People will keep talking to you about impressions, click-through rates and potential reach. But, none of these tells you whether people actually pass on what you have to say.
When people engage and interact with your content, that’s good. But, when they share it, that is the time when you celebrate.
A great tool to measure shares and the overall impact of content is Buzzsumo:
The more shares, the more people love your content. It’s the best form of engagement that people can make with it.
Engagement: A general term meaning people interact with the content that you produce. It can be a like, a recommend, a comment or a share. All of these are good, but the shares are where it’s at.’
It time we look at each social media marketing platforms in more details as I will be sharing history, statistics and info about them.
So let’s get started right away.
List Of Popular Social Media Marketing Platforms | A Brief History & Statistics
There is almost no comparison when it comes to the power of reach that Facebook has over these other social media platforms.
Another thing, the data that you have access to is exceptional from age, location, interests, behaviours, demographics, and so much more, you can use all of this insights to find a more targeted reach of users.
The disadvantage of this really lies in the fact that Facebook organic reach has been decreasing gradually, now it’s down to ten percent.
It’s very hard for a brand to gain visibility except they push their purses.
It’s a “pay for audience” game and for new brands just stepping into the market, it’s a bit hard for this brands to push an advertising budget.
And the big brands have the big bucks, so getting visible is quite a challenge due to a high stake of competition, except you are a very low competition.
Twitter is an online social networking service founded in March 2006 that enables users to send short 280-character messages called tweets. As of the first quarter of 2017, Twitter had 328 million monthly active users and a whopping 500 million tweets per day.
Twitter’s value lies in its ability for your posts to go viral: the more people share your posts and “retweet” your content, the more followers you will attain.
You post recent news, updates and articles we have in major media.
Hashtags make a big difference in building momentum for your posts on this platform, so pay attention to what is trending today and include relevant hashtags.
You can also retweet people who have many followers to increase the likelihood of them following us back.
Instagram is a photo and video sharing application founded October 2010. Instagram has over 500 million active monthly users.
Its users have shared over 40 billion photos to date and share an average of 95 million photos and videos per day.
Instagram is great for growing brand awareness and introducing products.
70% of Instagram users have spent time looking up a brand on the platform. Instagram allows you to promote your brand and product in a friendly, authentic way without directly selling to your customers.
Instagram photo and video sharing advantage has been leveraged at various events and tradeshows.
Whenever you are hosting events, you can always have an incentive for the attendees to post photos to Instagram using our event hashtag.
You can also offer a free giveaway or raffle for those who participate.
Social Media Marketing Strategy (A Step by Step Guide)
Step 1: Set Social Media Marketing Goals and Objectives
The first and foremost steps of your social media marketing strategy is to define goals and objectives.
Having a set objective allows you to quickly switch to a plan B when your social media campaigns aren’t producing the desired results.
Step 2: Conduct a Social Media Audit
Prior to creating your social media marketing plan, you need to assess your current social media use and how it’s working.
This means figuring out who is currently connecting with you via social, which social media sites your target market uses, and how your social media presence compares to your competitors’.
Step 3: Create or Enhance Your Social Media Accounts
Once you’ve concluded with your social media audit, it’s time to hone your online presence.
Choose which networks best meet your social media goals.
If you don’t already have social media profiles on each network you focus on, build them from the ground up with your comprehensive goals and audience in mind.
Step 4: Gather Social Media Marketing Inspiration
Not sure what kinds of content and information will get you the most engagement?
For inspiration, look to what others in your industry are sharing and use social media listening to see how you can distinguish yourself from competitors and appeal to prospects they might be missing.
Step 5: Choose Channels and Tactics
Many businesses create accounts on every popular social network without researching which platform will bring the most return.
You can avoid wasting your time in the wrong place by using the information from your buyer personas to determine which platform is best for you.
Step 6: Create a Content Strategy
Content and social media have a symbiotic relationship:
Without great content social media is meaningless and without social media, nobody will know about your content.
Step 7: Allocate Budget and Resources
To budget for social media marketing, look at the tactics you’ve chosen to achieve your business goals and objectives.
Make a comprehensive list of the tools you need (e.g., social media monitoring, email marketing and CRM), services you’ll outsource (e.g., graphic design or video production) and any advertising you’ll purchase.
Step 8: Assign Roles
Knowing who’s accountable for what increases productivity and avoids uncertainty and overlapping efforts.
Things may be a bit messy in the beginning, but:
…with time team members will distinguish their roles and what daily tasks they’re responsible for.
Other Possible Platforms for Social Media Marketing
Aside from he aforementioned social media marketing platforms, there are other possible options where you can reach your desired target audience, you just need to figure out where they hang out and engage them through that platform.
A great way to go about this is to model what others are doing. A simple competitor/peer report will work in this instance.
This involves researching which social media platforms your direct and indirect competitors are very active on. Benchmark international and local competitors to see get more ideas of trends.
In your report state whether they operate one social media platform or several social media platforms, which of this platforms are they getting the most engagement. You can use tools such as similarweb.com to analyse their website and see which platforms are responsible for their social traffic.
You can also ask your customers via email, which platforms they would like to use to interact with a brand of yours, which social media platform they like best and more questions to understand their reasons for choosing certain social platforms.
What’re your ultimate goals for being on social media?
It’s very important that before you go about creating a social media strategy, that you know what you’re the ultimate goal is. Try going beyond engagement and seeking growth, what else are you trying to achieve, what’s the ultimate goal at the end of the line.
Different businesses have different goals and these goals translate differently in terms of strategy on how to implement them. For example, some companies have the goal to drive just sales and profit towards their bottom line.
And their goal is to drive engagement to increase revenue, that’s what most companies are going for.
Now there are other services that are going for building a very deep rapport and connection with their customers, and they want to build an experience with their customers.
Both of these objectives are very important and well it all depends on your business and the particular objectives you are trying to achieve at some point.