Few inventions have been as consequential for small businesses as the rise of social media. The advent of platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter lets small businesses communicate with their customers, reach more people, promote new products, and inform their followers without breaking the bank.
You probably know that your brand should be on social media at this point in 2021. After all, nearly three quarters of Americans have (at least) one social media profile! By avoiding social media marketing and social media advertising, you’re missing a huge opportunity to connect with your potential customers!
However, the decision to advertise and market on social media platforms comes with its own questions.
- Which platform should your business operate on?
- How different are user bases between social media platforms?
- Should you be using paid ads or will organic social media work?
The JSL Marketing & Web Design team is here to talk through these questions and more with our discussion of social media marketing!
Social Media Marketing Terms 101
Before we jump into some bigger topics around social media marketing, it’s helpful to define some terms that are common in the digital marketing space.
- PPC: Pay-Per-Click advertising. A payment model where advertisers pay platforms for every click received on their ads on sites like Facebook and Instagram.
- CTR: click-through-rate. A metric that measures the amount of clicks an ad receives. To find CTR, take the amount of impressions and divide by the number of clicks received.
- Engagement Rate: a measure of the amount of engagement a post or piece of content receives from your audience, in shares, likes, clicks, and other forms of engagement.
- KPI: Key Performance Indicator. The main goal of a social media campaign, be it to be seen by 10,000 people, gain 1,000 new sales, or get 2,000 people to complete a video.
- Organic: non-paid content, created by individual profiles and then shared on that profile. Essentially, any content shared on a social media platform that isn’t a paid ad! We’ll discuss the differences between organic and paid media shortly!
- Viral: a term used to describe a shareable piece of content that is shared from profile to profile, almost like a contagious disease.
Social Media Marketing on Different Social Media Platforms
When you’re beginning social media marketing, it’s important to choose the correct platform to reach your audience. Every social media platform has a different audience that uses their services and different businesses will find different advantages in using certain platforms.
We’ve put together a brief run through of the different social media companies.
- Facebook: The dominant social media platform, Facebook has over 2.5 billion monthly users! This platform has users across all demographics and classes, but this platform is probably best for advertisers or marketers looking to reach adults over the age of 40. Facebook is a diverse platform content wise and we’d recommend sharing a combination of videos, photos, and written content with your followers.
- Twitter: This platform is best for quick, sudden “tweets” of written words. The real-time use of hashtags and ongoing conversations make Twitter a great platform for those working in news, politics, and current events.
- Instagram: Instagram, at 1 billion monthly users, is smaller than Facebook. However, this platform’s emphasis on visual content makes it the perfect platform for promoting products or for reaching adults under the age of 30. We’d recommend well-shot product photography and videography to drive the best results on Instagram.
- TikTok: With 800 million monthly users, TikTok is a small, but fast-growing platform. Tik Tok relies on user-recorded videos for social sharing. We’d recommend this social media platform for brands trying to reach teens and young adults, particularly women. (60% of U.S TikTok users are female!)
Follow this link to learn more about social media marketing!
Organic Social Media Marketing Vs Paid Social Media Advertising
As you’re familiarizing yourself with the different types of social media platforms and terms, take the time to think through if your business should use paid media. Paid social media advertising and organic social media marketing are both methods of using social media to promote your brand, but they offer unique advantages that are better suited for certain types of businesses. (Ideally, your brand will use both paid and organic social media to reach your customers for best results.)
Organic Social Media Marketing
- Organic Social Media is Lower Cost: When you post content directly to your business Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you’re doing so free-of-charge. That’s a huge benefit for young brands!
- Organic Social Media Allows You to Engage Current Customers: You can, of course, use paid social media to reach current customers, but it’s not always the most cost-effective way of doing so. For small businesses especially, this can be cost-prohibitive. Sharing content on your business’s Facebook and Twitter profiles directly to your followers, however, is a great way to have a great, two-way conversation with existing customers without breaking the bank.
- Organic Social Media is Authentic: Organic social media is genuine and no matter how great your Instagram ads copy is, it can be difficult to make a lasting impression on a customer with a paid ad. After all, the average American typically sees over 2,000 ads in a day! Customers follow organic social media profiles, on the other hand, because these profiles are sharing relevant information and are interesting to follow! That authenticity and genuine brand loyalty is hard to get through paid ads.
Paid Social Media Advertising
- Paid Social Media Lets You Grow Quicker: If you’re trying to grow quickly, you need to invest in paid social media ads. It is possible to grow your social media presence via organic social media, but it does take some time to really start seeing results and it can be an arduous process. Paid ads, on the other hand, allow you to reach multitudes of people ASAP and often for a fraction of the cost of television ads or print media.
- Paid Social Media is Targeted: If you’re a vegan ice cream supplier, you have a specific niche audience you’re trying to reach. Organic social media might be a great way to let your followers know about new flavors or company news, but it’s not a great way to bring new customers in. After all, who follows a company they’ve never purchased from? Social media advertising lets businesses select the demographics and geographic areas they’d like to target. So, our vegan ice cream supplier can decide that “Vegans 18-40 in Austin, Portland & Seattle” are the perfect people to show Facebooks and Instagram ads to!
- Paid Social Media Helps You Drive Sales: It’s hard to get a current follower to purchase from your brand via an organic social media post. Social media users don’t follow pages on Facebook or Instagram to see non-stop promotional posts; they follow these profiles because they share fun and relevant content. Because of that, we’d avoid the “sales” social media bit on organic social media. You should still alert your organic followers of new products and promotions, but leave the 100% sales-focus for paid media. Use social media ads to drive sales and organic social media to tell stories.
Social Media Marketing With Real Results
While all of this is good context for social media marketing, it’s no replacement for a social media marketing strategy. We’ve seen far too many businesses leap headlong into social media marketing with a great sense of the tactics they’d like to use, but no clue about the strategy behind what they’re using their social media presence to achieve.
Remember, social media is a tool, not an end goal.
Let’s return to our vegan ice cream supplier example. By using paid ads to reach new and specific audiences, this brand can grow their customer base. However, this needs to be done strategically.
For example, this brand could drive traffic from their paid ads to a landing page that includes an option to follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Ideally, this brand is now driving new customers to their info with paid social media but is also using those ads to promote their organic social media as well.
By thinking strategically beyond short term sales, our brand is simultaneously growing the number of new customers and returning customers.
Contact JSL Marketing & Web Design for Your Social Media Marketing Plan in 2021!
Growing a business is difficult. Let JSL Marketing & Web Design help your social media presence grow.
Our team has years of experience in social media marketing and over thirty 5-star Google reviews! We would love to give your business that same level of customer support!