Social media is one of the largest growth areas in marketing, with social websites accommodating businesses more and more as time goes on. To begin with, social networking websites were set up to create an interface for people to interact with each other using the internet. Early movers like MySpace and Friends Reunited brought the social revolution into the mainstream, giving users the opportunity to connect with their friends online by using customised profiles.
Obviously, when there is a high volume of visitors/users, there is advertising opportunities. Due to the nature of social media, and it’s extensive collection of user data, it makes it much easier for businesses to use the data to target their products and services to the right audience. Different social media sites have their benefits and disadvantages, so gaining the right balance of the right social media sites is crucial.
For example, if I was Lady Gaga (…and last time I checked, I’m not), I could use Facebook and Twitter to keep my fans up to date of what I’m up to, and Instagram and Pinterest to post visual content about my songs, shows and anything I might want to sell. Every post/status update/photo I post can be tracked, so I can start to analyse the best routes for gaining sales via social media sites.
However, if I were a local Accountancy firm, I would approach social media with a very different tact. The aim would not be to gain sales, but to increase overall awareness of the business in the geographic area of work. So using Twitter and Linked In would be far more beneficial than using Instagram/Pinterest/Facebook, as we would have very little visual content and our target markets would not be hanging around there.
Take into consideration the following when deciding how to use social media marketing within your business:
- Who your target market is, and which social media platforms they are likely to use.
- How much time/money your business can afford to spend
- What analytics software you are going to use (we recommend Sprout Social!)
Have a look at the following infographic below from the clever guys at ‘Wishpond’, giving an idea of how successful social media marketing can be!