May 19, 2020
Digital marketing is a mix of strategies that includes SEO, email marketing, search engine marketing, and social media among others.
Of these, social media is the most elastic and increasingly occupies a pivotal role in digital marketing strategies. The reason is simple. No other platform offers the degree of interaction that social media does.
No surprise that 3.43 billion people of the world’s population use social media. Facebook alone accounts for over 2.32 billion users with 96% accessing it through mobiles. An individual spends an average of about 3 hours on social media activities.
Over 55% use social media to find out information on products. These figures are convincing enough and something that digital marketers simply cannot ignore.
Social media elastic properties
One social media platform is not like another although there are broad similarities. For instance, LinkedIn is purely professional, boasting a user base of over 630 million professionals. It is the number one platform for business lead generation and professional advancement. Facebook, on the other hand, is more about social chatter. Instagram goes the way of images as does Pinterest, with accents of eCommerce thrown in. Then you have video-driven YouTube and Vimeo.
If you consider all these under an umbrella term of social media then you have an elastic channel that suits the preferences of virtually everybody. Digital marketers can make use of tools specific to each platform such as video for YouTube, posts on Facebook and tweets on Twitter to start a discussion, join one, or create opportunities.
Reach out through one or all and you have a versatile channel that fits your strategies of drawing in a maximum number of people with minimum effort and cost.
No other channel in digital marketing offers the level of interaction possible on social channels. You can start a conversation with one individual. Several others join.
They may share the topic with others in their circle. You get feedback and comments to which you respond and build a connection. This is what works in online digital marketing: the people connect. You will not experience the same degree of crowd collaborative interaction on any other digital marketing channel. Leveraging this for digital marketing:
- Share posts that inform, educate, and raise questions. People talk about it and your reputation rises. You become a topic authority or an influential figure.
- Invite Customers to connect and comment. You will gain information and intelligence
- Show social concern for ongoing situations such as the Coronavirus pandemic for instance, and offer help or call for help.
- Connect with existing customers to address their issues and gain positive testimonials that others will view.
- View negative comments and rush to resolve them and thus prevent damage to your reputation.
Social media does let you do a lot more.
Promotions on the social space
You can list your product for sale on an eCommerce site or your website. You use social media marketing a bit differently to promote your brand and your services.
The subtle way is to simply give out information about products, put yourself across as an authority, and get people to talk about you. If the vibes are positive, then people are directly and indirectly influenced to prefer you when it is time to buy your product.
Then there are direct promotions that you can implement on social media according to the channel you use.
- You could, for instance, use Facebook to post promotions such as offering discounts or redeemable vouchers provided visitors to your page click the link that will take them to your site.
89% of marketers use Facebook for marketing along with 83% of their customers of whom 66% follow a brand. Facebook has generated over $ 17.65 billion in total revenues.
- You could start a referral and rewards program on social media. Clicking on a link takes visitors to your website.
- You could invite visitors to your social media page to subscribe to email newsletters and dangle a carrot.
- Post a topic, invite answers, and offer rewards for answering.
- Get users to contribute content and award points.
- Start live video on Facebook
This is for Facebook. Instagram has a different social engagement model with its unique promotional opportunities and advantages. You can, for instance, post pictures and make them clickable links to your site.
You can also use influencers to market your product and gain followers. US marketers are leaning heavily towards Instagram with an increase of 73% in 2019.
Likewise, you can leverage YouTube for videos that inform, educate, demonstrate, or give user testimonials. You can do that on Instagram too, one post mirroring the other and all roads ultimately leading to your site.
Then there is power in tweeting. 79% of Twitterati wish to discover new things and love to tweet about something interesting. They also tweet when they have an issue. Tweets have a way of going viral and you could see a jump in your reputation and sales.
Pinterest is another powerful platform with a user base of 300 million. 77% of users discover a new brand on Pinterest and 83% made a purchase based on what they saw on this platform.
Use each, include links wherever possible and these links will have a reinforcing effect on your marketing strategy. By the way, Google favors social media too and you will see a rise in rankings.
Some people use social media platforms solely to drive their marketing effort and succeed. This is how powerful social media is. Use it as a pivot for your digital marketing strategies and you can make use of the free side and the paid advertising side of social media. Both are effective and give you returns continuously. Just get an expert to craft your social media strategies.
Hardik Oza is an SEO practitioner with more than 8 years experience. He helps companies to grow their businesses. He shares his thoughts on additional publications like SEMrush, Search Engine People, and Social Media Today and few more. Follow him on Twitter @Ozaemotion.