Social Media Marketing, what is it?
In a nut shell Marketing is the promotion of a product or service designed to increase sales and revenue. Social Media is any digital or online platform where one individual connects and or communicates with many. Online platforms can include blogs such as this one, company or personal websites, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube as well as mobile messaging applications and much more (Kabani, 2013).
Why is Social Media Marketing so important for my business?
Social Media is where the people are, your potential customers and users of your products and services. Between 49 – 90% of individuals using Social Media platforms have a made a purchase based on someone within their network recommending a product or service. Believe it or not up until 2013 only 25% of businesses had a Facebook page (Kabani, 2013). By the spring of 2015 Facebook statistics revealed that 41% of small businesses now had a Facebook page (Smith, 2016). But what about the other 59% of small businesses with no Facebook presence and does your business fall into this percentile? These businesses are missing out on lucrative opportunities for building their brand as well as connecting and engaging with potential customers.
What is Twitter and why should I use it?
Twitter is a social networking service. To be more specific it is a microblogging social network. Say what? If you’re business is new to social media don’t let the term scare you. This just means that whatever message you post as a business must be short and simple, under 140 characters. There are several perks and opportunities to using Twitter for growing your business (Zimmerman & Ng, 2012):
- It allows your business to build a community and or following of loyal customers
- Find new customers
- Have a conversation with your customers
- Ask your customers questions
- Provide your customers with customer support
- Find out what people are saying about your products and services
- Give out perks
- Promote your brand visibility and content
What about Facebook?
The goal of Facebook is simple, it is to promote your brand. Not only is brand promotion incredibly important but with social media platforms like Facebook, brand promotion becomes more affordable that traditional means of advertising like Television, Print and Radio. For example, Coca-Cola uses Facebook for brand promotion with over 30 million followers. Coca-Cola is able to reach more customers through one Facebook update and or message vs a television commercial. Facebook provides much of the same opportunities as Twitter. It allows you to build your brand through community through interactive content and customer engagement. It’s a fantastic medium that allows your customers to feel a part of your brand.
Which one should I start with?
The answer to that question truly depends on your target market. Most businesses appear to start with Facebook based on the platform’s popularity however your target audience might actually be spending more time on Twitter. It’s a case of research, research and more research. You must research which platform your target audience is using and start with that! Sproutsocial.com has a great article based on Twitter and Facebook demographics that may help you get started, click here (Jackson, 2015).
In future posts we’ll go into more detail with some of the challenges you might face with Twitter like keeping messages under 140 characters and more. In the meantime Forbes has a great article on getting started with Twitter, click here. Facebook also has a great beginner’s video for setting up a business Facebook page. You can view the video and getting started steps here. Check them both out and let me know how it’s going. Until next time!
Jackson, D. (2015, Sep). Facebook vs. Twitter: which is best for your brand. Retrieved from http://sproutsocial.com/insights/facebook-vs-twitter/
Kabani, S. H. (2013). Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue (3rd Edition). Dallas, TX, USA: BenBella Books, Inc.. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com
Smith, C. (2016, Jan 27). By the numbers: 90 amazing Facebook page statistics. Retrieved from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/facebook-page-statistics/
Zimmerman, J., & Ng, D. (2012). Social Media Marketing All-in-One For Dummies. Somerset, US: For Dummies. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com