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Social Media Marketing for Dummies: A Trilogy

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If your business is yet to join the online marketplace, we’d like to introduce you to your new best friend: social media marketing. With a little guidance, this tool will propel your brand out into the digital stratosphere boosting awareness, traffic, conversions and customer loyalty.

In a limited edition Picos article series, we’ll cover the basics of community management, influencer marketing and paid advertising in fortnightly instalments, so that you can locate and reach your target audience where they spend most of their time: online.

As we edge towards the end of an overwhelmingly eventful year, we’ve decided to break things down a little and keep it simple, stupid. Designed for the digitally-challenged, social-media averse or out-of-touch online user, our upcoming trilogy will encompass the dos, don’ts and big, fat no-nos when it comes to social media marketing for dummies.

Answers to the Questions you felt too Awkward to Ask

With the introduction of online shopping, social media buzzwords and suspiciously personal targeted advertising, the virtual landscape can be a daunting space for late bloomers. This is especially true for business owners hurled into the brave new world of social media marketing, left with no choice but to adjust to a new mode of brand management… or risk losing relevance altogether. At Picos, we recognise that social media isn’t for everyone. But, it is for every business. For this reason, we’re going to address the questions you felt too awkward to ask, because in reality, we all had to ask them at some point.

1. Isn’t social media just for selfies and millennials?

We can see why you’d think that, but no. Today, only 8% of the world’s population are not using social media (Smart Insights, 2020). You might even be surprised to learn that last year, Fiber published a report that found 72% of Facebook users to be between the ages of 50 and 64 years of old. Sure, the study also showed that millennials and Generation Z were more likely to share user generated content, but the age distribution statistics of social media use speak for themselves. As for selfies, Kyle Jenner earns $1.2 million per Instagram post… because branding works. Today, social networking sites are used by 43% of the global population to find products and brands (Smart Insights, 2020). If your business isn’t amongst them, it’s not going to be found.

‘Social media users are now spending an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes per day multinetworking across an average of 8 social networks and messaging apps.’ – Smart Insights, 2020.

2. I have maintained strong customer relationships without social media platforms so far. Why should I change that now?

We hear you. Sometimes making changes to the way you connect with your customers or acquire new ones can feel like more of a risk than a benefit. If you take a closer look at the numbers though, we know you’ll change your mind. By bringing your brand into the digital landscape, you can engage with your customers in real time, responding to their enquiries and making them feel valued. This does wonders for your brand image, exposure and customer relationships. It also helps you avoid missing critical feedback that, when left unresolved, can result in severe reputation damage. Ultimately, people trust other social media users more than they do brands – and 75% of consumers will base their opinions on your business after reading a review left online. Join the conversation today.

3. Why should I invest money into something that might not guarantee ROI?

We hear this question a lot. Small business owners often struggle to see the benefit of investing money into growing and engaging with online communities. They feel that without knowing, with certainty, that these investments will generate increased foot traffic and revenue, it could all be for nothing. These rationalisations are justified but misguided. Unlike traditional forms of advertising, digital marketing strategies are easier to track, predict, analyse and refine. Not to mention, they are extremely cost-effective. Take, for example, a comparison between a promotional campaign run on Facebook and a billboard. Whilst the billboard message may resonate with passerbys, it’s almost impossible to determine whether or not it influenced purchasing behaviour and resulted in sales. In contrast, the performance of a Facebook ad can be measured by a number of marketing tools that gauge click through rates, impressions and levels of interest. With this insight, you can track how many people visited your website as a result of that ad and tweak your campaigns for next time. Bottom line: if you aren’t optimising your online presence and social media marketing strategy, it will cost your business in the long-run.

4. Can’t I just manage my online presence myself?

Sure you can. Plenty of business owners manage their online presence on their own and do a great job at it. In fact, the ‘family-run and owned‘ image can often be the unique selling point of a business that maintains customer-loyalty and brand integrity. We do, however, recommend consulting industry professionals when it comes to creating an online presence from scratch. When in doubt, ask. An unsuccessful attempt at social media marketing can detract from your brand’s image, reputation and damage customer relationships. If you do plan on executing your own strategy, important areas to focus on are aesthetic, brand identity, tone of voice and consistency. For more insight into how social media marketing is critical to brand management, head to Question 3.

5. How do I know which platform is right for my business and customers?

Great question. This is something that depends on your target audience, industry, business goals and brand identity. While some agencies might suggest an elaborate multi-channel approach to online advertising, your business may only require a select few to achieve a positive ROI. For example, when creating a new business profile online, sites like Facebook and Instagram may benefit your brand more than networks like LinkedIn, Twitter or a blog. This decision would take into account each platform’s functionality and user demographics so that your social strategy is working for you. If you need help discerning between platforms to ensure that your goals and investments are lining up, you know where to find us.

6. What is the difference between digital advertising and social media marketing?

Unlike what you see in shows like Mad Men, advertising in the digital domain is not about storyboards or secretaries in pencil skirts. It’s actually about ensuring that your promotional material finds its way to the online marketplace, broadcasted to the right audience, at the right time. It’s main purpose is to generate sales, conversions and website traffic. In contrast, social marketing takes a less sale-oriented approach, focusing on establishing a strong online presence, a consistent brand image and point of contact that your audience can connect and identify with. When done effectively, it also serves to generate sales, conversions and website traffic. Together, digital advertising and social media marketing make for a strong campaign strategy, with results guaranteed.

Feel we’ve left something out or have another question? Get in touch and we’ll answer it directly. Otherwise, stay tuned for our next three instalments covering community management, paid advertising and influencer marketing.
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