Mel is our Partner Strategy & Delivery Manager and also a CIM Chartered Marketer, a testament to her commitment to excellence in the field. But Mel’s contributions don’t stop at the office door. Beyond her professional endeavours, she leads an active life as a qualified run leader and dedicated volunteer. Her experience in these roles has streamlined her leadership and teamwork skills, making her an invaluable asset when it comes to collaborating on projects and ensuring their success. She also has a deep passion for the construction industry. Her love for this field goes beyond professional curiosity – it’s a genuine fascination. Her sharp insights, strategic thinking, and knowledge have made her a backbone in our team’s ability to drive results for clients in this industry. While orange might be a vibrant and energetic colour for some, for Mel, it’s a colour that isn’t to her taste. But that’s just another piece of her individuality that makes her such a fascinating member of our team. Mel will make sure that we can approach marketing challenges from all angles and deliver outstanding results for our clients.
Posted on 15/09/2022 by Melanie Comerford
Why Your Business Needs to Invest in Social Media Marketing
Social media has taken our world by storm and completely changed the ways in which we communicate with one another, and this is true in the world of brands too. Business social media has developed into a crucial tool that demonstrates how a brand is perceived and allows for audience communication opportunities that were previously impossible.
Let’s look at the stats.
97% of people who purchased things online had visited social media at some point in the previous month, and 52% of all brand discovery online comes through social media. For audiences, 68% of consumers state that social media enables them to interact with the companies they love. These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg when looking at the importance of social media to brands.
We’re going to explore this fully, starting with what social media marketing is, how it works, and how you can use it to completely change how your business operates online.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing – also known as SMM – is a form of digital marketing that utilises social media channels to create and share content. Here, social media is used as a tool to communicate with your audience to help build your brand, drive web traffic and improve sales. It is estimated that 4.7 billion people now use some form of social media – that’s 59% of the world’s total population! It’s for this reason that social media marketing can be so effective at reaching a large number of people if properly implemented. But how exactly does it all work? Let’s take a look.
How does social media marketing work?
Social media marketing works by utilising the key principles that make social media so unique. Firstly, it allows you to research your market and fully understand the needs of your audience. Through social media, you are able to get a complete picture of what’s happening in your market, what your audience needs are and what your competitors are up to. This information can then be culminated into reports, graphs and charts to give you a visual representation of your audience and market.
You can also use social media to discover new opportunities for your business and unlock doors to potential new leads and sales. The world of social media is ever-changing and there are constantly new ways to promote your brand and connect with your audience – you just need to keep up to date.
Once you understand what is available to use in the world of social media and how your business can benefit, it’s time to generate your strategy. By understanding your goals and key objectives, you can create and implement a powerful social media strategy that best serves these needs. To help, there are a wealth of online tools that can ensure you get the most out of your social media marketing campaign.
Social Media Marketing vs Social Media Advertising
Social media marketing and social media advertising are two marketing terms that are often thought to be the same thing, but there are some key differences to understand. Social media marketing refers to anything that is unpaid or organic – think blogs, social media posts and audience interactions. This content can exist on all social media channels and makes up one of the most important parts of a digital marketing strategy. Whilst it can be a major tool for generating leads and increasing your business sales, it is also fundamental in influencing the ways in which your brand is perceived.
Social media advertising – often referred to as paid social – is any form of social media action that involves paid ads or sponsored content. Most social media platforms have their own form of advertising, be it Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, or promoted ads and follower ads on Twitter. With the seemingly never-ending development of social media, new ways to advertise are constantly being made available. Once upon a time, a social media ad would come in the form of a static image or video advert, and whilst these are still widely used, it’s now common to see ads in messenger and stories. You can even design your own brand-oriented filters and lenses for most social networks that accommodate stories.
B2B & B2C Social Media Marketing
There’s a distinct difference between B2B and B2C social media marketing strategies. Both will aim to engage and fulfil the needs of their audience, but how they achieve this is often very different. For B2C companies, shareable content that is interesting, funny or visual is seen as more important. This could be a humorous tweet, a high-quality image of a new product, or a video showing something interesting that your audience hasn’t seen before. Here, it’s important to know your audience well, understand your own tone of voice, and plan out exactly how you want to present yourself online.
B2C company social media accounts offer a more informal marketing strategy that often has a greater focus on visual media. Social platforms such as Instagram and YouTube are good examples of platforms that accommodate this media well. They can be used to showcase a product you think your audience will love or can be a great way of showing behind-the-scenes content that gives your brand more personality. Twitter and Facebook also remain important tools for B2C companies as they facilitate customer engagement, customer support and research opportunities.
For B2B companies, a more professional social media strategy is often preferred. This includes the distribution of whitepapers, case studies, infographics, webinars, eBooks, long-form blogs – the list goes on. B2B companies also traditionally use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as their chosen social platforms, with the latter being by far the most important.
The Top 10 Reasons to Invest in Business Social Media
Increase Brand Awareness
If utilised correctly, social media marketing can be one of the most effective ways of increasing your brand awareness. The online space is huge and it is thought that a staggering 55% of consumers learn about new brands via social media. By understanding how to create a successful social media marketing campaign, you can harness the potential and get your brand in front of more potential customers than ever before.
Interact With Your Audience and Build Relationships
Customer interaction is one of the most unique aspects of social media marketing, and it’s also one of the most important – for you and your customers. Companies can keep up to date with what’s happening in the world and monitor how their audience is reacting to their brand online. You can even comment, share and interact with your audiences and build meaningful relationships.
For your customers, social media is a way for you to show that you care about them and their needs. When used as a customer service tool, you can ensure that your customers are satisfied across all stages of their buyer’s journey. For the first time ever customers have the ability to interact with your brand directly, without having to wait in lengthy queues over the phone. To finally put the importance of customer service into perspective, 78% of consumers said they would buy from a company after having a positive experience.
It’s Cheap to Get Started
Whilst most forms of marketing can be costly, the beauty of organic social media marketing is that it’s extremely cost-effective. Even though social media ads do come at a cost, you don’t necessarily have to use these to be successful online.
You may have heard the phrase ‘content is king’, and for social media marketing, it’s no different. By consistently publishing good content, be it blogs, social posts, videos or images, you can grow your own social media network to impressive levels. There are countless cases of brands that have not spent anything on their online social media marketing but have reaped the rewards of putting out quality content on a regular basis. It’s all about staying up to date and getting creative!
Get Your Products and Services Out There
A simple one but an important one. Social media is a great space for businesses to shout about their unique set of products and services. Customers can see your products using high-quality imagery and gain more information from any accompanying copy. For visual products such as kitchen hardware companies or clothing, Instagram can be great for creatively showcasing your work. For local services such as plumbers, electricians or car garages, Facebook is generally more suited. Understand the relationship between your business and social media platforms and start getting noticed.
Lead generating can be a tiresome affair, but with social media, it can be quick, simple and pain-free! The more your brand grows online, the more potential customers are going to see your company and its services. By putting out quality content with clear CTA’s, you can begin to turn visitors into leads by guiding them to your social page, website or online shop.
Build Your Brand’s Voice
In times gone by, there was a disconnect between a brand and its audience and the only way a company could communicate was through expensive, traditional forms of advertising, such as TV ads. Now, social media marketing can be used to give your brand a voice. Brand voice is important because it tells your story in a unique way and gives your company a personality.
In the oversaturated online world, brand voice is a fundamental tool in helping you stand out from the crowd. In research from the Sprout Social Index, it was found that 33% of consumers deemed a distinct personality as a major part of what made a brand stand out online.
Think about it. You wouldn’t follow a company on a social media platform if it consistently posted irrelevant content that didn’t suit its brand voice. It’s off-putting and is a sure way to get unfollowed. Good social media management means your brand should be instantly recognisable, to the point where someone could tell a piece of content was from you without even seeing who posted it.
Get Your Brand In Front of People, Daily
In a world full of competition for customer attention, the unfortunate truth is that most brands are quickly forgotten about. Social media is a great way to get your company in front of customers to ensure that you’re not forgotten about. By producing interesting, entertaining or informative content on a regular basis, your audience will see it and keep you in mind when they’re ready to commit to a purchase.
Partner With Like-Minded Brands and Influencers
The great thing about social media is the connectivity and collaboration opportunities. It has never been easier to partner with like-minded brands and individual influencers to work together to achieve a common goal.
Recommendations from friends and family remain one of the fundamental factors in a consumer’s decision process, and influencers work in exactly the same way. If someone from your audience follows an online influencer that they deem to be authoritative and credible, they are far more likely to purchase. To highlight the extent of this, 49% of consumers state that they depend on influencer recommendations to guide their purchasing habits.
Monitor Your Competitors
Monitoring your competition via social media is a great way of keeping up to date with what they’re doing and how your market is interacting with them. By checking their socials regularly, you’ll be able to see any new product launches, promotional work, or major news that you might want to be aware of.
By seeing how the market interacts with your competitors online, you can begin to get an idea of potential opportunities that you could capitalise on. For example, if a competitor regularly wasn’t fulfilling the needs and requirements on a certain subject or issue, you can use your socials to boast about how you do it much better, pinching customers in the process.
Learn About Your Audience
In the same way that you can use social media to see what your competitors are up to, you can also use it to keep up to date with your audience. Target audiences are changing all the time and it’s important that you know what makes them tick. By following your customers’ buying habits, you can quickly learn what they like and dislike and get a better idea of how to best serve them. This can then inform your strategy and provide rich and detailed guidelines on how to produce content that you know your target audience will love. This will help in increasing your engagement, growing your social media presence and boosting your sales.
Choose Loop Digital for Your Social Media Marketing
Loop Digital can help you in creating engaging social media that your audience will love. We will grow your social media presence in a natural and organic way, helping to expand your brand awareness, boost your engagement and increase your leads and sales.
We offer three social media marketing packages to provide solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes, no matter what your ambitions or requirements are. Our Bespoke+ offering allows you to completely customise your social media formula to include additional opportunities such as video. Contact our team today to find out more.
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