When social media came onto the scene, I think we all started thinking the same thing:
How can I use these platforms to benefit my website, blog, or business?
The answer came in the form of social media marketing, but with so many platforms, audiences, interests, niches, and formats, becoming a social media marketing pro was far easier said than done.
I’m here today to help make you a master of today’s top platforms. Here’s how we’re going to make that happen:
- The Secrets of Today’s Top Social Media Platforms (Infographic)
- The Pros and Cons of Social Media Marketing
- How to Find Out Which Platform is Right For You
How to Feel Like a Social Media Professional (Infographic)
Take a look below at an infographic designed to give you the best tips and tricks for mastering your social media marketing campaigns. Crucial information like when to post, what tools to you, and more can be found below!
<a href="http://www.hostingcaptain.com/social-media-pro/"><img src="/wp_content/uploads/2016/07/Social_Media.jpg" alt="social-media-marketing" alt="How to Become a Social Media Pro" width="1000px" border="0" /></a> Credit: <a href="http://www.hostingcaptain.com/social-media-pro/" target="_blank">Hosting Captain</a>
Social Media Marketing Pros and Cons
We’ll start off by looking at social media marketing from an objective perspective. Like any type of marketing, there are pros and cons to consider before you commit to this type of branding and advertising.
You might be wondering:
What’s in it for me? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Is this type of marketing worth my time and effort? The answer, for many, is a resounding yes. It’s time to find out if this type of marketing is right for you.
Social Media Marketing Pros
- The Costs are Low
When we compare SMM to other types of advertising and brand awareness, this is easily the less expensive option. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are free to join, and costs only arise when you run a paid advertising campaign.
For the most part, many of the tools you need to start spreading your brand are already there and free of charge. This means you can get your foot in the door without any investment needed.
When it comes time to start investing, you can set your budget and even today’s top companies are spending far less than the average of 10.4% of revenue normally dedicated to marketing efforts.
- SMM Reaches a Massive Audience
All it takes is a few statistics to see how powerful social media has become. Check out some of these numbers and imagine how many people you could reach on today’s platforms:
- 70% of the United States population has at least one social media profile.
- Facebook alone has over 1.59 billion members worldwide!
- Of the 7.1 billion people on Earth, 3 billion have access to internet, and 2.1 billion are active on social media.
- 90% of young adults from ages 18 to 29 use social media
On each platform you’ll find a huge variety of demographics ranging from age, gender, social status, and geographic location.
- Social Media Moves Quickly
If you have something timely to share, a proper SMM strategy can get that content in front of people almost instantaneously. It’s crazy how fast information moves on social media.
Check this out:
Every second, over 6,000 tweets are tweeted on the popular Twitter platform. That’s about 350,000 tweets per minute and 500 million per day! For comparison, the first tweet (posted on March 21, 2006) took three years to become the billionth tweet.
Today it takes two days for a billion tweets to cross the platform.
In comparison, on Facebook there are 510 comments, 293,000 status updates, and 136,000 photos uploaded per second. When big news stories break, or something goes viral, the speed at which it moves is only surpassed by the speed of light.
- Social Media Grows and Expands Your Brand
Once you make a profile on one of today’s platforms, you’ll add a logo, and then you’ll start posting content. As you post and engage with your audience you start to build a brand for yourself. People begin to recognize you as a credible source of information.
With the ability to share and comment, your content (and subsequently your brand) will spread like wildfire. This will further grow an awareness that can only be done through these platforms. No other method of marketing can boast such potential for brand growth.
The Cons of Social Media Marketing
- SMM Requires Time
Without some of today’s automation tools (and even with them) social media marketing requires an investment of time and energy that doesn’t let up. In fact, 64% of digital marketers spend roughly 6 hours a week on SMM alone.
Without the proper practices and understanding of your platform/audience, this time can easily lead to low results or traffic that doesn’t convert.
- SMM Attracts Both Positive and Negative Attention
When you post on social media, you have almost zero control over how people will react. You may get a ton of likes, or you may have to deal with people spreading negative information. While you have the power to solve customer service issues quickly on social media, sometimes people just want to be negative.
In these instances, the best you can hope for is to keep the negative press to a minimum and take advantage of options to flag or remove comments like these. That being said, you shouldn’t make a habit of removing negative feedback. If it’s valid, it adds more credibility to your brand.
- It’s Difficult to Properly Measure ROI
With any kind of marketing, it’s important to measure the return on your investment (ROI), but social media makes it somewhat difficult to properly measure your results. New tools offer more detailed options, but ultimately the correlations are difficult to draw.
There’s no denying that SMM brings in valuable leads, traffic, and conversions, but short of tracking every like, comment, share, and click, there’s no defined way to completely measure the ROI on your social media marketing.
Pros of Social Media Marketing
- The potential audience is in the millions
- You can grow your brand and engage people in real time
- Social media generates quality leads
Cons of Social Media Marketing
- It requires a large invesmtnent of time/energy
- Negative feedback is publically shown (even if its undeserved)
- Measuring your ROI can be tricky
How to Find Out Which Social Media Platform is Right For You
Your first thought may be something like this:
I need to have a presence on every social media platform, bar none.
That’s an admirable goal, but unfortunately, it’s both impossible and unwise. You see, your audience isn’t going to be on every platform. Usually they will be found primarily on a few platforms, or perhaps just one primarily.
Here’s the deal:
You don’t need to be a certified social media marketing professional to properly manage your social media platforms.
Even so, you should consider your niche, your desired audience, and ultimately how each platform functions before you start making profiles. You want to seek out the ones where your time and energy won’t be wasted.
In the spirit of that, let’s take a look at several of today’s top platforms, and what types of businesses/blogs should be using them for social media marketing.
Instagram is like Twitter’s more photogenic cousin. This platform lives and dies based on the images people post. You’ll want to be on this platform if your niche lends itself well to high-quality photos.
Topics like these are great examples:
- Food blogs
- Travel websites
- Fashion and clothing blogs
- Photography or artist websites
This platform also uses hashtags to categorize and organize content, so keep that in mind.
Facebook is the big kid on the block. With enough users to fill a small continent, there’s just about one of everything on this platform, probably two. This platform is perfect for any business, but remember that it’s not primarily for selling products.
Instead, Facebook is best used as a place to build your brand’s image. Here you can tell your story and give people the chance to engage with the human beings behind the brand. Photos of a day in the office are perfect here, for example.
This is also the platform to handle your online social media customer service endeavors. People talk and word spreads fast on this platform. Consider this one of the “musts” for your business.
Twitter lives in the moment. As we discussed earlier, tweets move almost as fast as light does. This platform is about timely and relevant material, but it’s also about fast response times. If someone asks you a question on Twitter, they expect you to get back to them as close to immediately as possible.
Quick content promotion, breaking news, updates, these are the things you use Twitter for. Much like Facebook, it’s a very all-encompassing platform, but keep in mind that you’ll need someone monitoring it almost constantly when things start moving.
Much like Instagram, Pinterest is all about visuals. With a primarily female audience, this is a platform that is perfect for visual-focused websites, businesses, and blogs. Niches within wedding planning, travel, interior design, fashion, and food are all great options for a Pinterest profile.
The mechanics of the site allow people to “pin” links and images they find interesting. In turn, their followers can see these items and pin them as well if they so desire. All of it points back to the site where it came from, offering a visual marketplace for the right businesses and blogs.
Now It’s Your Turn
Social media marketing is a rich and powerful means of reaching new followers, bringing traffic to your site, and most importantly, generating leads. With this information, you have everything you need to start harnessing these powerful platforms.
How did you become a social media marketing pro? Tell us about your journey to greatness in the comments!