What is… Social Media Marketing?

What is… Social Media Marketing?

The key word in social media marketing is the emphasis on “social”. In its most basic description, social media marketing is simply word-of-mouth, powered by technology. Social media networks have been engineered as the modern way to connect people, build relationships, and assist social interactions. It is easy to share information and current content with your friends, family and coworkers, and the vast majority of people presently have at least one social media platform where they connect and interact with others.

The fact that so many people are involved in social media means that it has become an essential platform for all sorts of businesses to attract consumers and drive their business. Social media gives your business a place to communicate with your customers, and expand the widespread reach and knowledge about your specific services and products. It allows you a brilliant platform to create and expand a brand for your business, which is essential in every form of marketing.

The main downfall of businesses on social media is that many assume social media marketing is only worthwhile and successful for small businesses, or new companies that are starting out. This couldn’t be more incorrect, and there are many searchable examples of leading brands that have been boosted by successful social media marketing campaigns. However, saying that, it is a great opportunity for smaller businesses and those starting out to get their services and products made known by a wider audience online. Although, it is crucial to continue your presence on social media after you have reached a level of business success and recognition.

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The Many Platforms

When getting started with social media marketing for your business, there are such a variety of social media platforms, meaning it can be difficult to navigate and decide which channel would be right for you. All of the varied social media seem to offer similar services, with slight differences and methods of getting your desired consumer attention. However, usually they fit into 3 categories, which are: word-based, image-based, and video-based platforms, generally:

- Word-Based Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn
- Image-Based Social Media – Pinterest, Instagram
- Video-Based Social Media – YouTube, Vine

However, a few of these categories do overlap, and most contribute a combination of images and text, with opportunities to upload videos from platforms, such as YouTube. Yet, although there are similarities between a few of the various social media channels, there are often distinct differences between the audiences that each platform reaches. The audience is often the pivotal reason to choose a certain social media network, as it all depends on the types of consumers you would like to reach for your business. Each business should have a certain kind of consumer in mind, and cater to that consumer through their branding and marketing.

If you are still having difficulty deciding, then start with the most populated social media channels. The most popular social media platform that has the biggest audience potential is unarguably Facebook, with approximately 1 billion users worldwide, and an average user share of 2.5 billion pieces of content every day. Facebook is definitely the place to start advertising and marketing your business and brand image. Also, the network makes it easy to start up your own company page and allows your personal Facebook profile to maintain the page as admin. Another positive of Facebook is that it’s the main network with a wide variety of user demographics, including users of all age and genre very equally.

If you search for the majority of companies and brands on Facebook, you will find a page for them, as it is the prominent network. However, this doesn’t mean that Facebook is necessarily the best for promoting your business and gaining success and sales quickly. This is why other brands expand onto other social media platforms, and try to gain as much exposure and consumer reach as possible.
 

Handling Channels

If it is more effective and beneficial for your business and brand expansion to diversify onto many various social media accounts, then how can these networks be best handled? There are a few alternating thoughts about how to make the most of the separate networks. For example, some believe that it is beneficial to put different information on the various channels, as the same people who follow you on one social media network may well follow you on your other ones. Therefore, making sure that you share different, interesting content on all of the different channels may well be helpful.

However, the other thought is to share consistent content over most of your social media, to help with business and brand continuity. This seems to be more of an accurate way to go about social media marketing, and makes sure that all of your online audience and consumers can see what you are posting. Also, it seems to be the case that various demographics use different social media platforms, so sharing similar relevant content over all of your social media channels will invariably reach different consumers.

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Successful Social Media Marketing Campaign

If you are still wondering about the success of social media marketing, and how it can help your business benefit, then there are so many good, fun examples to be found online! Here is one UK example that you will probably remember and appreciate:

One of the biggest successes in 2013 revolved around Three Mobile and their dancing pony. The campaign was based on a television advert about a Shetland pony moon walking across the countryside to the sound of “Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac, which really grasped viewers’ attentions. The advert ended with the hashtag #danceponydance, which then sparked the attention online and over social media. The video went viral right away, and consumers utilised their hashtag all over Facebook and mainly Twitter. The video went up on YouTube, and achieved 1.5 million views in the first week, and currently it has gained around 10 million views to date.

Three Mobile’s campaign also included a second part, which was entirely online, and revolved around their ‘Pony Mixer’: dressing up your own pony and picking a song for the pony to dance to. The whole campaign lasted precisely 17 days, and over this period the results are clear: 1.3 million ponies generated on the Pony Mixer, 190,000 Tweets using #danceponydance, and a total of 100 million overall consumer impressions. However, the results are not just online, as the positive sentiment of the brand increased by approximately 67%, whereas Three had previously had quite a negative public impression before. This undoubtedly led to a greater success for the UK mobile network, through public perception and knowledge of the brand alone.

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Why Choose Social Media?

Ultimately, all companies and businesses utilise social media in some way, and you don’t have to put on a massive marketing campaign in order to get noticed and help your brand awareness. Sometimes, the most effective social media marketing is just making sure that your social media feeds are kept up to date with relevant, fun posts and information for your consumers.

One example of continued success over social media is the brand of Oreo, which is an American biscuit. Oreo simply focuses on sharing created images over their feeds, mainly utilising Twitter and Instagram. They create images that are similar to adverts, but can be shared easily and more cost effectively online. A particular successful image they created and shared was during the 2013 Superbowl, at the time of the blackout. They created a real-time social media stunt and generated a fun, relevant image, with the tagline “you can still dunk in the dark”. This was both witty and effective, and immediately gained mass sharing over social media. Their Twitter and Instagram feeds are full of funny and shareable images that relevantly advertise the brand.

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Many businesses understand the role of social media marketing, and how it can be cost effective and make huge gains for their brand awareness and all round sales. However, if you are stuck for time to effectively handle your business’ social media feeds and marketing campaigns, this is where Bright Yellow Creative Group can help!

We can handle multiple social media feeds for your business, and share fresh, interesting content over all of the channels. This will allow you to focus on your business alone and creating your brilliant products and service, with the ease of knowing that your social media networks are all taken care of. Social media marketing simply needs a lot of focus and an everyday presence in order to connect with viewers successfully, and be utilised in a beneficial way to improve your business and sales figures.

Bright Yellow Creative offers several varied social media marketing packages, which will include as many social media accounts, and as much brand-related, fresh, original content that you would like. Utilise your social media beneficially, and allow it to work for you, creating mass brand awareness that will directly increase your consumer base. Take a look at our bespoke social media services here!

We will boost your brand, starting now! Contact us here today for more details!

Emma Jones is Digital Brand Manager at Bright Yellow Creative Group, a social media and content marketing agency, based in South Wales.

Emma has been working in Marketing for over 16 years. In the late ’90s, she started out digitally promoting events and companies through platforms like MySpace and other Guerrilla Marketing methods. She then graduated with an Honours Degree in Marketing from the University of South Wales in 2004, and followed this up with a CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing in 2011. Her career has involved various Marketing and Digital Marketing roles, which led to setting up Bright Yellow Creative Group in 2012.

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