In a world that runs on the Internet, creating a marketing strategy that truly helps your business is becoming a little harder. While some of the old techniques still work and there are the tried-and-true tips that are always there to help, the world is changing, and marketing strategies must keep up.
That is where social media marketing (SMM) comes in. This form of Internet marketing utilizes social networking websites (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, etc.) as a marketing tool. What is the goal of SMM? More times than not, it is to produce content that users will see, look into, or share to help a company increase brand exposure, broaden customer reach, and/or increase sales.
Social media statistics from 2019 show that there are 3.2 billion social media users worldwide, and this number is only growing (source).
With those numbers, it’s a no-brainer that businesses should be looking to see how SMM can work for them.
To add some more insight to this topic, I have asked our Director of Search Marketing, Jared Mumford, to answer some questions. While Jared focuses and specializes mostly in search marketing, he has been able to dive into different aspects of SMM for not only AIM, but other clients to leverage the strategy with success.
Let’s see what he has to say…
What have you learned about SMM over the years?
Many businesses look at the possibilities of low costs, global custom audiences, and demographic targeting that comes with SMM and dive in with nothing but excitement and a flood of ads. Using SMM as a one-size fits all simply to compete in a traditional cost-per-click marketing is not the best solution for most agencies and businesses. SMM takes a lot of discussion, customization, and strategy to be successful.
Based on your experience, why do you believe SMM is essential to any business/brand?
Admittedly, there are a few business types or brands that may not benefit enough from SMM to call it ‘essential’. However, I will say that I have not found a business where I couldn’t implement SMM in a way that benefitted the businesses brand growth strategy at the very least. For growing brands, SMM could be considered essential for most verticals.
What kind of success have you seen with SMM strategies?
Our team has had the chance to work on global social media campaigns and, in turn, have been able to see global success with SMM strategies. When it comes to success stories, the big winner is brand growth. This brand growth contributes to an increase in visitors, sales, and interest from influencers.
In your opinion, what are the biggest myths about SMM?
The biggest myth about SMM is, first and foremost, that it is a cheaper substitute to Google Ads. Both can do the same thing, but each have big differences and cannot substitute each other directly.
What advice would you give to other brands trying to create a SMM strategy?
Understand your audience and speak to that audience. Affirm your audiences’ values and let them spread the word about your business.
Anything else you would like to share on the topic?
Any business looking to start SMM, start small and test everything. Don’t push out content or ads just to stay ‘active’. Understand your audience and speak to them directly.
As Jared mentioned, brand growth is a huge winner when it comes to SMM and that brand growth can lead to an uptick in sales. Social networks are the biggest source of inspiration for consumer purchases with 37% of consumers finding purchase inspiration through the channel (source).
If you’re not implementing this cost-effective resource within your current marketing strategy, it might be time to re-examine your plan. Take a look at your goals, your audience, and your brand’s reputation; then see where and how SMM can work for you. Once in place, test, test, and test some more!
For more information about social media marketing, don’t hesitate to contact us and talk to an expert today!