Social media marketing refers to the process of promoting products, services or brands on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others. It involves creating and sharing content, images, videos, and other media in order to reach and engage with a targeted audience.
Table of Content
- 1 What is Social Media Marketing?
- 2 Concept of Social Media
- 3 Social Media Strategy and Customer Engagement
- 4 What is Facebook Marketing?
- 5 What is Instagram Marketing?
- 6 What is Linkedin Marketing?
- 7 What is Twitter Marketing?
- 8 What is Youtube Marketing?
- 9 What is Snapchat Marketing?
- 10 What is Pinterest Marketing?
- 11 Social Media Marketing Strategy
- 12 Identifying Target Market
- 13 Segmenting Target Market
- 14 Social Media Marketing in B2B Market
- 15 What is Social Listening?
- 16 Benefits of Social Media Marketing
- 17 Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing
- 18 Social Media Marketing Vs. Traditional Media Marketing
There were 448 million social media users in India in January 2021. With technology advancement and increase in the number of smartphone users, the number of social media platforms and mobile applications are also increasing rapidly. Social media has gained the status of being one of the best marketing tools in the digital world.
Social media marketing refers to the use of social networking websites for brand awareness and promotion of products or services. It is the process of connecting with the world by utilising the social network of people on the Internet. In other words, the process of attaining traffic through social media sites is known as social media marketing. Social media platforms provide an understanding of the present market emotions about the brand and then formulating goals accordingly.
Based on what the users like and what their friends like, marketers can communicate with potential customers with a more targeted approach. The integration of shopping and payment solutions into social networks combined with exact localisation is increasing user engagement, conversions, and performance of advanced targeting monetisation of social networks and messenger apps.
That is why, it is utmost important for brands to establish and foster their presence on major social networking sites so as to connect with the target audience and understand their behaviour, buying patterns and latest trends.
According to Statista, “The digital advertising industry across India had a market size of around 199 billion Indian rupees in the financial year 2020, up from just 47 billion Indian rupees in financial year 2015. This was projected to go up to around 539 billion rupees by financial year 2024, indicating a big growth in the industry segment.
It is a phenomenon that no brand should ignore. Social media marketing comprises community-based marketing efforts as it involves community interaction. Various aspects of social media marketing are viral content, personal communication, influence building, word of mouth, etc.
Social media is considered to be more effective for increasing customer engagement and fostering brand loyalty rather than for increasing the brand’s sales and revenue. A social media strategy is a methodological approach to attain predefined objectives using social media platforms.
The main aim of creating a social media strategy is to foster engagement with the customers by creating a media presence at negligible cost. A brand’s social media strategy has various objectives such as gaining feedback on new products or services, propagating brand awareness, or sharing customised content on social media sites to generate leads and conversions, etc.
Social media is very dynamic. It has websites and applications which are designed to allow people for sharing content quickly, efficiently, and in real-time. Social media includes Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram which helps in watching trends, technology, and social media intelligence. Instagram and other social media provide space for sharing links, short written messages, stories, live streaming, etc.
Social media platforms have chosen their target market or generation in the following ways:
- Instagram choose Gen Z as the platform to follow brands
- Facebook choose the baby boomers who spend most of their time on YouTube and the Facebook Feed
- You Tube choose Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X
- Linkedin choose Gen X
What is Facebook Marketing?
Facebook Marketing refers to the use of the social media platform Facebook as a tool for promoting products, services, brands, or ideas to a target audience. It encompasses various strategies and techniques that leverage the platform’s features to reach and engage potential customers or followers. Facebook is one of the largest and most popular social media platforms worldwide, making it a valuable channel for businesses and individuals looking to connect with their audience.
Facebook is the most popular social networking website with over 1.7 billion users in the world. It is important for marketers to equip themselves with the knowledge required to use Facebook for attaining business goals. Facebook has made the world of the Internet more open and connected. Therefore, this platform is used by marketers to build rich social experiences, long-lasting relationships with the target audience and foster word-of-mouth among the audience.
Brands are leveraging Facebook for promotions and fostering engagement. It is a cost-effective platform to reach out to the target audience. Facebook posts can be created using various tools, such as images, videos, Linkers, carousal, offers, events, live polls and text.
Let us understand the best practices for marketers or brands that can be performed to build a presence on the Facebook ecosystem.
Facebook Profile Page
The first thing is to build your brand image on Facebook by creating a Facebook page that will be an identity of your business on the social graph. Marketers can optimise their Facebook page by linking brands’ physical location on its Web page.
Next, to create engagement, brands can create their fan base by using various touch points available on Facebook itself. Facebook “Like Ads” are the easiest ways to acquire fans.
Facebook Group Page
Facebook group pages can be open, private or hidden. These groups involve like-minded individuals who establish communication among each other for a particular cause or topic. Online marketers can use these groups as profiles or pages for specific discussions or to gain feedback or for special announcements regarding discounts, events or new product launches.
Paid advertising on Facebook is easy if the marketers know their target audience well. It is important to identify the demographics of the target audience, such as language, gender, geography, age and other targeting basics.
Facebook has 25.2% market share in 2020 in social media marketing which makes it an effective platform for advertisers. Targeted advertising is an important component of Facebook marketing.
Facebook ad manager is an advertising platform that manages and tracks advertisement on Facebook. It is used to create and manage ads on Facebook. The pricing strategy is the same as that of Google Ads.
Apart from above practices, there are various other features, like Facebook groups, Facebook hashtags and Facebook Live that can help in brand promotions. Other resources provided by Facebook should be properly used by marketers to improve the efficiency of their marketing efforts.
It is important to keep the track of page performance by assessing the reach and engagement. Reach can be assessed by checking the number of people viewed or visited your page and engagement can be assessed by calculating the ‘Likes’, the number of ‘Shares’, and ‘Comments’ on your posts.
Following are a few tips to optimise your Facebook marketing effectively:
- Recycle your old content to get more visibility and engagement
- Set a theme of your Facebook page
- Add a relevant Call-to-action button on your headlines or caption
- Update your audience with regular posts on Facebook page
What is Instagram Marketing?
Instagram Marketing refers to the use of the social media platform Instagram as a means to promote products, services, brands, or ideas to a targeted audience. Instagram is a visual-centric platform that primarily focuses on sharing photos and videos. It has become one of the most popular social media platforms for businesses and individuals looking to connect with their audience, showcase their products, and build a strong online presence.
After Facebook, the popularity of Instagram is increasing rapidly. Marketers also have started adopting this platform for business purposes. Instagram has proved to be an attractive platform for the youth because of its unique feature of visual content with captions.
Over 300 million people use Instagram regularly. Brands have started reaching out to their target audience over Instagram for brand marketing. Instagram has more users than Twitter in India.
In Instagram marketing, a content strategy is essential for brands. Posting quality content that is unique to the brand is important. Basically, Instagram has two types of profiles, one is personal profile and the other is business profile. Creating a business profile on Instagram helps the marketers tell the audience what the business is all about.
The profile can include the brand’s tagline, hashtags and URL. Instagram also has a feature of the story that stays on your profile for 24 hours only. These stories drive traffic on your website and profile as well. For captions of posts, one can use 2,200 characters.
It is essential to add a lot of Call-to-action buttons in your caption. Adding a location or geotag can help in getting higher engagement. Instagram has various unique features, such as Boomerang for GIFs, layout for image collages and layout for time-lapse videos.
Following are a few best practices for marketers and brands to create visibility and engagement on Instagram:
- Optimise your Instagram business profile by writing a proper bio within 150 characters and by uploading the profile picture
- Decide a proper schedule and timings for posts
- Decide your set of hashtags to be used in caption of the posts
- Have more and more followers for organic conversions
- Upload educational, motivational posts and user-generated content
- Create on an average or at least use 3 to 4 hashtags per post
- Invite more people on your profile
- Use influencer marketing on Instagram
For marketers, it is the most affordable digital media platform that has the highest number of users. Marketers can create offers, contests, live videos, product demonstration, launch videos, etc., for promotions.
Apart from getting Instagram organic results, there are sponsored ads on this digital media platform that appear on users’ feed. Sponsored ads on Instagram can help in reaching out to more people rather than limiting to only your followers. Instagram ads can run through Facebook Ad Manager as Instagram is owned by Facebook. Advertisers have to link their ads to their Instagram account as linking to a website is not allowed.
LinkedIn Marketing refers to the use of the professional networking platform LinkedIn as a tool for promoting businesses, building brand awareness, and establishing professional connections within a specific industry. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is primarily focused on professional networking, career development, and business-related interactions. It provides a unique space for individuals, businesses, and organizations to connect, share content, and engage with a professional audience.
LinkedIn social networking platform is specifically developed for professionals or for an individual’s career. This platform helps the user to build professional relationships with potential customers, partners, colleagues, and clients.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform which helps the business to business marketer in generating 80 per cent leads and as per studies around 46 per cent of social media traffic comes from LinkedIn.
The sources of earning for this platform are premium subscriptions, marketing, and talent solutions. Platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are used by marketers to drive traffic to their main website. LinkedIn is considered to be the powerful source of social referrals that can help in building new connections, lead generation and brand development.
This platform offers freelance work, a potential partner for business and is also used for job-hunting. LinkedIn has various premium tools to search and find the brand’s way to the best talent in the market.
One more interactive feature provided by this platform is LinkedIn groups that involve various like-minded individuals to connect with more people and build their network. It is essential to send some updates to your connections.
Following are the best practices to build an effective marketing strategy for LinkedIn to get the desired results:
- Build a LinkedIn profile for your business and create a page
- Optimise the page with relevant and compelling images and eye-catching description
- Update your content calendar schedule regularly by sharing quality content and visuals, and post at least 20 times in a month
- A clickable website URL should be provided in the description section
- Use advanced search with a premium subscription that can aid in finding targets directly
LinkedIn also offers various marketing solutions which are paid in nature, such as paid ads, unlock a unique audience, target the right people, recruit and attract the unique audience as well as create and optimise effective ads by setting your own budget.
LinkedIn can help lead generations through advanced search and filtering systems. These both features are considered to be an attracting feature for advertisers or marketers.
There are other features, such as lead recommendations, team links and extended network access. By using LinkedIn analytics, brands can extend their reach by using sponsored ads and optimise.
What is Twitter Marketing?
Twitter Marketing refers to the use of the social media platform Twitter as a means to promote brands, products, services, and ideas to a wide and engaged audience. Twitter is known for its short-form content, where users share messages called “tweets” containing text, images, links, videos, and hashtags. Twitter’s fast-paced nature makes it an ideal platform for real-time updates, news, customer engagement, and building brand awareness.
Brands are using this platform for gaining feedback from customers. One can register and create an account on Twitter at free of cost. The digital media used on Twitter could be in the form of texts, images, GIFs, videos, and polls. Twitters new tools are live streaming, video, emojis (Beyond the elite phenomenon) Twitter, and Indian Marketing/ political and social cause marketing.
A twitter account contains various elements, such as username, profile picture, bio, header image, timeline, and pinned tweet. Twitter timeline plays an important role as all the tweets of people you have followed will be displayed on twitter timeline.
Hashtags are widely used in tweets. It is a symbol used to mark keywords and topics in any tweet. Hashtags allow users to view and take part in public posts related to the same keyword or topics.
Marketers can track the trending hashtags and access the performance of hashtags or keywords using various research tools, such as www.TweetReach.com. Research tools for twitter generate a comprehensive report about the reach, exposure, etc. Twitter is a good platform to initiate a conversation with potential prospects. Therefore, brands use this platform to engage with their existing customers or potential leads.
Following are a few practices that can aid in marketing efforts on Twitter:
- Organise contests and discounts for your Twitter fans
- Use proper hashtags in your Tweet
- Keep on re-tweeting your important tweets
- Use creative, compelling and unique visual content
- Use Twitter cards to achieve good quality traffic on your website
- Discuss on a trending topic and make your brand more popular
What is Youtube Marketing?
YouTube Marketing refers to the use of the video-sharing platform YouTube to promote products, services, brands, or ideas to a global audience through video content. YouTube is one of the largest search engines and social media platforms, making it a powerful tool for businesses and individuals looking to reach and engage their target audience through visual storytelling.
YouTube is all about video marketing. It is an important platform for marketers to make business strategy and to promote their businesses or brands as this platform has more than 50 million users. But marketers have to use this platform very carefully as users or viewers are not interested in seeing advertisements.
Therefore, organic content helps in creating brand visibility on YouTube. YouTube marketing starts by creating your YouTube brand account and developing a channel to publish some good-quality content related to your brand on YouTube. Then, start adding channel icons, channel art and channel description with your website URL. It is important to optimise your YouTube channel effectively by adding the relevant keyword in your channel description.
It is important to show your subscribers and unsubscribed visitors what your channel is all about, marketers create a channel trailer of 30 to 40 seconds that delineate the nature of the channel and the content it has. You can also customise the layout and look of your channel as per the user interest. The duration of skippable ad is 5 seconds and duration of unskippable ads is 30 seconds.
YouTube is considered as the second largest search engine. Therefore, it is important to have an understanding of video SEO and ranking on this platform.
The most important strategy to optimise your video content is to create video’s metadata that provides information to visitors about the content of the video. Metadata comprised video title, tags, description, category, thumbnails and captions. A clear and compelling video title and description with tags and keywords are important components for video SEO.
Marketers should publish videos like client testimonials, product demonstration, tutorial videos, review videos, event blogs, video blogs and YouTube Live to attain the attention of the subscribers. One should also share its YouTube content across different platforms.
What is Snapchat Marketing?
Snapchat Marketing refers to the use of the social media platform Snapchat to promote products, services, brands, or content to a predominantly younger audience. Snapchat is known for its ephemeral nature, where users share photos and videos that disappear after a short period of time. It offers various features like Stories, filters, lenses, and geotags that marketers can leverage to engage users in creative and interactive ways.
Snapchat is the fastest growing social media application. It is used by more than 100 million people actively. People create content through fresh pictures or snaps and then share these pictures or snaps with their friends.
It is a visual-based content mobile application. The snap sent to your friends will disappear in seconds. This feature of snap ensures carefree communication and it enables users to be more honest in their social network.
The working of Snapchat is on default screen, i.e., camera. Snapchat has made it easy for users to share visual content by reducing one step as it has placed a camera on its default screen. Users get attracted to Snapchat because of various attractive and funny filters.
The rule of reciprocation applies in Snapchat as sending a snap to your friend persuades him/her to send something back. As per social psychology, positive action is reverted with another positive action. Marketers have slowly adopted Snapchat for promotions and to capture the interest of their users.
Brands can create a personal relationship by starting publishing personal stories for users on Snapchat. Marketers still have not started using Snapchat for marketing but this platform has huge potential to create visibility for brands.
What is Pinterest Marketing?
Pinterest Marketing refers to the use of the social media platform Pinterest as a tool for promoting products, services, brands, and ideas through the sharing and discovery of visual content. Pinterest is a visual discovery and bookmarking platform where users create virtual boards to collect and organize images (called “pins”) related to their interests. It’s a platform that primarily focuses on inspiration, creativity, and visual aesthetics.
It is a social media website for images and it drives the maximum traffic from search engines. It is an aggregator that buys and sells the picture. Pinterest remains on the top on search engines as this platform has a very nice search engine visibility.
Designers and artists search on Pinterest for a visual solution. Marketers are using this platform for creating brand awareness. If your target audience is on Pinterest, it becomes quintessential for you to perform marketing efforts or promotions on this platform.
There are two types of accounts built on Pinterest one is personal and other is business. Marketers have to use creative visuals on this platform for engagement. This platform creates a good amount of referral traffic to a website.
The platform is an aggregating platform that has a built-in board structure where content is shared or saved using pin or re-pin. Pinterest board displays a collection of pins. Users save ideas on Pinterest.
Following are the best practices for effective Pinterest marketing efforts:
- Upload vertical images on Pinterest
- Use navigation towards the click button to get a better response
- Keep the URL of your website on your page
- Write clear and precise captions or short summaries for your image
- Use the call-to-action button on your pages
The success of an organisation depends on social media which is a digital marketing strategy. Small, medium and large sized organisations need this strategy.
The key social media marketing strategies are:
- Use of chatbots
- Creation of personalised experience of the customers
- Preparation of content marketing strategy
- Use brand advocates
- Make a community for the audience
- Use good images, videos and podcast
- Make profiles on the relevant channels
- Prepare a social media budget
- Run cross-channel campaigns
- Share story of company’s brand by going live
Let us understand the social media strategy cycle.
It is a valuable skill that marketers use on social media platforms to understand the perception and behaviour of the target audience.
Brands derive useful information from social media posts. Marketers can use tools such as Google Alerts, Google Trends, Social Mention, Twitter Search, etc., for social media listening, which further helps in making a sound decision.
Through listening and understanding the behaviour of the online audience, marketers can easily identify the negative and positive sentiments about their brand in the market. The objectives can further be set to strengthen the positive notions about the brand and to address or eliminate the negative views of the brand.
After setting the goals, marketers focus on planning and preparing strategies to attain the goals. Marketers need to create their content strategy, and platform strategy for their identified target group. An ideal strategy for content is ‘wordof-mouth’ publicity. The content should be unique and it should align with the vision and mission of the brand, and the interest of the audience, as the content strategy would be different for different target audiences.
Analysing the demographic and psychographic factors helps in targeting people. At last, the decision on which platform to choose to interact with the audience is crucial. Else, time, cost and efforts will go in vain.
This is the action-oriented stage where strategies will be implemented. The two major factors which impact the social media strategy of a brand are timely posts and reaction checks. It is essential to identify and keep a track of the right time to post.
Marketers should ensure timely posts at regular intervals with apt content. There are various scheduling tools available, such as Buffer, TweetDeck, etc. It is important to ensure that the posts do not backfire.
Therefore, the reaction of the audience on our posts should be monitored and assessed to respond to negative views immediately and minimise the damage accordingly
Analytics of social media marketing is still evolving and challenging. Different brands opt for different methods to check the performance of their social media campaign. There are various tools available online, such as sprout social that can measure the conversation rate, i.e., a number of comments, number of likes, etc., and the overall performance of social media marketing.
After measuring the performance of marketing efforts done on social media, the next step is to compare the results with the predefined goals. If goals are met, then the process starts again by listening step.
Identifying Target Market
One thing that is most important for all social media platforms is targeting. Identifying the user’s persona and their online behaviour so as to know on which social media platform your target audience resides. It helps in targeting the right audience on the right platform on the basis of demographics.
Targeting people who are likely to behave in a similar way as your customers is the best strategy. For example, Facebook provides an option of custom audiences and retargeting. There are advanced search and targeting options available on most of the social networking sites, such as on LinkedIn.
As a marketer, you need to assess the characteristics and nature of your customers and target them whichever platform they are online. Targeting can be based on language, gender, interest, device, behaviour, etc. Marketers can perform A/B testing to identify their target audience online.
Segmenting Target Market
Market segmentation refers to the process of dividing a target market into small and more defined categories. The importance of market segmentation is that it makes it easier to concentrate marketing efforts and resources on reaching the most valuable audiences and accomplish business goals.
In target marketing, the market is divided into segments and all the efforts are channelised on key segments. Segmenting the target market helps to attract opportunities such as new business and hike in sales.
Social media marketing platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, etc. have options for allowing the organisations to target users on the basis of market segments. LinkedIn is more Business to Business oriented, so companies can target businesses by considering number of employees, industry, geographic location, etc.
Segmentation can be of four types:
This segmentation refers to statistical data related to a group of people. In this type of segmentation, the market is divided into few categories on the basis of demographic factors which include:
- Income level
- Marital status
- Family situation
This segmentation involves dividing the market on the basis of location. Geographic segmentation is considered as a simplest type of market segmentation which categorise the customers based on their geographic location. The categorisation of geographic segmentation is done on the basis of:
- ZIP code
- Area code
- Rural or urban
This segmentation is used as a consumption pattern among people of the same age and gender. The lifestyle-preferences consist of:
Mostly people prefer urban lifestyle in comparison to suburban or rural lifestyle. Lifestyle segmentation enables us to know the customer requirements and make appropriate decisions.
This segmentation divides the market by the factors which are related to human personalities, socio-economic class, and characteristics.
The factors under this segmentation consist of:
- Personality traits
- Psychological influences
In the B2B market, social media marketing is quite different from social media marketing in the B2C domain in terms of:
An important element for B2B marketers is to keep their audience engaged on social media. Some marketers pose a question which develops an interest among the audience. This is a legitimate method of getting people engaged with the company, whereas in the B2C market, it’s all about consumers who are engaged with the brand. Social media marketing in the B2B market is often considered boring and not required.
Some of the important points are mentioned below that highlight why it is important to use social media marketing for B2B:
- when the company’s rival is doing social media marketing
- company’s customers have very much expectations for brand and they mainly look for service on social media
- social media marketing helps the company to show up immediately
- for grabbing leads and sales opportunities quickly
- keeping eye on social insights
Below mentioned are the ways to create a B2B social media marketing strategy:
- Align business goals with business objectives
- Perform S.W.O.T. analysis and try to identify the opportunities
- Create audience and build the buyer personas
- Keep focusing on the right platforms (social audience demographics)
Social listening refers to monitoring the social media channels for mentions of company’s brand, its competitors, products, etc. It helps in getting direct feedback of company’s brand’s through social media channels and enables direct mentions of brand related to specific keywords, topics, industries, etc. followed by evaluation for gaining the insights and act on those opportunities.
It is a two-part process as it helps in finding the root causes behind social conversations and implements long-term strategy modifications. It helps in making a type of content which your followers actually need helps in coming up with new ideas on the basis of trends.
Below mentioned are the points that will help you to understand why to start social listening:
- Customer likes those brand who give response on social media they feel heard when brands respond
- Company through social listening can keep track of brand’s growth.
- New opportunities can be discovered through social listening.
A brand or a marketer can avail a plethora of benefits through social media marketing. It is a cost-effective way to reach out to the masses as most of their target audiences are available on one or the other social media platforms.
Let us gain insight into the benefits of social media marketing.
Helps in creating a network
Social networking site helps in developing brands through influencers and user generated content. It enhances the visibility for a brand and induces the public to engage with the brand with the help of quality content.
Creating only business relationships is not enough these days. Brands need to create more humanising effects across their interactions with customers. Social media platforms aid in that process by fostering interactions between customers and brands.
Social media is a free and powerful tool for marketers. Brands with a lean budget can use social media marketing as it requires minimum upfront investment.
Effective customer insights
h listening and analytical tools, marketers can easily track and monitor the interest of their target audience and they can react and behave accordingly.
Following are a few disadvantages of using social media marketing:
One cannot achieve exposure and visibility on social networking sites overnight. It is a time-taking process, and hence continuous efforts are required to be employed for gaining desired results. Marketers have to wait for a longer time to see the results.
Social media marketing is very competitive and transparent. One can easily map the strategies adopted by competitors. Your competitors can keep an eye on all your social media activities and plan accordingly to give you a tough competition.
Negative brand image
People use social media to share their experiences, feedback, and review. Negative feedback can tarnish your brand image if not handled timely and positively. Online reputation management needs to be employed with social media marketing to handle negative feedback.
Even with time and continuous efforts, the desired result might not be achieved due to various hidden reasons or lack of interest of the audience or lack of quality content as it is not easy to gain the desired result. Hence, the return on investment is not up to the mark in social media marketing.
Let us understand the major differences between traditional or offline marketing and digital marketing. Traditional media marketing focuses on creativity to grab the attention of the masses. However, with the emergence of digital media, marketers are thinking more about the right vehicle and visibility. As the focus of digital marketing is on placement rather than ad message or copy which was the prime focus of traditional media marketing.
Traditional media marketing, such as TV and radio focuses on repeat views on a channel, whereas digital marketing targets its message across different media channels and focuses on creating the brand stories and digital marketing focuses on targeting local audiences. On the other hand, the focus of social media marketing is a global audience.
Digital media is cost-effective as compared to traditional media. Brands with a lean budget can also plan to begin with digital marketing. Traditional media focuses on providing information, whereas digital media fosters to create engagement and interaction.
Tracking and monitoring of digital media marketing efforts are very easy with Google Analytics and other tools, but the result measuring of traditional media is very challenging.
Today, businesses are investing in both the traditional media and the digital media to attract the target audience by creating and sharing relevant and quality content. Although social media marketing is the new trend, it is somehow intact with traditional media strategies in terms of similar objectives.