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Top 10 Mistakes Businesses Make Online: Social Media Presence [Part 4]

Social Media Presence

What Is Social Media Presence?

Social media presence is being active on social media platforms. This means creating business accounts for your brand and regularly updating your status with information that might be of interest for your followers.

Social media presence often gets underestimated as trends change rapidly and there are rarely easily formulated recipes for success. If monitored carefully, regular social media updates can play a key role in your marketing strategy and improve brand awareness. Another great aspect of social media is the close connection and direct informal contact.

What Is Social Media Marketing?

instagram feed

Social media marketing is the use of different social media channels to increase brand awareness, bring more traffic, and promote products or services. Social media marketing is a relatively new concept in marketing that is evolving very fast.

On a practical level, social media marketing is usually a part of the content marketing strategy. Social media marketers are responsible for a brand’s “online voice”.

Should your business be more active or more passive? Should you post more informative or more engaging content? Should you allow for user-generated content or use a premade marketing copy?

All of those questions are valid and the answers depend on the careful examination of your target buying persona.

Social media marketing is a key ingredient in every great marketing strategy. Most people make their research online before making any buying decision.

With all of the information available online, customers switch between different platforms before buying.

This calls for a multi-channel marketing strategy that covers every possible place on the internet that is important for your customers.

Why Is Social Media Marketing Important?

Social media is one of the best places for a new business to start establishing an online presence.

Everyone is on social media.

people using smartphones

This is the place where people freely share opinions on everything and everyone. It’s where you can reach potential customers and convert them into followers, fans and brand ambassadors.

Direct and fast communication brings contact to a personal level. Interacting with customers on social media can help you create the perfect buying personas by answering questions such as:

  • What products are your target customers buying and why?
  • What are the problems they need to be solved?
  • What online platform do they use most?
  • What are the online channels they use to make their buying decisions?
  • What hobbies and interests do they have?

Another benefit of social media marketing is being cost-effective.

Creating social media profiles of your business is mostly completely free. Though being represented in the right way takes time for careful planning and is part of a long term marketing strategy, executing it is mostly free.

Advertising on social media is a great marketing tool as well. Most social media platforms make identification of a very detailed target group possible.

Though social media advertising and social media targeting often overlap, they are not always the same thing.

Social media targeting may go a long way and provide valuable information on your potential customers.

Nowadays social media offers tools that can make your message land directly to your perfect prospect.

There are numerous options such as content and contextual targeting, time targeting, social targeting, demographic targeting, geotargeting.

Social media targeting allows the marketing teams to display ads, posts, and updates to the perfect customer and easily reach the right audience.

Social media marketing can increase your website traffic and play a significant role in SEO.

By resharing and reposting your content on social media platforms, your posts gain more attention and attract more visitors.

More organic visitors and traction enhance your overall SEO score and help your website rank higher in SERPs.

Posting on social media and engaging with your followers creates a positive image for your brand.

One of the most important advantages of social media is the possibility of direct and public contact with your customers.

Answering their inquiries and questions can raise your brand awareness dramatically.

Some of the Top Social Media Platforms for Business

different social media platforms

There are currently 25+ virtual communities with more than 100 million active users each and hundreds of active social media websites and platforms more.

You don’t need to have active profiles on each and everyone there is to reach your customers.

Social media marketing can easily get overwhelming. It sounds fun and easy at first and before you know it, you are swamped in apps and post schedules.

Unless your business has a whole social media marketing team, you can safely focus on one or two social media platforms and still have great reach.

You only need to be active where your clients are.

If your clients are on Facebook and LinkedIn, you don’t necessarily need to maintain a Snapchat account for instance.

And while social media marketing strategy can be applied for every channel, here are few of the most popular ones.

1. Facebook

Facebook is just too big to ignore. As of the fourth quarter of 2018, Facebook had 2.32 billion monthly active users. Every fourth person in the world uses Facebook.

Most businesses used to gather leads in the form of email addresses with games, ads, and promotions. And with email marketing transitioning to messenger apps marketing, the possibilities are endless.

Facebook groups are one of the best features that really make Facebook stand out. With Facebook groups, businesses can conversatе with their audience, gaining customer insight and market research possibilities. Another way Facebook groups can be beneficial for your marketing and brand awareness is by providing extra value for the customer. Through your Facebook group, you get another way to create a sense of community and exclusiveness.

2. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is “the” professional social networking website. There are more than 610 million users in more than 200 countries and territories. LinkedIn is all about building networks and connections.

Connections are what makes LinkedIn really stand out when it comes to business. It’s not just who you know. It’s about who the people you connect with know. Tapping into networks can really expand your business’ presence, increase your reach and even provide you with new business opportunities.

Another key benefit of being on LinkedIn is that it might be one of the most effective places to recruit new talent. Reaching out to people that are not openly looking for a change of workplace is also a big plus. According to LinkedIn’s own research, LinkedIn and other social media platforms have a 73% increase in job recruitment usage, compared to a 16% decrease for staffing agencies.

3. Instagram

In June 2018, Instagram announced it hit 1 billion monthly active users. On Instagram users post images and their followers like and comment.

The hashtag concept invented by Twitter was elevated to a whole new level by Instagram. Hashtags are part of the social media sorting process.

Krystal Gillespie, the Social Media Community Manager at our partner Hubspot, explains hashtags this way: “Hashtags are like a funnel. For instance, #marketing is incredibly broad and attracts all types of posts. We’ve found #digitalmarketing or #marketingmotivation gives us a more specific, targeted reach. The audience searching for these hashtags are also trying to narrow their search to what we offer related to Marketing, so we’re actually reaching more of the right people.”

Although Instagram isn’t a good fit for every product or service out there, being on Instagram can really help increase brand awareness. Employer branding is a thing on Instagram. You may not always get customers, but you might be able to attract the right kind of people. By telling stories you can show how your company operates and what makes it special.

4. Twitter

Twitter was created in March 2006 as a social media platform that allowed users to send short 140-character messages later called “tweets”. As with every big brand, the rumors that Twitter is dying are exponentially growing with its popularity. Statistics like 336 million monthly active users with 500 million tweets posted every day make Twitter one of the most popular social media platforms out there.

What makes Twitter unique?

It’s worth mentioning that the actual reach of Twitter is probably double of its userbase. This is due to embedding, sharing and reposting tweets and a large number of people scanning through tweets that are of interest, without having an account or logging in. Tweets often are embedded in the Google search results as well.

Like Facebook is usually preferred for information, email is preferred for updates, and Instagram – for visualization, Twitter is preferred by customers for quick b2c interaction, and learn more about the brand itself. People follow others on Twitter not to be informed, but to be interacted with. They follow you because you answer back and treat them personally even with a short tweet.

5. Snapchat

Snapchat is one of the “bad kid” of social media platforms. It’s young, it’s edgy, it has cutting edge face recognition tech and bad PR seems to be there on every step on its way of becoming one of the most used social media platforms with more than 300 million active monthly users.

The thing about marketing on Snapchat is that is not for everyone.

Snapchat is mainly used by millennials and 70% of its users are below 34 years old.

Marketing on Snapchat is completely different than on any other platform. Snapchat doesn’t rank in SERPs, posts there don’t get traction and have generally a very short lifespan. These are part of the reason many marketers are reserved when it comes to Snapchat campaigns.

However, Snapchat has great opportunities in the unique ways of connecting with your clients. Tease a new product or service, behind-the-scenes look at internal processes, or just show the people behind the business. An inside look that customers can’t find anywhere else might just be the thing that makes your product desirable.

6. Medium

Although Medium isn’t exactly a social media in the way Facebook and Instagram are, it’s still a great place for business content. Some brands and CEOs even prefer Medium for their primary blog.

One of the best reasons to use Medium is that it’s a great place to kickstart your SEO and build your domain authority. Domain authority is something very important when it comes to organic traffic. And Medium’s domain authority is more than 90/100. This means that the content you publish on Medium has higher chances to get traffic than your own content from the SERPs. This is especially true for brand new websites.

In fact, Medium’s high domain authority and backlinks could even help you rank for keywords and searches that are usually very competitive and would take ages to rank organically otherwise.

The Future of Messenger Marketing

There is a new and interesting trend in social media marketing: reaching out to customers via messenger apps. It may sound revolutionary at first, but the hard-earned email marketing know-how can be easily applied to the messenger apps marketing.

If you’ve done email marketing at some point, you’ll get in the hang of this new channel marketing fast. The truth is you can use your existing email marketing strategy and benefit from the mass migration of customers from email to messaging apps as soon as you start.

An expert bonus tip: use chatbots

Chatbots are another new opportunity for marketing automation. AI and chatbots are revolutionizing the customer service world.

A chatbot is an artificial intelligence computer program that can simulate a human conversation, answer customer questions and provide quick and timely assistance.

Although chatbots are relatively new in our day to day to life, the first chatbot was actually created more than 50 years ago. Its name was ELIZA and was created by in the MIT.

ELIZA mimicked conversations by matching user prompts to ready scripted responses. It was the first chatbot to pass the Turing AI test at the time.

Two of the top messenger apps in the world are Messenger and WhatsApp. Messenger dominates the US market, but WhatsApp has more users worldwide. There are also places where neither is available, so you should always keep customer geodemographics in mind when picking social media channels.

Top Messenger Apps by Country [September 2018]

1. WhatsApp

WhatsApp has quickly emerged as the top messaging app for over 1.5 billion active users around the world. In 2018 WhatsApp officially released WhatsApp for business, a separate app that gives businesses a handful of tools that make communication with clients easily manageable.

With WhatsApp, businesses can communicate safely and immediately with clients all over the globe. Be it appointment reminders, delivery information, additional promotional messages, or answer product and service questions, WhatsApp enables customer service teams to keep clients happy.

A major thing that WhatsApp communication can be better than more traditional messaging channels is that it enables multimedia communications -photos, documents, videos, slides, sheets. Businesses have the freedom to be creative with their conversations and provide visuals as well. Moving beyond a simple text or email, you can make quick and even more engaging two-way customer connections.

2. Facebook Messenger

Facebook has acquired WhatsApp in 2014. Since that happened, there were a lot of rumors about merging of Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp messenger apps. So far they all have their integrity and even if a cross-platform messaging is enabled, Facebook ensures us that we won’t lose any of our favourite apps.

While Facebook messenger didn’t use to be on big companies’ marketing agenda, Facebook took note on that. They introduced some very useful features that made Facebook messenger a preferred app for customer service support and brand promotions.

The “Discover” feature, for instance, lets users find, learn about a business, start conversations about products and services or simply book an appointment.

Even with the Facebook virtual assistant M was discontinued, Facebook has learned a lot and the information gathered would be applied to other artificial intelligence projects in the future. The thing that really sets Facebook messenger ahead of the competition is the chatbots AI. Even if it’s limited at the moment, there are endless possibilities of customer service optimization it offers in the future. It is planned to make a completely AI-driven system in the future possible.

Bonus: Quora

Quora might not be the first thing on your mind when it comes to social media platforms, but it can be very useful in raising your business credibility.

Quora is a place where you can ask questions and share knowledge and insights on your industry. Promoting yourself and your business on Quora is quite different compared to the promotions we are used to. Quora has little tolerance for shameless self-promotion, ads, and spam.

What you get though, is a bio that is always visible next to your name when you answer. The bio may contain your brand name, your position, years of experience and last but not least – clickable links to redirect to your company website.

To gain followers and increase your reputation in Quora, you have to answer industry-specific questions. There is one thing to always keep in mind – since you have your company name in your bio, you are answering questions as an official representative. It’s best if you avoid confrontation and overexaggerating.

How to plan a social media marketing strategy

With so many channels for business promotion, choosing the right ones might be very hard and keeping up with the competition is often exhausting.

It’s not absolutely necessary to cover all of the social media platforms where your competitors are if you don’t have the resources.

It’s better to monitor just a few accounts closely and give timely response than to have an automated profile just posting statuses with zero human interaction with clients.

Here are 5 key questions to answer yourself, before starting your social media marketing journey.

1. What is your current social media presence?

Planning a social media campaign can be very overwhelming. Do you have existing accounts? What is your reach? Who is managing your social media profiles? You need to know where you stand in order to set adequate goals and evaluate the situation. Good planning is always key to good results.

2. Who is your buying persona?

The buying persona is something you are going to need on every step of your marketing endeavors. If you don’t know who your clients are, every campaign is just shooting in the dark and that can be, least to say, expensive with low ROI.

You should know your buying persona approximate age, location, career, what problems can your business resolve for them, and what is their preferred social media platform. You can use this great tool by our partner Hubspot to make it even more fun and easy.

3. Where is your competition at?

What social media platforms are your competitors using? What do their campaigns look like? What can you do to outsmart them and attract more customers?

You should identify and do some research on your competitors. The idea isn’t to copycat or steal, but rather to create unique content that is covering what they are not. It makes perfect sense for two companies in the same field to have completely different branding and social media presence.

4. What is your statement?

Your social media statement should reflect your brand identity. It should be tailored to appeal to your ideal customer. It can be “to educate current and potential customers about my product” or “answer questions about my products and show more ways it can be useful”, for example. Everything you post should align with your statement, otherwise, your profile might seem scattered and not very professional. People will follow you for your expertise in your field, avoid general posts.

5. What are your goals?

Increasing brand awareness? Gaining promising leads? Growing your business? Setting adequate goals is always a great way to start any campaign.

But just setting goals isn’t enough. You need to identify what are the key analytics to keep track of in order to know where you stand and what is the success of your campaign.

You also might want to set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Increasing brand awareness is a great goal, but a bit too broad and vague.

A SMART goal may, for instance, look like “Attract 300 active Facebook group members by the end of August”.

Social media marketing is a multi-channel approach to engage and communicate with your end client. And while it is impossible to be Don’t know where to start? Not sure of which social media platforms to use? Don’t know where your customers are? How you should interact with them? We, at DevriX marketing team, are always ready help! You can ping us here, on Facebook, or on Twitter 🙂 everywhere, if executed properly, a social marketing campaign might help to grow your business and establishing your brand name.

Don’t know where to start? Not sure of which social media platforms to use? Don’t know where your customers are? How you should interact with them? We, at DevriX marketing team, are always ready help! You can ping us here, on Facebook, or on Twitter 🙂

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