Social media marketing is the practice of using social media platforms to build a brand and promote its products or services. It is estimated that 3.8 billion people now use social media. Therefore, some of the major benefits of using social media marketing to a small business include heightened engagement with consumers, having a much wider reach and being able to analyse interest in the brand 24/7.
Social media platforms can be utilised in a multitude of ways to build a brand with a successful online presence. For example, promotional images, videos and links can all be shared with the intent of creating more online traffic. Whilst polls, giveaways and competitions can all be analysed as a form of active engagement with a brand or trend.
Facebook is the largest social media platform worldwide. Therefore, it is the ideal platform to market a growing business. By promoting targeted adverts, the social media giant successfully incorporates personalised advertisement and social interaction. It is also important to note that Facebook owns the Whatsapp and Messenger applications that are a helpful communication tool for smaller businesses.
Twitter, whilst not being the obvious choice for online advertisement, is a hub of smaller business communities that promote and support each other’s businesses. Helpful promotional features on the platform include utilising a business profile to respond to customer queries fast and including hashtags on tweets with the intent of making it on to the trending page.
Instagram is another large social media platform owned by Facebook. Therefore, the two profiles can be linked and automatically promote the content posted on either site. Not only this, but a personal profile on Instagram can be switched to a business one easily in order to analyse and manage engagement and promotional posts. Businesses that use Instagram as a marketing tool tend to build a strong aesthetically pleasing brand image and use the site to market online exclusive promotions and discounts to entice their target market. In return, social media influencers will often tag their pictures with the brands they bought from as a form of paid promotion.
LinkedIn is a more professional setting for online advertisements. Centred around networking, the site allows businesses to post job openings and share articles relating to their specific field in order to build a successful brand.
Youtube is a fast-growing social media platform on which brands are increasingly opting to advertise. In a similar way to Instagram, the video sharing site utilises social media influencers to promote products and collaborate with; often producing educational content as well as promotional. Youtube also offers paid advertisement and polls on adverts in order to gauge demand for products and the effectiveness of existing advertising campaigns.
Tik Tok is perhaps the youngest of all the social media platforms on this list, however, its potential for increasing exposure for smaller businesses is incredible. By including hashtags on shorter videos, businesses hope to appear on the For You page, which is a trending section of the application. This platform is ideal for marketing smaller brands such as handmade crafts, candle makers and clothing boutiques.