What is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing, generally abbreviated to SMM, is a branch of Digital Marketing applied to social media. This discipline exploits the potential of social channels to generate visibility, engagement , social sharing (sharing), but also to promote a product, service, brand or public figure.
We can say that it is one of the most used tools by both individuals and companies: more and more individuals use their social channels to communicate with their friends and relatives, to stay updated with the outside world, but also to search for information, products or services. Consequently, nowadays there are more and more companies that decide to open social pages and use this type of communication. For example, through the Facebook channel, companies can create a shop and insert their products and services, linking each of it to the respective sales page. In this way, users have the ability to view what the company produces directly from social media. Obviously this is only one of the activities that can be carried out through the social channel, but there are many others. Each company, on the basis of its type and respecting its needs, can decide to implement activities rather than others.
The benefits of using social media
Based on this premise, you will already have understood that social media hides a number of potentials. Obviously, each social media has its own characteristics and you can choose which channel to preside over depending on the main activities you carry out. For example, if your passion is photographs and maybe you have a photo studio, the advice is to give priority to the Instagram channel, if on the other hand you prefer to make videos, then surely you can use YouTube to make your business known or to develop tutorials on certain topics.
Below I define, which in my opinion are the advantages of social media and consequently of the activity of Social Media Marketing.
- information circulates faster: this allows individuals to be updated in real time on the latest news. Now people to stay up to date constantly on events or on what surrounds us, connect to the Internet and, much more often, look for the necessary information directly on social channels. In fact, especially young people, use social media as their main research tool: for example, if we have to search for an event, a company or a person, the first channel we use is social media. Precisely for this reason, it is convenient for companies to have their own page and populate it with content that could be useful and interesting for their target audience.
- Interact quickly with friends, relatives and customers: on social networks each individual/company can publish statuses, stories, images and share posts directly on their profile or page. This allows users to interact quickly with each of us. For example, if I publish a post, people can insert reactions (until recently there was only the “like”, now it is possible to choose between a series of emojis and use them according to the emotion that the post arouses in each of us), comments or share the post on your profile. The same happens with stories; for those who do not know what it is, the stories are images or short videos that are automatically deleted after 24 hours and are used as if it were our “public” diary.
- Exchange opinions or converse directly with the person of interest through a chat. Every social platform now has an instant messaging tool, literally translated into instant messaging, where people can write to each other, send voice messages or make video calls quickly and above all simply. In this way, thanks to social media, people can communicate remotely, without the need to meet in person. This does not only happen between friends and relatives, but it is also possible to start a conversation with the company of interest to ask, for example, for information on their services and products.
- Increase the visibility of a company, product, service: it does not matter whether you are a company, a brand or a freelancer. Through social media you have the possibility to publish your products and services and make them visible to everyone.
All these advantages lead more and more individuals to download the various platforms on their mobile and fixed devices, create their own profile and enter the information they want to appear to the public. Everything is done within a few minutes.
Despite these aspects, we cannot neglect the problems that arise from them.
- Reduction of physical contact: while social media allows people to stay in contact with each other at any time, on the other hand they reduce physical contact between people. Consequently, this distance could have negative repercussions on the relationship between people themselves.
- Fake news : each of us is getting used to looking for news online and very often directly on social media. This leads people to quickly search for what they need, but you have to be very careful about so-called fake news, that is, false news circulating on the net.
- Privacy: nowadays the issue of privacy is becoming more and more important, but we must be careful as very often people publish and share sensitive information without considering this fundamental aspect, risking to infringe the rights of others.
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Why should companies use social media?
At this point, we looked at the strengths of social media and the weaknesses, but why should a company, a brand or a freelancer use social platforms?
- To connect with people
- To update you on the latest news, products or services
- To sponsor and sell your own products
- To generate new business leads
- To increase customer conversion
- To carry out advertising campaigns aimed at the audience you want to reach
It is not necessary to supervise all social media, it is at the discretion of each of us to define which are the most useful channels based on the activity that takes place. Most companies tend to own Facebook and Instagram, the two social media most used by both the Italian and world population. Another social network widely used by companies is Linkedin: this channel is a strong means of communication because it allows companies to acquire great visibility and develop professional contacts. Through this platform, companies can, for example, publish job advertisements and search for personnel to integrate into their team, but also receive individual applications directly on the channel.
Here we have mentioned some platforms, but in the next paragraph we observe which are the main social media used by the world population.
What are the main social media used?
According to the Digital report 2022 (digital report that reports the data and habits of people globally), more and more individuals are spending their time on social platforms. According to these data, in fact, 43 million people are active on social media and spend almost 2 hours of their daily time connected.
But, which are the main social media most used?
According to the ranking reported by Digital Report of 2022, the main social platforms used in the world are the following.
As you well know, the social network was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 and has undergone a series of evolutions since then. Today the social network is used by both young people and adults, but also by companies. It is a very powerful social media that allows users to publish images, write statuses, share posts, make stories, but also sponsor their products and services through targeted advertising campaigns. On this channel it is therefore possible to create both organic content, i.e. free ones that do not require any costs, and paid ones. With this second type of content, it is possible to customize each individual advertisement based on the target audience, on the geolocation, but also on the budget available to us. Obviously, before starting a campaign it is good to carry out some analyzes, otherwise you risk investing your money unnecessarily. Based on what has been said, campaigns do not always give the desired results: generally it is necessary to invest more time in order to better define your campaign. Furthermore, all data must be carefully measured and analyzed.
YouTube is in second place; it is a video sharing platform created in 2005. YouTube is the channel that allows you to publish videos and receive likes. The platform allows users to comment on videos, share videos wherever they want, but also save them in their own collection and watch them whenever they like.
WhatApp is an instant messaging app, that is, instant messaging. Through this application, users can exchange text and voice messages in real time, but they can also make calls or video calls with their contacts. You can create groups and set statuses (they too have a duration of 24 hours just like Instagram stories). This way you can stay in touch with friends, relatives or other people quickly and easily.
Instagram, unlike Facebook where textual content alternates with images, there is a clear prevalence of visual posts. In addition to static images, on this channel it is possible to publish stories, short videos and reels. The latter have become a trend in 2021: these are video clips ranging from 15 to 30 seconds and are fun and engaging for the viewer. Instagram has young people as its main target, even if it is also populated by adults.
Obviously those mentioned are only some of the social media on the market; for example, according to the ranking of Digital Report, in fifth place is Tik Tok. It is a social network that was developed several years ago, but which has only recently gained its success. This social network is used by children, adults, but also by companies to show in a simple way the activities they carry out and giving useful advice to their target audience.
How can you be a good communicator?
Being good communicators and managing your own channels is not easy!
Using social media does not mean having an account and posting content randomly. Unlike the personal profile, which can be managed as you see fit, for company pages and accounts, everything must be strategically thought and studied. To manage a channel correctly, it is essential to stay abreast of technology and new developments, analyze your competitors on the market, and why not, take a cue from the activities they carry out. Obviously, with this last tip you have to be careful not to copy the contents of others: each content must be original and creative, in order to be unique!
To achieve good results it is important to have a clear understanding of the objectives to be achieved, the target audience and the strategies to be implemented. These are essential elements, which very often are not well defined in the mind of the channel manager.
Obviously, social media marketing is not the only fundamental activity. In the world of communication there are a series of essential activities and, to be able to communicate at 360 °, we must not neglect any channel. For example, another activity that should go hand in hand with what has been said so far is that of email marketing. It is an activity that allows you to reach individuals via e-mail. If you are interested in this activity and want to have more information, I suggest you read the following article “ The best Email Marketing tools “, in which an overview of this activity is made and which, in my opinion, are the best platforms on the net are presented.
Would you like more information on these activities? Are you thinking of implementing them to better sponsor your products or your brand?
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