What is Social Media Marketing?

Technology has resulted in an explosion of channels within which companies can reach consumers, yet it has created a muddled process for marketers to determine which medium is most effective, social media specifically. Online companies are known for promoting themselves, and are subjected to a very competitive landscape in which content and competing messages sometimes battle for attention.

What is Social Media Marketing?

For brands, it’s important to define their voice and choose the most appropriate way to maintain that voice across social media platforms. As a result, social media posts should align with the brand or company. While platforms like Twitter and Facebook can be a great opportunity to engage with consumers and promote a brand’s purpose, these channels may take a more creative and sales-focused approach.

For example, recent Twitter controversy between Ivanka Trump and Nordstrom earlier this year spurred more than 100,000 tweets with the hashtag #GrabYourWallet, according to the analytics platform Yesably. Nordstrom’s social manager recently posted: “We make buying decisions based on what we think is best for our customers, for the long-term success of our brand. We appreciate their loyalty and feedback and are always looking for new ways to delight you.”

Consumers on Twitter have mixed reactions, which can be a good signal for brands looking to receive more engagement on social media. According to Sephora, brand conversation on Instagram reached three times greater than on Twitter last year. The beauty giant is also utilizing Instagram Stories to engage consumers and drive awareness and sales.

The right video can serve as a ground-breaking, viral social media campaign. The benefit of Instagram Stories is that brands can keep a core brand or story out there while also staying in front of consumers where they are engaging with brands. By putting a story out there through social channels, you can stay topical and relevant, whereas broadcast television is only relevant to a small subset of viewers.

Brands can also engage consumers on their own channels by creating meaningful conversations that inform followers on their product’s attributes and storytelling that promotes the brand as a brand. Brands can encourage interactions with followers by offering informational contests or giveaways that drive immediate interactions with fans.

Better Than TV?

It was almost a decade ago when marketers began reconsidering TV as a marketing vehicle. But while TV still has its place, as a personal brand a brand has the power to effect meaningful change. Brands can influence a consumer’s moods using social media. Spending money to accomplish this can increase revenues.

In addition to engagement, research has proven that watching video on social media can increase revenues. According to Looker, display ads on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter can be sold to consumers on a brand-led basis and generate an 11 percent higher revenue return than other online ads.

Culture and Gen-Z

Social media marketing is often aimed at millennials. A recent data study from Deloitte, which analyzed web usage in 150 countries, found that Canada ranked as the top country for mobile marketing awareness, followed by China, Russia and the U.S. In Canada, 27 percent of social media users were between the ages of 16 and 29.

Three out of five respondents in the U.S. were younger than 35 years old, making this a target audience for marketers. Millennial and Gen-Z have the social media power to create awareness of products, a marketable advantage that is often a force to be reckoned with. To develop a successful strategy, companies should ensure that their social media channel is consistent with their brand and relevance across the brands’ content. It’s crucial to create content that customers find meaningful and engages them as a user and ultimately a brand.

This social media strategy offers a unique way to engage with customers, telling a story in the process. With the power of social media marketing, a brand or company can tell the story of a moment in time through their voice and be a defining factor in the story. By helping companies appeal to social media users, a social media strategy can help these companies find true influence and a greater ability to drive revenue.

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