SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING 2018-08-28T12:53:42+00:00

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Social Media Marketing

Bringing your business closer to your customers

Social Media Marketing – An overview

What is social media?

When people interact, and communicate with one another on the internet, they largely do so through social media channels. Even though the world wide web has been around for a while now, social media sites have gained significant prominence in the last decade.

So, why is this interaction called social media? It is because social media users engage with and around it in a social context – conversations, commentary, and other user-generated engagements.

What are some of the different Social Media Platforms and Websites?

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Instagram
  4. YouTube
  5. LinkedIn
  6. Pinterest
  7. Snapchat
  8. Google+

Why do you need social media?

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The use of social media by the public has skyrocketed in the past 10 years. People discuss everything on the internet from loving cats to wondering if global warming is legitimate. This amount of conversation and content provides an important opportunity for businesses to connect with their customers, potentially increasing their customer base and the scale of their businesses.

Some interesting stats for you to visualize the impact of social media:

  1. 72% of online adults use social networking websites
  2. 75% of brand likes come from advertisements
  3. 92% of consumers trust peer recommendations
  4. 92% of companies use social media for recruitment
  5. 89% of 18-29 year olds are on a social media network

One thing from the above stats is clear: your customers are online.
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  1. Increased Brand Awareness
    By conversing and engaging with customers and potential customers daily, social media is one of the most cost-effective digital marketing methods to increase your brand’s visibility on the web. Also, as you can see from the stats above, the pool of potential customers is huge, making it an easy way to communicate who you are and what you do with known and unknown customers over a long period of time.
  2. Better traffic
    By marketing on social media, you’re able to reach a wider audience and thus invite greater traffic to your website. This is particularly useful for those who already have a search marketing strategy. It helps you get a completely new audience, an audience that does not know what they’re looking for and may just visit your website because they find the content interesting. Also, different demographics use different keywords for the same products and social media helps in addressing this criterion.
  3. Improved Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
    Search engine optimisation plays a major role in improving traffic to your website. By creating content such as blogs, infographics, business information, case studies, etc. regularly and using targeted keywords in the content your social media profile appears more credible and your content more relevant to your customers. Relevancy is key to your SEO ranking.
  4. Cost-effective
    According to HubSpot, marketing experts and marketers have found that spending as little as six hours on your own social media helps increase website traffic. This would mean, if you spent just one hour on social media per day, which isn’t a significant amount to be spent on social media, your efforts would start bearing fruits. You can start with a small budget and see the impact of social media on your traffic, conversions and SEO ranking. Also, in comparison with other forms of marketing, this is one of the cheapest ways to talk about your product.
  5. Better conversion rates
    As social media allows for greater visibility; you and your business will most probably have higher conversions. It personifies your brand and your business. People prefer dealing with other people over companies. Making sure your brand exists in a space where people are liking, sharing and commenting regularly can only improve the conversion rates on your website traffic. 
  6. Better customer satisfaction
    Like any communication tool such as emails or telephones, social media helps you understand your customer better. Whether the customers’ review of your product is positive or negative, you can publicly demonstrate your concern for your customers’ point of view. This personal touch that you provide shows the customers that you care.

How can BlueOshan help?

As a social media marketing company in India, BlueOshan creates social media plans, provides different and innovative social media campaigns and manages your social handles to ensure your company’s brand image is not only maintained but also improved.

Talk to a Social Media Marketing Strategist

Social Media Marketing – A closer look

An in-depth look at the four most popular social media platforms.

Facebook

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What started off as a networking platform for college students, became the most widely-used social network to date, having more than 1 billion active users from all walks of life. It has become more than just a platform that connects people: it connects brands to their existing and potential customers, taking the way brands interact with people to a whole new level.

How is Facebook used?

Facebook at its core is used to connect people. It has become a critical part of their online presence. Connections here not only refer to connections with friends and family, but also to connections with brands, companies, news events, and professions.

People like, comment and share content they enjoy. This content can be professional, personal, motivational, commercial, international, etc. Users can customize what content they want to see and how visible to the world they want to be.

What other features does Facebook have?

  1. Groups: The purpose of a group is manifold. It can be for hobbies, nutrition, professional interests, and anything a “group” of people would be attracted to join. It has varying levels of security and visibility depending on the use of the group. Since Facebook’s inception, groups have gained prominence in Facebook to connect people with similar interests and opinions.
  2. Facebook Messenger: An app that helps you instantly message, email and Facebook message your friends.
  3. Events: A tool that helps you organize around a particular time. Professionally and personally, events have been gaining prominence amongst people on this social media platform.
  4. Business Pages: Business pages help different brands communicate their brand USPs and philosophy. By making analytics available to marketers, Facebook helps marketers understand their target audience, their likes and dislikes, and their purchasing habits.

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Facebook strategy – How do you make your brand stand out?

With more people joining the platform every day, the amount of content people get to see is increasing. This increase causes competition among brands to grab attention. Additionally, Facebook provides content on its “news feed” based on relevancy. So, a little bit of planning can help you gain a competitive advantage.

Focus on the following:

  1. Content: Whatever you post on Facebook is considered content. To appear on the news feed, you need users to engage with your content i.e. you need to get people to comment, like and/or share your content. Posting entertaining and educational facts about your brand helps in personifying your offering.
  2. Management: Management of your brand’s image is integral to improving brand perception. Whether positive or negative, respond to every comment. It shows your audience how much you care.
  3. Analyze your post: Post often and know when to post. This should be your mantra. When and how are incredibly important in creating an invested fan base. Analyze when you get the highest traction – is it because of the content of the post? The time posted? The type of post? Was it a video or an image? Was it during lunch time for your audience or during holidays when people have more time to spend on social media? Tweaking your posts every now and then helps in optimizing its visibility.
  4. Engage: Your primary focus should be to understand your customer base. Do they like your brand? Do they like your brand’s position and image? Do they like your products? Why you? Create content that helps you answer these vital questions.
  5. Build a community and finally brand endorsers: Customer loyalty isn’t easy to win. Your objective shouldn’t be to increase conversions and click through rates (CTR). It should be to increase the positive connection people have with your brand; so much so that they’re willing to talk and even sell your product for you. Nothing works better than referrals.
  6. Manage your page well: A potential customer likes your post and wants to visit your page. What information about your brand/products do you want this person to access? It should be easy to find, easy to understand and definitely easy to propagate.
  7. Source of authenticity and credibility: Whatever you post on social media is as good as written in never-eroding stone. Fact and grammar checking must become second nature. Posting unpopular content can easily eat away at the interest of your audience base and affect overall perception of your brand.

Tools to use to improve your footing in Facebook

  1. Facebook for business: Recently updated, this portal helps you manage your page, your campaigns and other resources.
  2. Facebook insights: A tool that helps you understand who likes your brand, where they are from, what posts they are engaging with, what kind of content they like and so on. Absolutely crucial to improving presence on Facebook.
  3. Facebook Ads: Similar to search engine marketing and display marketing, these ads aid in reaching a much larger audience, and improve conversions as well.
Talk to a Social Media Marketing Expert

Instagram

Instagram started as a social media platform where people could share pictures. Its appeal lay in promoting “mobile photographers”.  You didn’t have to learn or spend hours on photoshop to make your pictures look good anymore. Just by using Instagram’s “filters” anybody could post a picture that looked like a professional photographer had taken it.

Since then, Instagram has exploded onto the scene with new added features and new advertising possibilities – a good time for your business and businesses in general to be on Instagram.

Why do YOU need Instagram?

A recent survey with over 2,500 micro-influencers (small to mid-sized social media users having a good set of “followers” – people who follow you on social media) showed that over 60% of them felt that Instagram was the best place for engagement with the audience whereas only about 18% of them felt Facebook was better than Instagram.

  1. Simple and Novel: Since the layout of the app is so intuitive, it feels like (and is) a departure from other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn in terms of look and feel. Instagram attracts a younger audience and has a freshness that is unlike other social media websites. Due to its newness, Instagram is ideal for your business to attract new audiences and potentially foster engagement.
  2. Screen-size friendly: Instagram can be used on any device and it’s not restricted to screen sizes. It has an easy-on-the-eye design, a horizontal span of images on the newsfeed, and an infinite scroll which ensures that people use it on-the-go. This is even better for businesses, as you can get in touch with your target audience anywhere, anytime and from any place.
  3. Multiple social functions: Unlike LinkedIn, which can be used only for a single social function, Instagram is for a wider audience with diverse backgrounds, allowing businesses to tap into new demographics from around the world. Its posts can be public like twitter but where it trumps its tweeting counterpart is its ability to control spam and provide tight personal networks.

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Some numbers to further illustrate why you need Instagram:

  1. It has more than 600 million monthly active users
  2. Over 400 million daily active users
  3. 450+ million active stories per day
  4. The average user spends 25 mins per day on Instagram
  5. More than 60% of all users log in daily
  6. 50% of most major brands use Instagram and the number is set to increase to 71% by 2018.

Instagram – Clear Content Strategy

Before you open an Instagram account or in case you already have one, you need to have a clear marketing goal ahead of you. What do you hope to achieve through Instagram? These goals need to match your department goals or your business goals. It could any of the following:

  • Increasing product sales
  • Increasing customer satisfaction
  • Attracting top talent
  • Driving traffic to your website

Remember your goals should be S.M.A.R.T – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Keep those in mind and you’ll find you’re getting more followers than you can imagine.

So, what should your content strategy be?

You’ve set up your Instagram ID. You know what your goals are. Should you go ahead posting? The answer is a big fat NO. You need to have a strategy to successfully attain those goals. How do you go about it?

  1. How often and when to post: Through pure trial and error, try to figure out what time of the day and on which days you get the most engagement. Capitalize on that and keep building your fan base.
  2. Set a content theme and a calendar: Your content should be ever-evolving. Your content shouldn’t just be about your product. It can be about you, about your customers, about the initiatives you’ve taken, who you like, etc. You get the gist.
  3. Have a style guideline: Your audience should know where your content is coming from. Having a consistent look and feel gives the audience a sense of comfort when they come across your post. They expect a level of quality from your posts and by keeping a style guide, at the very least you’re able to maintain their expectations.
  4. Stay true to your audience: Finding inspiration and imitating are very different. What has made Starbucks or Nike popular on Instagram may not work for you. Ask yourself, what does your audience want? Can you provide them something to chew on with the content you provide? What are your competitors doing? Are they missing something out, you can provide to your demographic? Keep these in mind while creating content.

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 What tools can you use to improve results?

  1. Instagram photo, video and carousel ads: Similar to Facebook, these ads facilitate brand reach. It catalyzes the process of finding potential followers. You can choose your target audience right down to area within a city, area of interest, gender, and even age. In most cases, video ads work better than photo or carousel ads if you can get your audience hooked; it almost forces engagement!
  2. Instagram Story ads: These are relatively new and offer full screen display ads that users can see while they’re scrolling through their story feed. Companies like Airbnb, Wildcraft, and Dairy Milk have used Instagram stories to considerably improve their brand awareness

Both the ads are created using the power editor or ads manager and so have insights as to who is looking at your ads, how long they’re looking at your ads, what demographic ratio is like, and so on, giving you measurable data to help you scale up or down your marketing efforts.

Talk to a Social Media Marketing Expert

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the largest social network that connects working professionals with others. It helps businesses engage with their present and potential employees, and develop a professional community. On LinkedIn, you can cultivate a strong network, build authority and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

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Why should you use LinkedIn?

  1. Recruitment made easy: LinkedIn is used by professionals to show their educational background, their expertise, and their resume. These professionals use the platform to look for connections to build a network and to look for new opportunities around the world. Recommendations are provided by co-workers and clients alike, making it the perfect atmosphere for recruiters to hire.
  2. Develop your business: Surveys have shown that LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for generating leads. With over three times the conversion rate of that of Facebook or Twitter, it has become the go-to platform for business development.
  3. Establish thought leadership: By creating content that’s relevant to your industry, you can build authority around your brand and foster trust among your employees, and customers. You can share company news and stay up-to-date on networks and industry news.
  4. Client loyalty and advocacy: By creating and sharing content that people will engage with, irrespective of them being your employees or customers, helps build brand likability and advocacy.

So, what should your strategy be?

Whether you are a B2B company or otherwise, LinkedIn can be very useful in increasing your enquiries if you get your marketing strategy right.

  1. Keep your page complete and up-to-date. If your company structure has changed, or you have released a new product (consumer facing or not) be sure you update your page with news informing existing and potential customers, and employees of the change.
  2. Since companies keep their LinkedIn page up-to-date, you may find insight into your customers. Are they scaling up? Are they acquiring a company? Who are their employees? Are these employees ready to shift? All this and so much more can help you improve your competitive advantage.
  3. People use LinkedIn as a trusted platform for research. By keeping your page current, your LinkedIn page becomes a part of the compliance process for fundamental updates.

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What tools can you use?

  1. LinkedIn for Outlook: In case you use Outlook, this can bring your network to your mailbox. This tool is particularly useful in finding contacts on Outlook you don’t have on outlook and building your brand.
  2. Sponsored Content: Like Facebook, on LinkedIn, you can post sponsored content and increase your network.
  3. LinkedIn Maps: This tool maps your network and tells you where and on which continent all your connections are at!
Talk to a Social Media Marketing Expert

Twitter

Twitter, founded in 2006, has transformed the way we access real time information. Through its 140-character size updates, we get all kinds of shareable content from news to sports, to politics, and to absolutely random celebrity “mean tweets”. Even though twitter’s appeal is waning, forcing the social platform to increase its character size to 280, twitter remains a tour de force when it comes to brands and influencers connecting directly with their existing and potential fan bases.

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Why should you use twitter?

  1. Constant real-time updates: Many businesses use Twitter to keep their followers up-to-date with current information with the business. For example, production houses like Warner Brothers or Disney use Twitter to create hype around their movies. It’s a great platform to also get reviews on your updates from your followers.
  2. Generate more leads: You can use Twitter to boost your leads. Many companies host competitions and provide offers to their followers to create buzz around their product. This directly affects the number of people talking about the product, leading to a larger number of leads.
  3. Boost your SEO: Google searches often show tweets from organizations. For instance, whenever Manchester United play a game, the time and the line-up are announced are tweeted. So, if anybody googles the time of the match or the lineup, the tweet is usually presented as the first result. You can also use keywords in your tweets to boost your overall ranking for terms related to your business.
  4. Connect with your current and future customers: By creating interesting content on Twitter, you’re able to imprint the brand’s personality and promise in your customer’s mind. Your existing and potential followers will appreciate content created specifically for them and will make them feel that you’re more than just a business selling goods and services.
  5. Understand your customer and the trends: Providing constant real-time updates on Twitter and getting feedback on those updates helps you understand your customer better – do they like your present campaign? Do they like your new product? Besides, twitter also indicates what the current hot topics are and that can help you understand the mindset of your followers – how they view your competitors and their products. Using such information, you can see what’s trending even without tweeting.

Some stats to illustrate why

  1. 72% of all active Twitter users are between the ages 18-49
  2. The sex ratio is the highest compared to other social media platforms 55% female to 45% male
  3. 70% of Twitter users have at least a college education
  4. More than 400 million tweets are sent out every day

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So, what should your strategy be?

  1. Keep your branding consistent: You should ensure that your account name and profile are according to your brand guidelines. You need to understand that most people will visit your profile just once when they’re deciding if they want to follow you or not. If you’re a known brand, having a consistent look and feel is absolutely vital to successfully launch your brand on Twitter. If you’re an unknown brand, remember that when people visit your profile you’re creating a “first impression”. So, all the information on your profile should correctly reflect and represent who you are.
  2. Keep your voice consistent: You have 140 characters (now 280) to communicate your thoughts to your followers. It is crucial that you have a clear idea of who you are and who you are not. Before you tweet, you need to ask yourself, how will my followers react? Will it create a conflict? How should I respond? Is my response what my company stands for? Is it my brand’s voice?
  3. Be responsive: Because of the way Twitter functions, it makes it easy for your customers to find you and give you feedback on your service or product. At this stage, it is critical that you respond to them quickly. If a customer’s tweet is left hanging for too long, it could lead to a barrage of tweets from a large number of customers facing the same issues.
  4. Track your content and set up measurement frameworks: If you’re sharing links be sure to track it. It will help you evaluate the success of your campaigns and your content. Also, Twitter provides you with mountains of data if you’re can set up a measurement framework or dashboard. Remember, the framework should be in line with your business objectives and goals.
  5. Content should add some value: The most important thing to remember is that twitter at the end of the day is used for its entertainment value and its value to communicate. There is no point in sharing content that will not be interesting to your followers. You need to ask yourself if your followers would like what you’ve tweeted and whether it’s valuable information.

What tools can you use?

  1. Twitter for business: For those getting started with the social media platform, it’s a one-stop-shop for getting your business down and running. It helps you promote yourself on Twitter effectively. It works like Instagram and Facebook ads.
  2. Twitter cards: If your website has the right meta data, you can use these cards to drive traffic to your website. Twitter recently released lead generation cards, to help brands generate more conversions. Twitter has a variety of cards like templates for articles, photo galleries, apps, and product.
Talk to a Social Media Marketing Expert