What is Social media marketing and its impact for business?

  • Person icon By Mercia Group
  • Calendar icon 4 October 2021 11:26

What is social media marketing and why are almost all businesses in need of it? Using social media channels in a marketing strategy usually is an afterthought or an add-on communication method to drive traffic to a website. But does it still pay off if this marketing tool is used as an afterthought?

What is social media marketing?

This question is asked by many businesses and a lot of the time is never asked again. However, social media is currently a big and important part of a strong digital marketing strategy. Its importance and power comes directly from how big of a role social media plays in the lives of your clients. According to research carried out by Hootsuite in 2020, social media platforms are actively used by 3.8 billion users, which equates to 49% of the population. It’s a 321 million increase from the same research carried out in January 2019. On average, a single social media user spends up to two hours daily on social media networks.

Looking at the above numbers, we can see how big of a reach social media has into the marketplace. Social media marketing aims to help you better reach potential clients. It uses social media channels, blogs and other online tools to promote a business’s services, outlining who they are and helping with sales and customer support. The main aim of social media marketing is to drive more engaged website visits and capture the attention of new clients for your business. To be able to build a strong social media marketing strategy, it is important to understand the basic terms and popular social media platforms that are used to carry out social media marketing.

The basics

Social media platforms are growing every day, and we can see that with trends changing we get more and more platforms being created and made available on the internet. We have collated a short list of the most popular social media networks and what they can do in terms of helping businesses market their products and services:

  • Facebook – Facebook is the leader of the networks that are being used by businesses. This platform is changing very quickly and allows more and more options for business use. Every sector can use Facebook to market their services, especially if their target market is active on it, which is the case for clients looking for an accountant.
  • Twitter – Twitter is an online news and social networking site where people communicate in short messages called tweets. Twitter and tweeting might be called microblogging. Some people use Twitter to discover interesting people and companies online, opting to follow their tweets.
  • YouTube – YouTube provides video content, which is often considered the best way to access information by internet users. This platform allows businesses to advertise and show clients who they are through the use of video adverts, usually placed before the video content the user is looking for. This is a good way to get in front of your customers; however, the tracking may be difficult as the platform allows users to view its content without the need to log in to their account.
  • Instagram – Instagram’s main purpose is the use of visual content and is heavily image-based. The users are usually younger; however, it does provide a platform for sharing your offering in a visual way. Research has shown that female users are more active on this social media platform.
  • LinkedIn - this social media channel has been designed for businesses to build their networks and reach, mainly on a business-to-business basis, however if used properly and optimised well, business-to-customer marketing can be an easy and quick way to showcase your offering to your clients.
  • TikTok - the fast-growing newcomer, TikTok is usually overlooked when it comes to social media marketing. With over six million eight nine users, TikTok allows businesses to reach clients more easily. Its casual communication format using short videos makes advertising a tricky, but provides an opportunity for more creative, fun and personal content. More and more accountants are showing off their services and finance knowledge in a unique way, sparking interest amongst their followers.

You cannot start off your social media strategy on a strong note without knowing the rules and language that social media platforms are ruled by, so here are some terms that will help you make a start:

  • Community – a community consists of all the users signed up to a social media platform. They can exchange information, create groups based on similar interests and obtain easier access to businesses that have a social media presence on that specific social media network.
  • Content – content encompasses everything that is posted on social media, be it text, images, videos or a combination of all three. The more interesting and relevant your content is to the community, the better your social media marketing will prove to be.
  • Algorithms – algorithms are a sequence of activities carried out by social media users in a specific order that are looked at in the background to enable social media platforms to understand users’ behaviour and present them with content relevant to them based on their actions.
  • Reach – reach can be organic or paid for. Organic reach is the number of users that have seen or shared your content. Paid reach involves an advertising budget and lets you define who to target, as well as getting your content in front of more users.

Hashtag – a hashtag is a word that is preceded by the # symbol. Its purpose is to make it simpler for users to search for specific content. It is mostly used on networks like Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. If enough people use a specific hashtag, the hashtag will ‘trend’, and become visible to a wider pool of a platform’s users.

By understanding the basics and main differences discussed above, you will be ready to start and think about starting your own social media marketing journey.

How can Mercia help you?

We know that posting to social media channels can often fall down the daily to-do list as there are too many tasks to complete in the day. It can also be difficult to produce regular, technical and interesting content for your followers.

We understand and can post engaging and informative updates on your behalf to enable you to concentrate on the running of your business.

Our social media service is a perfect solution to help with marketing your business on social media platforms.

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