Just to be sure, if you’re in any way, shape or form unclear as to the immense value of social media marketing, here are 8 reasons why it needs to be part of your comprehensive online marketing plan. Maybe your current plan puts more emphasis on SEM (Search Engine Marketing), maybe you’re currently focused on outreach—those are all well and good.
But to really round things out and add a lot more value to your current online marketing campaign, social media marketing has to be part of the equation. It doesn’t have to take center stage or be your overarching priority, but it has to be part of the total mix. Here are just 8 of the thousands of reasons why your company, regardless of its size, needs to do social media marketing.
Reason #1: Social media’s huge direct and viral reach
If you build a solid page on a social media platform like Facebook, you develop a direct reach. This means a certain percentage of people who like your page will see your updates. While it’s true that Facebook has been reducing the organic reach of Facebook pages recently, there’s a workaround to that.
When people go to your page, you can instruct them to like your page and then click your page’s setting to show your updates first.
You might want to show a video that teaches them how to do this. You might even post an animated gif. Whatever you do, clue people in that they can change their settings to see your updates first. Now, for people to take the time and bother to do this, you have to ensure that the content you provide is really valuable.
On top of that, when people like your content, they can share it on their wall. Since people on Facebook have friends and their friends have friends, this can easily have an exponential effect. In fact, even if your page only has a hundred likes, but these are real people with real friends, don’t be surprised if one of your posts goes viral.
Social media enables you to have a large direct reach and provides you with a tremendous opportunity to enjoy an exponential content coverage.
Reason #2: Social media is habitual
While different demographics have shown a reduction in social media usage on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, this still doesn’t take away from the fact that many people habitually use social media. In fact, a lot of people do this first thing in the morning.
When they wake up, they go on their mobile phone or tablet and check their updates. It can easily become a habit. This gives you a great opportunity to get your content and brand in front of many interested eyeballs.
Reason #3: Target audiences use different content formats
The great thing about social media marketing is that you’re not restricted to just one content format. You’re not restricted to video, pictures, links, blog posts, text, or audio files.
Instead, different platforms specialize in different formats. And when you create content for one platform, you can easily make different versions of it in different formats to spread out to other platforms.
For example, you can write a blog post and post it on Facebook. You can then create a very attention-grabbing graphic for that blog post. So when you post it on your Facebook page, a preview of the image shows up and it catches people’s attention. People then click on it, and they end up on your website.
Next, you can take that graphic and share it on Pinterest. You can also take content from the blog post or article and create a YouTube video out of it. Additionally, you can take the video and embed it in your blog post. Furthermore, you can strip different parts of the article or post itself and feed it into Twitter along with the link to the full post or article.
Do you see how this works? You get access to the different audiences of those various platforms by simply re-purposing the same content you made for one platform. This greatly increases your potential reach.
Reason #4: Most social media platforms can be segmented
If you’ve ever been to Instagram, you know that when you see a picture, it usually has many different tags. If you’ve been on Twitter, you’d see that a lot of the hot tweets also have hashtags.
Those tags are very valuable.
When you use a tag with your content, you are essentially categorizing your content. People use those tags to search for content. This is a very powerful segmentation tool.
For example, people looking for cute “Chihuahua” puppies will use certain hashtags that are different from those looking for “libertarian” political posts. If you have a very tightly defined audience, social media platforms’ built-in segmentation tools and features can definitely help you.
You probably already know that huge audiences that aren’t very targeted are essentially worthless. Thanks to social media marketing’s segmentation features, you can get a smaller volume of people from many different platforms, but you can rest assured that these people are actually interested in whatever it is you are saying. These segmentation tools go a long way in helping you build a very refined and well qualified audience base. This, in turn, increases your likelihood of making a sale.
Reason #5: Sharing content on most platforms can be automated
Thanks to tools like Hootsuite and SocialOomph, you don’t have to worry about manually going to Facebook or Twitter and copying and pasting materials from a document or spending hours setting up your scheduled posts. You can simply automate your posts to publish several months worth of content.
The best part is that a lot of these automation tools use bulk feeds. This means you can format your content in an Excel file and convert it to CSV and plug into these tools. You don’t have to input the materials one by one. Talk about saving a lot of time while also maximizing your reach.
Reason #6: You can run a two-track marketing campaign using email lists
The heart of a content-based audience relationship marketing campaign on social media is to build a highly targeted email list.
Now, this is not what you think. A lot of people are thinking that once they build the list, they’re on their way to becoming millionaires. Absolutely wrong. There’s a missing step.
When people join your email list, it’s really a “general list“. By “general”, I don’t mean it talks about all subjects under the sun. Instead, I’m talking about general interest in the specific topic.
You really don’t know yet at this point who is a buyer and who is simply looking for information or still trying to make up their minds whether they trust you enough.
You can create a general list and then eventually you try to upsell them to a buyer’s list.
How do you do that? Well, you can sell low-ticket items on your general list such as an eBook. It doesn’t really matter what the price is. It just has to be low cost because what you’re trying to do is give people a way to identify themselves as a buyer, and you want to make it as smooth and easy as possible. A few dollars is almost an afterthought to most people.
They won’t think that it’s too painful to buy your product. But once they get to your buyer’s list, you eliminate them from your general list, and now you have a pure list of buyers. That list, my friend, is a goldmine. That’s where you send your money making content. That’s where you get people to check out your case studies and get them to pay top dollar for whatever you’re selling.
This is called a two-track marketing campaign. It’s extremely powerful and has made a lot of people rich. But you have to step away from the common mistake of thinking that once you get a lot of people to your email list, you have it made. Absolutely wrong.
Reason #7: Your brand gets natural repetition through multi- platform marketing
Assuming that all your social media accounts on all major platforms look similar to each other, you get many bites at the apple. You really do.
For example, when people run into your brand on Facebook, there’s a chance they might also run into your brand on Twitter.
If there is brand consistency on all platforms, then they can see that you’re everywhere and can converse or engage with your brand regardless of where they are on the internet.
Eventually, this builds a tremendous amount of familiarity and people might become so comfortable that they join your email list when you call them to action. The best part to this is that it happens naturally by you simply creating and optimizing social media accounts on all the major platforms. Your brand speaks to people who are interested in your niche, regardless of where they go.
Reason #8: Save money through content re-purposing
Make no mistake about it, content creation can be very expensive.
Even if you hire highly qualified, talented, skilled and experienced people from countries like India and the Philippines where costs may be cheaper, it still adds up over time.
One of the things about social media marketing that really excites me is the fact that you can create content and re-purpose it into many different formats. This significantly reduces your cost.
For example, if you hire a writer from India and pay them $1,000 a month, you can get a fixed amount of content. At this point, you can choose to pay that person another $1,000 to get even more content, or you can just take whatever content he or she produced and turn it into videos, infographics, or strip them down into questions for tweets.
Additionally, you can turn them into diagrams or take the voice-over of the video you produced and turn it into a audio file. You can even make a slideshow of these materials. Once you have all the re-purposed content, you can then share it on format-specific platforms. For example, you can share the slideshows on Slideshare and post the infographics on Pinterest.
Furthermore, you can post the product shots or general product pictures on Instagram, post the questions on Twitter and post the videos on YouTube. Best of all, you can post all these formats on Facebook.
Do you see how this works? When you do this, you make content once, re-purpose it, and share it so you have a higher chance of getting traffic or visibility with that re-purposed content.
You’re no longer have to worry about constantly creating new content. In fact, the name of the game is to produce as little content as possible, but market these high quality pieces widely. This is how you maximize their value. The old idea of constantly publishing content just to get a few eyeballs here and there is dead. Seriously. That’s a one way ticket to the poorhouse.
The better approach would be to make your content work for you by converting it into as many different formats as possible.
You then simply share these different formats on various platforms that specialize in those formats.
I hope the 8 reasons above are clear and you are excited to do social media marketing the right way!