What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is a wide term, describing the use of marketing on social media platforms. It includes how companies and organizations market their product and service, connect with their audience and builds brand awareness. Social media offers a great variety of effective advertising and communication features that organizations can take advantage of.

Social media marketing in numbers

There is a growing number of 3,2 billion social media users around the world (Emarsys, 2019)

• Users spend an average of 144 minutes on social media every day (Statista, 2019)

• 74% of companies invest in social media marketing (HubSpot, 2020)

• It’s most common that businesses publish 3-4 posts per week on social media (HubSpot, 2020)

5 social media trends for 2021

 

1. Conversions. More companies will chase transactions via social media in the coming years. In 2021, 73% of all marketers’ primary focus in social media will be “conversion”. (Hootsuite, 2020)

2. Conversations. Conversational marketing and AI-features to connect directly with customers are continuously developing. (Talkwalker, 2020)

3. Live. Using live-content on social media is growing, creating an option for physical events. (Smart Insights, 2020)

4. Looking back. Nostalgia in marketing is becoming more popular to remind people about the time before the pandemic 2020. (Talkwalker, 2020)

5. Older generations. The generation of 55-64-year-olds is a growing social media marketing opportunity. (Hootsuite, 2020)

The 7 most popular social media platforms in 2021

 

Facebook 

• 1,79 billion daily active users (Facebook, 2020)

• Facebook is the platform that brings “everyone” together. Here you will find people of all demographics and interests.

• Facebook has the most ways to advertise and great possibilities to control your advertising thanks to Ads Manager.

Instagram

• 500 million of daily users (Instagram, 2019)

• Here you find a variety of demographics, but there are slightly more women than men who use the platform.

• Facebook owns Instagram, so it also offers Ads Manager. Due to high conversion rates, especially on Stories, Instagram is the channel that most advertisers are investing in right now (Hootsuite, 2020).

LinkedIn

• 722 million users (LinkedIn, 2020)

• Most people use the platform in their professional roles since it is the world’s largest recruitment market. Therefore, it is an optimal platform for B2B and employer branding if your target group uses LinkedIn.

• LinkedIn also offers different kinds of advertising.

YouTube

• 2 billion monthly users (Hootsuite, 2019)

• The Youtube audience consists of slightly more men than women, and they are more passive viewers of content. But product videos with a clear message have a natural place here.

• Youtube offers more TV commercial-like ad formats, such as prerolls and midrolls, as well as banners.

Twitter

• 330 active monthly users (Twitter, 2019)

• Twitter is something of a hybrid between a medium where people consume content and a social network. Why? You don’t need to have an account to be on Twitter to consume the content.

• Twitter is considered a good suit for government-controlled business areas and offers an easy way to engage in dialogue with the audience.

Snapchat

• 249 million active daily users (Snapchat, 2020)

• Snapchat has a younger audience, and they use the platform primarily to video chat with each other.

• There are some creative opportunities for advertisers, for example, companies that can work with filters and lenses that users can put on their faces while chatting. But Snapchat also has a more story-like format.

TikTok

• 200 million active monthly users (Dataportal,2020)

• The largest audience on TikTok is kids and teens. On TikTok, the algorithms control your feed by showing you what the algorithms think you are interested in.

• The advertisers who have succeeded on TikTok have worked a lot with organic content since you don’t need followers to reach out and become viral. However, the advertising tools for the platform are not yet fully available.

Pinterest

• 442 million users worldwide (Statista, 2020)

• On Pinterest, the audience is mainly female, and the content has a lifestyle and inspirational focus.

• Pinterest has been around for a long time but has gained momentum over the past year, partly because it has opened up to advertisers.

Set your social media marketing goals

To create the right content and efforts on social media, you need to clarify the purpose and set a goal.

Create clear marketing goals through SMART goals:

• Specific

• Measurable

 Attainable

• Relevant

• Time-based

Here are two examples of SMART goals:

• If your company wants to create more content about a specific subject, the goal can be to publish 1 Instagram post per week about employer branding during the next six months.

• If your company wants to make better videos, the goal can be to have an average of 60% that watch your company’s entire videos until the end, before the 1st of June 2021.

How about reaching your social media goals this year? Read our article

Build a successful social media strategy

Having a strategy is crucial and will make your work much easier. To build a successful social media strategy, you need to answer some questions.

1. Who is your target audience?

Do you know your audience well? If not, make sure to get to know them. You need to know who you’re talking to, to know how to talk to them effectively. The best way of doing this is to analyze your target groups and create so-called Personas.

Create personas for your social media marketing by following these steps:

1. Give them names

2. Describe their behavior

3. Describe their preferences

4. State their demographics – as age, location, etc.

(Learn more about target groups in our interview with expert Sarah Öhman. She shared some hacks to create effective target audiences when advertising on Instagram or Facebook.)

2. Which social media platform should your business use?

You should use the most relevant social platform for your organization, you don’t have to be on all of them. Go back to your target groups and research which platforms they use. If it’s a younger target group, Instagram is probably a good platform for you. If your goal is to attract the best talents in your business – then LinkedIn is probably a sensible platform to publish on.

3. What type of content should you create for social media?

Create a content strategy for each social media platform you have chosen. Decide on your purpose and goal for each channel, look at target groups, think about how often you want to publish, and what content you need to create for each channel.

Depending on your audience and platform, you will need to adjust your content. If you are a global organization, you also might need to localize your content considering different languages and cultural aspects.

If you want to become more expert, read our step-by-step guide to create a solid content strategy

Content in social media

Publish relevant, valuable, and consistent content

Create a content plan where it says WHAT, WHO, WHY, HOW, and WHEN content will be published. Then answer those questions to succeed. Make sure that your content on social media is relevant and valuable for your target audience. You should be consistent and keep your message clear. Also, make sure that your content follows the platform’s guidelines and suits your organization’s values.

Different types of social media content for companies and organizations

• Infographics

• Explainer videos

• Interviews

• Product descriptions

• Tips and tricks

• and the list goes on and on…

Storytelling on social media

Using storytelling on social media is a great way to communicate your brand and connect with your audience. Telling stories is the core of content marketing and makes your communication more consistent, relevant and valuable, and therefore – more effective. Everything has a story, and your brand is not an exception. Find your brand’s tone of voice and make your identity shine through in your content, then start telling your story! 

Here are 5 stories your brand can communicate: 

1. Your history

2. Your vision and goals

3. Your culture and values

4. Your knowledge

5. Your progress

Video content in social media

In the last couple of years, videos have more or less dominated social media. Video is the number one marketing content, winning over blogs and infographics, and 54% want to see more videos from brands (HubSpot, 2020). 88% of marketers also say that video has a positive impact on their ROI (Wyzowl, 2020). So, using video in your organization’s social media marketing can be the key to success!

Video is great for your storytelling on social and also in your social advertising campaigns. For example, you can distribute short advertising videos on Facebook, publish longer videos on YouTube, or share stories on Instagram

Video on social media doesn’t follow the same rules as “films in general”. You only have a few seconds to get the user’s attention and you often need to keep the video short to keep their attention. Therefore, the script is very important in social video, rather than classic film qualities like editing, tempo, or colors. So, are you a good writer? Can you tell great stories? Congratulations! Your competence will decide whether your video will take off or not.

Make your content available for everyone

Everyone should have the possibility to engage with your social media content the best way. Therefore, it’s important to create content supporting different formats and adapt to your audience’s needs. For example, you will want to create videos with text since the majority of social media videos are watched without sound.

We’ve gathered some inspiration on how you can use video in your marketing. Have a look! 

Social media advertising and distribution

Nowadays, making an organic viral success on social media can be hard. So, what are we supposed to do? The answer is simple: Give your posts a little nudge in the right direction with the help of paid distribution. You will be able to aim your efforts in the right direction, reaching the right audiences, and stop praying to the heavens for an intervention. However, it can sometimes be hard to navigate how you do it the best and what to avoid. Therefore, we created a free e-book that gives you all the the tips!

Communicate with your customers and audience on social media

The beauty of social media is the fact that it offers two-way communication. It’s a fantastic scene to get closer to your target audience and customers! This is something brands and organizations should take advantage of. Make sure to find your tone of voice and be interactive and personal with your audience.

Make a plan to handle negative comments

Social media is not only a place for customers to interact with brands they love – sometimes, it becomes a platform for customer service. Not long ago, when customers felt the need to express disappointment or negative feedback to a company – they would call or send an email. Today, a brand’s Facebook or Instagram page is the go-to. Therefore, your organization needs a plan for how to handle negativity on social media.

Find a productive workflow for social media marketing

Can the work with social media sometimes feel overwhelming? Well, it is fully understandable. Nowadays it might feel like you are supposed to be updating a dozen social channels, preferably with target group-adapted content, preferably in several different formats, and preferably a couple of times a day. Therefore, it is crucial to create a productive workflow in social media marketing. Read more about this in our article where our Marketing Director, Jonna Ekman, gives you her best tips on how to become more productive.

Establishing a work process also makes it clear for everybody involved where their responsibilities begin and where they end.

• Who is going to produce the content?

• Do you have the required competence in-house or do you have to bring in external resources?

• Do you have the software needed to create what you want?

• Who is responsible for what and who gives the final approval to publish?

Measure and evaluate your social media results

There are a ton of platforms and tools that can easily help you measure and evaluate your results on social media. Make sure to follow up on the data and analyze which data points are the most important to your organization or company.

Here are some examples on social media metrics:

• Awareness: Impressions, reach, followers

• Engagement: likes, comments, shares, clicks

• Conversion: downloads, leads, purchases

Optimize your social media marketing

When you know the results and have analyzed the data, you need to optimize! The biggest benefit from all the data points is the fact that we can continuously learn what works, and from there make our social media marketing even better!

A/B test the social media content

One way of optimizing your social media marketing is to A/B test campaign content. For example, you can test which image creates the most CTR. Doing this, you keep all the settings and content as it is, but try out different images so you later can see what image converts the most. Remember – before you start, you need to decide what to test and test one thing at a time. This will make it the results better and easier to understand. Also, don’t be too quick to change the campaign’s parameters, it can take time before results show.

Read more about how to create converting ads in social media in our e-book!

One final thing: have fun, and never be afraid to experiment!

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