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What is social media and how is it used in marketing?

The key to successful social media marketing is understanding what it is and how you can best leverage it.

Back in the day, the term ‘media’ referred to publishers who communicated with audiences, and largely consisted of outlets like newspapers, television and radio.

If a brand wanted to get their messages across to large audiences, they had to cosy up to the big media players and hope that a story would make it into a publication, or they could pay to run ads, often at considerable cost.

Now, social media has turned us all into publishers and put us in charge of our own messaging and branding. It’s an opportunity that has been embraced by business, spurred on by the resulting increase in brand awareness and revenue growth.

The ability to publish our own content for free or very low-cost allows many businesses with small marketing budgets to connect with customers, generate new leads, and make sales.

The downside is, of course, that all your competitors are using social media too.

The key to successful social media marketing is understanding what it is and how you can best leverage it.

What is social media?

The term social media refers to a range of online platforms that allows brands to publish their own content to consumers.

The most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Each has their own particular strengths and demographics, and businesses create different content for each platform accordingly.

Brands commonly produce articles (or blog posts) and videos for social media, but increasingly, social media platforms are expanding their offerings to include features like high-quality photography, infographics, live streaming, and stories.

Social media posts are a great way to promote a brand, can significantly increase sales, and with the right strategy, convert those click-throughs to sales.

Importantly, social media doesn’t just allow brands to publish. Social media is designed to be interactive, and as such, allows a deep interaction with consumers, increasing brand awareness and loyalty.

How is social media used in marketing?

Social media targets consumers at every level of the buying cycle.

Posts explaining who you are and what you offer can reach those at the awareness stage; explainer videos can be targeted at those at the research stage; and offering promotions or discounts can convert those who are ready to purchase to actually make a sale.

Social media advertising allows you to target specific groups of people, in certain areas, meaning you can really focus your efforts and spend it where it counts.

However, social media also allows brands to monitor the mood and interests of their customers and target their marketing efforts accordingly.

User-generated content such as reviews inform marketers about what people are saying about their offering, as well as those of their competitors.

Why is social media marketing important?

At the most basic level, social media marketing allows brands to get in front of a lot of people very quickly and cheaply. When a social media strategy is successful, the ROI can be high.

Social media allows you to become the storyteller of your brand: who you are, what you stand for, where you’re going.

It enables you to answer the fundamental questions all marketing strategies should answer: what the consumer’s issue is, how your business can resolve it, and why they should choose you over a competitor.

Interacting with users via social media allows you to build your brand and develop trust and deep connections with your customers and potential customers – it also lays the groundwork for future marketing efforts.

This is because your social media following becomes a large group of potential customers you can then target with specific marketing campaigns.

Are you getting the most out of your social media marketing?

While social media marketing is a cost effective way to get in front of a lot of people very quickly, it also means that everyone is doing it. A team of creative marketing professionals can help your brand stand out from the crowd.

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne and we’re the experts in social media marketing for businesses big and small.

To find out how we can help your business, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

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