For a very small minority, social media can be mastered when just a few posts go viral, but the odds of this are very much like winning the lottery. Also, what tends to happen to lottery winners? They use all the money up in the first few years then fall into bankruptcy. On the other hand, a detailed and strategic plan can give you brilliant growth that, importantly, is sustained for lifetimes. In fairness, just like any marketing method, as long as it’s done properly you will be alright.
Social media marketing platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram all have their own unique benefits which make them a great place to use for marketing. For example, LinkedIn is great for business to business marketing (B2B) while Facebook can be more useful when advertising to a consumer (B2C). When creating a social media marketing strategy you need to consider who you’re selling to and what the customer needs are.
What is a social media campaign?
A social media campaign is a marketing strategy that can often use a number of different social media platforms to interact with a target audience and complete business goals. Social media campaigns can be easily analysed and tailored to target specific audiences. This type of campaign can use both paid media and earned media therefore it is great for small businesses on lower budgets.
A social media campaign should have what is known as SMART marketing objectives, which means they must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. They have to be specific to what your goals are, you have to be able to measure the campaign (which is why social media is perfect for this), the customers have to be able to attain good information to take action. They also have to be realistic to what you’re trying to achieve and what your budget is as well as being time-bound; so setting a timeline for the campaign.
What are the benefits of Social Media Marketing?
Social media is one of the most popular ways (in the modern-day) in which people receive news about anything, whether that is about products/services or what their friend had for lunch. In fact, 52% of Facebook users in the United States state Facebook as their primary source of news. Here are just some of the many benefits of social media marketing:
Measurability of campaigns
Unlike print media, social media platforms allow you to see insights into how your campaign is performing as well as many other relevant statistics. Using this information allows you to understand your return on investment (ROI) and determine what you can do to improve your next campaign. Useful statistics such as demographics tell you what type of audience you should continue to target, best time to post helps you understand when your posts reach the most engagement or interactions etc. You can also find out the number of clicks through to your website.
Helps drive website traffic
You can drive traffic through to your website using social posts and paid advertisements. Social media posts can be used to inform customers about your products and services, as well as blogs, and just attaching a link can drive website traffic. Including links at the top of your profile allows users to visit your site if they wish as well.
Increase brand awareness and generate new leads
Lead generation is about obtaining potential new customers and nurturing them to increase their interest in your brand. Social media platforms are very useful when it comes to this as they have a huge number of users. They also let you tailor your communications to reach your desired audience. Therefore, by advertising your brand on your social media platforms, you can increase brand awareness to potential customers. New leads can be generated on social media by paid promotion, posting on your own page as well as promoting in comment sections, community pages and videos etc.
Paid advertisement can be used to increase brand awareness, generate new leads and many other marketing goals and vitally can be used in relation to your budget. Facebook, for example, has one of the lowest CPC rates compared to other platforms. Just signing your business up to a social media page is free and is one way customers can learn more about your business. As we mentioned previously, you can tailor your communications to reach your desired audience which means you aren’t wasting your marketing budget reaching customers who have no intent to purchase from you, thus minimising wastage.
Some of our favourite marketing campaigns
Colin vs Cuthbert (M&S vs Aldi)
In April 2021, Marks and Spencer decided they weren’t too happy with Aldi for “ripping off” their famous Colin the Caterpillar with Cuthbert the Caterpillar.
Unlike most businesses who would have removed the cake, removed social posts and apologised, Aldi went down a different route which was a lot more risky. However, it ended rather well for them when they received huge public support.
Aldi’s social media campaign aimed at finding the fun in all of this, and in the end looked the better company out of the two, in the eyes of the public. They created a number 1 trending hashtag of #FreeCuthbert which Twitter and other social media users found hilarious. They looked even better publicly when they announced all profits of the cake will be donated to charity.
This viral marketing campaign has been released every December since 2016. The idea is that Spotify shows you how many minutes you spent listening to music, which artists you favoured, what songs you liked the most etc. It is a great example of social media marketing as it encourages people to share their wrap online to all their followers, which is essential free marketing for Spotify. This idea is similar to Starbucks’s who intentionally spell people’s names wrong so they post about it online. Although they claim this isn’t the case, we will let you decide.
What we specifically love about Wendy’s social media strategy is they didn’t want to go down the boring, corporate play-it-safe route, instead wanted to spice things up. You have to admire any company that does this because it is a massive risk. However, Wendy’s found huge social media attention from their tweets mocking other brands and customers. This strategy worked miracles for them as their previous methods of being corporate saw their following only grow slowly. One example of their brilliant tweets was when a twitter user decided to tell Wendy’s that the joke was on them because they were having McDonald’s only for Wendy’s to reply “sounds like the jokes on you tbh”.
Social Media Marketing is great isn’t it?
These brilliant examples show just how effective social media campaigns can be for increasing brand awareness as well as boosting public relations. It just goes to show that being creative on social media can pay off and pay off big. But importantly none of these campaigns would be possible if they didn’t understand the needs of the customers. For example, Spotify knows that their audience likes sharing things that matter to them such as music, Aldi and Wendy’s know that their audience will enjoy this sense of humour and jokiness.
It’s about understanding what your audience likes and using that in your social media strategy.