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The basics of social media marketing

For many years, social media has been an integral part of the Internet, and for a large part of the population also professional and personal life. On Facebook, Instagram or TikTok, we buy, sell, express ourselves and establish relationships. They are living organisms made up of millions of digital ants. Social media is constantly evolving, adjusting to trends in society, and often creating them themselves. It is also giant marketing platforms that enable wide brand exposure, communication with recipients and, consequently, increase sales results.

Social media is not homogeneous – although their core remains similar, individual websites use slightly different solutions, have a different user interface, focus on different customer groups and approach data management differently. However, you can find many common features and basic principles that should guide a social media specialist in carrying out his work. These are the foundations that may seem obvious to an experienced marketer, but – as practice shows – in surprisingly many cases they are neglected.

Don’t lie

Almost everyone uses social media – we will see the entire cross-section of society there. Generation Z has naturally come to the digital voice in recent years, growing up in constant contact with computers, smartphones and the Internet. This means that the new generation can – in general – verify data better. People “born with a smartphone in their hand” are much more efficient than previous years of using long tail keyword searches and controlling the accuracy of your message. It was required by their constant presence on the Internet – the constant bombardment with messages naturally made it necessary to filter them.

What does this mean for the marketer? It is more and more likely that the average social media user will say “check” and do a decent research on the product and the entire brand. Only transparency in communication will guarantee that it will not end in a crisis. Basing your offers and image on half-truths today is more risky than ever, and sooner or later marketing manipulations usually turn against dishonest scammers.

Don’t limit yourself to one medium

Does your brand only have a website and Facebook profile? It may not be enough. Diversification of traffic sources has even become a necessity. Your profile on a given portal may disappear in a fraction of a second, for example due to an algorithm error – of course, you will probably regain access to your account, but it may take some time. In such a situation, each day cuts you off from the sales channel, which is in fact irreplaceable. If you don’t separate your traffic sources, you are completely dependent on one of them. Only a skillful combination of SEO, Google Ads and marketing on various social networks will bring meaningful results.

Match the message to the platform

Each social media has its own rules – it results from both the technicalities and the general target group of a given portal. There are of course some universal guidelines, but each portal is a kind of a separate world with a separate communication code. Twitter doesn’t post long elaborations, TikTok is ruled by video – of course you can fight it and go against the tide on a given platform, but most likely it will just end up with very poor results. Use especially the technical guidelines of a given portal, for example, choose the size and format of graphics carefully for the platform.

Don’t count on organic

You refresh your Facebook feed, and after pressing F5 you see completely different posts than a second ago. You set Facebook as the “show newest” user and a moment later you see again what the algorithm has chosen for you. Big data rules social media – organic reach is successively decreasing, and portals find new ways to monetize users’ activities every day.

Although it is less and less frequent, many social media specialists still believe that it is better to publish, for example, 4 or 5 sales posts a week, instead of one, but “burnt” with a decent campaign, significantly increasing the reach and click-throughs. Overproduction of content on social media disturbs rather than helps, and by engaging the time of graphic designers and copywriters, such an approach can actually increase the financial and time cost, rather than optimize it.

Don’t look at the number of likes

The number of likes really matters little. Of course, a large number in the profile adds to a certain digital prestige, which is important for potential collaboration with other brands and overall brand perception on the Web, but usually the impact of this factor is horribly overestimated.

Facebook is slowly withdrawing from showing this value on fan pages, which means that the exposure of the number of “likes” decreases (the number of followers of a given page remains public, however). Algorithms reduce the reach of posts – organic traffic in social media experiences difficult moments without any prospects for improvement. Your posts won’t be shown to all subscribers without your ad investment.

It can be assumed that if the fanpage was set up a few years ago, a certain number of users no longer use a Facebook account. These dead souls are of no value to the marketer – an inactive user is not a potential customer.

The same is true when we decide to buy followers – apart from ethical issues, it will not actually help us sell the product in any way. Fake accounts “clog up” the space to display our posts and advertisements that could be used for marketing purposes. The fake account will not buy your product, which will burn through your advertising budget. It is also prestigiously a complete shot in the foot – the flood of likes from suspicious-looking foreign accounts will light a red lamp for anyone with anything to do with social media marketing.

Use Stories

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even recently LinkedIn – all these portals strongly focus on fleeting content in the form of reports. Social media posts have always been characterized by a lot of flyby, and the Stories format makes the shelf life of a message shorter than ever.

However, the data show that a skilfully prepared relationship can bring great reach and sales effects. In order to conduct effective marketing in social media, you cannot afford to disregard this format.

React quickly and use RTM

It is not only about responding to customer questions instantly, although this is of course also a very important aspect of social media marketing.

Is the occasional post for Valentine’s Day, the football world cup or the presidential election real-time marketing? Theoretically yes, because it concerns current events, but usually such activities have zero marketing power. They are simply predictable – we have known the date of these events for a long time, we see news about it long before the actual event, so there is no chance for a surprise effect.

Good real-time marketing is based on spontaneity, instinct and quick reaction. When an internet buzz about a topic breaks out, it usually fades away after a few days. “Late” and “imitative” are two words that should definitely not be associated with real-time marketing. In many companies, this is of course due to the need to “pass” a given post through all levels and the acceptance of several people. Real-time marketing, however, requires overcoming the organizational power of inertia – in this case it is better to react as quickly as possible or not at all.

Published inOnline MarketingParaphraserRephrase itSocial Media