Now we’re moving out of the realm of content marketing and into social media marketing. Yes, you can technically do content marketing on social media, but social media is much more than that.
One thing that’s important to understand is that each social media platform has a different audience demographic and requires a unique set of strategies.
Here’s the basic 3-step social media marketing strategy:
Establish your presence on social media platforms where your target market is most likely to hang out.
Capture your audience’s attention by being entertaining and useful and build up authority over time.
Make direct pitches to your audience, capture them on an email list, and generate revenue indirectly from brand building.
If you really want to be successful with social media marketing, you’d be best served to follow this advice…
“The secret to social media success is to think and act like a member first, and a marketer second.” – Mari Smith
One of the downsides of social media is that most social media platforms, aside from Pinterest (which isn’t really a social media platform anyway), are not built to be search engines. Therefore, content on social media has a very short lifecycle.
When you create a post on Facebook, for example, you might get 72 hours of engagement out of that post before it disappears into a black hole.
This stands in stark contrast to something like blogging, where a ranked article can drive you thousands of visitors a month for years and years.
Another downside to social media is that you’re building your following on a platform you don’t own. This is always a potential problem, as the platform can “pull the rug out from under you” by limiting your ability to reach your audience or charging you money to reach them.
This has happened on multiple social media channels, with Facebook being the most popular example.
Even with the downsides, social media is still very effective as a digital marketing channel. You just have to know how to play the game effectively based on the channel you’re targeting. Here’s a rough overview of the most popular channels…
Facebook users are 53% female and 47% male with 87% of the user base being in the 18-29 demo. This platform is one of the most versatile and dynamic in terms of the type of content you can post and the ways in which you can interact with people. It’s also the largest social media platform in the world.
While organic reach on Facebook for brand pages is pretty much dead, personal profiles and Facebook Groups are still very effective aspects of the platform (aside from Facebook Ads which I cover later).
Instagram is used by 31% of American women and 24% of men. 59% of internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use Instagram and 33% of internet users between the ages of 30 and 49 use Instagram. This platform is primarily focused on photos and videos with the ability to create public posts, live video, and send private messages.
37% of Twitter users are between ages of 18 and 29 and 25% users are 30-49 years old. 24% of all internet male users and 21% of all internet female users have a Twitter account.
Unfortunately, engagement on Twitter has been declining for some time and most marketers struggle to get engagement. Twitter can still be good for networking, micro-engagement, and hand-to-hand combat via advanced Twitter search, though.
LinkedIn has expanded their platform significantly in recent years and is now a strong channel for digital marketing if your goal is to reach businesses and workers. 28% of all internet male users and 27% of all internet female users use LinkedIn.
One key piece of demographic data is that 44% of LinkedIn users earn more than $75,000 per year. LinkedIn now has a “wall” and a “feed” that’s very similar to how Facebook works. There are also groups you can join and post in as well as a robust private messaging system.
Meetup is not traditional social media platform. Instead of 100% online interaction, Meetup.com actually facilitates offline interaction by allowing you to create local meetup groups. I still consider it to be a digital marketing channel because most of the organizing and recruiting happens online.