Social media marketing or SMM is the process of using social media platforms to connect with prospective and current customers through providing valuable content. The social media platforms are social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many others.

SMM is the process of broadcasting marketing messages, listening and engaging past, present and future clients. Through SMM you can increase brand awareness, boot leads and sales.

SMM is the next marketing frontier as with having nearly half of the world’s population hooked up to one or the other social networking platforms. In addition, the people who are logged on hardly ever log off this creates an audience that is always looking for great content.

The people moved from being addicted to Television by spending 5 hours a day on it to social media networks. Facebook for example says that users spend at least 6 hours a day on the platform. This provided a huge opportunity for digital marketers and businesses to take advantage of.

Social media marketing allows the marketer to either choose a broad audience or narrow it down to a small segment making the most of the marketing dollars.

Social media Networks

1. Facebook

As of this writing Facebook is the biggest social network with a quarter of the earth’s population being on it. The social media platform takes its users seriously by providing a host options in which they can post their content. Content can be in the form of posts, videos, pictures, and gifs. Facebook discourages users to leave its platform and wants people to post as much as they can on it.

 Facebook has been around for so long that people do not have to learn to use the product. They naturally revolve around it. Also, Facebook is very protective of their number one position that they acquire any other social network that is growing. Instagram and whatsapp were bought as soon as they started having large number of users.

Facebook advertising

Of all the social networks, none can rival fakebook’s targeting options. You can target people according to demographics, interests, behavior, past activity and many more. When it comes to lead generation, it has the lowest cost per lead at roughly $1.

The Cost per click or the cost per mille prices vary depending on how broad or narrow the targeting is. As a rule, Facebook’s algorithms work more efficiently when more money is spent over a period.

2. Instagram

Instagram, owned by Facebook, is in an incredibly unique position. It does not have the most active users, but it has something that other social networks done have – engagement. Instagram has the highest engagement rate of all social media platforms. The engagement rate on Instagram are 58% than that of Facebook and 2000% more than twitter.

Instagram’s audience is also unique in that it is mostly female, and the age ranges are between 18 to 29 years.

Instagram initially started as a social network for posting photos, but they have pivoted to having videos as well. They have even gone further to let users host events on Instagram.

As the content is highly visual, any product that depends on this feature does well on the platform. Posts that do well on Instagram are:

  • Inspirational quotes
  • Questions that engage followers
  • Luxury brand photos

Influence marketer

Influence marketing is biggest on Instagram with many celebrities having profiles over there. It is easier to have an influencer status on Instagram because of the visual component.

3. Twitter

Twitter is the more unique social media channel in that you do not have to know your followers or have a prior connection. It boasts having 0.3 billion monthly active users.

Twitter was a small social network and what brought it out to the fore front was people were able to talk about breaking news. As such it changed the way people get breaking news. In the recent past, there was an attack in France and most of the news that was available was gotten from the social media site.

Twitter has a unique audience in that users are 6.9 times more likely to buy online. The audience is more mature and tend to have better conversations.

Twitter is mostly used for brand awareness, promotion of certain products and lastly for directing conversations.

4. Pinterest

This social media site is visual based like Instagram but is more targeted to women. The user base consists 81% women.

It is especially useful as it has high engagement, and high intention to purchase.

5. LinkedIn

For B2B marketers, LinkedIn is the best way to go. the main audience is professionals who are aged 30 – 64 years, even split between men and women and earn $50,000 and above per year.

LinkedIn isn’t suitable for all industries but works well with marketing, recruiting and high end B2B products and services.

6. YouTube

YouTube has the most users in terms of social media platforms. Its traffic is only rivaled by Google itself. Many people these days prefer to look for items on YouTube as opposed to Google because it is easier to follow a video rather than reading an article.

It is best suited for long form content, this being videos that are 10 minutes more and above.