What is Social Media?
Social Media Marketing is a form of Digital Marketing that can be used to achieve a wide range of goals for businesses. Whether it’s publishing content, community management, advertising products, Social Media has the potential for all businesses, no matter what their industry or niche.
Social Media is formed of wide-ranging, global online communication networks in the shape of multiple channels on both computer and mobile programs, from niche forums, to microblogging, and content curation in the form of text, video and images.
The first social media network, Six Degrees, which was founded in 1997 allowed users to upload a profile and make friends with other users. Since then, the world of social media has exploded, introducing over 3.19 billion of active users to a variety of platforms to connect with friends and family, post and share content, discuss world news, and discover information, hobbies and trends.
Social media typically relies on user-generated content as its bedrock, but can also be used by brands and companies to represent themselves and connect with their customers through organic and paid means.
The role of social media has permeated vast numbers of cultures to the point of being a go-to source for breaking news, announcing personal events, celebrating successes to discussing and debating topics online.
The business applications of Social Media in a company’s digital marketing strategy has shifted and adapted over the years, transforming as new platforms arise and fall, and as trends develop. The power of Social Media platforms for brands is to communicate to their desired audience, increasing brand exposure, develop long lasting relationships and ultimately building a much more direct communication channel.
What is Social Listening?
Social listening is a means of tracking, analysing and reporting on conversations that take place on Social Media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube and many more.
Brands can utilise social listening to track use of campaign hashtags, the use of brand-related keywords and product mentions through to analysing competitor activity and industry trends.
Having these qualitative insights at your disposal allows for better understanding of customer feedback, using this to improve their future experiences, and ultimately creating content they are more likely to engage with.
Not only is Social listening a great way to streamline and improve the level of insight in your approach to monitoring social media mentions, but it’s can also be used to dive deeper into audiences insights. By collecting conversations around certain keywords and topics, brands can use data to research certain groups and users to better understand the depth of trends and immerse themselves from the viewpoint of the audience.
What is social media management?
Social media management is the process of creating and scheduling content, as well as analysing and reporting on the data. Social media management also includes strategy on how to achieve marketing goals such as high engagement, an increase in followers or steady levels of website traffic.
Some examples of a social media manager's tasks are:
Account strategy – liaising with other departments and ensuring the social media channels are supporting other marketing efforts as well as achieving social media goals
Content brainstorm – research and plan upcoming social, blog and website content
Content calendar – plan a month of social media content across all channels, including copy and creative
Reporting – analysing social data and comparing weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly results, as well as measuring results against competitors
Analysis – looking for social media and cross-channel opportunities and analysing which content performs well and which does not, what time of day/day of the week is the optimal time to post
There is often confusion about the difference between social media management and community management, but the key distinction is that community managers foster and grow social media communities, whereas social media managers curate, plan and schedule content.
Some examples of a community manager’s responsibilities:
Monitoring – checking social media channels for comments and brand mentions
Engagement – fosters and encourages users to engage with the brand on social media
User-generated content – curate UGC
Brand advocate – community managers will either respond to engagement from the brand’s perspective or as a brand representative
What is Paid Social?
Paid Social is the promotion of brands through boosted content across owned Social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Paid Social enables you to reach your existing audience, as well as specific people in your desired audience, based on a range of in-depth targeting options.
Social Media has evolved from the days of getting your brand in front of potential customers through organic posts only, with a paid strategy now fundamental in gaining exposure in a highly competitive space.
Our Paid Social specialists create bespoke strategies based on a brands business objective; implementing the perfect funnel approach incorporating awareness, consideration and conversion. Each platform plays a unique role and utilises a range of optimisation goals to reach the objective of each funnel phase.
Aligning the Paid Social strategy with the platform is key is driving optimal results, as the consumer mindset varies dependant on the channel. Ensuring the campaign creative compliments this online mentality drives a more positive response from your target audience leading to higher brand awareness, advocacy and purchase intent. In fact, 76% of consumers have purchased a product they have seen in a brands Social Media posts.
Paid Social offers the capability of optimising campaigns in real-time, allowing advertisers to drive only the most efficient results. Social platforms offer a highly comprehensive breakdown of analytics which allows us to determine the most effective audiences, demographics, creatives, platforms and so on.
Social Media is ever-changing, and new, innovative platforms allow marketers to push their stories and messages further through these exciting paid media channels.