Let’s talk SOCIAL MEDIA!
Social Media 101
Social Media Marketing Mastery
In the past years, social media has grown exponentially when it comes to its importance to businesses and the influence it has in our lives too. Not only to get to know what other people are doing, nowadays, it just seems “weird” being disconnected and companies are actually tracing their consumer’s steps on social media in order to grow. We are consumers of basically any kind of product, and this is something to be aware of. Sometimes we don’t even need something but the moment we see it online, it becomes a wish or even a need. We are the company’s targets.
Even though this can be seen as quite a problematic situation, as entrepreneurs we also need to learn to use all kinds of Social Media and take advantage of the good tools they are for our business. Of course, if used ethically. This essay aims to discuss the importance of Social Media and to show how some authors and how we think we can utilize them from a business owner’s perspective. Hopefully, bringing some clarity and lightning up curiosity and some debate regarding the use of those.
The greatest brands in the world are also taking over every kind of social media and campaigning according to their brands and what they represent or want to represent. Some famous examples are artists in general, that show their brands – which are themselves -, and promote other brands on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, like Rihanna and her make-up brand Fenty Beauty. Well-known brands such as Nike, Google and a bunch of beauty and cosmetics brands are only examples we see on a daily basis. It is important to understand that there are no ready recipes to be a successful entrepreneur on Social media, but some factors are a must!
Importance of Interaction
In his book social media 101, Chris Brogan talks about how important it is to interact with people online. He emphasizes that people want to be engaged and it’s much better to do that through talking with people, rather than talking to them. Brogan says it’s important to ask a lot of questions, because this leaves the conversation open for your followers to respond and make a long-lasting interaction. What he says is to try and figure out how you could turn your audience online, into participants, who can contribute somehow to you and your company. (Brogan, 2010)
In an article about the trends in social media marketing, it was said how important interactive content is for getting real followers. Engaging your followers will make your company more appealing and rememberable. The more active role you give to your consumer, the better. When talking about interactive content, it refers to questionaries, 360-videos, counters, and interactive information graphics. (Barabra, 2020)
Important Question: Who Cares?
It is a tricky question. Who cares? Quick research on Google can answer that. If you would like to know what is the amount of people currently using Social Media worldwide, according to the website Statista: “How many people use social media? Social media usage is one of the most popular online activities. In 2020, over 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 4.41 billion in 2025”.
It’s sure that not everyone will be your target or would be randomly interested in your product or whatever you’re sharing online. But it is also a fact that there is an ocean of people on the Internet that are quite present in Social Media and are possible consumers to identify with your brand or product. Considering this information, for any brand, closing doors to social media is clearly a mistake. There are many ways to connect with your target audience and they might be all around the world!
According to Brogan, the consumer thinks about themselves and that is what companies need to consider. Why should your consumers care about you, your product/service, or your content? What is there for them? These are questions Brogan suggests thinking hard. Another side to this is to consider whether something you find extremely valuable in your company to be important for your consumer. An example he gives is about an ice cream truck that used their start year as a marketing tactic but does anyone really care when the company was established when they want ice cream or is it more worth it to emphasize the fact that ice cream is delicious and fun. (Brogan, 2010)
On Suomen Digimarkkinointi Oy’s website, there is an article about tips to Instagram marketing. In this article, Niko talks about how you could create meaning for your followers on Instagram through special offers. Cheaper prices keep appealing to people and they also want to feel special. If you make special offers only on your Instagram page, it will make people see the real gain they have on following your page. Another way of engaging your followers is to have draws every now and then. Ask people to like, share and follow in order to be involved in the draw and this gives them the push to be more engaged by doing these things. It’s also once again giving them meaning about why they are following you. (Suomen Digimarkkinointi Oy, n.d.)
A quite general tip to understand the A B C of Social Media is to study! It is good to be updated and extremely necessary since when dealing with social media we are also dealing with algorithms and customers connected to a specific buying culture. It is important to understand the difference between the channels available and which one suits your business goal and purpose better. First of all, you want to get to know your customers, define a Persona and work on that.
A Persona is your ideal customer, the one you will plan your product to and, accordingly to the information you define, the one that will be your main target. It is good to define that based on a specific background, such as age, where is the Persona from, if they are married or single, their hobbies, most used social network, how much money they would be – probably – willing to pay for the service you’re offering, etc. As soon as you come up with everything needed in theory to reach your target customers, sooner as well you can start to put in practice all the tips.
Another good tip is the overwhelming amount of content you can find on HubSpot and another similar platform, like Hootsuite. Different kinds of courses for free, blog posts explaining quite nicely different topics related not only to Social Media but also to selling processes, a lot of data and research as well. You will find Facebook Ads Training, Twitter Strategy, Youtube Marketing course, Digital Marketing, and much more. Nice tools must always be shared so knowledge can be spread!
One tip in social media 101 was that listening is more important than speaking, even when you’re online. By this, Brogan means that you need to find out what your competitors are doing online and use that information to be even better at what you do. There are many trends and things that draw people’s attention online and this is worth finding out about. You need to listen and look for information about what people want to see and how they want to receive the information. This helps you to stay on top of the game. (Brogan, 2010)
Another tip comes from BaraBras’ article Sometrendit 2020, and it is that realness is an asset in the online market. Customers prefer things that look real rather than perfect. Fake things are being noticed quickly and turn customers off. People want to see real-life things from everyday life that they can relate to. (Barabra, 2020)
Another tip is related to pictures and how their quality should be good. Niko says that high-quality pictures are the key to getting a bigger presence on Instagram. Professional pictures also give an image of your product and high quality and make your profile more appealing to follow. (Suome Digimarkkinointi Oy, n.d.)
LinkedIn – Professional Tool
LinkedIn is definitely a business network that connects companies, workers, and customers. It is important and famous nowadays due to this great connection it provides. There are endless opportunities when it comes to job search and networking. It is almost a need to have an online presence in order to get more opportunities, and that is when LinkedIn comes in as an important tool.
According to social media 101 LinkedIn is the same as having an online CV and this app is targeted for professional use. LinkedIn can be used as a recruitment tool for your company, not just through the company’s profile, but also through its employee’s profiles when they have positive things to say about the company. This makes people more willing to apply for the company. (Brogan, 2010)
BusinessNewsDaily.com had an article about LinkedIn and it stated that LinkedIn could be used for growing a business and not just as a recruiting tool. LinkedIn is all about the connections you make there and these connections have endless potential for growth. In LinkedIn, however, an aggressive marketing campaign does not appeal to the people using it, so you need to make a separate plan just for this social media. Start from making connections and building relationships and then move on to marketing, it’s more about marketing your company rather than a specific service or product. Try to contact companies that are high ranking and make sure as many of your employees will make their profile to LinkedIn too, because this gives a face to your company. As a business professional, you should be making connections with possibilities on LinkedIn, meaning that you should connect with other business owners, strategic partners and prospects. (BusinessNewsDaily, 2020)
Blogging – Creating Content
Brogan shares multiple tips about company blogs and blogging. According to social media 101, you should remember to be human when you write a blog, because you’re writing to people, not for robots. It’s important to keep in mind that company secrets of course are not allowed on the blog, for example, the strategy or finances of the company are good to keep away from online platforms. When starting the blog, you need to think about why you are doing it and what is the goal for the company. Do you expect to expand your customer base, try to be more present online, or are you planning to make your company more transparent and well known?
A tip Brogan gives is mixing things up in the blog and not writing only about yourself, your product and your company, but also giving your insight on the industry at large and your takes on events that could interest your reader. It’s good to keep in mind that blog is not for selling, it is for creating useful content for possible customers and sharing knowledge about your products while advertising them. Giving credit to other companies, posts and people is also a way of showing that you really mean the things you say, and you don’t steal from others. It also gives an image of confidence and lifting other people up. If you don’t ever link anyone else, why would they ever link you?
Engagement is yet another keyword when making a blog and how you can achieve this is through asking questions from the people who read your blog. This created interaction in your blog between them and between them and you. Invite professionals and people with knowledge to comment and give their value to your blog as well. The more frequent posting is, the more it’ll engage people, once a week should be the absolute minimum, if it’s desired to get any results through it. Treating your followers as brilliant and masterful and not less than you, because you’re there to interact with them.
Remember that if you tell your opinions in a professional blog, you need to state them as opinions and when you share facts, having sources adds more value and reliability. When you mention other sites or companies, linking them is part of online etiquette. It’s also better to say things in a shorter way, if possible, because people like things that can be read quicker. Don’t drag things on and on for nothing.
Tik Tok – The new app
Tik Tok might be a new application, but its success has boomed and taken over all other platforms. This application mostly has a younger audience and might not seem like the first choice for social media marketing, but it should not be ignored as one. This app has 1,1 million monthly users, which is why it should be considered for marketing. The average age of users is 18-24 and if this is the audience you wish to reach, Tik Tok is your place to go (Suomen Digimarkkinointi Oy, n.d.). The app/social media keeps growing with viral content and it should be a channel to consider depending on the business strategy, goals and target audience.
Mika says that brands can create their own Tik Tok channel and advertise their products and services through that. Another popular way is to make advertisement deals with influencers or Tik Tokers as they are called and have them showcase your products to their followers. This tactic is very popular due to its effectiveness. People trust more in people than in brands and therefore, influencers or Tik Tokers get their audience to buy things more easily than brands. The third way of marketing is through paid commercials that Tik Tok will show to its users. (Suomen Digimarkkinointi Oy, n.d.)
About influencers, Kurios’s published article in 2019 states that micro-influencers are growing their power in marketing over megastars, because they are much more relatable and that is what people trust in. These smaller-scale influencers’ followers will more likely follow them to other brand content that they are sharing. (Kurio, 2019)
Videos – The new way
Barabra’s article states that Instagram stories have taken over due to the fact that they are quick and simple. Because the stories can only be seen for 24 hours, it makes them more addictive and intriguing. If a brand wants to be seen, are the stories a great way for this and can be used for example drawing challenges or questions. In Barabra’s article, it’s also said that IGTV videos are now hotter than ever and have made it easy to accidentally spend multiple hours on Instagram. Companies can use this feature to create useful and engaging content for consumers by making tutorials, series, or take part in a competition. Live stories allow followers to see real-time things happening in the company and make them feel like they have been left behind the curtain. (Barabra 2020) According to Kajo’s article, it’s more important to focus on quick videos that show the customer in the t 3 seconds why they should keep watching your content. (Kurio, 2019) Videos have the potential to touch people on an emotional level and leave a rememberable mark and therefore the usage of videos in social media marketing keeps growing. (Dagmar, 2021)
Because Brogan’s book was published in 2010, I had to make a lot of rechecking online to see if the things he said were still accurate. Some of the things had not changed, but of course, there was not much about these known social media platforms that are currently trending. However, the things he said about blogging for example seemed to be timeless.
It is also important to understand about the analytics and metrics used while analyzing all the Social Media Networks mentioned above, which the plan is to dive into later, in another essay. That is a super important topic that needs to be learned, shared and discussed.
Written by Emilia Parikka and Luiza de Oliveira Vago.
Barabra. 2020. Sometrendit 2020 – 10 + 1 vinkkiä somemarkkinointiin. Article. Published: 28.02.2020. Read: 30.08.2021. https://barabra.fi/sometrendit-2020-10-1-vinkkia-somemarkkinointiin/
Brogan, C. 2010. Social Media 101. Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Business News Daily. 2020. 15 LinkedIn Marketing Hacks to Grow Your Business. Article. Published: 06.10.2020. Read: 30.08.2021. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7206-linkedin-marketing-business.html
Clyne, G, 2019 – Social Media Marketing Mastery (2 Manuscripts in 1): The Ultimate Practical Guide to Marketing, Advertising, Growing your Business and Becoming and Influencer with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and More. Published: 11.07.2019.
Dagmar. 2020. Sisältötrendit vuonna 2021. Article. Published: 12.11.2020. Read: 30.08.2021. https://www.dagmar.fi/sisaltomarkkinointi/sisaltotrendit-vuonna-2021/
HubSpot Academy, Accessed on 25.9.2021 https://academy.hubspot.com/
Kurio. 2019. Somemarkkinoinnin trendit 2019. Document. Published: January 2019. Read: 31.08.2021. http://kurio.fi/v2/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Somemarkkinoinnin-trendit-2019-Kurio.pdf
Sehl, 2021. 23 Important TikTok Stats Marketers Need to Know in 2021. Article. Published: 5.5.2021. Read: 13.9.2021. Available on https://blog.hootsuite.com/tiktok-stats/.
Suomen Digimarkkinointi Oy. N.d. Instagram-markkinoinnin 8 vinkkiä. Article. Published: N.d. Read: 30.08.2021. https://www.digimarkkinointi.fi/blogi/instagram-markkinoinnin-7-vinkkia
Suomen Digimarkkinointi Oy. N.d. TikTok-markkinointi yrityksille – tärkeimmät seikat kootusti. Article. Published: N.d. Read: 30.08.2021. https://www.digimarkkinointi.fi/blogi/tiktok-markkinointi-yritykselle