The social media universe is a crowded space. A recent Pew Research Center survey showed that approximately 7 in 10 Americans have used some kind of social media platform. Billions of monthly active users (MAU) are regular visitors to their favorite social media platforms.
Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, dramatically increasing interest in social media. Home-bound, people spent even more time online. E-commerce companies upped their social media game. Brick-and-mortar businesses survived by updating marketing strategies with increased social media marketing. The C-suite developed new respect for digital marketing. The 2021 CMO Survey showed an increase of 32.7% in the contribution digital marketing made to company performance.
At the same time, new social media platforms surfaced and created more choice in an already crowded field. For example, three social media platforms— Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, and Instagram Reels— created more customer choice and added audience social media platform preferences to social media marketing needs.
In short, there’s unprecedented competition for businesses that see social media’s strong return on investment. That ROI depends on using the right combination of social media platforms.
Separating the trendy from tried-and-true social media marketing trends could be a full-time job and takes more time and energy than businesses can spare from essential day-to-day activities.
The solution? Working with an experienced social media marketing firm that can help businesses climb the social media learning curve and navigate everything from social media marketing strategy to developing content and selecting the right social media platforms.
Social Media Marketing Strategy
Simply put, social media marketing strategies promote products and services on social media platforms and websites, rather than through traditional outlets such as print, television, and news outlets.
There are several ROI-related benefits to marketing via social media platforms, but the top two center around analytics and access:
- Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics that give businesses real-time perspective on campaigns’ activities and success.
- Social media platforms are available to a wide range of shareholders such as current and potential customers, current and potential shareholders, and traditional and digital media.
Elements of Social Media Marketing Strategy
There are several ways that social media marketing strategies mirror traditional marketing strategies.
- Marketing goals align with business objectives.
- Marketing targets specific audiences, and research into target audiences’ needs and preferences drives marketing tactics.
- Marketing uses competitive analysis to forge distinctive campaigns.
For all those similarities, however, social media marketing strategies should be nimble to accommodate changing business objectives, changing business budgets, and the ongoing evolution of social media platforms.
For these reasons, a strong social media marketing strategy includes monitoring social media marketing trends.
Social Media Marketing Trends
The term “social media marketing trends” covers a lot of territory. For example, Influencer MarketingHub identifies 16 social media marketing trends to watch in 2021, with social media performance ranking high on that watch list.
Databox identifies 10 key performance indicators for social media platforms, from basic data such as impressions and reach to branded conversions. Interestingly enough, social media platform popularity doesn’t mean it’s the best marketing channel. Pew Research Center surveys show that YouTube tops Facebook as the most popular social media platform. Interestingly, though, industry experts such as Lyfe Marketing rank Facebook first, with YouTube ranking sixth.
With those metrics in mind, here are the 5 “must have” social media platforms that businesses need to utilize in order to compete in a digital landscape.
- Facebook: Numbers count in social media ROI. Facebook leads the pack with nearly 3 BILLION MAU, many millions more MAU than competing platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. The platform is versatile, housing a range of media such as photos, videos, and text. Other social media marketing benefits include Facebook’s widespread demographics and targeting ability.
- Instagram: If a picture is worth a thousand words, Instagram might be worth billions of words to go along with its 1 billion MAU. Instagram’s focus on visuals and compelling captions allow for more effective ways to share a business’s brand and vision.
- LinkedIn: With more than 100 MAU across the world, LinkedIn bills itself as the largest professional social network. Businesspeople join LinkedIn to make business connections, which makes this platform a great place to share thought leadership that demonstrates a business’s product or service.
- Twitter: Twitter’s superpower is customer interaction. Twitter brings a human touch to online marketing by engaging customers in online conversation. When used well, Twitter can turn customers into brand ambassadors who come to Twitter to learn about products and stay on as brand champions.
- Pinterest: Pinterest combines two competitors’ qualities. Like Twitter, Pinterest’s strength is customer engagement, and like Instagram, Pinterest focuses on visuals. Pinterest’s estimated 320 MAU flock to the site seeking inspiration for creative outlets and are happy to share what they find.
Businesses evaluating social media marketing platforms should keep tabs on their own platform—their business website. Social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn bring businesses to online viewers’ attention, but easy-to-use websites are what turn viewers into customers.
How A Social Media Marketing Firm Can Help
It takes time, expertise, and social media savvy to single out the social media marketing platforms that will help drive a business’ success.
Before launching a social media marketing campaign, businesses should consider working with a social media marketing firm. For example, businesses with a social media marketing strategy in place could tap a social media marketing firm to research and recommend social media platforms.
Selecting the right mix of social media platforms is just one piece of the social media marketing puzzle. Effective social media integration requires compelling, keyword-rich content guided by ongoing research. Businesses without the time, energy, or in-house talent to monitor and manage social media platforms should consider a social media marketing firm with all-purpose social media expertise.
Ready to reap the benefits of more effective and efficient social media marketing? Take the first step by contacting Jennasis & Associates. Our social media management team has extensive experience with social media strategy and management.
Get started by sending us an email at email@example.com or fill out our contact form.