Social media may have started as a way to keep in touch with friends, but it’s become a valuable tool for marketing. As the number of people on social continues to rise, your potential audience grows as well.
If you want to be successful in digital marketing, you need to understand the best ways to use social media as part of your campaigns.
Social media use is at an all-time high.
The social media trend seems to be here to stay. Americans are using social media more than ever before. According to Statista, there are expected to be more than 246 million social media users by the end of 2019—that’s about a third of the US population.
The number of users on individual social media platforms continues to grow as well. As of 2018, there were six different social channels that averaged more than a billion users.
Research shows that the average person has 7.6 social media accounts.
Social media users are becoming more connected to devices and brands.
In addition to checking social media on computers, users are more frequently using mobile and IoT devices to go online. One study found that more than half of Americans open social media on their phones more than 10 times a day and will spend at least 10 minutes on it. Add it all up, and that’s at least an hour and a half on social media each day.
All of this screen time provides marketers with seemingly endless opportunities to connect with their customers in new and unique ways, and vice versa. Brands are able to target potential leads with relevant products, and consumers can directly communicate back to brands with questions or concerns.
Social media also helps motivate customers to make a purchase. In fact, nearly 40 percent of consumers say social media is their main purchase inspiration.
How to measure social media marketing
In many cases, social media marketing is focused on reach and impressions. If your end goal is brand awareness, then you would measure success based on the number of people who see your content. You’ll also want to look at shares, followers, brand mentions, and comments and engagements.
If you’re using your social media campaigns to convert leads or for sales, then you’ll also want to pay attention to clicks, conversion rates, and ROI.
You can manually track these metrics using spreadsheets and analytics directly from each platform. It might be easier, though, to work with a social media management tool. These services will monitor your social analytics and allow you to schedule posts and respond to user mentions or concerns.
Some of these platforms also integrate with your ESP, so you can track all of your digital marketing campaigns from one dashboard.
Does it really matter?
An excellent social media campaign is essential to any digital marketing strategy. Social media allows you to share multiple messages to your followers in a variety of ways across different channels. Plus, depending on the platform, it’s perfectly acceptable to share multiple posts a day, which you wouldn’t be able to do with email marketing.
However, social media marketing shouldn’t completely replace emails in your digital campaigns. Email remains the top digital channel for ROI and is 40 times more effective for customer acquisition, compared to social media. Instead of trying to decide between social media and email marketing, your best bet is to combine your strategies.
You should now understand how social media is an essential aspect of your digital marketing strategy—but not the only channel you should use. Now you just need to decide exactly what you hope to accomplish with your social media and build campaigns to support that goal.