First of all, we have to understand what social media marketing is.
Social media marketing is using various social media or social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter,LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, etc) to promote your product or brand.
In general, there are two ways to do this; paid (ads) and unpaid (community building, outreach, etc).
To make another generalisation, you will normally have one of two broad objectives: either to build your brand (e.g. increase brand affinity, brand awareness) or provoke a direct response (signup, sale etc)
My experience is in paid media, in particular direct response, so that’s where I’ll focus – others here have already provided great answers on some of the other areas.
The major player here is overwhelmingly Facebook. They have the greatest reach, the most sophisticated targeting and the most engaging ad formats, across both mobile and desktop.
Their reach is well documented, 1.6BN global daily active users and counting, meaning your customers are certainly there.
Targeting options include users’ interests, geo, demographics as well as custom audiences (email addresses and other identifiers) and lookalikes (people who have similar profile characteristics to your custom audiences. You can also retarget visitors to your website/app.
Ad formats include lead gen ads (to gather email), carousel ads (linking to sites/apps), and mobile app install ads. There are many more which Facebook map to your campaign objectives.
In terms of common DR metrics such as cost per install/sale/registration, a well setup and optimised Facebook campaign will normally back out to be the most effective social channel.
That being said, different verticals/industries may perform better on other properties. Some things that I’ve observed with my campaigns/clients:
1. LinkedIn can work very well for B2B
2. Twitter has seen success for games and e-commerce (it suffers from a lack of targeting options vis a vis Facebook)
3. Instagram (which benefits from FB targeting) works well for, surprise surprise, visual products. (Prob not your first port of call if you’re flogging credit cards)
4. Snapchat’s younger audience is a significant differentiator and in my opinion, will gain them plenty of ad dollars in the months and years to come.
There’s a lot more that could be said here, and much of this is necessarily over-simplified but hopefully it helps as a little intro.
Social media marketing requires ongoing efforts. You’re going to have to spend some time developing a social media strategy that works well for your particular business. Every company is different with which social networks they’ll dedicate their time to. Some you may not even use.
If you want to learn more or if you’d like us to help with your project, drop us a line.