Q11. Social Media

Introduction:

There has been a shift from traditional advertising that has occurred with the increased use of the Internet over time. Now, people consume more advertising online than in print media, radio, or television.

We currently live in a world in which traditional advertising strategies are not enough. Social media not only allows for tremendous outreach and networking but also allows for interactivity that can be very beneficial to businesses for a variety of reasons.

“Social media” is a name given to web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into an interactive dialogue. This interactive dialogue can occur between organizations, communities, and individuals. The Internet allows millions of people to connect, and you promote your businesses to people all over the world by using web-based media applications.

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube allow you to share ideas on not just news, but also products and services. Products and Services that people had never heard about before social media are now readily available and accessible.

Social media has forever changed the way our society works, whether it is the sharing of an idea, the communication of news, or the availability of a product or service. Society today is on the verge of a new way of existing that it has never experienced before.

One of the most important things social media can do for a business is to give business owners a way to engage customers in a whole new way. Social media allows you to get personal with your clients and to form a bond of trust with them. By replying to the concerns of your clients and asking for their opinions, you can enhance customer satisfaction while getting more traffic for your site, which further promotes your business.

You can share photos and videos via social media, keeping clients and potential clients updated as to your business’s current events and latest properties for sale. This helps in creating a strong bond with your clients, and in making them feel a connection with you and your business.

A good, strong social media strategy often requires an investment, but as with any advertising campaign, the ROI (return on investment) must be considered. A good social media strategy will have a positive effect on your sales as it increases the overall exposure of your business, gets people talking about your business or service, and exposes your products and/or services to a far wider audience. In the end, of course, the goal is to convert the user into a client and then a sale.  When you interact with your clients and you form a bond of trust with them, it will illustrate an interest in your client and their experience, which often translates to sales.

You may already be familiar with the benefits of banner advertising (getting people to click on your ad) and its enhancement of brand awareness.  The same is true with social media sites.

Every social media site allows you to add an avatar, which is technically your brand mascot, logo, or anything which describes your company. When people constantly see updates on their timeline on Facebook or Twitter, etc., about your business and your products and services, you are enhancing the brand awareness for your company.

You can consider lowering your advertising budget when you concentrate on social media marketing plans. Moreover, traditional ads are a one-time investment for a one-time gain, but with a social media presence, your clients and followers will give you long-term benefits.

Selecting the right social media platform for your growth is an especially important part of the strategic plan of any business today. For example, Facebook fan pages are highly effective for the creation of an engaging community.

Businesses large and small are turning to social media as an outreach to potential customers worldwide, to advertise their products and services, and to engage with customers.

Paid social media marketing is an immensely powerful tool in digitally marketing your properties. This is because more and more of the country’s consumers are joining social networks, allowing your marketing message the potential to reach millions of people.

Social media advertising options you can use to promote yourself and your properties. There are three primary networks that we focus on, however, you are free to expand to any social networks you would like to promote your business on.

A picture speaks a thousand words, and this is true in your Social Media Marketing and engagement. Your profile picture (called an avatar) should be unique and the same on all your sites. Choose your mascot, or your logo and take care of the colour combination for better exposure. Make sure to keep a note of the maximum allowed size for the image, which will help you to make the most out of it.

Facebook adverts

Facebook adverts show up in a person’s News Feed, and the adverts can feature photos or videos. You can also display your content in the format of a carousel, slideshow, or canvas.

  • The carousel format lets you display up to 10 images or videos in one advert, which someone can swipe or click through.
  • The slideshow format looks like a video but displays a series of still images to make the advert load faster.
  • Canvas combines videos and images that people can swipe through and even zoom in on.

Facebook offers an adverts manager, power editor and the ads create tool.  Before you start, read the platform’s advertising policies. With these advertising tools, you will set the goal of your campaign, your target audience, budget, and schedule. After that, you can create or upload your content.

YouTube adverts

On YouTube, South African advertisers can choose between the platform’s ‘TrueView’ in-stream advertising and video discovery advertising, which was previously known as in-display advertising.

  • In-stream adverts run before YouTube videos and can be skipped by the user after five seconds.
  • Video discovery adverts display as a thumbnail and text in YouTube’s search results or in various spots on a page that display a video. At times, these adverts can also appear on the YouTube homepage.
  • YouTube is the world’s most popular free video hosting site. Videos are the best way to brand yourself, and with YouTube videos, you can quickly find yourself on Google.  One of the best thing about YouTube is, you can use your Gmail login to access YouTube.

Twitter adverts

Twitter’s advertising options include ‘Promoted Tweets,’ ‘Promoted Accounts,’ ‘Promoted Trends’ and ‘First View’.

Promoted Tweets and Accounts function in a similar way to organic tweets. The difference is that people searching for content relevant to your advert will see your tweet or account at the top of the search results they receive. They can show up in a person’s timelines and relevant user profiles. Promoted Accounts can also display in the ‘Who to Follow’ section.

You can see Promoted Trends at the top of the ‘Trending Topics’ list. They can also show in a person’s timeline. The first View places your advert in the top advert slot of the timeline people see when they first visit the Twitter App or Log in to the website.

With 140 characters, you can reach out to a large audience. Getting on Twitter is easy and within minutes, you can create a profile and create your Social media presence on this site. There are few things that you can do to better engage with your followers on Twitter:

  • Get a custom Twitter Cover image to match your site design or profile.
  • Use Hashtag when writing Tweets.
  • Acknowledge all tweets coming your way @reply.

With Twitter Ads, you will select your campaign type and define your audience. After that, you set a budget and either select existing tweets to promote or create new ones. You can view activity and insights on Twitter’s Ad analytics dashboard.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of those social networks confined to a small number of users compared to others, but they have a quality audience. LinkedIn is not only for businesses as it is one of the best places to find a job or freelancing work.

Pinterest

Pinterest may not be for everyone, but they are one of the most popular social networking sites globally. You can use Pinterest for marketing or your brand promotion.

Pinterest is another social networking site but created with a vastly different approach. The Pinterest basic model is based on Images and it might not be wrong calling Pinterest an Image-based social networking site.

How does the pricing of social media advertising work?

Social media is very inexpensive when compared to other advertising and marketing tools available to individuals and businesses. Social media tools are free for everyone to use. By simply spending some time working on your social media presence for a few minutes a day, you can see the great benefits of increased exposure and sales and it helps you to develop good relationships with your clients.

Traditional advertising and business promotion tools usually require the help of professionals.  Using social media tools, on the other hand, is quite easy and inexpensive.

There are two things to understand when it comes to social media advert costs:

What the advertiser (you) is charged for.

How social media networks decide on the price.

What advertisers (you) are charged for:

Most of the time, you only pay for the views, clicks or other actions that people complete when they see an advert.

Social media networks allow you to create advertising campaigns on their platforms. When you set up your campaigns you must choose what you want people to do when they see your advert. You may want people to click on the advert, or to watch a video. You are only charged for each of the actions a person performs.

Some platforms, however, charge you for simply running the advert, regardless of how many ‘likes’ or ‘clicks’ the advert gets. You will have to do your research on each platform’s advertising policy to uncover the finer details.

Social networks rely on ad auctions to figure out what an advertiser (you) will pay for a click, ‘view’ or other action. The cost of this action is influenced by other advertisers in the auction.

These auctions happen before a person sees an advert on a social media platform. In each of these auctions, the social network’s auction system weighs up several adverts from various advertisers before one is chosen and displayed to the user.

You can choose to bid automatically or manually. With manual bidding, which is also called maximum bidding, you select how much you are willing to pay for each person’s action.

When you win in the auction, you do not always have to pay the amount they set manually. Instead, you only pay slightly more than the bid that came second in the auction, which, in Twitter’s case, is one penny above the second-place advertiser’s bid. This is called a ‘second-price auction.’ Twitter sells adverts in second-price auctions, with YouTube also providing this option.

On Facebook, adverts win auctions based on their highest total value. This is a combination of the advertiser’s bid, the quality and relevance of adverts as well as the estimated action rate of the audience.

Maintaining and Monitoring your Social Media

A single negative comment can cause more harm than anything else. It is said, “for every dissatisfied vocal customer, you lose ten customers or potential customers.” For this reason, any serious business with an online presence needs to manage and monitor social media activity. This helps you to track the level of satisfaction noted by your clients via their comments and helps in solving user issues, thus enhancing the overall client experience.

Maintaining the image of your business is particularly important. Negative comments and rumours of poor business practices can easily destroy the image of any business.  By keeping up with a strong and consistent social media presence, you can help to keep a good reputation and a strong image of your business. Through social media, you can easily reply to potentially destructive comments instantaneously, and help keep the image of excellent client service that you want your business to have.

Social media is all about getting targeted people to join and interact with your business page or profile. It is important to follow common social media practices such as continuous sharing, breaking news, questions, humour, etc., to bring the consistent conversation to your page.

Additional Resources:

https://www.shoutmeloud.com/how-to-create-a-facebook-fan-page-for-your-blog.html

https://www.shoutmeloud.com/how-to-create-a-twitter-account-for-dummies.html

https://www.linkedin.com/

https://www.shoutmeloud.com/loginlink-your-youtube-account-with-gmail-account.html

https://www.shoutmeloud.com/pinterest-marketing-tips-for-bloggers.html

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