Ever since the Internet officially came out in the early 90s, we’ve been obsessed with unravelling its mysteries and finding ways to maximise its limitless potentials. As we look at how connected and technologically advanced our society is now, we can all agree that all those efforts have paid off well. Some of Internet’s greatest gifts to mankind are information technology, web-based communication and e-commerce, all of which are freely being exploited in a platform called social media.
What is social media?
When you think of social media, you immediately imagine Facebook or Twitter, and that only means you have a little bit of idea what it is and what it does. Social media is a web-based technology that allows internet users to share ideas, thoughts and information through the different networks and virtual communities they’ve created. This simple definition tells us that there are countless other platforms on the Internet, apart from Facebook or Twitter, which can be classified as social media.
True enough, social media comes in many different forms, each of which facilitates a specific type of communication and content sharing. For instance, there are social media platforms that specialise in photo, video, or text sharing, and there are those that have bigger and more sophisticated algorithms to allow for all kinds of content to be shared. Some social media sites are exclusively designed for creating and sharing networking career and business opportunities, while others benefit even more specific industries, interests, and trades.
How does social media differ from search engine?
When social media came into existence, it was immediately postulated as search engine’s biggest rival. There was even a predicted that search engine would soon be gone and social media will dominate the World Wide Web. Well, it’s been two decades and search engine is still kicking. It was only after we have fully understood the true purpose of social media that it became clear that wasn’t going to happen. Social media is an entirely different animal that offers a different kind of experience, so there’s no competition whatsoever and search engine remains relevant. If anything, they working in tandem is making the Internet a less intimidating and more enjoyable place.
If you are heavily relying on the Internet for your marketing activity, however, it’s not enough that you know search engine and social media are indeed dissimilar. You also have to know how they differ so that you can create the right marketing strategy using both of them separately or together. You have to understand that the main purpose of search engine is to provide paths to searched information, while social media’s purpose is to allow internet users to engage with each other. This will give you an idea of the most suitable approach, tools and resources you will need to support your marketing scheme.
How does social media marketing work?
Now that you can assertively differentiate between search engine and social media, you should also know that the applicable techniques in social media marketing may not be totally the same as the ones you use in search engine optimisation. After all, the metrics used in social media marketing are slightly different, considering that the way the market is allowed to interact with advertisers is a bit different, too. In social media, you can be a one-day millionaire because of how fast your material can go viral, yet fame and exposure can go down just as fast if you lack consistency.
Despite the intricacies of social media marketing, it’s important to bear in mind the basics of marketing, particularly its objective, which is to attract as much attention from a target audience as possible. This means, you have to identify and create using all available resources and tools anything that attracts the attention or your target audience.
In search engine, your goal is to create content and perform marketing based on what “the search engine thinks” is attractive to your audience, which is collectively represented by its webmaster guidelines. In social media, on the other hand, your goal is to create content that “you think” (based on your own observation and study) attracts your audience. In other words, you are essentially on your own with the performance charts as your sole KPI.
Your content must not only catch attention, but it also needs to be engaging. It wouldn’t do your presence any good if your content doesn’t do your audience any good, too. It must be useful, sharable, and timeless. Engagement doesn’t only attract more potential customers to your page or account, but it also keeps your content alive since posts usually get updated every time someone shares, comments or reacts on them.
What are the new trends in social media?
We all know that search engine algorithms change all the time, which is why we cannot simply take our eyes off the charts. But wait ‘til you see how volatile the behaviour of people on social media is and you’ll know social media marketing isn’t to be messed with, too. Here are some of the latest social media trends that you should incorporate in your current strategy. Take note, though, that those trends may not last so you still have to be vigilant of new trends.
- Live Videos If the technology were available twenty years back, we’d probably have a website exclusive for live video sharing that rivals YouTube by now. The thing is consumers love live videos and they would love them regardless of what era they become accessible. Now that they are, it would be unwise to refuse to hop on the bandwagon
- A Combination of Chatbot and Real Person When chatbot was first used to automate online services, it immediately whitewashed automatic voice reply in popularity, and the consumers can’t get enough of it even today. It remains one of the top social media trends of 2019 that you should integrate to your processes. Of course, you have to make sure that apart from chatbot, there should also be a real person on your end who’s ready to answer queries that your chatbot isn’t programmed to answer. Letting your target audience feel that they have the chance to talk to a real person when necessary is also essential to brand engagement.
- Micro-influencers Celebrities are very expensive, so many companies, even the big ones who can afford them, are turning to micro-influencers. One of the ostensible reasons is that micro-influencers are the ideal partner when targeting specific niches.
- Reviews Never forget the primary reason you’ve taken your ads to social media, and that is to get your target audience to engage with your brand. Therefore it only makes sense to allow them to talk about their experience with your brand without restrictions.
Learning all the social media trends today is not enough, though. You have to know the perfect time to utilise them. It may seem doable but in truth it takes high-level marketing skills to pull it off. Your best bet is to hire a digital marketing team to help you. In case you are a digital marketing company yourself and the numbers and ratings show that your social media marketing service isn’t doing well, consider partnering with a white label digital marketing company like White Label Club to secure the trust of your clients.