As you have probably heard by now, social media marketing has taken the reigns of digital marketing. It is a tool that can be used to drive traffic through websites, blog links, Twitter mentions, Facebook fans, LinkedIn and Google+ among many others. Social media is a whole new way of approaching traditional online marketing;social media marketing not only increases traffic, but it also creates a sense of trust and community that surrounds your company. The goal of social media marketing is to create a community for your customers, to focus on building and nurturing relationships, and to use word of mouth and storytelling as opposed to pushing a product or service. So, what are the best platforms for digital marketing? Let's find out.
Courtesy of Salesforce.
Facebook: 1,550,000,000 monthly visitors (source: Statista)
Although Facebook’s user base has declined a bit in the last few years, it still stands as the most popular social media site with over 1,550,000,000 monthly visitors. It has the largest number of users and over 1 million small to medium sized businesses advertise on it. Facebook is a simple and inexpensive way to increase your website’s traffic, interact with customers, and promote word-of-mouth. Facebook is also a great way to show your company’s human side – don’t be afraid to add a little personality into your statuses or share photos that you think your followers will appreciate! These kinds of posts make people want to respond and share it with their friends, which means more exposure for you.
Since Facebook is an inexpensive way to market your business it’s a great way to test marketing concepts before applying them to larger campaigns. Facebook even has its own analytics so you can track information your customers are most likely to click on and share. This information will be extremely valuable when you move on to bigger marketing campaigns because you will already know what content your followers are most likely to engage with.
Twitter: 320,000,000 monthly visitors (source: Statista)
Twitter is the second most popular social networking site and is another great way to increase traffic to your website while interacting with customers. Tweets are used to share stories, link to photos, and promote content, among other things. Although Twitter only allows you to use 140 characters in a tweet, it’s a great way to redistribute information from your blog or website and make it shareable.
Twitter can also be used to pitch stories to journalists. If your dealership holds an annual giveaway or hosts a popular fundraiser get the media involved! Twitter is a quick and easy way to let journalists (and your followers) know about what is happening in the community. You can also keep in contact with your followers by using popular hashtags, sharing relevant images and participating in Twitter chats within your community.
LinkedIn: 100,000,000 monthly visitors (source: Statista)
LinkedIn helps build professional networks with other users and is currently the largest professional network. So, unlike most other social networks LinkedIn focuses on career development, professional connections and industry discussions. LinkedIn is less about blatantly promoting your company and more about subtly staying in contact with customers. You can do this by posting daily statuses, inviting people to your email list and sharing your blog posts regularly. Although these are great, free ways to promote your company, you can also use LinkedIn Sponsored Updates. Paying for sponsored updates will ensure that your posts are seen on an individual’s LinkedIn feed. This is also a great way to reach a niche audience and promote content that your customers are interested in which will eventually lead to more traffic and more sales.
Pinterest: 100,000,000 monthly visitors (source: Statista)
Unlike many social media networks, Pinterest allows you to create a separate account for your business. Despite the stereotype that women aren’t interested in cars, women influence 84% of all vehicle purchase decisions. Currently 71% of Pinterest users are women, so it is a great way to really reach out to them and their needs. Many Pinterest users loveto repin tips, ways to save money, ways to make their lives easier, funny pictures, beautiful photos and more. A great pin is a pin that is easily shareable. Think about pinning infographics that showcase something interesting about different vehicles or a timeline of your business.
Instagram: 400,000,000 monthly visitors (source: Statista)
Having an Instagram account is essentially free advertising once you build your audience. Keep your feed current and make sure to post images that are both fun and informative. With Instagram’s new app, Boomerang, you can post Gifs that will entice your followers and get them interested in what you have to say. If you’re looking for a way to increase followers, follow some of your followers back and engage with other companies through likes and comments.
Currently there are over 200,000 advertisers on Instagram. Companies can pay to promote their posts on millions of Instagram feeds around the world. Another way to promote your company is through influencers on Instagram. Try reaching out to a well-known Instagram personality to see if they would be willing to promote your company.
Google+ launched in 2011 and there are currently over 2.2 billion profiles online. Although 2.2 billion people are signed up for Google+, not many people actively use the site for anything but Gmail and commenting on YouTube videos. Although Google+ may not be the best way to reach your target audience there are some hidden benefits. Posting frequently on Google+ can help your business page rank higher on Google search pages. Another way to help your search engine optimization rankings is by creating a Google+ Local Page and a Google+ Business page. This will help your customers find directions, hours and reviews as well as help Google recognize your page as a reputable site.
Social media marketing is different. It’s a way to repurpose traditional media with a new outlook. Traditional media such as advertising, contests and public relations can all still be used in social media marketing, just with a different focus and attitude. The goal is to promote and nurture relationships, and to build lasting connections with consumers. Using these platforms to build connections will greatly increase a sense of community, traffic, and in the end, sales. Just remember, whether you use these social media sites or expand to others—continuously try to build positive, lasting relationships with your customers.
Bobbi Phelps produces content on behalf of the digital marketing experts at Marketing Zen. An avid writer and learner, she loves to use her skills for engaging others in important topics in creative and effective ways. When she is not working, she loves exploring, hanging out with her dogs, and binge watching shows on Netflix. Tweet her @Bobbi_Phelps or connect with her on LinkedIn.