You've finally decided to give this social media "thing" a chance. Before diving in, it's essential you first learn about how to use SMM with two examples of social media marketing campaigns...
Organic Social Media Marketing Campaigns
It’s exactly what it sounds like--natural, homegrown interaction and activity on the social media platform of your brand’s choosing. This type of social media marketing occurs almost on a daily basis, and is essentially “free.”
While not spending any ad dollars, a brand should certainly spend man-hours on building up a good rapport in the social media sphere it resides in. This includes tracking relevant business hashtags, connecting with industry influencers, interacting with followers when necessary (especially in cases of customer service requests), monitoring reviews and comments, and distributing valuable content to your audience. Earning likes, comments, shares, or virality are some of the earned benefits of running a solid organic social media campaign.
You’ll help establish your expertise in the field and build relationships with like-minded acquaintances. While making your brand part of a much bigger community, you’ll also provide a starting point for discovery by potential customers. It’s the beginning of a prosperous two-way relationship, and is worth every minute spent on it. Providing that you can sustain continuous activity, the dividends for this type of campaign are long term and upwards-sloping.
The Movember Foundation’s month-long challenge is a long-term project that grew from a grassroots beginning of about 30 participants to more than 4 million men by 2013, spanning multiple social media channels. As men around the world grew out their facial hair and posted it to Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter, the ongoing conversations sparked were able to sustain growth and raise awareness for the campaign.
The wealth of personal data which social media platforms gather has lead to its opening up to brands and to what we now call paid social media. Out of the two examples of social media marketing campaigns, this is the one which does require spending ad dollars.
Using the paid function of social media gives brands a powerful tool for reaching audiences, especially with a specific purpose and budget behind it. This type of social media marketing allows you to put money behind your efforts in whatever formats the respective platform allows for; that includes sponsored content, targeted ads, promoted posts, and remarketing ads, to name a few. A platform like Facebook can offer you targeting so narrow, that characteristics like age, income, employment location, and interests are pinpointed. Ads can now be better served to those more likely to have an actionable response. You can also hone in on what step you’d like your audience to take, whether it’s following your page, going to your website, or even purchasing in an instant.
While this may make for a good jump-off point for your social media marketing campaign (you can build a following via paid campaigns specifically tailored for that purpose), it’s good to keep in mind that in order to sustain growth, a paid campaign requires constant spending.
While your business may not be working with a budget as big as theirs, Dove’s “Real Beauty” video ads did what most ads only dream of: it went viral, amassing more than a million Facebook likes, 20,000 tweets, and more than 67 million views (and counting). Though a paid advertisement, it goes to show that high quality work and a resonating message can push viewers past the “Skip Ad” button.
So Which Should I Use?
The answer for this question has also evolved over the years, and the most accurate response at the writing of this article is: both. These two examples of social media marketing campaigns can actually be used as complementary components of your strategy. For example, it was mentioned above that a brand could use a paid, super-targeted, social media campaign to attract followers or “likers” to their page. Once there, these newly-acquired followers can now see the brand’s organic content. It is this process, when repeated (for however long you’ve paid for), that can lead to the building of an audience for your brand’s organic efforts. Earning a like, share, comment, or even virality, is the added bonus you’ll get.
To learn more about using social media marketing for your business, subscribe to this series! Fill out the form below to gain access now.
How have you used social media to market your business? Leave a comment below, I read every one.