A comprehensive social media marketing guide
You may think you have your social media strategy sussed, but it’s important to remember that the playing field is constantly being shuffled. NZBusiness consulted two leading SMM specialists for an update. Let’s begin with an interesting statistic. In January 2023 there were 4.76 billion social media users worldwide1. That is almost 60 percent of […]
You may think you have your social media strategy sussed, but it’s important to remember that the playing field is constantly being shuffled. NZBusiness consulted two leading SMM specialists for an update.
Let’s begin with an interesting statistic. In January 2023 there were 4.76 billion social media users worldwide1. That is almost 60 percent of the global population.
If you’re still making excuses about seriously getting on board with social media marketing – while you hesitate, your business competitors are gaining the advantage.
There is a new wave swooping down on all of us, and faster than we all believe, explains Melanie Spencer, Group CEO of Socialites, an Auckland-based full-service social media agency.
“If you think about the speed at which social media took on a new shape during Covid, we ain’t seen anything yet,” she says.
“New technologies and trends are poised to have a significant impact on the way people use these platforms.
“In the coming years, with AI, Virtual Reality, the Metaverse, and influencer marketing, building stronger communities and customer service on social media are likely to become critical components of the social media landscape,” Melanie continues, “but this doesn’t mean a big scary world for a small-to-medium sized business as there’re some really easy steps to take to get started, be successful and be cost effective.”
Approach for beginners
If you’re a new business launching in 2023, first things first. Begin by working on your brand and engagement strategy.
Robbie Lawton, co-founder and marketing director of Werk Agency, a Wellington-based brand, web, content and digital marketing specialist, says this means instead of blasting out a bunch of paid ads and expecting go from zero revenue to massive profit, focus first on organic tactics to boost your current sales channels, which could be anything from a market stall, wholesale network or selling organically through a subculture or niche.
“All you’ll need is to spend just a little amount of budget boosting key posts. If you are a B2B business this means focusing on platforms like LinkedIn, building your personal brand and bringing in leads that way,” he says.
“If you are a D2C business, platforms like TikTok are great for getting a lot of reach.”
The key is making content for your demographic and joining in with the trends they relate to, Robbie says. “If your business profile is optimised it will lead curious engagers to check out your products and website. You can also build a big following on TikTok by putting spend behind key posts to make sure the right people see you.”
Once you’ve demonstrated product, audience and market fit through organic tactics and your online monthly revenue is at a 20-30k-plus threshold, then Robbie suggests using this revenue to create financially stable ad campaigns to grow your customer base.
Influencers and ambassadors
You often hear about their exploits for various brands, and 2023 could be a good time to test one in your marketing strategy. Influencer and content creator marketing is a cost-effective way to not only create powerful and engaging content but also leverage larger communities, explains Melanie.
“With 61 percent of consumers trusting influencer recommendations compared to 38 percent trusting branded social media content, the proof is in the pudding,” she says.
It’s interesting to note that:
• Businesses make $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.
• 63 percent of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget in the next year.
• 51 percent of marketers say influencer marketing helps them acquire better customers.
• Marketers find that influencer-generated content receives an average of eight-times more engagement than branded content.
“The numbers stack up and the industry is booming,” says Melanie. “It will continue to grow as users become more engaged with influencer communities and seek out recommendations from people they trust.”
You will also start to see influencers feature across alternate channels, she adds. “Think of influencers popping up on traditional channels and as stars of their own shows.”
Melanie believes social media and influencer marketing is an essential tool for small businesses looking to reach and engage with their target audience. The key is to develop an effective social media strategy that helps you achieve your goals and grow your business, she says.
“Remember to be patient and persistent, be willing to experiment and adjust your strategy as needed. With the right approach, social media can be an incredibly powerful tool for small businesses.”
TikTok the one to watch
In 2023 TikTok continues to be the star platform for marketers. It isn’t strictly social media, more an entertainment platform. And while it was initially adopted by teens, it has steadily gained a broad and diverse user base – a prime e-platform for brands seeking the attention of millennials and Gen Z.
Robbie Lawton calls it “super-intuitive and user-friendly,” and the best value for money for businesses wanting to advertise directly to consumers. “It has the most authentic engagement and its audience insights are only getting better,” he says. “TikTok are building out a comprehensive ad platform that will help you get in front of the people you most want to talk to.”
His advice for business owners is to spend time getting to understand how the platform works and feels to use. “The medium is the message, and if you want to get your message across you need to understand how people now experience information,” Robbie explains.
“TikTok right now is a great platform to start running ads. If you haven’t already, sign up for a business account and you will see all the great opportunities for creating ads to showcase your business. It’s not just young people on there either, and there are different demographics and niches all represented.”
He says from a creative perspective, you can access the TikTok Creative Centre to view all of the trending videos and hashtags to research what video might work best for your ads. Then you can get started shooting your first videos in a trending style.
“Getting good at this process early will help you create high-performing ads that will help grow your business faster,” says Robbie.
The way forward
In 2023 social media marketing is continuing to adjust to real-world trends.
For example, vertical video1 is here to stay, says Robbie. “Gone are the pretty pictures and press shots. Now it’s about engaging video content that looks and feels like all the other content that people are watching online.
“The beauty of this is you can now use that elevator pitch for your product right there in the ad itself. Just find a clear, succinct way that your product or service can help your audience.
“Try a range of different styles and formats. For example, you could even act out a skit to illustrate the most relatable way your product helps your audience.”
It’s important that your social media ads help build a customer base. “So, look at your website. Is it consistent with your messaging on your ads? Are you also building an email database to keep the conversation going?
“If you can build a marketing ecosystem for your business your customers will keep coming back for more. They will look out for your next post, email, or go on your website to check for regular blog updates.”