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The do’s and don’ts of Social Media Marketing

Social media is mainly used to post an occasional selfie, keep up with friends and family, and follow your favourite celebrities’ daily lives. But for businesses and brands, social media has become a valuable tool. Business owners can use the various platforms to promote businesses and brands, direct consumers to websites, and build a connection with customers and potential customers. Besides this, social media marketing is also able to collect consumer data which marketers can use to improve the marketing, it can offer more information about industry competitors, and it can even increase market share. To do social media marketing in the correct way, business owners and marketers need to know the do’s and don’ts of social media marketing.

The do’s of social media marketing

  • Make use of a posting schedule.
    Many business owners choose to do their social media themselves and make the mistake of over-posting in the beginning. This is understandable as they are likely excited to get started and get their brand’s name out there. But this technique often leads to burnout or depletion of content to share. To prevent this, business owners and social media marketers should make use of a posting schedule. There is a range of applications, such as Buffer and Hootsuite, which you can use to curate a posting schedule.
  • Determine a posting frequency.
    Business owners and social media marketers should create a posting frequency which works for the business or brand. Many believe that posting once a day is the golden rule, but this doesn’t apply to every business or brand. Many businesses operate seven days a week, and this creates a challenge for business owners as they may not have the time to create content and post daily. If this is the case, business owners or social media marketers should determine a frequency which fits in their schedule and which is sustainable.
  • Be fun and relatable.
    Seeing that social media is flooded with content, businesses and brands need to stand out from the crowd to catch the attention of people. Business owners and social media marketers should strive to be creative and original with their content. Creating an interesting and fun brand identity will increase engagement which is sure to increase sales.

The do’s of social media marketing

The don’ts of social media marketing

  • Don’t come across as unprofessional.
    One way to ensure that your social media content is professional is to not make spelling or grammar mistakes. This is an unspoken rule, but many people make these mistakes if they are rushing to complete a deadline or if they want to take shortcuts when creating content. Before posting content, ensure that another person has reviewed it or even run it through a proofreader online. An example of an application that would be useful is Grammarly.
  • Don’t forget that your stories are important.
    Stories are a good way to keep and heighten engagement with the social media accounts’ followers. They are also useful if the posting schedule doesn’t schedule posts for every day. Besides this, stories can be used to celebrate little milestones and make announcements that are not important enough to be a post on the social media account.
  • Don’t forget about the followers.
    Many business owners focus on posting content about the business’s products and services that they forget to cater to their target audience. When creating social media content, business owners and social media marketers should ensure to create the content to be geared towards the interests of their target market. Business owners and social media marketers should also make it worthwhile to follow their social media accounts by providing incentives, such as giveaways or special discounts only available to their followers.

The don’ts of social media marketing

Using influencer’s influence in marketing

Influencers have become one of the greatest digital assets for digital and social media marketing in the past decade. The Influencer Marketing Hub estimates that the industry itself grew to a whopping $14billion in 2021 (read more here). The industry continues to grow and with the advent of new social media apps and platforms like TikTok (read more about TikTok is and its rapid success here), the influence that influencers hold also continues to sky rocket as people find new ways to become influential – making influencing far more profitable across platforms, industries, demographics and areas than previously anticipated. The most important aspect when using influencing as a tactic in your marketing communications plan is definitely to play the long game. In the early stages of influencer marketing, mega-influencers were considered more valuable (read more about the different kinds of influencers here), but in recent years, the value of influencers no longer resides with how many followers they have. Rather, using ‘influencer’s influence’ has become a lot more specialised and niche than before.

influencer’s influence in marketing

How to utilise the influencer’s influence and why

Brands are only as accessible to consumers as they choose to be. Media Kix reports that brand loyalty and awareness for both small and large scale businesses has proven to grow with the help of influencer marketing strategies. But why do marketers use influencers?

a) Influencers have tapped into a market, notably first through fashion and lifestyle, where they provide their audiences with an ‘honest’ and ‘objective’ review of products and services. YouTube and Instagram have been notorious for early-day influencing, providing platforms to people globally to review and market products to a largely organic grown-audience that trusts their opinions and expertise on specific market-related topics and subject matter. Hence, the idea of beauty moguls that have far surpassed big brand names and titles that have been crowned to beauty influencers such as Nikkie Tutorials and Jackie Aina, for example. Leading the way in beauty, lifestyle and fashion, both of these names have become major influences in the everyday buying experience for young people who often look to Nikkie and Jackie’s videos for stamps of approval before purchasing beauty products.

How to utilise the influencer’s influence and why

b) Influencers are called influencers because they hold influence. What they say, do and how they act has by all accounts, influence over the consumer. With influencers being more tangible and “normal” to their audiences (unlike super stars and celebrities who many consumers feel are out of touch and live unrealistic lives), consumers are more inclined to be influenced by marketing campaigns that influencers participate in rather than buying products that have been traditionally marketed as it was in the past – read more about that here.

And how should marketers utilise influencers?

If you wish to leverage the influence influencers hold, be sure to follow these three tips:

  1. Tap into their niche
  2. Use influencers whose audiences fit your target audience
  3. Demographics matter – including when it comes to the diversity of your influencer pool

marketers utilise influencers

In these ways we can come to understand that influencers can exist across all industries as stated before. However, using influencers whose content doesn’t align or resonate with your products or consumer-target might not end well for your investment. Marketers know this, but many also undermine the value in tapping into the niche of the niche – going to micro influencers and even nano influencers (read more about the different kinds of influencers here). Weighing out your variables, if your goal is to achieve awareness, engagement and reach (which are two different things), matter.

Conclusion

In conclusion, influencers hold serious buying-power with consumers. With more and more influencers boasting “successful” and “luxurious” lives, more niche influencers have been introduced, especially on TikTok, giving scope for a whole new different kind of influencing. The industry is always evolving and is starting to look quite diverse in the types of influences who exist and the audiences they hold. Tapping into the influencer marketing industry at a nano and micro level is definitely something for all marketers to consider. Lastly, leaving behind the glitz and glam part of expensive production, giving “normal” people with platforms the opportunity to take your brand to the next level, might just be the best thing for you. Case in point, The Scrub Daddy thanks to #Cleantok.

influencers hold serious buying-power with consumers

Why is it essential to include social media marketing in your marketing plan?

Why is it essential to include social media marketing in your 2020 marketing plan -FINAL for website

Scrolling through social media is the last thing most people do before they go to sleep and the first thing they do right after they wake up.

Let us have a look at some interesting average social media user stats.

  • Daily time spent on Facebook is 58 min.
  • Daily time spent on Instagram is 53 min.
  • Daily time spent on Twitter is 1 min.
  • Daily time spent on LinkedIn is less than 1 minute. (17 minutes monthly for the average user)

With people spending so much of their time in a day online the chance that your posts or ads will appear on their screens is pretty high. For example, 928.5 million people can be reached by ads on Instagram and Facebook ads reach 1.95 billion of the platform’s 2.5 billion monthly users.

The list of benefits of social media marketing is quite lengthy, but here are a few of the more important ones:

Creating brand recognition – Brand recognition is extremely important because consumers want to buy brands that they are familiar with. In this case, social media benefits over traditional marketing because you can get your brand in front of people much faster and easier.

Traffic – Social media marketing directs more real traffic to your website or blog than traditional marketing.

SEO – Although social media marketing doesn’t improve your search engine rankings directly, it does drive traffic to your website and it is proven than 58% of marketers who have been using social media for longer than a year continue to see improvement in their search engine rankings.

Low cost – Signing up or creating a social media profile is free for almost all platforms.

Customer service – Social media allows for immediate interaction and feedback. This also helps in case of negative engagement and addressing negative feedback before it gets out of hand.

Connect with your audience – Social media marketing gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience via social listening.

Data gathering – Social media marketing allows you to gather data from audience research to improve your content and mould it to fit your target audiences needs better.

With all the benefits that stand out there is one thing you should always remember: “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends” – Jeff Bezos. Weak or inappropriate ads can create a negative emotional response towards your brand in a blink of an eye and if there is any negative publicity to do with your brand on social media, it will spread like wildfire. A great example to look at is Clicks and their Tresemmé advertisement.

So how can IMM help you master this incredible channel?

IMM has an excellent, recently updated short course just for you. Our Social Media Marketing course will help you to understand and apply the power of social media, whether you are a small business owner, a marketing manager, co-ordinator or an aspiring media manager.

The overall goal of the course is to give you an in-depth understanding of several social media platforms, and the online marketing tools, segmentation capabilities and metrics they offer. In addition, you will learn about communicating with and reaching your customers via social media. Best of all, this practical course will equip you with the skills to set-up and manage your own social media accounts, helping you become a socialite extraordinaire.

Feel free to sign up for our “try before you buy” option.

For more information on our new social media marketing online short course follow the link https://www.imm.ac.za/onlineshortcourses/online-course/social-media-marketing-2020/

So, what’s up with vertical videos?

So, what’s up with vertical videos

Should marketers be producing videos in vertical orientation? We look into this relatively new trend and bring you into the frame.

Why vertical?

Videos have traditionally been shot in landscape (horizontal) orientation and for good reason to, the human eye tracks better on the horizontal plane and most videos were viewed on a computer monitor which has a landscape orientation. So why the sudden move to portrait (vertical) videos? The obvious answer is smartphones. We naturally hold them in a vertical orientation, and this is how 98% of people see their social feeds.

Where did it all start?

Not too long-ago videos shot in vertical orientation were considered amateurish and resulted in large black bars on either side of the video and produced a small, unpleasant to view, video that was guaranteed to make viewers scroll on. But in 2015 that all changed when the pioneers of vertical video, Snapchat, reported a 9x higher completion rate of vertical video ads as opposed to horizontal ads. This made marketers and other platforms sit up and pay attention. Facebook followed in 2016 and Twitter in 2017. When Instagram launched IGTV in 2018 all videos were required to be in vertical format although horizontal videos are also supported as of May 2019.

People are lazy

The average viewer is more likely to watch a video if they do not have to turn their phone and tap to expand to full screen. There are a few other reasons vertical videos are receiving more views, the most important of which is that a vertical video fills a much larger part of the screen in a social media feed making it more engaging and less likely to be lost as a blur in a casual viewer’s scroll.

So, what’s up with vertical videos B

Source louisem.com

Most home videos are recorded in vertical format so when a viewer sees a video in horizontal format, they associate it with an ad and are more likely scroll past. Finally, vertical videos get more preference from the main social media platforms they recognise the popularity of vertical videos and are giving their people what they want.

How to create the ideal vertical video

Here are a few tips when recording a vertical video:

  1. Avoid too much horizontal movement
  2. Don’t be afraid to zoom in on details
  3. If you are filming yourself keep it personal, introduce yourself, say hello and look at the camera
  4. If you are filming someone or something else, keep the subject centred in the shot

Remember that while vertical video has many advantages for social media feeds traditional horizontal videos still work best for formats mostly viewed on a desktop like emails and YouTube

Finally choose the right aspect ratio for the platform you are posting on. These are the recommended ratios for the main social media platforms:

 Facebook

Aspect Ratio: 4:5

Pixel Size: 1080 x 1350

Instagram 

Aspect Ratio: 9:16

Pixel Size: 1080 x 1920

Twitter

Aspect Ratio: 1:1

Pixel Size: 640 x 640

Snapchat

Aspect Ratio: 9:16

Pixel Size: 1080 x 1920

Main Take-out

For platforms that are mostly viewed on a smartphone vertical videos are the preferred format. Knowing how to take advantage of the opportunities this offers can have a large impact on your ad’s success.

If you would like to learn how to harness the power of social media and gain an in-depth understanding of how each social media platform works, then IMM’s Social Media Marketing short course is for you! This practical course will equip you with the skills to set-up and manage your own social media accounts.  For more information on the courses we offer, call 0861 466 476 or visit www.imm.ac.za

The Evolution of Marketing

The Evolution of Marketing

The marketing industry is constantly evolving and is an intricate blend of both strategy and technology. Previously, marketing was simply about trying to sell goods and services. These sales attempts may be as old as civilisation itself but the concept of marketing as we know it derives from the developments of the industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was during this time (the industrial revolution) that purchasing goods became easier for a consumer than make things themselves. The current definition of marketing is closer to “the management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer.”

The Timeline of Marketing

The Evolution of Marketing timeline

[Image: Triangle Marketing Club] https://www.trianglemarketingclub.com/the-evolution-of-marketing/

The Simple Trade Era (pre-industrial revolution)

During the simple trade era, marketing focused solely on the trading of resources. Everything was handmade and in limited supply. Households produced their own basic commodities as these were highly sought after.

Production Era (1860’s – 1920’s)

The production era started during the industrial revolution and hailed the beginning of cost effective and mass-produced products. Previously, businesses produced one product at a time with the mindset of “if produced, someone will buy”.

Sales Era (1920’s – 1940’s)

As consumer demand grew and the market became more saturated, competition increased among businesses which prompted the use of sales techniques to promote products. Everything during the sales era revolved around profit (instead of quality) and businesses hoped that, by using persuasion techniques, customers will buy their products out of desire, not need.

Marketing department era (1940’s – 1960’s)

During this time, manufacturers determined that the new “baby boomer” generation won’t be influenced by their “hard sell” techniques. Middle class households enjoyed an increase in income and as a result, an increase in bargaining power. Anything market related including Advertising, sales, and promotions were grouped into one department.

Marketing company Era (1960’s – 1990’s)

This era saw an increase in the influence a marketing department has over a business in the sense that it could help guide the company’s direction. It was during this time that businesses shifted their focus away from mass production, prioritising customer satisfaction instead; the customer became king. Distribution channels and pricing strategy were also defined during this time.

Relationship Marketing Era (1990s-2010)

This era saw the beginning of relationship marketing which focused on both creating and maintaining customer relationships with the goal of creating customer loyalty.

Social/Mobile Marketing Era (2010-Present)

Presently, businesses focus communicating with customers in real time using social media. Thanks to the ongoing development in technology, customers can connect with a business 24/7. Considering the rate at which communication channels are developed, marketing will continue to change.

You can find a more detailed timeline infographic here: https://www.idealpositions.com/historical-timeline-of-marketing-and-advertising/

Some noteworthy milestones since 1990 include:

  • (1991) The beginning of the World Wide Web
  • (1994) Email becomes a mass communication tool
  • (1994) The E-commerce revolution
  • (1998) The creation of SEO
  • (2002) Social media gains traction

Marketing as we know it

The marketing industry has certainly come a long way and continues to evolve. Today, marketing professionals have a range of tools at their disposal to help them achieve their goals.

Marketers are no longer limited to print, television and radio advertising – the digital age brought new mediums such as Search Engine marketing, Email marketing, Social media marketing, and Mobile marketing to spread the word and reach consumers.

The top 5 online marketing tools are:

The marketing industry is fast paced and cutthroat. New strategies are popping up everywhere and current ones are ever-changing and evolving to stay ahead of the competition. If you think you’re cut out for the marketing field, take a look at IMM Graduate School’s wide range of marketing management qualifications here: https://imm.ac.za/study-units/marketing-advertising/

Social Media Management

Social Media has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives 

Social media is constantly evolving and has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives – keeping up with it isn’t an easy task. Of course, social media isn’t just for personal use -it has become an integral part of digital marketing and can help a business develop from a start-up into a smooth-running machine.

Social media marketing is all about communication.  According to industry legend, Neil Patel, “Social media marketing is the process of creating content that you have tailored to the context of each individual social media platform in order to drive user engagement and sharing.”

Facebook has 2.320 billion users by the end of 2017 and even though there are currently over 7.5 billion people in the world, one in four people have a Facebook account. Patel claims that Facebook is quite literally taking over the world and that in some ways, it is a country of its own. With so many active users on a daily basis, social media presents a prime marketing opportunity.

That’s only Facebook and it’s worth noting that each platform is different in that they each require their own strategy. One thing remains the same, however, the content. Content drives each social media platform. In Neil Patel’s article, Social Media Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide, he unpacks some key social media terms. We have summarised them here for you:

Content: Content is whatever you are posting on your social media profiles. This includes text, videos, and images. Each social network requires different forms of content meaning that what you post should be tailored specifically to each platform.

Hashtags: Incorporating hashtags into your posts have become a very common way of adding meta information on nearly all social networks. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest thrive on hashtags which lets you describe the topic of your content or mark it as part of a current trend.Hashtags make content easier to find and share – especially if it’s part of a trend.

Shares: Shares are considered the currency of the social media world, they are all that matters. While “likes” are also important, you want people to pass your message on.

Engagement: Engagement just means that other users see and interact with the content you share on social networks. This includes liking, commenting on and sharing your posts.

Fun fact: Nomophobia is the fear of not being near your mobile phone. 

In another article, Social Media for Business: A Marketer’s Guide – by Saige Driver. Driver explains that not every social platform in a good fit for every business, businesses need to invest in the platforms where they are most likely to reach their target audience. Here’s what you should know about each of the most popular social media platforms:

Facebook

Facebook can be used to share any type of content from photos to important business updates. With a business account, you’ll be able to access various advertising and analytics tools. Having a business page also enables you to highlight operating hours, contact information and the products and services on offer.

Instagram

With Instagram gaining popularity, it’s important to note that the platform is almost entirely mobile meaning that you can’t create or upload content from your desktop. Artists tend to do well on Instagram as they can take photos and upload them on-the-go with their mobile devices. It’s important that whoever runs your page has some basic photography skills and a keen eye for detail.

Twitter

Twitter is the ideal platform for posting short updates about your business or sharing links to longer content such as a blog. Twitter has a character limit of 240 characters but also allows the sharing of multimedia content, links, and polls etc. Driver suggests that if you’re a highly visual business or if you don’t have a blog, you may want to skip Twitter. All in all, Twitter is a great platform to quickly spread the word.

Watch: How to Start Social Media Marketing (4 ESSENTIAL Tips for Beginners) – By Neil Patel

If you would like to learn more about the fast-paced world of social media marketing, take a look at our Social media marketing short course here: https://www.immsc.co.za/online-course/social-media-marketing-short-course/