What is Social Media?

Social media is a collection of online platforms that facilitate content creation, content sharing, communication and interaction. Social media directly influences buyer behaviour and is an established customer acquisition channel.

Social Media Timeline

AOL Instant Messenger was launched in 1997 and MSN Messenger launched in 1999. These instant messaging platforms ushered in a new era of instant communication and laid the foundation for future social media platforms.

In 2003, MySpace launched, taking the world by storm until Facebook launched in 2004 and quickly usurped it. Reddit launched in 2005 and Twitter launched in 2006. Pinterest launched in 2010 along with Instagram and Quora.

Several platforms you probably used have lived and died. Vine, Bebo, Google+, Path and Periscope are prime examples. Today, the big social networks include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok and Quora.

Facts & Figures

4.41 billion

Over 3.6 billion people use social media, and the number is projected to increase to 4.41 billion in 2025 (Statista)

Social Media

"Content is fire. Social media is gasoline." – Jay Baer

Social Listening

"Great content is the best sales tool in the world." – Marcus Sheridan

What is Social Listening?

Social listening is the monitoring of social media channels for mentions of your brand, business, product or service. It gives you an opportunity to track, analyse and respond to mentions so that you can manage your social media presence.

Social listening is important because it enables you to understand more about your audience and engage with your audience. You can see what your audience is talking about and produce new content they will enjoy.

In social media marketing, social listening is necessary to collect data, find trends, and develop insight into audience habits and behaviour. If you have analytics on your website, why wouldn’t you have analytics for social media?

Facts & Figures

13x

Half of worldwide marketers turned to social listening to understand consumers’ changing preferences during the COVID-19 pandemic (eMarketer)

What is Social Media Management?

Social media management is the process of managing and growing your social media presence. It includes content creation and distribution, tracking and measuring updates, monitoring conversations and collaborating with influencers.

Social media management can be as simple as publishing updates or as complex as publishing updates, growing an audience and using field data from analytics to fine-tune content creation and increase audience interaction.

Brands who take their social media seriously can expect to achieve better results than those who don’t. Social media is a tool that rewards those who put the effort in. It’s also crucial to pick your social media platforms wisely. Not all platforms are equal.

Facts & Figures

79%

79% of consumers expect brands to respond within a day of reaching out over social media (Sprout Social)

Social Media

"The best way to predict the future is to create it." – Peter Drucker

Paid Social

"Your brand is so much more than what you sell." – John Iwata

What is Paid Social?

Paid social includes advertisements and sponsored content that’s designed to get your social media posts and brand in front of a relevant, targeted audience. Some businesses use paid social as their main source of customer targeting.

Social media has evolved from a conversational tool into an established customer acquisition channel. Display ads and sponsored posts offer a significant opportunity to get your brand, products and services in front of your customers.

Demand for paid social has grown in line with growth in social media usage. Most businesses, and especially those that appeal to millennials and Generation Z, have dabbled in or considered paid social to grow their business.

Facts & Figures

27%

27% of internet users say they find new products and brands through paid social ads – and this is increasing (Hootsuite)

What is a Social Media Agency?

A social media agency provides social media marketing and management services as an outsourcing partner. You would hire a social media agency to create your social media strategy and run your social media campaigns.

Your social media agency can handle all of your social media activities, including content creation, content sharing, complaint handling, interaction and measurement, or you can assign specific tasks to them, like managing paid social.

Because social media agencies specialise in social media, they are the best people to manage your social media campaigns and achieve your marketing goals.

If you don’t have the internal resources to manage your social media campaigns, outsourcing makes sense and you’ll probably get better results anyway.

Facts & Figures

25%

Answering a complaint on social media can increase customer advocacy by 25% (Convince & Convert)

How do I choose a digital marketing agency?

"Which is handle Every complaint, in Every channel, Every Time."

Wrapping up

If you are only using social media to share blog posts and musings you are missing out on one of the biggest growth opportunities for your business.

To give this some context, 54% of shoppers use social media to research products (GlobalWebIndex) and 74% of shoppers make buying decisions based on social media content (Sprout Social). What’s more, 71% of online shoppers are more likely to purchase based on social media referrals (HubSpot).

If you want to harness the power of social media, you’ll need a clearly defined social media strategy with marketing objectives, KPIs and the resources to achieve them.

Most businesses will need to partner with a social media agency to achieve meaningful results because success on social media takes time, dedication and love.