How to Use Social Media Marketing to Promote Your Business

Companies have used marketing strategies to promote their business as long as commerce has existed. Let’s skip along a timeline of marketing trends before arriving at the modern day method of promoting your business. Hopefully, after a little insight you’ll know how to use social media marketing to amplify the image you would like to project.

Marketing Before Migration

Once upon a time, the concept we know today as “buying local” didn’t exist. Shocked? Think about it this way: without modern technology people couldn’t readily access goods outside their immediate surroundings. Vendors couldn’t just hop in a truck and go sell their products around the country. This is because trucks didn’t yet exist. Sure, after inventing the wheel, migration became a little more convenient. Still, people were bound by the conditions surrounding them– roads, available animals for pulling, and the weight of the load. Needless to say, buying local was pretty much the only option, unless conditions were perfect for venturing further.

Marketing is Presentation

During those times when people didn’t stray too far from home, marketing didn’t look the way it does today. Well, not exactly, anyway. Getting to our modern way of marketing was an evolution due to trends and technology, if nothing else. One of the early forms of marketing was simply arranging and presenting products in different ways from competitors. Let’s use bananas as an example to illustrate this concept. Some vendors lay bananas out on a flat surface, while others hang the fruit from their sturdy stems. Neither way of displaying bananas is necessarily better for the fruit itself, but vendors are notorious for getting creative in order to draw in more customers. That is a marketing strategy that has been around for ages.

Marketing Gets Big and Reaches Far

Fast forward to the Industrial Revolution where drawing in more customers became more necessary than ever. With advanced technology and improved machinery and processes, companies were able to mass produce. Mass production led to increased revenue, and consequently more companies producing similar products. This is where marketing strategies exploded, and where we began to see persuasive tactics skyrocket. You see, the more competition there was, the harder companies had to work to convince people that their product was worth buying. That’s when companies realized marketing needed to be more than just big— it needed to reach far.

Social Media Marketing Makes Its Debut

Now, even in years past, there was plenty of marketing that was big. Think about the ads you see in Times Square. It doesn’t get much bigger than that. Then, think about the logos printed on the sides of airplanes. (Oh, you didn’t realize that was a marketing strategy?) It doesn’t go much farther than that. Ok, that’s not entirely true, because it did go bigger and farther than that. In fact, when marketing went to television, a company’s products could go anywhere there was a tv, and it could happen nearly instantly.

While television marketing is fast and reaches far, it’s also pretty expensive. So, when Facebook started generating ad revenue in 2004, it seemed like the best marketing tool a company could utilize, and at a reasonable price. That is, until businesses started to realize they didn’t need to use the ads at all– they could simply do their own advertising for free by creatively posting on their company’s timeline. Thus, social media marketing was born.

Know These Things First

Before you begin deciding how to use social media marketing, you need to determine who your audience should be. Is there a certain age group or demographic you are targeting? Are you only trying to reach locals, or would you like to go global? Knowing your audience is key to knowing how to use social media marketing.

Photo of a computer on a table with plants surrounding, and the screen has a Google page pulled up with social media information.
Photo by Christine Yanner

Besides determining your audience, you also need to establish your goals. Did you just launch your business and are simply trying to get off the ground? Or, are you trying to grow revenue? Is your company on the verge of expansion? It’s important to recognize where you are in your business phase so you can anticipate how using social media marketing will impact your trajectory.

Get Creative with Social Media Marketing

Once you know your audience and establish your goals, you can begin the fun part of deciding how to use social media marketing to reach your target audience and accomplish your goals. The great thing about social media marketing is you can really do as little or as much as you want. However, learning how to diversify your social media marketing campaign is a good idea.

Here are some strategies you could use for social media marketing:

  • Customer Feedback – Giving customers an opportunity to provide feedback isn’t a new concept. However, reposting outstanding customer feedback on social media is a newer and smarter way of highlighting customer satisfaction. This way, companies can feature feedback they feel best reflects their product or service.
  • Pictures – Using product imagery isn’t nouveau. However, using pictures of products in use by actual customers is more modern. Companies can use social media marketing to either repost pictures of products in use, or allow customers to tag the company in their own posts.
  • Giveaways – There’s nothing like a freebee to get everyone amped up. Many companies use social media marketing to offer giveaways to their loyal followers. Especially while social distancing, this is a fun and easy way to use social media marketing to reach customers.
  • Videos – There are many ways to include video content in your social media marketing campaign. For example, on Instagram, you can post a short video like a picture that remains on your timeline unless you remove it. Or, post a story that disappears after 24 hours. You can also use Instagram TV to create longer, higher quality video content.
  • Blogs – While time constraints might not always make it possible to have a weekly full-length blog, there is an alternative. You can use Facebook to write mini blogs, offering just the right information at precise intervals of time. The information doesn’t have to be earth-shattering, but short well-written blogs are a great way to use social media marketing to show you are an expert in your field.
  • Design – Have you ever looked at someone’s social media page and been awestruck by the colors, textures, or layout? That is where unique design comes into play. Even if you keep your social media marketing simple, make the design reflect your business.

Social Media Marketing Comes Full Circle

Once upon a time, shopping local was pretty much all there was. Now, “shop local” is what many businesses encourage their loyal customers to do, despite having the world at their fingertips. It’s funny how this concept came full circle, isn’t it? Either way, businesses depended on creative marketing strategies then, and they still do now. Today, businesses need to know how to use social media marketing to make their business stand out. Some simple ways to attract customers using social media marketing include pictures of products in use by actual customers, giveaways, and video content. The best part of all is social media marketing is easy on a company’s pocketbook, and on the environment.

Photo of hands holding a smartphone with an Instagram page for Journey Payroll & HR on the screen.
Photo by Christine Yanner

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