Navigating the Maze of Social Media Marketing

Navigating the Maze of Social Media Marketing

At Swift Whale Creative we spend our days immersed in our customer’s vision, their goals, studying what drives them to be the best at who they are and what they deliver to their customer. Creating that perfect picture, that mesmerizing feeling that encompasses their passion and delivering that in the form of kick ass design is what keeps us humming, keeps us up late nights, keeps us challenged and fuels us.

And Social Media is just another part of the puzzle that completes the pretty picture.  One of my goals this year is to put super focus on our personal company social media.  Admittedly, we’re so caught up on expanding our customer’s social profiles, we often neglect our own.  But I’m drawing the line in the sand starting now and would love for you all to come along for the ride with us!

Tweeted, pinned, tumbled, tagged, liked or shared. Let’s face it, if you’re new to social media you might find yourself staring blankly at your computer screen wondering at what point English stopped being English and ‘bae’ became a thing. Truthfully, you’re not alone, and that’s because the versatile and often volatile nature of social media means that it’s forever changing.

In general, if you want to harness the viral power of social media for your brand development, you need to prepare yourself to navigate the complexities of the modern marketing maze. You need to know what media platform(s) to use, when, why, and who you’re most likely to engage with. But to get you started, you first need to know what your options are.

  1. Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg came, he saw, and he laid the smack-down to MySpace. Today, there are over 30 million businesses using Facebook as an advertising platform and even if social media usually gives you hives, you probably have a Facebook account. In fact, this is what makes Facebook so successful – accessibility. But, while pay-per-impression or pay-per-click ads are big money, the broader and more diverse your audience is, the less targeted your advertising.

  1. Twitter

Passive aggressive hashtags, celebrity grudge matches, social justice issues. If you can hashtag it, #anythinggoesontwitter (within 140 characters). But as they say, brevity is the soul of wit; say something funny, funky, or relatable, and you may go viral. Netting $502.4 million in advertising revenue in 2015, it is estimated that over 20% of the US population will be tweeting by 2019.

  1. YouTube

Tight-lipped as Google is about profit, it’s currently estimated that 15% of Google’s total 2015 revenue came from YouTube and GooglePlay services – and with good reason. With such a varied selection of content from DIY tutorials to cats climbing Christmas trees, there is no niche too specific for YouTube, which makes targeting your key audience only a short video clip away.

  1. Pinterest

Cookies, crafts, and DIY – Pinterest hit 100 million users in 2015, but that’s not what makes this advertising platform unique. So, what’s so special about Pinterest? Between 70% to 80% of all Pinterest users are female, meaning targeted, gender-specific product placement is big money (especially for house and home niches).

  1. Instagram

Fancy pictures of fancy coffee; Instagram launched in 2010 and since then has accumulated over 400 million users (2015) all sharing photos of themselves, products they love, products they hate, and everything in between. On Instagram, it’s all about aesthetics: great pictures sell great products.

Okay, sure, but where do I actually start?

For the best results: start small. Focus on what type of audience your product, service, or business is suited for, determine if you want to invest in image-heavy marketing (Instagram, Pinterest) or witty one-liners (Twitter). Decide if you have the skills for film (YouTube) or if you just need a good ol’ fashioned “click here” (Facebook). Remember, “bad” ads are just as likely to go viral as good ones, so take your time, use good judgement, and put maximum effort into your marketing.