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Social Media Marketing 101

Updated: Mar 2

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to promote a product or service. Also referred to as “e-marketing” or “digital marketing”, social media marketing is simply another way to drive consumers to your growing business.

How can it work for me?

Social media marketing is helpful for businesses because it allows you to reach your prospective customers on a platform they are already using. Most people have accounts on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so by making sure you have a presence in these spaces you ensure a lot more eyes fall on your business. They don’t have to opt in to receive emails, or even necessarily follow your feed to see your content. The social media currency of likes, shares and comments will disseminate your message across a large audience. By promoting your content and engaging with your target consumer, you are able to increase brand awareness, boost engagement and even generate more valuable leads.

Can I do it myself?

No one is more invested in your company’s growth than you, so only you can make the decision on how to handle your digital marketing strategy. You may decide to do the marketing in-house, in which case you should be prepared to spend time, resources and energy into understand how the digital marketing landscape works. Consider what’s important for your company and read on to determine if you need a firm to assist in your digital marketing presence.

Cons to in-house marketing:

1. Not as cost effective

Most people believe that in-house marketing is the more cost-effective option, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Investments like putting together teams, social media management tools, employee training, courses and certifications and dollars spent on advertising can add up quickly.

2. Untrained professionals

Enthusiasm isn't always enough. Your employees may be wonderful brand ambassadors, but they don’t always know best when it comes to digital marketing. If you are just starting out, chances are they aren’t trained professionals, so there may be some mistakes along the way. Interactions on social media outlets need careful consideration- especially if they are negative. Mistakes can be costly, resulting in a loss of revenue or reputation.

3. Lack of objectivity

Having passion for your brand is a good thing, but it can sometimes be too much of a good thing when it comes to social media marketing. When you are right in the thick of day-to-day operations, it can be hard to see the big picture in terms of what is and isn’t working in your marketing campaigns, how you can move the brand forward, or any improvements that could enhance your business strategy.

Pros to in-house marketing:

1. Industry knowledge

No one knows your industry, products and services or prospective business better than you do, and that is one of the biggest pluses to handling your own digital marketing. There is no learning curve when it comes to what is being marketed, the knowledge and passion is already there. If you’re just starting out, check out this blog post on how to get to know your audience.

2. Full-time focus

Marketing agencies can be massive, multi-departmental entities, but regardless of size they often work with a variety of clients at any given time. Your in-house team will be able to dedicate all the time, resources and energy needed toward social media marketing, whereas an agency's focus will be split between all their different client’s needs.

3. Overarching control

An in-house team means that all marketing strategies and collateral are kept in one place. This gives you control to make last minute changes across a campaign without losing time or making costly mistakes in crisis situations.

Often businesses hire companies to help with their online presence, but that isn’t always necessary. If you don’t want to commit to outsourcing your digital marketing efforts just yet, stay tuned for our next blog post on the basics of in-house social media marketing.

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