It’s time to stop thinking of the “marketing mix” as the 4 P’s. Product, price, placement, and promotion will always matter, but the most flexible of these factors is definitely promotion.
Marketers have more promotional options than ever before, with email, SEO, content marketing, billboards, print materials, events, and many other channels making up the new marketing mix.
Social media is an important component of that overall marketing mix, but just how important varies from company to company. Let’s dive in and see where social media should fit in your marketing mix.
Social Media as a Multi-Purpose Marketing Tool
Social media is a key part of today’s marketing mix because each platform contributes to multiple marketing objectives. At a minimum, make sure your team is equipped to use social media for the following purposes:
- Direct communication: Social media allows consumers to communicate with businesses. As of 2021, 90% of consumers reported having used social media to communicate with a brand. In other words, it’s a thriving customer service channel where you need to be responsive.
- Brand awareness: Everyone’s favorite brands are on their social media feeds now. Up to 62% of users express increased interest in a brand after seeing their Facebook stories.
Posts to your timeline will only show up organically for your most loyal followers, so to amplify your brand, you’ll need at least a small ad budget.
Be strict about sticking to your budget, though. Social channels lure many brands in with small-sounding ad prices, but it’s easy to throw a lot of money down this drain without seeing the ROI. This is yet another reason to pick and choose your best channels.
- Brand identity: Think of your brand’s content set on any social media platform as a declaration of who you are. Prospective clients, customers, and employees will use every post they see to make judgments about your products and your company. So have personality and a point of view.
While social media contributes to each of those marketing activities, it rarely owns any of them. Your brand’s identity, for example, doesn’t come purely from the memes you share on Facebook and the company party pics you share on Instagram. Your website, your YouTube videos, and the write-up about your CFO in the local business magazine all become part of that brand identity as well.
Social media does qualify as owned media, though—you have total control over what content gets posted to your social channels. And because social media profiles are in your hands, they’re one of the best places to tell your company’s marketing story.
How to Choose and Use the Right Social Media Channels
There are so many social media channels that it’s all too easy to spend more time on quantity than quality. If you find yourself creating content for every possible channel, you’re doing it wrong.
1. Don’t promote yourself everywhere.
Instead, create content that is suitable for your audience and uniquely designed for the platform you share it on. Gone are the days when you could create a single image and upload it to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. (If those days ever existed in the first place.)
Choosing quality over quantity also means choosing the best platforms for connecting with your audience—and minimizing your promotional efforts on other social platforms. It may feel like you’re missing out on “free” opportunities to get your brand out there, but you’ll see better results in the long run when you don’t choose the “everything and the kitchen sink” method.
2. Use personas and engagement data to choose your best social platforms.
You should be able to intuit from your audience personas some of the online hangouts of your current and future customers. B2B prospects spend more time on LinkedIn than TikTok, especially when they’re in the work mindset. And people looking for the latest fashions will gravitate to visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest over Twitter.
Once you’ve chosen your key focus platforms, look at engagement data to see where you’re performing best and where you might need to put in some extra effort. Now is the one time it’s acceptable to think about vanity metrics—reach, likes, comments, shares. You shouldn’t base your strategy on boosting those numbers alone, but they can tell you where your content is already resonating and finding the right audience.
One underlooked metric to keep in mind is DMs. Which platform do your customers use to ask you questions? That can be an indicator of where your branding is most effective, where you’re easiest to find, or where you have the best ratings.
3. Post to your channels regularly.
To see results, you should post to most of your platforms at least once a day. Think of that post as the main event for the day—the piece of content you want followers to see that will stop their scroll and create a positive brand experience for them.
With that general rule in mind, take cues from each platform about how often you truly need to post. On some platforms, posting once per day may be too much. Sharing a YouTube video every day is not possible for even the biggest brands.
On other platforms, once per day may not be enough. If your one daily tweet is a link to a product page or a sale, you aren’t really using Twitter as the conversational platform it is.
The overarching rule is to make sure each platform is part of your mix. If you find yourself neglecting a few profiles because you don’t have time or content for the platform, you’ll need to reevaluate how you’re prioritizing social media in your overall marketing strategy.
Get Results with Big Leap
Social media marketing is easy to do, but not easy to do well.
It’s infinitely easier when you have experienced marketing experts in your corner. Big Leap has a team of social media experts that can help you get the results you’re looking for.
Our social media marketing strategies are incredibly successful. We’ve taken companies from seeing virtually no engagement on their posts to increasing their total reach by 8,912%. If you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level, take action today.