Social media marketing is a fairly new type of marketing as social networks themselves have only recently become a major part of people’s lives.
At the turn of the century, none of the major social media platforms even existed. However, over the past decade, social media has become one of the most effective marketing channels for many brands. Today, more and more businesses are starting to recognise its full potential.
Social media marketing is a collective term for activities used to increase brand awareness, increase online traffic, and boost online presence through social media. This might include posting photos, videos, links to articles and products and communicating with followers and customers via social media networks.
So, which industries are currently really taking advantage of social media marketing? We take a look at a few of them below.
Fashion has always been a social industry. Fashion trends are dependent on the whims of social groups and the public figures they idolise. As such, social media is a natural fit for any brand in the fashion industry. New styles frequently emerge, with popular clothing items and trends popping up all over social media networks and being shared by millions of people in a matter of minutes.
Naturally, the more visual social networks such as Instagram and Pinterest prove more effective for fashion brands. Businesses can post photos of their new releases and lookbooks directly to their social media channels, or employ the help of “influencers” (individuals who have a significant online following and are quite active on social media) to promote their products.
British luxury brand Burberry was one of the first in its industry to fully embrace social media. The brand successfully managed to turn around its fading reputation to become one of the most sought-after fashion brands worldwide. Burberry was one of the first fashion houses to live stream catwalk shows and has run several social media-focused campaigns that have gained worldwide attention, including the Art of the Trench in 2009 and their #Tweetcam campaign on Twitter during the 2015 London Fashion Week.
Burberry has around 40 million followers across 20 different social media platforms and spends 60% of their marketing budget on digital media. This strategy seems to be paying off as they’re one of the top three luxury brands followed on Twitter and Facebook. Overall, business is booming with a 40% increase in sales in the last quarter of 2016.
Tourism is another industry that’s really taken off, thanks to the social media boom. Inspirational content depicting beaches and awe-inspiring locations are frequently being shared on social media, renewing and enhancing interest in tourism globally.
Just like the fashion industry, tourism is benefitting greatly on social media sites that focus on visual content such as Instagram and YouTube and employing influencers to spread the word on tourist spots. One example of a highly successful travel influencer couple is Instagram’s Gypsea Lust and doyoutravel, with 1.9 and 2.7 million followers on the platform, respectively. The duo’s enviable images depict the couple lounging on palm-fringed beaches, sipping cocktails in 5-star resorts, and staring dreamily at the stunning scenery.
It’s not necessary to pay top-dollar to be successful on social media, however. It can be just as beneficial to use free, user-generated content. Such is the case with Tourism Australia and their See Australia campaign. Over 95% of the content (photos, videos) on Tourism Australia’s Facebook page is submitted by users. They may be free, but they’re still effective in promoting Tourism Australia’s campaigns and projects.
Technology is a constantly-changing industry, and one of the easiest ways for consumers to keep up with what’s going on within it is by using social media. Technology companies can easily take advantage of their need for the latest information by posting useful industry news, interesting features, and evergreen advice pieces alongside plugs for their own products and updates on social media.
Just as fashion bloggers can persuade followers to buy a dress simply by taking a photo of themselves wearing it and uploading it on sites like Facebook, social media influencers can also be used to great effect when it comes to marketing technology.
Camera-maker GoPro takes advantage of user-generated content to show off what their cameras are capable of. The GoPro Instagram account currently has 13.4 million followers, and its feed consists mostly of photographs and videos taken by Instagram users on GoPro cameras. They’ve also had huge success on YouTube, especially after they started requesting content from users in 2013, at one point receiving over 6 000 submissions a day. This successful social media strategy was largely responsible for doubling the company’s profits compared to the previous year. GoPro also engages frequently with its followers on Twitter, using the platform as an accessible form of customer support.
With regards to professional services, providers must go to where their customers are, and more often than not, that means social media. Social networks provide cheap advertising that can work better than traditional marketing methods and allow professionals to communicate more easily with their clients and potential clients.
LinkedIn is definitely the platform of choice for professionals to promote their services and network with other businesses. However, professional services companies can certainly have success on other social media platforms, too. In fact, 35% of law firms now have a Facebook page while 21% of them use Twitter to promote their business and engage their clients.
US immigration lawyer Jacob Sapochnick has had huge success with social media marketing, so much so that his firm no longer needs to pay for traditional advertising. He averages 4-6 leads a day from his Facebook page and also uses YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest to market his law practice.
Is your business involved in technology, professional services, fashion, or tourism? No? Don’t fret; social media marketing’s magic is not limited to these industries! Everyone uses the internet and, if you plan your social media marketing efforts the right way, you’ll also reap similar rewards.