Marketing is filled with many tools, concepts and strategies. Although traditional marketing works, it’s no surprise that Social Media has become a dominant force in marketing, with over an estimated 2.3 billion active users in the world. Social media marketing is essential for any organization.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing makes use of social media sites to raise visibility on the Internet and to promote products and services. These sites are useful for building social (and business) networks, for exchanging ideas, and knowledge and to reach a larger or targeted audience.
Through branding, company engagement, consumer feedback and more, social media has completely altered the way businesses think about marketing. But what happens when your business is social media? Does that change your marketing plan? How can a social company thrive in the vast online marketplace?
I personally used to think of Instagram as a mindless channel. With endless scrolling images of rock-hard abs, and 16-year-olds who have more successful businesses than anyone I have ever met. Yet even in this depiction, audiences of all ages and backgrounds are spending the majority of their time on Instagram, and savvy marketers are using this to their advantage.
– What started as a hobby, turned into a career –
@beautifuldestinations – an Instagram page that filled the void by tapping the online community to come up with the most beautiful collections of landscapes, cities, seascapes and attractions around the world, aiming to inspire people to get out there and see it for themselves. Founded in 2012 by CEO Jeremy Jauncey – Initially, the account started as a passion project, but little did he know the Instagram page he started had gained millions of followers. A renowned hotel reached out to collaborate, in the hopes of increasing its own social media following.
The travel influencer network evolved and Beautiful Destinations became the social-media savvy creative agency for travel companies and destinations with the largest, millennial travel community on social media – 15 million people on 180 countries, who turn to the brand on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, to be inspired by the world and that’s how a creative agency was born.
From employing the top photographers and closely analyzing data science on the page, Jeremy’s strategy was to share pictures he and his team loved with the aim properly crediting the owner in the caption. By forging relationships directly with customers by telling them great stories and connecting with them in real time. The team played around with different captions to engage their audience, and one in particular caused them to explode, ‘Tag Someone You Love’. Beautiful Destination’s followers started tagging friends, family and other loved ones on the account. This gave them the growth they needed to launch five other media channels.
By working with some of the world’s best brands, governments and charities to help them generate a return on digital media through “social-first” content and visual storytelling. Past and current clients include: Marriott, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Airbnb, NYC & Company, I Love New York, Macao Government Tourism Office, Philippines Department of Tourism, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Tourism Ireland, Slovenian Tourist Board, Burj Al Arab, MGM Resorts, Lindblad Expeditions, Forbes Travel Guide, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, 3D Robotics and MasterCard.
1. Content is King- Brands rely on strong imagery to promote themselves on social, so it’s vital to share high-quality visuals on your page – this goes for both photos and video. Avoid sharing traditional stock imagery as these types of images don’t engage viewers or visually tell a story, lessening their chance of being shared with others who could potentially start following you.
2. What’s the story?- Try to have one theme throughout all of your posts, so your community knows exactly what to expect when they visit your page. This could be anything from fitness, to food or fashion, but make sure it’s something that you are genuinely passionate about.
3. Stick to an 80/20 rule- Once you know what your story is, try to stick to an 80/20 rule, which means 80 per cent of the time, content should help, entertain or motivate an audience depending on what they enjoy. The other 20 per cent can be more brand/self-promotional. This will ensure your audience continues to come back time and time again for a takeaway and isn’t turned off by overly-promotional content.
4. Share content daily- One of the most important things to remember in terms of growing your audience, is to make sure you are sharing consistent and quality content daily with your followers. This will keep you top of mind with your audience and continually adding value.
5. It’s a conversation- Try to engage as much as possible with other like-minded followers or brands and grow your network through conversation, much like in real life.
Lessons for Others
The best platform for your business will be the one that your team is most comfortable with. Usually the problem that happens when trying to build a following on a marketing channel is consistency. While all the main social platforms have great user experiences, they’ve all become a lot harder to learn. Sticking with a few that you can master will be key, especially as more and more marketing channels continue to pop up in 2017.
Industry: Internet / Social Media, Travel, Tourism, Content Marketing
Name of Organization Contact: N/A
Authored by: Farah Hafez
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.