Social media marketing has become a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes in reaching prospects and new customers. No matter who you are, or what industry you’re in, your customers are already interacting with brands through social media. Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business by creating devoted brand advocates and driving leads and sales. Bottom line: if you’re not speaking directly to your audience through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you’re missing out!
In today’s technical, and social media driven society, I’m sure you’ve heard of social media marketing, or SMM, but what is it actually? Social media marketing is a form of internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve an organizations’ goals. This can include activities like posting text and image updates, videos, blog posts, polls, and other content, all with the intention of driving audience engagement in the hopes that it translates into sales.
Content marketing has emerged as a key player in social media marketing strategies. It’s premised on creating online content that is valuable to potential customers which in turn, contributes to, and shapes a product’s/service’s reputation. Creating content helps your organization engage with customers and create conversations. Social media enables that content to be distributed both directly to your network and indirectly through the networks of your followers. Good content will be shared by others, increasing in reach, and ultimately resulting in sales. It’s basically the modern-day version of word-of-mouth marketing.
However, content marketing is often done poorly, as many people simply promote their product or service. Instead, content marketing should contribute to a social media conversation, stimulate discussion, and enable interested customers to engage with you. Content marketing isn’t just about creating content – it is also about creating good content, or rather, content that creates engagement. The content doesn’t have to be professionally done or cost a lot of money, but it does need to be authentic, and your participation in the resulting conversation is critical for content marketing to be successful. Promotion is also critical for content marketing to be successful. You can create excellent content, but then have no one read it because they don’t know it is there is counterproductive. Promotion requires your own attentive network.
As with many other areas of marketing, the branding realm has changed significantly in recent years as a result of social media. Previous efforts relied on limited forms of media (radio, print, and TV) and were catered towards large audiences. Media companies determined what consumers saw and heard, and as long as the company could afford it, they could get their message out to the consumer relatively easy.
Today however, there are much greater choices and options available, and this makes it an increasingly difficult job for marketers and business owners alike who are trying to establish and promote a brand. Consumers now have more power to both influence the creation of content and to tune out content they don’t want to see, where ads can be easily avoided, and viewing choices are more diverse. As a result, companies are having to come up with more innovative ways to reach their customers in establishing a brand for themselves.
Take Breanne, founder and CEO of the Wild Side Wellness, a nutritional and personal training program. Breanne is a young mom of two, a Doctor of naturopathic medicine, and an entrepreneur. To say she is a high achiever would be an understatement. The young 27-year-old has been so successful in her social media marketing endeavours that her once budding business has now quickly transformed into a thriving company.
Breanne and the Wild Side Wellness are a great example of how a business can use content marketing successfully. However, Breanne is a unique example in that she is the brand and image for her business. So, not only is she marketing her business and services, she’s also marketing herself. She has successfully done this in a way that seems relatable and authentic, enabling her to gauge the interest of potential customers, create a dialogue exchange with existing customers, and generate sales.
Breanne is the master of curating good content for social media marketing purposes. She has mastered the art of offering free quality content, sometimes in exchange for contact information, while charging for other, more in depth content. She is active on social media everyday but is not necessarily pushing product. For example, she markets and promotes herself and her business on Instagram stories by showcasing not only the products she personally uses (food, supplements, etc.) but also her daily life and family activities. In doing this, she communicates with her audience, empowers her clients, breaks down the barriers between her and her customers, and creates an authentic version of herself. In a short period of time, Breanne has acquired 4,227 followers on Instagram, 344 followers on Facebook, and 315 subscribers on Youtube. Overall, her marketing initiatives have been so successful that she has been able to expand her business to include collagen induction therapy, Doula services, life coaching, business development training, and more.
Lessons for Others
Social media marketing is essential for businesses in today’s economy. The case study analysis of Breanne and the Wild Side Wellness reveals that good, valuable content, and a consistent brand image reign supreme when it comes to social media marketing and are critical to the successful application of social media marketing. Social media marketing provides a great opportunity for engaging with and intriguing potential and/or existing customers. It is important to communicate authentic and relatable content in order to increase audience engagement. This, in turn, will translate into a broader customer base and increase sales.
Wild Side Wellness
Industry: Health and Wellness
Name of Organization Contact: Breanne Kallonen
Authored by: Allie
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.
Carr, P. (2018). Marketing and Social Media. Week 7 Course Material. Retrieved from https://learn.uwaterloo.ca/content/enforced/373949-CE-SMBP100_002_cel_1185/lecture-content/weeks/week7/week7.html?ou=373949
Kallonen, B. (2017). Wild Side Wellness. Youtube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e_VFmqdCxk
WordStream (2018). Social Media Marketing for Businesses. WordStream. Retrieved from https://www.wordstream.com/social-media-marketing