Social Media Marketing

When setting up an online business, creating a social media presence may well find itself at the bottom of a long to do list. Yet evidence would indicate that positive benefits can be derived from a businesses social media presence (Nobre and Silva, 2014). With 2.8 billion active social media users worldwide (Hutchinson, 2017), neglect this vital marketing tool at your peril!

When considering which social media platforms to utilise, research is key. An online business targeting individuals in their 40’s, is likely to find that a social media presence on snapchat is unlikely to derive any benefit. Given that the snapchat demographic is substantially younger than the target market; your target audience simply won’t see you. You’re marketing in the wrong place! As well as demographic research, user numbers and conversion rates are all incredibly insightful when it comes to platform selection.

The first platform selected was Facebook. With user numbers standing at 1.9 billion monthly, typical user age being between 18 and 49 and a predominantly female user base (Hutchinson, 2017); Facebook captures Flash + Dazzle’s target audience perfectly.

Facebook also provides access to analytics, an incredibly useful resource providing data on levels of interaction with posts. The data can be used to interpret how successful a campaign has been, and what topics users really engage with. This allows valuable lessons to be learnt, and the marketing strategy improved, hopefully resulting in a new more successful campaign in the future.

With the ability to post photos, company updates, new product information and advertising videos, Facebook is a great way to inform and persuade current and potential customers; aiding relationship development and increasing sales (Nobre and Silva, 2014).

Analysis of similar company Facebook profiles found similar features across all. All the cover photo’s either identified what product the business sells, or projected a certain image or feeling about the what kind of business it is. Monica Vinader identifies as a company selling minimalist luxury jewellery. Net-A-Porter projects as a high end luxury brand. Whilst Stella & Dot conveys the image of trend following affordable jewellery. All pages have a call to action button below the cover photo which is cleverly used as the only link to the website.

fb monica vinader.JPG.pngfb netaporter.JPG.pngfb stella and dot.JPG.png

These techniques have been replicated within Flash + Dazzle’s Facebook page. The results of which can be seen below or by clicking the link to be redirected to the Flash + Dazzle Facebook Page .

fb flashandd.png

Twitter has been selected as the second platform for social media marketing. Instagram and Pinterest have slightly larger audience shares and demographically are a better fit due to their strong female user base sitting within Flash + Dazzle’s target market age bracket (Greenwood, Perrin and Duggan, 2016). However consideration needs to be given as to whether it is viable to create the level of content required in order to be effective. 

Ellering (2016) collated data from ten social media studies in order to provide a more definitive answer as to how many social media posts were required across each platform in order to provide maximum business benefit. The data found that the optimum levels to achieve the maximum benefit of, ‘increased awareness, engagement, shares and traffic’, were 11 Pinterest pins per day and 1-2 Instagram posts. 

As a start up business, Flash + Dazzle do not believe it is viable to create enough visual content to sustain a successful social media campaign on Pinterest or Instagram. As initial stock images will come from suppliers, and subsequent photo shoots will be bi-monthly at best, visual imagery is likely to be in short supply.

Due to communication through Pinterest and Instagram being through visuals its more difficult to communicate with and engage your audience. You can’t persuade or inform. People like your image or they don’t. The ability to communicate on Twitter through tweets makes it an attractive social media proposition. Given that you can also tweet photos when available as well as sharing and videos, Twitter appeared to be the more appropriate choice.

The same imagery has been used on Flash + Dazzle’s twitter page to ensure visual consistency and can be seen below or by visiting the Flash + Dazzle Twitter Page .

twitter flashandd.png

References

Ellering, N. (2016). How Often To Post On Social Media According To 10 Studies. [online] CoSchedule Blog. Available at: https://coschedule.com/blog/how-often-to-post-on-social-media/ [Accessed 3 May 2017].

Greenwood, S., Perrin, A. and Duggan, M. (2016). Social Media Update 2016. [online] Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-2016/ [Accessed 3 May 2017].

Hutchinson, A. (2017). Top Social Network Demographics 2017 [Infographic]. [online] Social Media Today. Available at: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-networks/top-social-network-demographics-2017-infographic [Accessed 3 May 2017].

Nobre, H. and Silva, D. (2014). Social Network Marketing Strategy and SME Strategy Benefits. Journal of Transnational Management, [online] 19(2), pp.138-151. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com.proxy.worc.ac.uk/doi/pdf/10.1080/15475778.2014.904658?needAccess=true [Accessed 3 May 2017].

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