Last Updated on June 8, 2020

Most companies are familiar with social media and maintaining active accounts on the top platforms. Social media management is common across both B2B and B2C brands. In fact, 83 percent of all B2B businesses in America have a social media presence — a number that is even higher for B2C organizations.

However, while social media management is popular, social media marketing is less common. Companies don’t have a hard time posting on their own pages, but they often can’t get others to post about them or for them.

This process doesn’t have to be a mystery. With a little strategy, your brand can tap into peer influencers (customers who already like what you have to offer) to expand your reach to new people and other potential buyers.

What Is Social Media Marketing?

The definition of social media marketing is the process of gaining attention and exposure through social media tactics. It essentially refers to using social media to drive customers to your brand page, website, and eventually storefront through active promotion.

One of the main tactics of social media marketing is peer influencer marketing. Peer influencers seem like average, ordinary users, but they have the power to change the behavior of their friends and family. Peer influencers (sometimes known as micro-influencers) might only have a few hundred friends or followers, but that doesn’t make them any less powerful. When they share their thoughts, people listen. If there are a handful of peer influencers posting about your brand and encouraging people to try it, you can expand your audience by hundreds of people and potentially land a few dozen new customers.

Successful brands learn how to use social profiles for marketing to engage peer influencers and drive new people to their website and into their storefronts.

Who Can Use It?

Some businesses might be nervous about tapping into this area. They might not think they have a large enough reach to engage people or operate in the right industry. However, internet users are diverse and plentiful. It’s possible to find hundreds of people in your target niche and dozens of peer influencers whom they listen to. For example, if a restaurant is looking for trusted restaurant influencer to promote their business, there are plenty of options out there.

If you want to see how you can wield social media marketing for your brand, go online to check out some of the groups of people in your industry or your geographic region. There are multiple tools available (including Intellifluence) for conducting research. Even people with fewer than a thousand followers can make a significant impact on social media and encourage people to listen to them. With a little planning, you can develop a social media marketing campaign that achieves your goals.

How Is Social Different From Search Engine Marketing?

It’s important for businesses to understand how social influence differs from search engine marketing. Search marketing relies on bloggers and websites to promote your brand. These pages might link back to your pages and boost your SEO or recommend your brand to readers looking for solutions. Social media marketing, on the other hand, is limited to social channels and news feeds. The influencers promote your brand directly and drive traffic to your website.

Social and search marketing certainly overlap. Many search engine promotions have social elements, and both tactics rely on reputable sources connecting with customers in a specific industry. However, social media often provides more flexibility as far as the size, industry, and availability of influencers who can promote your brand.

How Can Businesses Succeed Using This?

Once you have a strong understanding of what social media marketing is, you can focus on how to use it to achieve your goals. For many brands, this type of marketing is a trial-and-error process. Not all of your influencers will provide value to your brand, and not all influencer techniques will succeed. There are a few rules of thumb when it comes to word-of-mouth promotions that brands can follow if they want to increase their chances of success.

Create engaging content. Whether you are promoting your brand or asking others to promote for you, make sure you’re sharing interesting photos, links, and text. Your audiences will tune out if you’re boring.

Test different strategies. Try new options to engage audiences and see how they compare against each other. You should also test similar campaigns multiple times to make sure outside factors didn’t affect their success.

Focus on images. Social media is an image-heavy platform, from brilliant Instagram photos to gifs on Twitter. Get noticed with a captivating photo.

Set clear goals. Make sure your campaigns have specific calls to action that you can track. This helps both the influencers you work with and your marketing team evaluate the success of your campaigns.

Social media marketing can be a powerful tool when used correctly. Learn how you can use peer influencers to achieve your goals and wield the power of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to grow your business.