Neil Patel has quite a unique view of social media marketing. He believes that platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter should be used for brand exposure as opposed to sales of any kind.
That’s not to say you cannot sell on Facebook, Instagram or any other social network. However, Neil Patel’s belief is that people are rarely in the right mindset to buy when using social media.
But what do people want or expect from social media?
In order to know what people want, it’s important to better understand how social media works…
According to Patel and many other marketing experts, most people want to consume news, entertainment and updates from family or friends on social media. In other words, they most often want to see funny memes, exciting videos and controversial headlines.
For this reason, Neil Patel strongly advises brands to focus on gaining exposure instead of trying to make an actual sale.
Nevertheless, social media is the fastest growing trend in the world and the most accessible source of online traffic. With this in mind, there are certainly ways to harness social media to market and advertise toward your chosen target-market.
In this article, we take a look at how to master social media marketing and advertising according to Neil Patel:
The Ever Changing Landscape of Marketing and Advertising on Social Media
Although many marketers seem to have run away from the platform in recent years, Facebook is still the unmistakable king of social media. On the other hand, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are proving to be just as effective and this is certainly dependent on the niche in question.
With social media evolving so quickly, it’s important not to “keep all your eggs in one basket” but at the same time, betting on the next big thing is often the most rewarding strategy. Many experts spread their marketing and advertising strategies across newer platforms with the hope that one or more of them will eventually take off in the mainstream.
However, you simply cannot afford to not have a Twitter account or Facebook page. Patel is a big believer that every business should initially focus on mastering the basics and embracing the most popular channels.
What else should you know about the basics of social media?
What You Should Know About Content, Hashtags and Interaction
As you know, whatever you post on social media is considered ‘content’, from blogs and photos to videos and infographics. Context is usually more important than the actual content.
You can create the perfect piece of content but if you use this content on the wrong platform or in the wrong way, there will never be any impact.
For example, the strongest part of your content may not be noticeable inside a large blogpost. However, if you use these snippets on instagram or Twitter, this content can perform strongly.
Hashtags should be used to define what you post in various social networks. These hashtags can help people identify and consume relevant content.
In the end, likes, comments and shares are what you want for this effort, while interaction is extremely important and even more so than clicks or reach.
Understanding Advertising on Social Media
Advertising on social media can be incredibly effective when you choose the right target market. When it comes to Facebook, you can choose the audience based on demographics, interests and other filters. These similar capabilities exist on other social platforms.
Neil is a big advocate for advertising on social media and often explains how these platforms offer an opportunity to entrepreneurs and small businesses that never existed in the past. After all, advertisers no longer need to work for potential leads and can simply use these social insights to their advantage.
Whether you want to drive traffic to a product or website, advertising on social media can produce results in a matter of seconds and this is a privilege of which everyone should take advantage.
Here’s some of the advice that Neil Patel gives for marketing and advertising on social:
1. Create Relationships and Community on Social Media
Social media is all about the rate of interaction and conversation. Without genuine conversations with your audience, there is simply no way to create a relationship from which you can start marketing and advertising towards a target market.
At the same time, it’s just as important that this conversation is mostly positive. Evoking positive feelings is the path to creating this relationship. For this reason, try to keep posts casual and light hearted, while meaningful enough for other people to share them.
If you have a strong rate of interaction on the page, this will nurture a sense of community on your social media account. This interaction will tell the social media network’s algorithms that people want to see your posts and hence, increase the amount of reach that your content receives.
2. Focus on Non-Product Related Posts and Creating Community
When you think about it, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can help guide marketing and advertising on social media. For instance, the third level of this theory outlines the importance of love and belonging.
Users will notice if you create community and show them that you care.
Neil Patel says that brands should always focus on non-product related posts and start building a catalog of useful or helpful content that will connect meaningfully with the user.
Showing ‘behind the scenes’ content is a great way to create a connection with social media users and footage or videos are very effective in this respect.
With this in mind, Patel has recently emphasized the importance of attaching a group to Facebook pages. As a rule, these groups have much greater reach, not to mention the fact that they are designed to create community in the first place.
3. Discover the Right Influencers for Marketing
Influencer marketing continues to be one of the most successful forms of marketing and this is certainly true on Instagram in particular. In fact, recent studies show that more than 90% of online consumers are more likely to trust an individual over a brand and needless to say, this is a basic requirement for making an actual sale.
However, you need to choose the right influencers and create a relationship before you can work alongside them. It’s important to properly research the influencer and ensure that they display values and traits which will compliment the brand.
Moreover, social media tools will help you assess the level of interaction that these influencers receive which will inevitably decide the amount of success that you will find through collaboration.
4. Using Live Video for Greater Reach and Interaction
For many people, live video can seem like a rather daunting task but statistics show that this form of media is one of the most potent for marketing and advertising. Although this doesn’t come as a surprise, Patel says that video is always the best way to demonstrate transparency and authenticity.
While video is also still the fastest and most convenient option for marketers, there is also the uncertainty of live video that appeals to users. Most social media users appreciate the fact that anything can happen on live video and this is entertaining – especially when things go wrong.
Facebook and YouTube are currently the most popular places from which to live stream but you should find that similar capabilities can now be found on other platforms.
5. Use Instagram Stories (and Facebook Stories) Sooner Rather than Later
When Instagram began stealing users from Snapchat, the magic word and feature was called ‘stories’.
Nowadays, you will find this feature on a lot of social media platforms. Whether this relates to gifs, videos or photos, stories are now one of the best ways to market or advertise to users.
Just so you know, this is how most influencers earn a living. They offer to publish a story for brands in return for some temporary exposure with a certain audience.
However, brands can also use these stories to connect with an audience and this is certainly true at a time when Instagram, Facebook and co are providing these stories with such a large reach.
Moral of the story: Social media is changing at a lightening pace and the ‘stories’ feature currently offers the best ROI in terms of producing content vs. reach.
6. Use Native Shopping Carts for Direct Sales
Social media platforms have recently enabled purchasing options and shopping carts. Known as “native carts”, these features enable users to buy products and services on social media in the space of a few seconds.
Now, while Patel says that social media users are not in the buying mindset, he also advises businesses to make the most of whatever tools are available. In other words, social media can still provide a seamless shopping experience for those users who might be ready to make a purchase.
For many users, this is also the fastest and most straightforward way in which they can make a purchase. What’s more, many platforms have already integrated secure payment options and shopping carts that can seem a lot more convenient than those on standard websites.
7. Post Content on the Right Social Media Channels
YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are very different in terms of how they should be used. As a rule, what works on one platform does not always work on another and it’s rarely a good idea to post the same content across various channels.
With this in mind, re-purposing content is a good idea and this is simply an effort which involves tweaking a piece of content to better suit an alternative platform.
At the same time, Patel often advises that businesses lose customers by trying to move them between platforms. If you post regular content on YouTube, it’s not a good idea to continually direct users from other social networks to that channel.
Instead, Patel recommends that you recreate unique content for each channel and avoid taking the ‘lazy’ route of creating leverage via other social media channels.
8. Use Paid Promotions and Paid Advertisements
You might have noticed how social media is increasingly reliant on paid advertising and promotions. It’s true, the likes of Facebook and Instagram now operate on a ‘pay-to-play’ basis which means that organic content is no longer enough for most marketing or advertising strategies.
Even the savviest marketers are now turning their attention to paid promotions and this is likely to continue according to Neil Patel. In fact, as long as social media continue to promote advertisements, the more businesses will need to pay in terms of exposure for their content.
And the statistics back this up … the average spend on social media advertising has more than doubled over the past fiver years. For this reason, over 80% of marketers are using paid promotions on social media and as little as US$10 per day is even enough to make a big difference.
However, just splurging money on social media network does not mean that your posts will be effective. There is a lot that goes into setting up your ads account, demographics, target keywords and A/B testing among other things. Therefore, it is possible that if you do not know what you are doing, you will spend a lot of money on the social media platforms and gain very little in return for your brand and business.
No one likes spending too much money and achieving very little. That is actually defined as a loss-making spree. Instead, you can involve experts who can help you save lots of money and run a profitable business on these social platforms. One of those people is us here at Pressfarm. We are a PR agency that helps hundreds of startups and businesses with their PR, SEO, and advertising campaigns on Facebook and Google. We can make it real good for you if you check out our Facebook advertising service page or contact us through our chat box.
It’s true, social media continues to change at lightning pace but these platforms also continue to offer unrivaled exposure and opportunities. For marketers, these options are incredible tools and an efficient way to drive traffic to certain products or content at the very least.
That being said, it’s important to understand what users want or need and pay attention to context just as much as content itself. What’s more, organic content is often useless without paid promotion and when it comes to results, interaction and conversation is the holy grail of marketing and advertising on social media.
Want to talk about how to propel your company’s growth through PR services, SEO, or Facebook/Google Advertising? Talk to us at Pressfarm today! If you prefer to do PR on your own too, we have a tool you can use to build a media list. Our database helps you search and find journalists who might be interested in your story.