Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites. Social media itself is a catch-all term for sites that may provide radically different social actions. For instance, Twitter is a social site designed to let people share short messages or “updates” with others. Facebook, in contrast is a full-blown social networking site that allows for sharing updates, photos, joining events and a variety of other activities.

Social media marketing has been on the minds of marketers since the rise of Facebook and Twitter more than a decade ago. In 2018, it is very important for every brand to invest time and resources in social media marketing.

With 30% of millennials saying they engage with a brand on social at least once a month, your strategy cannot be only about existence. Brands must be fully invested in their social media marketing strategies and focus on engagement. Otherwise, you will lose out on real customers, which means serious effects on your bottom line.

Leveraging the power of content and social media marketing can help elevate your audience and customer base in a dramatic way. But getting started without any previous experience or insight could be challenging. It is vital that you understand social media marketing fundamentals.

The goals of social media marketing cannot be just to gain likes, fans, and retweets. These things are not ends, but means to an end. Social media marketing is far more than an online popularity contest, and the better business owners understand that, the better they can use it for their companies.

We asked social media expert Clinton Smith at Government & Civil Employee Services in Indiana to share a few social media marketing tips.

How and why did you get started in social media?

Like most people, social media for me started on a personal level. Through the years, as I built our company and social media presence, it has become more influential. Since I started on a personal level, I always understood the importance of a social media presence, even though the financial services industry, which I work in, did not. I kept at it and we’ve have built an audience and have been able to connect with more clients through a consistent online social media presence.

Which social platform do you think is the most under-rated and under-used by businesses?

Hands down, YouTube. However, I am not only suggesting creating videos as marketing materials. YouTube, when utilized correctly, can help enhance your presence on other social media platforms. Additionally, with the correct techniques, YouTube can have a positive affect over your SEO and it might be exactly what you need to take your online presence to the next level. If you have video content and you aren’t putting it on YouTube, then you need to start.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see people make in social media?

The number one mistake people make is not doing it at all. It’s actually easier than you think and everyone is on some form of social media. Doing it on the wrong platform is also another mistake people make. Every business owner should take into consideration their product or service they provide.

What are some ways that a brand can connect and interact with social media influencers?

Social media isn’t all about posting what you do over and over again. If you want to get your company out there, it’s a good idea to interact with other groups, organizations and social media influencers. Reaching out to social media influencers can be a great tool depending on your product or services, but it can often be costly with little return on your investment. There are easier ways to reach your prospective customer through interaction with other companies and groups who offer services that compliment your offerings.

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