In today’s digital age, social media is critical to every business’s marketing strategy. Since most consumers are on some form of social media, it is an ideal place to reach potential customers. It’s common for social media to feel overwhelming to many marketers — especially given the number of social media platforms, marketing strategies and paid versus non-paid options. However, social media is an important way for people to communicate with each other and bring attention to products or brands.
A brand’s social media presence is a critical element of its overall integrated marketing communication (IMC) strategy and marketing mix. One study found that social media is “a real stimulation provider to IMC.”
As social media has become increasingly popular, keeping up with the changes and evolution of social media platforms and marketing techniques is essential. The online Master of Arts (M.A.) in Integrated Marketing program from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) helps students gain real-world communication and marketing skills that help them advance in various professional industries. This program expands students’ knowledge of social media management while developing career-advancing social media expertise.
Social Media Best Practices Every Marketing Professional Should Know
Social media marketing is all about using social media platforms — like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok — to sell products and promote goods and services. Social media marketing is creating engaging content, communicating with followers and promoting goods and services that showcase the brand and its story. Learning social media marketing skills is a crucial part of meeting marketing goals and implementing successful strategies.
Below are some social media best practices to up an organization’s online marketing game:
- Know your audience. Researching and defining the target audience for a specific product or service refines how social media content is crafted. By knowing the type of audiences businesses want to attract, they can customize their marketing campaigns to meet the needs, wants and desires of a specific demographic. Showing the target audience a particular product will satisfy goes beyond simple advertising.
- Be strategic. Using a strategic and thoughtful approach to social media marketing on each platform will make the best use of the content. Since every online platform is different, it pays to build a strategy, create unique targeted content and generate engagement.
- Be consistent. Posting content regularly will keep the target audience engaged. A social media calendar can streamline the marketing strategy and organize the content. Some factors to keep in mind are brand image, hashtags, brand message and posting frequency. Some brands may post four times a day, while others post once a week.
- Engage with your followers. Posting content and not engaging with customers or potential customers is a bad marketing plan. By engaging with followers, brands can build a community and create a more personal experience. Some ways to engage with followers are to post quizzes and polls, respond to comments, organize giveaways and post live streams.
- Be authentic. Posting perfect photos and aspirational content was once popular on social media, but now, the general public prefers real and original content — including mistakes and bad days. Offering genuine and personal content can appeal to those looking to solve their own problems and recognize that the brand’s values are realistic.
How an Advanced Degree in Integrated Marketing Communication Can Help
Students in UNCW’s online M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communication program will learn how to execute IMC plans, conduct marketing research, examine organizational culture and employ digital media best practices. Designed for working professionals, this degree program is in a flexible online format that can fit anyone’s busy schedule.
Through relevant coursework, like that found in the IMC and the Strategic Mindset course and Digital Storytelling and IMC course, students discover how social media has changed the face of marketing and learn how to build effective marketing and communication plans that incorporate data and social media strategies.
Learn more about UNCW’s online M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communication program.