What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?
Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a type of digital/internet marketing that entails creating and sharing impactful content on social networks to achieve specific marketing and branding objectives. SMM includes such activities as posting image and text updates, videos and an array of other content that creates audience engagement.
Social Media Trends 2020
The year 2020 is expected to be a transformative year in SMM. Here are some of the trends to watch this year:
Trend #1: Explosion of Social Commerce
Usage of social media platforms and related apps is on the rise. Hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide are sharing and expressing likes on Instagram and Facebook, tweeting about items and services on Twitter, and pinning things on their Pinterest accounts every day. The main question on every marketer’s mind in 2020 is, “how do you turn a tweet, pin, or like, into a sale?” Businesses will begin to emphasis on demographics and visual web. Sites like Instagram, Tumblr, Wanelo, and Pinterest, are becoming huge repositories for fashion tips, wish lists, shopping ideas – in essence, user-created catalogues.
Trend #2 Video Content Will Be Key to Engagement
According to a study conducted by Hubspot, 83 percent of social media users would only share video content with friends if the video is specific to their friends’ interest. Another study conducted in 2019 shows that 85 percent of social media users find UGC (User-Generated Content) to be more influential that produced by the relevant brand. For this reason, brands are expected to appeal to consumers through video content influencers and fans in a bid to boost the engagements.
Trend #3 Niche Social Platforms Will Remain Successful
Niche social networking is becoming bigger and more influential than video-driven social networking. Some sites such as Facebook have grown too big that some users are starting to feel lost. Niche social networks tend to specialize in a subset of a bigger set by selecting a segment of the larger population. As more people lost interest from larger unspecialized social networks, these niche social networks will experience growth in the userbase. For instance, most of the gamers we used to see on YouTube are moving on Twitchy whose userbase has been increasing every month.
Trend #4 Ephemeral Content Will Continue to Soar in Popularity
Marketers have known for a long time that many users are addicted to social media and the best way to utilize this addiction is to make heavy use of ephemeral content. Ephemeral content refers to rich media, primarily videos and images, that can only be accessible for a short period. It is part of the FOMO (fear of missing out) marketing strategy designed to keep the audience even more hooked to the posts and generate an immediate response. While ephemeral content isn’t entirely new, it hasn’t been put to practice as intensely as it’s expected in 2020.
Top Social Media Platforms
Facebook is the most popular social network in Hong Kong with over 4 million users at the end of 2019. Most of these users rely on Facebook for news and updates from their favourite brands. It is also a platform for sharing photos, videos, articles, and thoughts or opinions on public topics. Whenever there is a need for the mass mobilization of people to act, say demonstrations, Facebook just as important as Whatsapp in making it happen. Facebook allows businesses to market their products and services on the platform.
As the second most popular social network in Hong Kong – nearly 9 out of 10 people with a smartphone in Hong Kong view videos on YouTube daily. YouTube was influential in fueling the 2019 protest, which led to the platform disabling over 200 channels linked to the organizers. Besides being used as a platform for communication and mobilization, YouTube is a source of video reviews which many Hong Kong consumers watch before making a purchase. YouTube allows businesses to market their products and services on the platform.
WhatsApp is the third most popular social network (short messaging app, technically) in Hong Kong with over 2 million users. There are no plans yet to support marketing on WhatsApp. This app is, however, important in sharing photos & videos and sharing text messages via the internet.
There are slightly over 2.5 million Hong Kong-based users on WhatsApp. Many users find Instagram to be global and more refined than Tik Tok. Instagram allows businesses to market their products and services on the platform. One of the reasons behind Instagram’s surge in popularity is the provision of numerous filters that no other photo-sharing app offers. Other uses of Instagram is sharing videos and pictures, and streaming live events.
Besides serving as internet messaging and calling platform, the app is also designed to enable users to make payments for products and services. WeChat allows businesses to market their products and services on the platform.
There are as many FB Messenger users as Facebook users in Hong Kong – this means there are over 4 million users of the app in the territory. FB messenger has seen been separated from Facebook and now functions as a standalone messaging app that helps users exchange photos, videos, audio, files, stickers, interact with bots and even react to messages of other users. The app also supports video calling and voice calling. You can also use more than one account and play games.
Line controls about 14 percent of social media usage in Hong Kong. Users turn to LINE to exchange texts, audio, videos, images and conduct free video conferencing and VoIP conversations. Additionally, users can keep money in a digital wallet known as Line Pay, stream news, via Line Today, access video-on-demand service via Line TV, and watch comics using Line Webtoon and Line Manga.
There are over 4.5 million Twitter users in Hong Kong. Twitter has been useful for interaction and sharing of messages (referred to as tweets) and sharing those messages with larger audiences through retweets. Twitter allows businesses to market their products and services on the platform.
The exact number of YouKu users in Hong Kong is unclear. But it’s the second-largest video streaming app in the whole of China with a user base of slightly over 500 million subscribers. It is very much like YouTube – you can access and view millions of online videos for free – combined with aspects of Netflix, allowing you to stream videos and shows.
The userbase of LinkedIn in Hong Kong is about 1 million users. With the territory being a key trading and financial centre, it contributes more professionals to the platform (relative to its population) more than most other territories in the ASEAN region. LinkedIn serves to connect professionals and other professionals as well as professionals and employers. LinkedIn helps third party entities target their audience better by providing them troves of data about the professionals signed up to its service.
About 2 million users use Sina Weibo in Hong Kong. Sina Weibo is a microblogging platform that helps the users share photos and text-based posts with their followers. Sina Weibo allows businesses to market their products and services on the platform.
There are about 5 million Snapchat users in Hong Kong. Snapchat allows users to share text and picture messages which delete themselves after a certain period. It has also been useful in helping business reach an audience of youngsters and market their brands to them.
Pinterest serves as a visual discovery engine used by users to find ideas such as recipes, style inspiration, home, etc. Businesses use the platform to connect with visually-driven and idealistic audiences and market their brands to them. There are about 2.6 million Pinterest users in Hong Kong.
The only difference between Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo is that the latter has few users. It is an alternative to those who are angry at Sina Weibo. For that reason, the number of Tencent Weibo users in Hong Kong is small and keeps fluctuating. Tencent Weibo is a microblogging platform that helps the users share photos and text-based posts with their followers. It has also been useful in helping business reach an audience of youngsters and market their brands to them.
Tumblr has proved beneficial to finding and interacting with friends, portfolio management, blogging (photo, travel, business, hobby, etc.)
Key Benefits of Social Media Marketing
If you do everything the right way, SMM becomes one of the most effective ways of driving traffic to your website. The best part is that success depends on what you are doing on your account and the content you’re posting. For instance, sharing visual content invokes more interest from your audience than text posts. Optimizing your calls-to-action and engaging the audience works boosts the confidence of the audience in a business’s marketing programs. When the audience is confidence and interest, they are more likely to follow a business to its website to learn more; that’s traffic gain!
Interacting with Your Customers
Gone are the days when the only way a client would talk to a brand was only through a costly phonecall or simply viewing the products on the website and faxing the queries to the business. With social media marketing, a business is now close to the customers – it can reply to their queries in real-time, reply to their comments on posts, share interesting posts from the customers, etc.
It is estimated that, if you manage to reach the “correct” audience, SMM can increase your sales by 700 percent or even higher. SMM increases sales through social selling. The main focus of social selling is creating brand awareness by utilizing special tools that helps a business identify the needs of the specific groups who are later targeted by the business as to form an audience. Once their needs have been identified, the business embarks on connecting with the audience through different techniques. Significant traffic may be generated from the social media to the business’s website which may end into a success improve full conversion.
Social media reputation management is a branch of SMM which aims at monitoring, tracking, and eventually eliminating negative posts about a brand to improve its standings or name. When done correctly, social media reputation management can save the face of your business and even build your credibility to customers.
Social media market research referrers to the process of collecting qualitative and/or quantitative data from social networks to gain an understanding of the social, market, or consumer trends. There is an array of tools and tips a business can use to get important market insights which help it achieve precise targeting and even boost the traffic directed to the website from social media.
A study was conducted by MarketingSherpa on the cost-effectiveness of SMM and the results were impressive – over a third, or more than 30 percent, of the organizations that took part in the survey, reported their SMM strategies to have reaped at least 150 percent ROI (return in investment)! One of the factors that behind this is that, with SMM, a business will target consumers at a place they hang so often – the social media. Secondly, things rarely go beyond a brand being consistent, engaging, and acquiring a few tools that streamline their marketing campaigns. The initial investment put into SMM is lower.
How to Build Your SMM Strategy
How do you build a successful SMM strategy? Consider these factors:
Understand Your Target Audience
Understanding your audience is half the work. If you get it wrong with your audience, all your efforts will go to waste. However, precisely identifying the needs of your audience will
SMART Goal Setting
One of the most essential aspects of SMM strategy is to establish S.M.A.R.T. goals. This means being specific, setting measurable goals, assessing them objectively to ensure they’re achievable and realistic, while also planning your course of action in a timely manner. Embarking on SMM without S.M.A.R.T. goals is very much like trying to cook without a recipe, you can have tons of quality ingredients without any idea how to use them properly!
Set a Social Advertising Budget
Budgeting is great in everything, including SMM. It helps your business stay within its means. It also helps you know what strategies are best for your business because their cost is different.
Tips for Social Media Marketing
SMM can be tricky, especially if you are trying it for the first time – you may know the essentials but oblivious of how to execute them. Here are a few tips to guide you:
Social Media Content Planning
Social networks are different, so are the needs of your audience. Therefore, you need a social media content plan to keep yourself posting the right content at the right time in consideration of correct factors. Don’t just rush to Google Sheets and form a table, consider these factors when establishing a plan
Pick goals that align flawlessly with your business’s goals: This is to help you keep focused on things that matter. Additionally, your goals across several social media platforms should be in line with each other to avoid conflicts.
Form a follower persona: Broadly, a persona is a hypothetical person that could be your follower, might be interested in buying your products or may be a lead. Do not target everyone – just target the right people. The simplest way to go about this is to check what your audience likes (Facebook Insights can be a great tool to achieve this – checking such things as gender, name, age, income, location, etc – but some standalone may help you with this task across social networks). Once you realize your typical follower persona, other things become easier to complete.
Set your brand’s social media tone: Knowing how to talk to the audience is part of planning. Establish your tone by combining the insights you gathered above and your own assessment of the tone the audience uses with your brand. You don’t want to sound playful when dealing with pensioners.
Choose the best social media platform for your brand: Instead of having a presence on all social networks, just pick a few that might be good for your brand
Relatable Social Content
Your social content must connect with the audience. With the insights you gathered above, which lays bare your audience’s interests, creating relatable content is as easy as ABC. Let your audience think your posts and everything you put on social media is tailor-made for them.
Consistent Brand Image
Are your tone and frequency consistent? Keep your design and your graphical elements constant by always incorporating your logo, brand colours and layout. Avoid propagating conflicting messages. If you must share curated content, do so with brand-related themes. Most importantly, keep your social signals constant.
Link Your Social Media to Content Marketing
Content marketing consists of those online materials you often create and share without explicitly promoting your brand with them. Boost your SMM by synching it with your brand’s content marketing mechanisms. For instance, you can post your podcast on the website and put its link on social media. If you publish a magazine, book, or a simple guide on how to do something, make that item available to your audience by providing a link on social media.
Keep Up With Your Competitors
You don’t even need to shed a sweat when it comes to keeping your rivals on their toes. Make heavy use of competitor analysis tools to know every move your rivals take and why they are good at what they are doing. Social Blade analyzes your competitors’ social media pages and tells you more about their strengths and weaknesses. Buzzsumo will give you a glimpse of the total engagements received by your rivals’ content and the number of shares they receive. There are tons of these tools out there, doing almost anything imaginable.
Use Social Media Tools
Social media tools will help you in managing such things as audience analysis and handling repetitive tasks. Buffer assists you in creating a schedule and frequency at which you want your content to be automatically posted. Tagboard helps you in aggregating data from multiple social media platforms into useful displays that be shared on other channels. Agorapulse helps marketers and brand owners manage multiple social media accounts efficiently.
Build Your Links
Start with your website content and social profiles if you want to create effective links. Gather as many reviews as you can from satisfied customers. Always track down all fans who mention your brand on social media. Do not hesitate to mention brands and influencers that are allied to your brand. Also, boost the number of shares you receive by making heavy use of infographics.
Paid Social Media Advertising
If your unpaid SMM has proved infective or needs to boost with something else to be successful, you might want to consider paid social media advertising. Here are some of the prominent paid social media advertising options:
Facebook Ads was established by Facebook as a platform to help marketers create and manage their adverts on Facebook. They targeted to the users of the platform based on almost every collectable aspect including the user’s demographics, profile information, location, gender, likes, interests, level of education, profession, and hobby.
It supports four types of ads:
Image ads – Picture-based ads
Video ads – Video-based ads
Video polls – The audience voting on videos based on their own preferences
Carousel ads – Up to 10 pictures are used to showcase your product
Messenger ads – Ads displayed on Facebook messenger
Dynamic ads – Targeted products are promoted to customers that are more likely to have interests in them
Leads ads – mobile-based ads that require the target to give contact information without a lot of typing
Instant experience – Fast loading full-screen ads
After creating an advert, you are required to set a reasonable budget and proceed to bid for every click or every thousand impressions that the ad will receive. Plenty of ad targeting options are also provided.
Instagram ads help marketers with creating and managing ads on Instagram. All ads on Instagram are displayed as sponsored content i.e. they appear randomly in a user’s feed like regular posts from other users. Since Instagram emphasizes on images and videos, text ads never work here. More often than not, a brand would put here an ad to create web traffic, grow brand exposure, or generate new leads. Instagram is the third most effective paid social media advertising platform after Facebook and YouTube.
There are three types of YouTube ads: TrueView Ads, Video Discovery ads, and Instream Ads
Video discovery ads will show up on YouTube’s homepage, in SERPs, or as related video clips on YouTube video that is being watched. When a user clicks on it, the underlying video is opened and a companion banner ad is displayed on the top right part of the screen.
In-Stream Ads will interrupt the user at some point in another video, requiring the user to skip it or watch for five 5 seconds before continuing. The marketer can decide to play it anywhere in GDN (Google Display Network).
TrueView Ads consists of video campaigns that may include dialogue, people, and music that have been retrieved with permission.
It is prudent not to run standard promotional commercials on YouTube because users tend to skip them most of the time – you need to convince your audience to watch your ad by giving them a good reason.
LinkedIn ads are excellent for B2B marketers. This is partly because it is not based on SEM, display buying, or social advertising. It is still a great platform to use if you intend to promote products or services that appeal to a certain kind of professionals or businesses. LinkedIn ads aren’t as obvious as those found on Facebook or Google but every target gets to see them daily.
Why You Should Use Social Media Tools
How Businesses are Using Social Media Tools
Content curation can be a tedious and time-consuming task if you do it manually. Tools such as Flipboard and Scoop.it helps you gather troves of information relevant to specific topics of interest and eventually help you add value on it.
Your brand’s social media platforms are hungry machines that must be feed with relevant content now and then. It isn’t easy to hunt for the content on your own. That’s where content discovery tools come handy – tools like Scoop. It and Feedly help in content discovery by finding content on news outlets, social networking sites, blogs, and other sources.
Unless you’re always in front of your desktop computer ready to update your brand’s social media accounts with fresh content regularly, you will need an automated system that will keep the accounts updated regularly even in your absence. Content scheduling tools line up content in queues upon which you can decide to post yourself or let the tool post them on your behalf.
Every company with an online presence, whether big or small, needs multiple tools to have an understanding of the performance of its blogs, websites, the happiness of the clients, and other key details. Manually gathering such details and churning them to make sense would take a lot of manpower and time. Fortunately, there exists plenty of analytics tools that help marketers gather every bit of web analytics data and analyze it for decision making.
Effective Content Curation Tools
This is tool is useful in discovering high-performance content (so you can get those shares, likes, and links) analyze billions of intricate data points, identify influential people on the web and track trends and comments.
This app (and extension) helps you save those good articles you often come across on the web but forget to save. Besides saving the articles of interest, it allows you to organize them in one location based on topics or themes.
Besides discovering the best content on the web, Curata helps you contextualize, organize, publish, and even promote it anywhere you please on the internet.
Most Popular Social Media Content Discovery Tools
Firstly, LSI is a minor keyword that is related to the main keyword. We, therefore, use LSI keywords to find related main keywords. LSIGraph will help you discover content by finding the main keywords related to the minor keywords.
Use this tool curate top content in your industry and cut your social media management time by 90 percent. You can add your favourite links and feeds to social accounts.
This is one of the industry’s leading website crawlers for Ubuntu, MacOS, and Windows. Besides discovering content, you can analyze page titles and metadata.
Best Social Media Scheduling Tools
With Hootsuite, finding, managing, scheduling, and reporting on social media content becomes easier. Use it to find and filter relevant social conversations by location, hashtag, keyword – in more than one language – to have a glimpse of what people are discussing about your industry, competitors, or brand.
TweetDeck serves as a content curation tool and social media dashboard for twitter accounts. If you are looking for the best tool to manage your tweets while finding the right content to tweet about, TweetDeck might be the best option for you.
Curate the content, get optimization tips, post and ad mockups, approve the workflow, and automate publishing with Loomly
Top Social Media Listening Tools
If you want a tool that will uncover trends and deliver insights from rich social data, you might want to try out Sprout Social.
Very few tools in the industry track Instagram hashtags as effectively as Keyhole. It is an excellent tool for processing metrics in minutes and measuring the progress of your campaigns on Instagram faster.
Letter Counter (instead of Twitter Counter)
Twitter Counter has been discontinued but there is an even better alternative! If you are a journalist, student, writer, researcher, or a brand with great interests in the usage of characters on Snapchat and Twitter, Lettercount comes handy for you.
Sometimes you need to understand your competitive environment and gather competitive intelligence besides tracking the trends on social media – Digimind helps achieve just that.
TweetReach (instead of Klout)
Klaut was, unfortunately, shut down in 2018 to help Khoros, their parent company, to focus on other better social media marketing tools.
TweetReach allows you to analyze your Twitter reach by listening and identifying the number of accounts that reach your keyword, hashtag, or person.
Zoho is an excellent tool for gathering social data and churning them to create useful insights. It can be used as a scheduler as well.
Reasons to Engage a Social Media Ad Agency
Is it worthy to hire a social media ad agency? It can depend on a range of factors. But it is worth the hustle most of the time. Here is why you need to engage a social media ad agency:
Agencies know the best way to save money on ads
A seasoned SMM agency knows exactly how to run adverts that bang, and that’s through creative designs, budgeting, and timing – you’d struggle if you decided to do the whole thing yourself.
Get tuned in high-performing content
Since social media campaigns thrive on trends, most of the time, your brand needs to employ the latest methods in capitalizing on the changes in these trends, and that’s something an SMM agency would do better than you.
Save money and time versus opting for In-House
The cost of training and running your in-house team to handle social media marketing is high compared to that of hiring an SMM agency. So going the agency way is a wise idea.
Access to the best social media tools
Instead of saddling your brand with the cast of acquiring social media marketing tools, hire an agency and let it use what they already have access to.
Your brand will get the second opinion
If your brand forms a trend of doing SMM on its own, it is more likely to lock itself in a “bubble” which is likely to result in tone-deaf marketing. An agency, on another hand, will bring fresh marketing ideas that have been done and tested elsewhere, and that’s good for your business.
Top 10 Social Media Agencies in Hong Kong
Media One is one of the leading digital marketing agencies in Hong Kong that also specialises in social media marketing! In addition to this, they also have over 10 years of experience in CRO, SEO, SEM, and lead generation. With a comprehensive suite of services, they’re able to offer clients holistic integrated digital marketing strategies!
GroupM Hong Kong
Group M is a worldwide media investment company. It claims to be responsible for one in every three ads you see in every country/territory.
Lion & Lion
Lion & Lion is a digital marketing agency offering SMM, media and analytics services, web development, creative consultancy, outreach and digital PR.
Besides social media marketing, Dragon Social deals in content management, PR & digital media, native advertising, and KOL/influencer marketing.
Fimmick deals in social media marketing, digital marketing, customer relationship management, and KOL/influencer marketing
DigiSalad Limited deals in social media marketing virtual reality campaigns, motion graphics (video and animations) responsive web design, mobile app and UI design, and email marketing.
First Page Digital
First Page Digital deals in SEO, SMM, Google Ads, auditing, and reputation management, and offers their clients a broad spectrum of services to choose from.
Creativeworks is an agency in Hong Kong that deals in SMM, SEO, reputation management, content management, and PR & digital media.
Few agencies work are experienced in marketing on WeChat. One of those few companies is Ad One. They deal in WeChat marketing, video advertising, search advertising, remarketing advertising, banner/display advertising and more.
Estimated Costs of SMM Agency Packages
The average cost for SMM services in Hong Kong is between $150 and $700 per hour (in Hong Kong $). The average cost of SMM per month ranges between $2,800 and $35,000 per month. The cost depends on the sort and amount of help the agency gives to your business.
The cost can also boil down to the experience of professionals in the agency. An upcoming agency that’s just starting can save you a lot of money because their professionals aren’t well experienced. The cost increases with experience.
0 – 3 years experience: $100 to $350 per hour
3 – 5 years experience: $350 to $700 per hour
5+ years experience: $840 or more per hour
Bear in mind that a complex social media campaign will require a larger budget and the need for an agency with highly experienced professionals. Also, adding extra channels on your plan – say, you initially planned on Facebook and Twitter but you’re considering adding Instagram and YouTube – will add about $7000 on every extra channel.
Social Media Courses
You can study a specific area of social media marketing in an accredited anywhere in Hong Kong.
Reasons to Take Social Media Courses for Your Business
Social media marketing is the future
The ever-expanding world of social media is here to stay. Having SMM training puts you in a prime position to be part of the “normal” of the future.
Explore How Brands in Different Industries Are Doing Their Social Media
SMM approaches aren’t the same across industries. YA social media course will help you to learn how different industries do their social media.
Sharpen Your Employees’ Skills
If you are pursuing a business degree say, Bachelor in Sales and Marketing or Commerce, possessing social media marketing skills is an added advantage.
Minimize Your Mistakes with Professional Guidance
Skills obtained in social media training are valuable reducing the likelihood of doing mistakes in say, marketing or public relation. Here you learn with professional guidance
Top Social Media Courses
There are tons of social media marketing courses to choose from both on and offline these days, the following list is a compilation of our top picks:
- Udemy Inbound Digital Marketing Course
- Hootsuite Academy Social Marketing Training
- Udemy Social Media Marketing
- Alison’s Diploma in SMM
Social Media Marketing Blogs To Check Out
Besides courses to sharpen your skills, it’s also important to stay up to date with the trends and goings-on of the market! Here’s our recommended reading list:
- Search Engine Land
- Social Media Publishing Templates
- Social Media Report
- The 15-Minute Social Media Audit
Social Media Marketing in Hong Kong 2020
Social media marketing is one of the essential parts of digital marketing. A business that doesn’t capitalize on social media marketing fails to make maximum gains from 4 billion+ social media users distributed across the globe. To connect and engage with your audiences, and build your online brand, contact MediaOne Marketing today to get ahead of the competition!