by Diane Lovine
Social media marketing has witnessed significant growth and transformation over the past two decades, revolutionizing the way businesses promote their products and services. Among the pioneers in leveraging social media to generate leads for contractors is 99 Calls. By following industry changes and adopting current trends, 99 Calls has continuously improved its strategies to deliver exceptional results for its customers. This article explores the history of social media marketing and highlights how 99 Calls utilizes this powerful tool to generate high-quality leads.
Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of online marketing that utilizes social media platforms to promote products, services, and brands. It involves creating and sharing content, engaging with users, and running targeted advertising campaigns on various platforms. The definition of social media marketing has changed over time alongside advancements in technology and the shift toward information gathering and consumption via online platforms. The team at 99 Calls has had to adapt to the ever-changing demands of the industry and has adopted these six core ideas that define what it means to deliver social media marketing services.
The main ideas that define SMM include:
- Content creation: Social media marketers strive to create engaging and valuable content, such as text, images, videos, and infographics, for the purpose of promoting their clients.
- Audience targeting: SMM requires that marketers identify and target specific demographics, interests, behaviors, and locations to reach the right audience with their campaigns.
- Brand building: SMM helps in building and enhancing brand awareness, brand identity, and customer loyalty by consistently sharing content that reflects the brand’s values and resonates with its target audience.
- Engagement and community management: SMM involves actively engaging with users by responding to comments, messages, and reviews, as well as fostering a sense of community through discussions and presenting helpful information.
- Advertising and promotion: Social media platforms offer robust advertising features that enable marketers to create targeted ad campaigns to reach a wider audience and drive specific actions, such as website visits, conversions, or app installations.
- Data analysis and optimization: SMM relies on analyzing social media metrics and user data to measure the effectiveness of campaigns, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions for optimizing future marketing strategies.
The Emergence of Social Platforms
The use of social media marketing dates back to the early 2000s when social networking sites like Friendster and MySpace gained popularity. However, it truly gained momentum with the emergence of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in the mid-2000s. These platforms offered businesses the opportunity to engage with a vast user base and leverage their growing influence.
Initially, social media marketing primarily revolved around building brand awareness and increasing followers. However, as social media platforms evolved and introduced advertising options, marketers started incorporating targeted advertising into their strategies. Platforms like Facebook introduced advanced targeting capabilities, enabling marketers to reach specific demographics and interests.
Over the years, the role of social media marketing has expanded. It has become an integral part of many businesses’ marketing strategies, with increased emphasis on content creation, influencer marketing, and customer engagement. Social media has also become a customer service channel, allowing businesses to provide support and address customer queries directly.
Is Social Media Marketing An Effective Tool for Service Area Businesses?
As a champion of small business promotion, 99 Calls has followed the trends and assisted contractors by building an online presence through various social media platforms. However, we differ in that the core driver of business growth is the generation of quality leads. Small businesses often have limited budgets. Understanding how to best utilize budgets to gain customers and revenue has been a priority as we’ve served this unique sector.
When budget matters, paying attention to the efforts that most result in revenue growth is critical. See this article to learn more. Analysis of data gathered from lead campaigns from over 1000 clients has yielded valuable insights on the role social media plays in best positioning a business for growth.
Service Contractors Benefit Specifically from:
- Establishing a presence using reliable SEO practices and unique content
- Building a helpful place for users to land (Simple, attractive, compelling landing pages)
- Engaging users with useful information and strong calls to action
- Building buyer confidence by securing lots of positive customer reviews
With these pillars in place, the next most important step is to find customers where they are and convince them that this business is the one they want. Social media marketing is often about the long game. We all have brands that we follow, whether for a favorite coffee or a favorite beer. Small businesses can build a local following in the same way over the years if they consistently follow the six main ideas listed above. However, real growth requires maximizing views, aka impressions.
SEO has become so competitive that it takes 10-12 months for websites to rank consistently on the first page of Google for valued keywords. See this article on how the first page of Google has shrunk in recent years.
The most effective use of digital marketing for service contractors is through paid advertising. Paid advertising is the best chance we’ve got to get contractors in front of buyers, and yes, posting on Facebook is helpful, and buying paid ads on FB has been shown to generate some qualified leads. However, we have found that the two most profitable paid lead products are Google Ads PPC and Google Guaranteed LSA. Google Ads pay-per-click leads tend to be more expensive, but they generate the highest lead volume in the least amount of time. Google Guaranteed requires a more extensive vetting process and time to ramp up, but patient contractors are rewarded with high-quality, less expensive leads. Many of our customers choose to target new businesses using the “Trifecta” approach, which combines traditional SEO practices with Google Ads and Google LSA.
What Lies Ahead for Social Media Marketing?
Looking ahead, social media marketing is likely to see rapid changes and further advancement. Here are some trends and changes that can be expected in the coming months and years:
- Rise of video content: Video content has become increasingly popular on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. Brands are likely to leverage short-form video content to engage with their audiences and showcase their products or services.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and chatbots: AI-powered chatbots will play a much more significant role in social media. We’ll see more responsive AI-generated customer service and engagement practices to provide personalized experiences.
- Lead Nurturing and Database Reactivation: Generating inbound leads is vital to a business’s success. Equally important is collecting data from contacts who visited a landing page but chose not to buy on the spot. The use of targeted text and email campaigns is proven to convert stale leads into new customers at a fraction of the cost.
To stay ahead of the curve and deliver optimal results, 99 Calls has consistently adapted to industry changes and embraced current trends. As the social media landscape continues to evolve, 99 Calls remains at the forefront of the latest trends. They understand the power of great content, the growing influence of AI, and the importance of maintaining a strong social media presence. By embracing emerging technologies like AI and chatbots, our team has been able to create higher volumes of relevant content to keep our service contractors at the forefront of searches.