The definition of social media marketing is pretty easy isn’t it? It’s the marketing of social media.
Social media has changed the way we communicate and live. Facebook, Twitter, and a wide variety of smartphones were bearers of this change. Not just for entertainment, social media platforms are increasingly being used by businesses across the globe to enhance their brand image through social media marketing.
Social media marketing can be defined as the use of social media platforms to connect with a larger audience to build brand awareness, drive website traffic, and increase sales.
In social media marketing, suitable content uploaded on websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.
Marketing through social media can be carried out in creative and engaging ways to increase your audience and sales:
- Post messages promoting your brand
- Upload images, videos and other content that drives audience engagement
- Create contests for visitors and followers of your social media accounts
- Promote discounts and any live offers
- Live stream product and service launches
- Live stream and engage with your followers in real-time
Why Social Media Marketing?
Social media platforms are relatively easy to use, but more importantly they break down high walls of getting directly to audiences. They allow for direct access to audiences and give you widespread reach to diverse demographics.
The benefits of a successful social media marketing strategy can include:
- Direct access to engaging with audiences
- Immediate feedback from audiences
- Understanding your target audiences preferences and thought processes
- Generate leads by building conversations with audiences
- Increase of website traffic
- Create positive brand associations through communication
- Improve brand identity
- Brand awareness amongst a bigger and broader customer base
- A positive and long-lasting relationship with the customers
In order to get many of the benefits of social media marketing, you’ll need to plan ahead.
Social Media Marketing Planning
Planning is needed to work towards your marketing and business goals. Your social media planning should include things like:
- Result expectations of your social media marketing
- Numbers you’re hoping to reach, like followers
- How to connect with your target audience
- Hypothesize and test
- Dialing in or confirming your target audience demographic
- Social media usage patterns of possible customers
- Test types of messages or content that lead to the most engagement
Social media allows for quick tests of ideas. Create a hypothesis, use social media to test, and get immediate feedback. If you have 0 engagement, that’s also considered “feedback.” But keep in mind, if you have a small number of followers and you have 0 engagement, that’s ok. That doesn’t necessarily mean that what you just posted is bad. Your sample size could just be too small, because you’re just starting out.
If you’re just starting out and want to get feedback on your ideas, you can also read the section on Paid Ads in the How to Successfully Market Your Blog and Business post. Facebook Ads offers a great way to test whether or not an ad or your page will have engagement from audiences for even $1 per day.
Close analysis of the social market or the nature of the users of a social media platform is vital for your social media strategy.
Understand your target audience
Understanding the social media use of your targeted audience will help in creating customized content for the respective platforms. It is the key to turning social media followers to your customers for the business. Data from social media analytics can provide valuable information about audience demographics, interests, and other trends within a particular social media platform.
Your goal might be to figure out at what day and time of the week do you get the most engagement. Say it’s Tuesday at 12pm noon.
Now you know that you’ll want to always have a post going out on Tuesdays at 12pm noon, because you’ll have high user engagement.
Narrow in on ideal social media platforms
Figure out which social media platforms your target audience uses, how they use them and when they use them.
Based on the user base of different websites, you can decide the best social media to market your product or service.
For example, Facebook and YouTube are the biggest promoters of ads. The content on Instagram is usually loud and eye-catching to attract millennials. Professional websites like LinkedIn will require more professional and industry-specific content that is well researched.
Brands use social media dashboards to check the traffic on a particular channel. The efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing will be increased by studying such trends.
Check in on competitive landscape
There is always a way to learn new things from your competitors. This will help you to re-consider your immediate goals and the strategies associated with it.
Opportunities can also be spotted while performing competitor analysis. You should actively follow your competitors to get better insights and perspectives on your strengths and weaknesses. Social listening is a very useful tool to gain more insights on your audiences.
Know what social media content engages
Engaging social media content is the most critical part of your whole social media marketing plan. Some always manage to come up with exciting and creative visual content daily, making social media marketing look easy. But don’t be fooled, it’s not.
Creating consistent engaging content isn’t easy and requires a lot of trial and error. But if you’re engaging your users daily, you’ll continue to get better with knowing what type of content will engage your target audiences.
Users also post their own content – User-generated content (UGC). You get an idea of what users post on a daily basis, what moves them, and what interests them. You can use that information to create content that will encourage your target audiences to interact with you, boosting engagement rates.
Evaluate and iterate your strategy
As your social media marketing begins, continue to track and evaluate the analytical data.
Different social media platforms have different metrics like followers, impressions, views, profile visits, tags, reposts, etc. Take them all into account for better evaluation of your marketing strategy.
Use that data to continue tweaking your content to increase engagement and followers. Each social media platform is also different, so you’ll want to create platform-specific plans within the overall social media marketing plan.
Social media marketing has become a necessity for any online business, so be sure to educate yourself on it.