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Social media marketing is booming at a very high rate. So, if you want to know the details circling around this topic, guess what, you are at the right place to begin with! let us understand why social media marketing is important for businesses across the world, how social media marketing works and what are the benefits of social media marketing.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is creating content that is relevant, useful and sharing it on various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, to meet your branding and marketing goals. This type of marketing generates traffic on your websites and helps in higher conversion rates. The content that you will share on social media could be text, image, videos, information about your product or services and all other types of content that drives a user of various platforms. So, basically, it’s all about promoting businesses and driving customer engagement.
Your content should be tailored to the platform it will be shared on to boost the conversion rates. You must know your target audience and customers well, where they are, which social media they use for interactions and then present your content to them.
How does Social Media Marketing work?
Social media sites or platforms can change the customer behavior drastically as platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram gained a solid boost.
As these websites allow marketers to use a broad range of strategies and tactics to promote their businesses, the use of social media has changed completely.
Let’s understand the five core pillars of social media marketing to get an overview of its working.
1. Strategy building for Social Media Marketing
Here, you determine the goals of your business reach, media platforms to be used and the type of content to be produced and shared on various platforms.
What are your goals regarding social media marketing keeping your business in consideration? What do you wish to gain by being present on social media? It could be generating leads and reaching more people, or it could be earning more sales and increasing the ROI. Define your goals clearly.
What all different types of social media platforms do you want to choose? The most famous and major ones are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat. There are social media messaging platforms like Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat too. Upcoming smaller platforms like Tumblr, Anchor, and TikTok are also making some waves. First know which platforms most are used by your target audience and then pick those ones. Do not focus on all platforms.
Do you have a specific choice for our content that you want to share? This will again depend on your target audience and what type of content they prefer. It could be videos, images, texts, blogs pointing out at educational content or entertaining content. You can later upgrade or change your content with time.
Set the goals using the SMART goal setting technique
Specific: It is very easy to set crisp and clear strategies and expectations when your goals are well aligned and specific. If you want to make sales with your presence on social media, be specific about how you will achieve it.
Measurable: It is very easy to measure your success when you are clear about your goals. Say if you want to make $300 a month but you are not able to, you can anytime tweak your strategy to attain that goal.
Attainable: Do not set unrealistic goals or unattainable targets. Be sure about the resources in hand, data collected and then define your goal.
Relevant: Your goals should be relevant to your core impact that you are trying to make for your business and for the customers. Having well defined goals always work in sync with your business objectives.
Time bound: Be realistic while you set your deadlines in order to reach your goals of sales or marketing or brand awareness or lead generation.
Focus on metrics like conversion rates, click-through-rates and engagement as these are very relevant and helpful in a progressive way.
2. Planning and Publishing on Social media Platforms
It is important to plan the type of content you will be publishing on social media platforms. Whether it will be video, images or texts or a mix, consider the length of the script too. Once you have your content ready, deciding on the timeline to publish it also plays a key role.
Start posting consistently on social media if you are just starting. This gives you an opportunity to be discovered by your future target audience. You can post a blog post, a video or an image on social media but stay consistent. Plan ahead of time instead of creating content and simply publishing it. Your audience may be watching videos on weekend afternoons, so the right time and frequency would be to focus on weekends. You can take help of social media tools if you like to publish content automatically by setting up the preferred time.
3. Listening to customers and understanding their engagement on Social Media Platforms
Once your business shoots on social media, you will observe people commenting on your page or website, people will tag you in their posts, you would also get direct messages. You need to attain these activities and take follow up and resume queries in order to maintain a strong connection with your customers. People may talk about your business on social media without you knowing about it, so make sure to monitor conversations made about your business. These could be in favor of the business or against so you will have to pay an active attention to resolve problems and pain points if there are any.
It’s manually impossible to keep track of all these activities. You can use tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social or AgoraPulse to monitor various activities and resolve issues. These tools can tag your social media mentions, posts that were not tagged and more and segregate the data for you.
4. Analytics for Social Media Marketing
Tracking data is very important to measure the success of your business on social media. If you do not track the data, you will not know where you are lagging or what are the points of progress. Are you getting any positive results every month? Are your customers adding hashtags created by you for promoting your business? And so many other aspects are important to be tracked. Google analytics is a great tool to analyse your data.
So, what is it that you should track?
Let’s say you want to set a goal of increasing your conversion rate by 15% per month, then the major metrics we would focus on are;
Volume is one metric which is very easy to measure. Did you observe how many people are buzzing about your business? For example, check the Instagram insights, see how many people have posted something about your brand on their feeds or Insta stories, or reels.
Are your customers taking any action to prompt your brand and create more engagement amongst other people? Likes, shares, comments, views tell you how many people are responding to your content.
Share a voice
Is your industry that you currently belong to talking about your business as compared to your competitors in lead? Check the percentage at which your business is discussed. This will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your social media marketing strategies.
Are you able to reach a potential customer base? This metric will help you to know how far your content is reaching and how fast.
This is one of the most important metrics to study to understand the quality of your content. If it’s reaching a wider audience and if people are influenced to take an action after coming across your content, know that you are really doing good. Creating an impact matter.
Impressions give you the number of times your content from your page or website was seen, regardless of the clicks it received.
Advertising needs funds and if you have enough money, you should invest in social media advertising. This really helps you create a wider audience base who are genuinely interested in your business. These have become very powerful nowadays. They have precise data of the customers; with this you can curate your audience base and display your ads only to those you choose. Choose your potential customers based on demographics, behavior, interests and other factors.
Advertising on various Social Media Platforms
80% of users on Pinterest are female. It has 459 million users per month. Pinterest is very popular as it is a highly visual platform. Use strategies to link your pins and link relevant pages so that the user is guided towards the right page. When it comes to Pinterest try to be more creative to make your business stand out. Keep an eye on the latest trends and identify the most in demand product. Industry mostly focused on B2C.
There are 353 million monthly active users on twitter. Twitter is famous for people who have interest in business and politics. Twitter grows organically, so many Ecommerce stores use it for promoting their products to build brand awareness. Industry focused on B2B and B2C.
Instagram is most famous amongst the youth as its very image driven platform. Don’t underestimate the power of hashtags on Instagram as it really drives a lot of traffic. You can also see at what frequency the specific hashtag is used. Use some bright, colorful, high quality images to promote your business. Instagram has 1 billion active monthly users according to 2020 reports. Industry focused on B2C.
Facebook is the most sought-after social media platform in terms of ads. You cannot beat the fever of online advertising on Facebook. According to 2020 stats, Facebook has 2.6 billion monthly users and that is more than enough for everyone to have a slice of the cake. You must keep experimenting with your ads and see which one converts, where you need to tweak it. Curate your ads for different groups of audiences. Facebook has a thing for emojis so don’t forget to use some. Industry focused on B2C.
LinkedIn can help you gain more profits in terms of money. Around 80% of LinkedIn users earn $50000 to $90000 or more per year. Keep tracking your ad performances constantly and discontinue ads with CTR less than 0.1%. As LinkedIn is very popular amongst the corporate working and business professionals, make sure you try to solve problems professionals face in their daily lives. Target LinkedIn groups with your ads for better results as it is the place where discussions happen, and information is shared. Industry focused on B2B.
Youtube has 2.1 billion active monthly users. It is mostly video focused and you can run ads in between the plethora of videos tailored to attract a wide range of audiences. Youtube is best for creating brand awareness, and entertainment. So study the base of the audience and tailor your content accordingly. Industry focused on B2C.
What are the benefits of Social Media Marketing?
1. Brand Awareness
By the reports of April 2021, nearly 3.96 billion people use social media worldwide. This says it all as taking your content on social media can create brand awareness amongst so many people who could become your customers in the future. There will be x% people, genuinely interested in your product or business. Being on social media will create brand awareness amongst all those who use social media. Social media boosts brand awareness drastically and improves engagement.
2. Lead generation
By being on social media platforms, sharing relevant content will build a wide network of customers interested in your business, this generates leads. The traffic at your store front increases too.
For generating more leads, you can conduct following activities;
-external and internal linking to your website
3. Conversion Rates
After the leads are generated, you will find a wide range of customers who are potential buyers of your product or service, resulting in higher conversion rates.
4. Customer relationship
Engage in your customers by maintaining good connections and building trust with them on social media. Interact with them through posts, respond to their queries, respond back to their comments and help them with relevant information that they require.
Your competitors would also be present on social media, learn from them, observe them and see your areas of improvement. Give close attention to their campaigns like PPC ad Campaigns, promotions, target audience, strategies to learn and improve. Learn from your competitors’ failure and experience of what might work and what might not and design your strategies accordingly.
Hope you had a great time reading about social media marketing and how it can be a boon for a business to start with.
By Media Lab
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