What is Social Media Marketing? Social Media Marketing is the process to reach your targeted audience, improve brand awareness, boost your sales, and drive more traffic to your website using the different social media platforms. This comprises publicizing great useful content on your social media profiles, listening to your followers, engaging with them, and publishing advertisements on social media.
At the moment, the best social media platforms to interact with your audience are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Pinterest. There are plenty of ways you can get on the social media platforms I have listed here, and get the most out of it. One of them is Digital Marketing. Luckily for you, we are great at it.
How did Social Media Marketing start?
Social Media Marketing started off with businesses publishing and sharing their content on social media platforms to drive traffic to their websites to generate leads. Since then, social media has come a long way; it is more than just a platform to publish content now. Businesses now use social media in countless different ways, the end result still being the same.
For example, a business that wants to know what people are saying about their brand would supervise conversations on social media about them and would respond to relevant mentions, this is social media engagement. Likewise, a business that is concerned about its performance on social media platforms would supervise its engagement, analyze its reach on the said platform, and monitor the sales of its products with analytics tools, this is social media analytics. Any business that aspires to reach its target audience would run several social media ad campaigns, this is social media marketing. This, as a whole, would be called social media management.
Let me give you an example of how huge is the effect of Social Media Marketing on a growing business:
A pharma company called International Healthcare set up its Social Media campaign to increase awareness for a new device. The campaign targeted both B2B sellers and B2C users. After reviewing the current situation of the customers using Social Media platforms with the help of a digital audit, a workshop was held with key stakeholders to get an insight into the personas of the B2C market and B2B market which also included KOL’s target. Once done with this, a Social Media plan was put together to target each audience choosing Facebook and Instagram to target the B2C market, and LinkedIn and YouTube to target the B2B market. A Social Media plan was documented for each medium wherein both paid and organic campaigns were incorporated to generate leads and increase brand awareness.
The project was a great success. Its organic reach on Facebook increased by 114% and 69% on LinkedIn in 5 months. The interactions on LinkedIn increased by 81% during the same period. A dramatic rise was seen in the inquiries to the customer service team directly from Facebook. Alongside, a large number of leads started coming to the customer website.
5 Major Pillars of Social Media Marketing
Prior to posting any content on your social media platforms, you must think about your social media strategy.
Have you set your goals? What are your business goals and how can social media help you achieve them? Most businesses tend to use social media as a way to increase awareness about their brand, drive traffic to their website, and enhance sales. You can also use social media to engage your audience and engage them in conversation about your brand. It can help you create a community, or you can serve your audience as a customer support channel.
What are the social media platforms that would help your business grow? Focus largely on the social media platforms that would help your business grow. The go-to social media platforms, as I mentioned above, are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Apart from these platforms, there are some smaller social media platforms that are making their way to the top such as Tumblr. You can also use social messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. If you are just starting to explore social media marketing, it is advised to focus on a few social media platforms your target audience uses that you are sure of.
Have you decided on the type of content you want to publish on social media platforms? It is best to create and share the content that will attract your target audience the most. It could be images, links, or even videos. You can share content that is educational as well as entertaining. You can start by creating a marketing persona; this will help you decide the kind of content that will bring more customers to your website. Besides, you can change your marketing strategy anytime depending on how your posts on social media platforms perform.
A consistent presence on social media is necessary while starting with social media marketing for your business. Social media is used by more than 2.5 billion people on a daily basis. When you are consistent with your presence on social media platforms, you are basically providing your target audience a chance to discover your brand; this will in fact bring you more customers. Publishing content on social media platforms is as easy as sharing a video or images on your personal Facebook account, except you need to plan your posts in advance instead of making impromptu posts. Besides, you need to publish content that will attract your target audience keeping the right timing and frequency in mind.
When your business grows along with your followers on social media, it is obvious the conversations about your brand will grow with it. People will start commenting on your social media posts; some might tag you in their social media posts, or even message you directly on your social media accounts.
There are times when people are talking about your brand on social media platforms and you are unaware of it. To avoid this, you need to supervise conversations about your brand that take place on social media platforms.
If people are talking positively about your brand, you can thank them and surprise your customers. If any of your customers have any complaints, you can use your chosen social media platform to act as a customer support panel and resolve their queries. A lot of brands use Twitter as their customer support channel to help people get rid of their problems regarding their brand.
Manually checking your notifications on all social media platforms will not be sufficient or efficient, especially for the posts that have not tagged your brand’s social media profile in their posts. To solve this particular problem, you can take the help of social media listening and engagement tools. It accumulates all your social media messages and mentions, even the posts that did not specifically tag your brand’s social media profile.
No matter if you are posting content or simply engaging with your customers on social media platforms, with the time you would want to know how your social media marketing strategies are performing. Are you reaching enough people on social media? Are you reach better than that of last month? Are you getting enough positive mentions? If yes, how many more do you need so that more people buy your products and services? Are people using your brand’s hashtag on their social media posts?
Every social media platform itself does provide a specific level of information on such questions. But it is not enough to run an online marketing campaign. In order to receive better analytics information or to simply compare your brand with your competitors across social media platforms, you can take the help of social media analytics tools available.
After you have reached a certain level of expertise on social media marketing and once you have enough funds to expand your social media marketing, an important area to explore is social media advertising. You can reach a wider audience by investing in social media ads than what you can reach by the social media profiles that follow you.
Social media ads are precise and powerful to the point where you can specify who to showcase your ads to. You can change your target audience based on their interests, demographics, behaviors, and much more.
While running multiple social media ad campaigns simultaneously, you can very well take the help of social media advertising tools to make changes in bulk, reform your ads, or automate the process.
Why do you need Social Media Marketing to grow your business?
Most of your customers are on social media
One of the most important reasons to start social media marketing for your business is that your customers are spending most of their time on these social media platforms. According to a study done by Statista, 70% of the population of the United States of America has at least one social media profile. By 2021, it is expected that the number of worldwide social media users will reach 3.1 billion people. With such a wide range of people using social media every day, there is a good chance your business will flourish once you start social media marketing.
Customers are more receptive to what you want to say when you say it through social media marketing:
Most of your customers are active on social media as these platforms offer a fun and interesting way to network, keep in touch with relatives and friends, and stay up to date with what is going on in the world. Provided customers on social media do not come with the expectation that they will be marketed to, but they are still interacting with their favorite brands through these social media platforms. A study done by MarketingSherpa shows that 95% of people that are active on social media platforms are likely to follow brands on social media platforms.
Social media marketing will help in increasing brand recognition
One more benefit of marketing via social media is that it will help increase the visibility of your brand, which in turn will increase the recognition of your brand. Your brand’s social media profiles bring in new opportunities to share your content with your target audience and bring forward your brand’s personality. When you post compelling content that will add value to your target audience, you make your brand familiar to new customers and more accessible to your current customers.
Different social media platforms will help you reach a different audience
Another benefit of social media marketing is that you can strategically target different audiences on different social media platforms. Instead of just putting out your message regarding your brand’s marketing where everyone can see it, you can reach your target audience easily and drive them to your website to generate sales.