Social Media Marketing has been helping businesses to reach their target audience through the means of social networking platforms for a considerable while. So, if you are not reaching out to your prospects on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc. your business is missing the chance of enhancing their digital growth and multiplying their revenue. Social Media Marketing is capable of driving successful results, enhancing brand loyalty, generating leads, and converting prospects.
Businesses irrespective of their size can invest into Social Media Marketing. A little guidance of What is Social Media Marketing and how to use it can drive them a long way towards business growth. Hence, our experts have decided to share this detailed guide on the topic with all of our readers.
However, it is wise that we start with exploring the roots at the outset. Hence, let us begin with understanding about Social Media Marketing.
Everything You Need To Know About Social Media Marketing
Consider the following statistics:
- Social Media Networking Sites have a user base of 3.8 billion people worldwide.
- The average spend time on Social Networking Sites is 3 hours a day.
- Social Media Platforms such as FB, Insta, YouTube, etc. have a monthly active user count of 1+ million per month.
Now try it to relate it with the definition shared below:
Social Media Marketing is a vertical of online marketing that involves the dissemination of content to a specific target audience through distinctive social media channels. This form of marketing is carried out with the motive of endorsing, creating brand awareness, generating leads, and driving conversions for a business.
The type of content that is shared on social media channels can be in visual or textual form. The social media posts usually include videos, blogs, articles, infographics, etc. The content served to the audience needs to be creative, engaging, and ones that drive traction in large numbers. Besides sharing content, running Google and Facebook Ads is also done extensively on these networking sites.
Coming back to the statistics and correlating it with the definition that we have shared above, it is not very difficult to determine the potential of Social Media Marketing in terms of digital outreach.
Hopefully, we have shared a clear understanding of Social Media Marketing with all our readers. Let us proceed to understand how to get started with your Social Media Marketing endeavor.
Getting Started with Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social Media Marketing can only drive successful results when it is preceded by a social media marketing strategy. Without a strategy carrying out your marketing endeavors will be wandering in a new place without any proper direction. You are likely to end up nowhere.
However, a social media strategy may differ from one business to another. Thus, our experts have put together a list of a few basic questions that a marketing manager must ask himself before devising a strategy. Let us take a look at them:
- What are the goals that you are looking to achieve with social media marketing?
- Who are your prospective customers or audience?
- Which platforms do your prospect use and how?
- What message do you want to convey to your prospects with social media marketing?
The answers to all these questions and your social media strategy will be driven by the kind of business you are running.
For instance, a creative business that is into fashion retail or wedding planning will get a lot of traction from its Instagram Account. Similarly, a Business Management Consultant will get high response on Twitter, LinkedIn. Whereas, an advertisement or a news agency will be able to attract their audience on Twitter or Facebook Page.
Once you have found answers to the fundamental questionnaire, here are the steps that you may follow to come up with a promising social media strategy:
Identify Your Goals
The first step in devising a social media marketing strategy is to identify and set goals. However, one must remember that goals should not merely be set as a formality. They should be realistic and attainable.
Besides just identifying the goals, a successful marketing strategy requires that they should be plotted to match the business objectives.
To ensure that your goals encompass all the above mentioned mandates, you must set S.M.A.R.T goals. Here is what we mean by this:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time Bound
If you set your goals in accordance with the S.M.A.R.T parameters, they will automatically be in sync with your business objectives.
It is important to determine the metrics that are scalable to determine how your strategy is performing in contrast with your goals. For instance, if you consider metrics such as the number of leads generated or conversions in a month rather than considering the number of comments or retweets on a post, you will have the real – time results.
Furthermore, you must gauge the performance metrics across all the social media channels that you are targeting from time – to – time. You can also distinguish these metrics based on awareness, customer feedback, or even conversions.
The easiest goals should be listed down at the beginning of the strategy. The resources and financials should be budgeted out accordingly. Listing the easier to attain goals at the outset will help in getting approvals from the management. The more ambitious goals should follow the easier ones.
Understand Your Prospects
You can develop a promising social media marketing strategy only if you understand your prospects along with their requirements. Different objectives may require you to interact differently with your prospect across a variety of social media channels.
To understand your audience, you must begin with defining their persona. This includes not only understanding their requirements, but also determining their demographics, their social media usage patterns, their buying capacity, and a lot more. After determining all these things, you will have an understanding of the kind of user base you need to target.
Readymade templates are available online for defining your buyer persona. These usually have a set of questions which you can answer to reach the conclusion.
Determining the buyer persona must be followed by identifying the type of content that should be catered to your audience. This step proves helpful particularly while generating traction through the means of paid marketing.
Create the Content
The first two steps must be concluded with determining, creating, and catering content that can attract the customers. The type of content that needs to be created depends largely on the social media channel on which you are marketing your brand. This step will help you in choosing between textual or graphic content.
For determining the type of content that needs to be catered, you will have to map where you stand in the buyer’s funnel. The buyer’s funnel consists of three stages, namely:
- Awareness – When you are new in the industry and want to establish your presence.
- Consideration -When you want to distinguish your offerings from your competitors and establish why you are better.
- Conversion – When you wish that a prospect lead should make purchase decisions and transform into your customer.
Based on the above three stages of the funnel, you can decide what type of content you want to share with your audience. However, high quality content must be ensured at each stage of the funner. If you start by targeting a limited number of social media channels, you will be able to regulate the frequency, quality, and the type of content.
Content creation must always follow the rules of the “Golden Circle” which is to establish a problem followed by the solution, and then positioning your offering with the respect to both. This step will also help you in identifying whether you should share detailed blog posts, precise videos, elaborate podcasts, or some other form of content.
Once you have created the strategy, it must be marketed on the right platform. So the next step is to identify a social media channel that you need to target for business success.
Identifying the Right Platforms For Your Business
There are a vast number of social media channels available for marketing. Some of these well-known platforms are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. To ensure successful outcomes from your social media marketing endeavors you must identify the platform on which your marketing initiatives will bring your the maximum ROI. In other words, you should market yourself on the platform where your target audience is present.
Facebook demands an active social media strategy that can spark conversation about your brands, products, and services amongst your prospects. It has very wide demography of users hence, marketing on Facebook is relatively easy. But, as mentioned, you will have to keep serving high – quality content very regularly on Facebook.
At the outset, create a business page to get people to know about your business. However, one thing you must consider is that the organic outreach on Facebook is not very wide. Hence, you should be pragmatic about budgeting your Facebook ad spend.
The type of content that you cater should have an in-formal, friendly, and optimistic tone. Almost, all businesses can market themselves on Facebook.
Instagram is a platform that has surged very quickly in popularity. Users can share photographs and videos along with concise descriptions on this platform. The demography of Instagram is less wider when compared to Facebook. Users are mostly from the adolescent to the middle-age group.
If you are in a creative business, such as wedding planning or fashion ensemble, Instagram can be a fantastic platform to showcase your offerings creatively. You can also sponsor your posts to gain a wider outreach or use hashtags as an alternative.
The content that you share on Instagram must be creative, concise, and informative.
YouTube is a platform where audiences can view, share, and livestream videos. YouTube is also the second largest search Engine after Google. People of all age groups use YouTube.
It is a platform that you can use to create awareness about your brands and offerings. Besides that you can also use it for building customer relations. For instance, you can share instructional videos about your products or testimonial videos of your existing clients.
You can also make use of the Analytics Tools available in YouTube to track the performance of your marketing initiatives on the platform.
Twitter is the best platform for getting your audience to engage with your business by stirring up conversations on trending topics in your industry. The demography of this platform ranges from young-adults to middle-age groups.
You can also use this platform for business networking and getting people to talk about your business.
Gone are those days when LinkedIn was used for job hunting. It has become the biggest platform for endorsing B2B businesses and networking. The user base consists largely of working class people on this platform.
A large number of top executives also use this platform. Hence, if you can market your business directly to the decision makers.
There is no dearth of social media channels where you can market your business. However, starting steadily is the key. The above-mentioned platforms are the best to market your business as these cover mostly all sorts of businesses.
Once you launch your campaigns, do measure its performance on regular intervals. This shall help you in determining if you will be able to realize your goals or not.
So, this was our social media marketing 101 where we taught all the tips and tricks to get you started. If you have any more questions about social media marketing that you would like our experts to answer, do reach out to us.
Getting successful results from your social media marketing campaign is easier when you collaborate with a SMM agency or consultant. We are a full-service digital marketing firm that can help you get started with social media marketing.