In the last few years, social media marketing has evolved and grown into an essential part of the digital marketing mix. Social media marketing for small businesses is now considered one of the most powerful marketing channels. It offers many benefits to businesses. One might ask what really is social media and what can be considered social media promotion?
Social media is a form of electronic communication that enables people to form online communities or networks between themselves. They spread messages, content, or information as they share with other people through different online channels.
Social media marketing is the process of marketing a product, service, or organization using social networking sites. It’s a form of internet marketing that uses these websites as a way to advertise products, promote brands, communicate with consumers, and increase brand awareness. Social Media Marketing often also includes Social Media Optimization (SMO) or Social Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
How Social Media Marketing Works
In 2022 over 30% of the world’s population uses one of the many social media platforms on any given day. This indicates that social media platforms are the platforms to be in order to connect with customers around the globe. In fact put this into context, YouTube is the second-highest-ranking website in the world with 35 billion monthly users. This is 5 times the world population which is estimated to be around 7 billion. Facebook, on the other hand, is getting 17 billion visits every single month. Hence it only makes sense for organizations and companies to invest in social media marketing.
From connections comes interactions. The fact that millions of people are using social media platforms gives businesses the opportunity for interaction. Social media platform have several features which makes interactions much much easier. These also help facilitate dialog between consumers and service providers.
Social media interactions include the ability to comment, share, like, follow, and subscribe. Recently Facebook/ Meta has introduced reactions on the WhatsApp platform. The more interactions that the business has with its customers the more likely that a relationship is being cultivated. Interactions between clients and service providers will increase goodwill and customer satisfaction.
Engagement is a key component of how social media platforms work. Most customers engage with brands on queries and questions about services and products. Other customers also use the platforms to show their dissatisfaction. As a result, companies can use engagements to rectify customer queries, finalize sales, and make announcements. Running giveaways is often a good engagement strategy, it builds interest and expectations. Subsequently, you can also run competitions to boost engagement.
Simple snippets below show the different types of interactions that come with engagement from using social media platforms. In particular, focus on Twitter and Instagram.
Numbers tell a story and social media marketing is no exception to the rule. SMM relies heavily on data that is produced in social media platforms. Metrics such as the number of likes, views, subscribers, and shares are insightful. After looking at the numbers you will be able to tell what is working and which strategies are a failure. For example, comparing the number of interactions from posts published at different times of the day. Such data will most likely show you when is the best time to publish your post to maximize engagements.
The presentation and availability of such insightful information differ from one platform to another. For example, a regular Pinterest account does not provide statistical data or information as opposed to a Pinterest business account. Hence it is important to understand your requirements beforehand and set up the correct account. They are several free and paid digital marketing tools that can be used to supplement data provided by social networks. The digital market to marketing tools article also mentions several tools which can be used to provide valuable insights.
Reasons for Social Media Marketing
1. Your customers are on social media
The image above clearly demonstrates that your current and future or your future customers spend more time on social media. As a result, businesses must come in front of their customer platforms more than ever before. Marketing and promotion are all about bringing your goods and services in front of the customers. So if your marketing strategy does not include social media marketing then you are missing the mark.
We living in the age of influencer marketing. Whereby currently what most people do, wear, eat and purchase is usually determined by influences. These individuals with big or huge social media account act or become brand ambassadors or get sponsorship deals from organizations. Through the same social platforms, organizations can also grow a following and exhibit huge influence. A good example is football organizations that demand and command a huge following on various social media platforms. As a result, and do not rely on influences to promote their football clubs..
2. Social Media Marketing is Cost-Effective
The minimum requirements to open a verifiable email account or phone number. Apart from that, there isn’t much that is required to have a social media profile. Below is a few examples of organizations that engage customers on social media.
3. Targeting and Retargeting
Interactions and engagements on social media platforms make it easier for organizations to target and retarget consumers. Through paid advertising or other means, social media marketers can focus their attention towards people who would have liked, subscribed, or engaged with their brand in one way or another. Most organizations use social media to build leads and direct customers into the sales funnels. This allows for retargeting and customers are exposed to several upsell products.
4. Improves SEO
Using social media platforms allows companies to also build SERP rankings which improve search engine optimization. Creating social media platforms is one way of creating bank links and improving your domain authority.
5. High Conversions
Because of the amount of information that is available on different individuals on social media platforms. It is often easier to get high conversions from leads generated from social platforms. This is because the data available allows you to target consumers based on age, location, interest, and gender. This also will result in more effective digital marketing campaigns. This is because you are only targeting individuals that are suited to your services and products.
6. Reputation Management
Social media can be a great platform to address misconceptions that some customers might have. Organizations can take the opportunity to do a press release on incidents that might have been misunderstood or misrepresented by the other members of the public. Unlike before, when newspapers and media houses were the only ones we should the capacity to address large crowds through the media outlets. Social media gives organizations a voice in the opportunity to defend themselves.
In addition to that social media platforms also allow organizations to address customer concerns apologize for any inconveniences. As result, businesses are able to resolve any grievances.
7. Brand Awareness
Because of the different tools such as the share button and electronic word of mouth. It is very easy to create brand awareness on social media. satisfied and happy customers can easily share your products and services with other consumers who might be new to you. Constant engagement and posting high-quality materials that put your brand in front of new customers.
To enjoy much success such as brand awareness a good reputation and many other factors which make you successful in social media marketing. You need to have a good social media marketing strategy. and this brings us to the next topic on how to create social media strategies.
How to Create Social Media Strategies
The first step you should do when planning your digital marketing social media strategy is to have smart goals. You need to be clear about which platforms you are going to use to communicate with your customers. Once that is decided, next you must focus on activities that grow your audience. You also need to set metrics for your targets with respect to followers, shares, posts, subscribers, likes, and engagement. After this, you must also determine when all these metrics or milestones must be achieved.
It is important to set realistic milestones for your organization peered. In the absence of of of attainable goals, it may lead to burnout in great disappointment.
Social Media Audit
What are the key duties that you must undertake is a social media audit. The reason is to determine which platform is most suited to your audience coma to the product and service that you’re trying to deliver. For example, an educational institution is most suited to use in YouTube platform. This is where the marketing strategies they can offer certain parts of their courses for free to Lewis students for their paid courses. Twitter and Instagram although may be relevant for such institutions might not be where educational institutions want to spend most of their time.
The second reason for a social media audit is to analyze new customer journeys and see how they behave on the different social media platforms that are out there. social media audit will help you come up with a comprehensive and competitive strategy to interact and engage with existing and prospective customers.
Study The Competition
It is also very important that is part of coming up with a social media strategy you study a competition. You must look at how other organizations and businesses in your industry are using social media to create brand awareness. Simultaneously you must consider how they engage customers to engage with customers.
Studying the competition will also allow you to benchmark your own promotional activities on social media platforms. It will be able to show you the strengths and weaknesses of your strategy against your competitors.
Study Your Audience
Once you’re on social media and if you have quite the following. You must take the time to study your audience. Understanding why certain individuals decided to follow you on social media platforms and constantly engage and interact with your brand is valuable information. This should tell you what to continue or quick your strategy in line with your goals.
Post Engaging Content
Its part of your social media strategy in forces must be put into post-engaging content. Attention is a scarce resource in the 21st century. There are many things on many platforms which can take away consumers from engaging with your brand. For an instance, short video services like Tik Tok and YouTube shorts. Clickbait and many other things can easily lower your engagements by driving articles away from your sites. You must always keep abreast of trends and make sure that you retain the attention of your customers.
Setup social media marketing Accounts
Without action, they can be no creation. The first step in a digital marketing strategy is to create social media accounts. It is of key importance that informs who you are and what you care about. It is important during this process to show off your branding and differentiate yourself from competitors.
Schedule Your Content
Constant and planned engagement posting is one way that is guaranteed to grow is social media accounts. Therefore it is very important that you should steal your post so as not to overwhelm your audience. From experience would recommend engaging or posting five times a day on Twitter depending on your followers. And on Instagram three times a day would suffice.
Content posted must not be just general, but high-quality and engaging posts. Example of engaging poster trivia questions which will likely proper response from your consumers. Giveaways are also good to strategy incorporate into your scheduled post.
Track and Measure Performance
The last part of your strategy must be to track and measure performance. As part of your goals, you must set deadlines for when you track progress. There are several tools that can give you analytics on your performance. Tools such as Buffer and Followwewonk along can give insights into your performance on various social media platforms. Tube Buddy and VIdIQ I used to measure and grow your presence on YouTube.
Advantages of Social Media Marketing
- It is free to a social media account.
- It opens lines of communication with customers
- Social media marketing offers global reach
- Easy to create brand awareness from shares and mentions
- Can be used for reputation and damage control by businesses
- Plenty of tools are available to make social marketing easier
Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing
- There’s a lot of false information on social media.
- Negative reviews can influence skeptical customers to stop buying.
- There’s high competition
- It can be expensive to use an asocial Media marketing agency.