Social media marketing (abbreviated SMM) is a type of Internet marketing that involves using social media networks as a way to promote products and services. The goal of SMM is to create content that social media users will share, spreading the word about the product or service that is being promoted. Social media has taken the world by storm. Networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are used by people all around the globe. The serve as a great way for users to connect with each other, share information, photos, videos, and more. Advertisers have taken notice of the power of social media and use it as a tool to promote their products and services.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing, often abbreviated SMM, involves using techniques to promote a product or a service for a company using social networking sites. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the sites that are most commonly used for social media marketing. The goal of social media marketing is to get the products or services that a business offers out in front a targeted audience, which thereby increases the chance that those who are interested in what a business offers will actually make a purchase.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Marketing on social media offers several benefits. Some of the most notable advantages include:
- Increased brand awareness. By marketing on social media, businesses can establish their brand and create more awareness of it. They can become the first company that people think of when they need a specific product or service.
- Better customer services. Social media makes it possible for business owners to improve their customer service. By reading the comments that people leave on their posts or on their social media pages, businesses can immediately respond to their customers. This increased customer service allows for happier customers and more customer loyalty.
- More traffic. When companies share information on social media, they give users a reason to click through to their websites. Social media allows you to get your site out in front of a much larger audience, as without it, only the people who are already familiar with your brand or who are searching for the keywords you are using will find your site. By incorporating social media into your marketing plan, you can add more paths that lead people back to your website. The more content you share and the better quality that content is, the more inbound traffic your site will generate.
- More conversions. Of course, if you have more traffic to your site and you are providing better customer service, you are going to improve your conversion rate. People will be much more inclined to purchase the products or services that you offer, which leads to greater success overall.
- Cost-effective. Another benefit of using social media for marketing is that it is cost effective. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others offer affordable advertising platforms that businesses can use to target consumers. It’s much more economical than other types of marketing techniques.
Choosing the a Social Media Platform for Marketing
There are several social media platforms out there, and they can all be used for marketing. However, some platforms offer better results for certain business than other. Below, you’ll find a brief overview of marketing on some of the most popular social media channels.
Facebook has a very casual and friendly environment. The site also offers advanced tools that are specifically designed for business owners to use for marketing their products and services. Visual elements are a key component of Facebook, and as such, they are vital for your marketing success on this platform.
With Twitter, you can broadcast updates about your business across the Internet. You have the ability to follow other users in your industry and in related field, and you can gain a large stream of followers, too. Open dialogues and regular communication are important on Twitter, so if you are using this platform for marketing, make sure that you are prepared to interact as much as possible.
Instagram is another very popular social media site that marketers use to spread the word about their products and services. The content on this social network is all about photos, videos, and other graphic images. Make sure that you are posting attractive pictures that will grab the attention of your audience and increase the likelihood that your posts will be liked and shared.
Creating a Social Media Marketing Plan
Marketing on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter isn’t very complicated; however, if you want to achieve as much success as possible, creating a social media marketing plan is vital. Below, you will find some tips that will help you develop an effective plan for your social media marketing campaign.
Assess your current presence on social media. Before you can determine where you are going, you need to first know where you currently are. When assessing the presence of your business on social media, look at the following areas:
- The social networks you are currently active on
- How your social networks are optimized, including things like your photos, your cover images, your bio, your URL, your contact information, and so forth.
- The networks that are offering you the most value.
- How your profile(s) compare with the profile(s) of your competition.
Determine who your target customers are. For this part of your social media marketing plan, you will want to be as specific as you possibly can. For instance, identifying your target market simply as “parents” isn’t specific enough. Instead, dig a little deeper; for example, parents who are living in the United States, are between the ages of 25 and 45, who earn an annual income of $85,000, who use Facebook on a regular basis, and who are interested in outdoor activities, you will have a lot more success. To determine who your target market is, answering the following questions will help you develop a very detailed and focused buyers persona:
- Job title
- Annual income
- Biggest interests
- Issues that bother them your business can help to solve
Develop a mission statement for your social media profiles. Your mission statement is what will drive all of your actions on your social media networks. As such, it is important to make sure that you put a good deal of thought into it. Your mission statement will define exactly what you are planning to use your social media presence for. It should reflect the identity of your brand. Don’t forget to keep your target audience in mind when you are creating your mission statement. This statement will make it easier for you to determine what you should create and share.
Highlight the best success metrics. It is extremely important that you keep track of your social media marketing efforts to determine if they are successful and where you should invest more money and where you should stop spending money. Some metrics that you should consider using to measure your success include:
- Your reach
- The number of brand mentions you are receive
- Your conversion rate
- The time users are spending on your website
- The amount of shares your posts are receiving
Create and share amazing content. Marketing on social media is all about sharing content. However, if you want to be successful, you have to make sure that you are sharing the best content possible. If your content is subpar, isn’t engaging, and isn’t valuable, your marketing efforts aren’t going to work to your advantage. They could do absolutely nothing for you, or worse, they could end up harming you. The content you share on social media includes:
These are just some of the different types of content that can be shared on social networks. To get the best results possible, make sure that you are sharing content that aligns with your mission statement and your niche, is useful, and meets the interests of your audience. Remember: content is the fuel of social media. As such, it is vital that you make sure you are creating high quality, useful, and engaging content – always.
Take advantage of a social media management tool. If you really want to boost your productivity, make a use of a social media management tool. These tools can help you avoid burnout and can ensure that you are staying on your social marketing A-game. A social media management tool will allow you to make the most of your efforts, and do so with the greatest of ease. One of the biggest advantages of using a social media management tool is that you they allow you to schedule posts in advance. Use your content calendar when scheduling your posts so that you are sharing a constant flow of information.
Make adjustments as necessary. Even the best social media strategies aren’t meant to be set in stone. They should constantly evolve in order to keep up with the latest trends. Make sure that you are always tracking and analyzing your success so that you know where to make adjustments and can improve your overall success.
Most Effective Social Networking Sites for Marketing
When it comes to marketing, not all social networking sites are created equal. Some sites have proven to be much more effective than others. Which ones have proven to offer the most success for marketers?
- Facebook. With more than 1.2 billion active users on a daily basis, Facebook is, without a doubt, one of the most effective social media sites for marketing. Businesses successful get their brands out in front of huge audiences and substantially increase their success. If you really want to expand your reach and boost your visibility, you should be using Facebook for your marketing efforts.
- Twitter. Another very effective social site for marketers, Twitter allows users to connect with virtually anyone almost instantaneously. Though the character limit for posts may be small (140 characters), it can help you reach a huge audience and get your brand some great recognition.
- Instagram. This social site is yet another effective tool for marketers. Countless business owners have found tremendous success by marketing on Instagram.
The Bottom Line
If you are a business owner, adding social media to your marketing strategy is vital. It can help you reach a huge audience, build brand awareness, establish your authority, and significantly boost your success.
Social Media Marketing Tips
If you want to have as much success as possible with your social media marketing plan, you are going to want to make sure that you are paying attention to best practices and incorporating them in your efforts.
The following tips can help you get the most out of your social media marketing campaign:
- Interact with your customers. One of the reasons that social media is such an effective marketing tool is because it allows business to interact with and communicate with their customers. Make sure that you are making the effort to respond to messages and comments you receive and that you are always actively interacting with your followers.
- Listen to what your followers are saying. Social media is a great way to learn valuable insights about your audience. You can find out what they are interested in, what makes them unhappy, what types of improvements you can make in order to improve their experience with your business, and so on. Make sure that you are listening to what your followers are saying so that you can respond appropriately and get the most out of your marketing efforts.
- Take advantage of automation. One of the keys to success for social media marketing is consistency. You want to post on a consistent basis in order to stay relevant, keep your followers interested, and attract even more followers. Automation tools can help to ensure you are posting on a consistent basis. However, make sure that you aren’t using tools that make you come off as being spammy, as this can hurt your success.
- Track and measure your results. It is extremely important that you define clear goals for your social media marketing campaign. You can do this by establishing benchmarks that will let you determine whether or not your social media marketing efforts are working. The information you gather and analyze can be used to make adjustments to your campaign and improve it.
- Share great content. There’s no two ways about it: if you want to have success with your social media marketing efforts, you simply must share great social content. The better your posts are, the more they will be shared and the more people will engage with them. Furthermore, the better your content is, the more of an authority you will become. Make sure you are sharing relevant, useful content that engages your followers and captures their attention.
- Keep tabs on the competition. In business, it is always important to keep tabs on your competition. They can give you valuable insight for things like keyword research and can help you learn strategies that are working for them that you can adapt to your own marketing campaign. Keep your eyes on your competition so that you can stay ahead of them.