Social media marketing or SMM is a form of internet marketing on social networks the most popular of which are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Using social media as a marketing tool, you can increase the traffic towards your company’s website and also get users’ direct reactions to your work. The goal of SMM is to create various forms of content that users will like and share with their network of connections which in turn will help a company increase brand exposure and broaden customer reach.
Introduction To Social Media Marketing
Essentially, we use SMM to develop and improve a company’s image, increase brand awareness and attract unique visitors to the company’s website. There is even the concept of Social Media Optimization (SMO) which involves customers showing support to your company or brand by participating in building a strong network of links through sharing company links on their personal social media pages. SMO can be performed actively or passively. Active SMO is less about the constant valuable content creation: it implies creating content for the purpose of promoting it on a social network and sharing direct links to the company website. While passive SMO means publishing valuable and engaging posts such as images, articles, infographics and updating the company status regularly.
As a part of SMM, marketers also bank on the fact that people prefer and trust user-generated content, such as comments, product reviews, etc. This phenomenon is also known as “earned media,”.
On a strategic level, SMM covers planning and execution of marketing campaigns, management, setting the scope as well as creating and bringing to life a company’s desired social media representation including its culture and unique voice.
Why Use Social Media Marketing
Social networks are continuously present in our lives, there are even opinions that the lines between our online and offline lives are being blurred out and some people have a far greater social engagement online than in their offline lives. Online presence and image is a crucial part of building and maintaining any personal or company brand. Moreover, social media has changed the way companies interact with their communities. Today customers essentially demand companies be authentic and respond to community’s concerns, as well as take a stand on relevant social and cultural topics. That’s why social media marketing works well, is constantly developing and is likely to evolve even further in the future with the introduction of AV and VR.
SMM is good for:
- improving communication with the community
- increasing brand exposure
- creating a brand identity and positive brand association
- broaden customer reach.
Users of social media like and share the content produced by a company and thus help it to achieve goals. Here the principle of organic search comes to play: when the website of a company or its connected social network pages are more active, their position on search engines rises. The importance of a website to be among the first few results becomes obvious when we remind ourselves that when users search the internet, 70% of their clicks comes on the first three results only. It’s worth trying to do your best to help your company’s website and social media pages to get on top.
Another important thing is that with SMM a company gets direct feedback from users who have a chance to be heard. If the company react fast, it appears more human-like.
If you’re not excited about SMM yet, here’s a bit of refreshing statistics:
- About 2 billion internet users are using social networks
- Investments in social advertising worldwide are forecast to grow from around $32 billion in 2017 to $48 billion in 2021.
- Facebook has 2.27 billion monthly active users.
- Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users.
- LinkedIn drives 80% of social media B2B leads.
- 37% of consumers find purchase inspirations through social media.
Social media marketing includes:
- Posting short native text content
- Reposting relevant articles with concise comments
- Posting images, videos, infographics and other content that drives audience engagement
- Paid social media advertising
By utilizing these items with creativity and proper planning, a company can reach impressive results and great returns on their investments.
Proper SMM Needs A Proper Plan
Obviously, every marketing campaign needs to be planned carefully. A social media marketing campaign is no exception. The strategies and techniques of SMM depend on many things, so before starting to create the campaign itself, it’s vital to:
- consider your businesses goals;
- determine your main audience;
- analyze different social networks.
Your business type should inform and drive your social media marketing strategy. What you need more: to sell something or to have feedback from your community? What message do you want to send to the community?
As for the target audience, you need to know where these people would hang out and how they would use social networks, what else may they be interested in. This will provide you with more flexibility in terms of the type of content you post and where you post it.
We will discuss how to choose the best social media platforms in the next post, but for now, take a look at the statistics just to get acquainted with the subject.
5 Best SMM Tips
Use Facebook “Call” buttons in the Facebook ads.
It helps convert potential leads, as mobile users can call your business directly simply by clicking your Facebook ad. The fewer actions have to be made by a user the better. It saves people’s time, gives them fewer options to turn down your offer and thus helps your leads to convert.
Build communities around actionable hashtags.
Hashtags in social media are useful in two ways. The most famous is serving as a means of helping people find relevant content. But you also can use hashtags to build communities. It’s achieved by using the same hashtag across several social media platforms. By doing this, you offer the community coherent experience regardless of where they encounter your SMM campaign.
Create great social content.
The most important thing for a successful SMM is regularity and variety. Post regularly, offer valuable and helpful information, use different types of content, such as images, videos, infographics, guides and more.
Use a consistent brand image.
SMM gives your business an opportunity to show its brand identity with different tools. But the fact is, your brand needs to be recognizable, thus, despite the unique environment of every social media platform, you have to stay consistent with your core business identity: use brand colors, motos and consistent message.
Measure what you can.
Track your data to determine the SMM campaigns success. The most common measuring tool is Google Analytics. To determine which strategies work better or worse with the help of Google Analytics you have to attach tracking tags to SMM campaigns. Use analytics within each social media platform to have a better understanding of your content’s performance.
Examples of metrics you can track:
- Number of followers
- Retweet/share ratio
- Reply ratio
- Average retweets/shares
- The number of shares on each network generated by your content in a certain period of time
- The number of shares generated on each network for keywords in your content
- Total average shares per piece of content
In the next article, we’ll tell you how to choose the best social media platforms for marketing.