What is Social Media Marketing?
Marketing is how you get your name out there and promote yourself. There are many ways to do that whether it is by word of mouth, leaflets or traditional advertising. Social media marketing has become the main component of most companies marketing strategies.
Simply put, SMM (Social Media Marketing) is the process of promoting yourself through various social media outlets. This can be to either drive sales, generate traffic or simply raise awareness for your brand. There are many different types of social media out there but they all operate under the same banner.
What social media platforms should you use?
There are many different social media platforms available but there are a handful of them that dominate the market. The right ones for you will depend on your business model, your brand and how they apply to these particular platforms.
Here we look at the big players and how they relate to your business:
Facebook – Facebook has by far the biggest reach of any social media network. It is still immensely popular and every business should have a presence there. If you don’t then you will lose out to competition and look outdated.
Twitter – While not having the same reach as Facebook, Twitter still has a huge influence. For many companies, it can be a hard medium to master as engagement can rely on appealing content. Getting followers and creating viral content can be tricky.
Instagram – Like Twitter, Instagram can be a more niched and harder to master than Facebook. It requires a constant source of images that people will have an interest in seeing. For some brands, this is a perfect place for marketing.
LinkedIn – This is a more professional environment and a great place to market your brand. You’ll be able to get your voice across while also benefiting from the connections that LinkedIn can provide with individuals, other companies and potential employees.
Pinterest/Tumblr – These are other fun spaces where you will be able to share images or content which might appeal to your customers. These don’t have the same mass popularity as some other markets but can still help to create a loyal fan base.
The benefits of social media marketing
Develops a personal connection with your followers – Social media will allow you to have a closer connection to your customers and improve brand loyalty. Having that direct engagement helps to build trust.
People are more receptive to marketing – People go on the likes of Twitter and Facebook fun and are more likely to give your marketing efforts time. This can lead to a much higher conversation than other types of marketing.
Able to target specific audiences – Not only will you know the demographics of different social media platforms; you can also specifically target certain groups when you advertise on social media.
It’s cost-effective – We mentioned high conversion before and social media is much better than other types of advertising. It is much more cost-effective than the likes of direct mail and television campaigns.
Keep up with the competition – Quite simply if your rivals are on social media and you aren’t, you’ll be left behind. Businesses survive by adapting and you’ll most likely need a social media presence.
Helps to increase the value of your brand – You can stamp your brand message all over social media. Through posts, adverts, pictures, and pictures, etc. you can send a strong brand message and create great foundations for marketing campaigns.
How to market yourself on social media
Plan – As with all marketing strategies, you have to have a plan first and foremost of exactly what you want to achieve. This could be promoting a particular product or it could simply be about getting your brand name out there. Whatever you plan to achieve, you need a strategy to be able to do it.
Publish – When you have your plan in place, it’s time to create your content and publish it. You want this to be engaging while matching the tone of your brand. In the world of social media, it’s easy to make costly mistakes. Any marketing campaign needs to be carefully considered before you push the button and send your content.
Engagement – When it comes to social media, engagement is the buzzword that you want to see. It means how many people viewed and interacted with your content. This is the start of building up your knowledge of what works for your company and what doesn’t.
Analytics – Once you have a social media campaign, you want to be able to analyze it. Social media companies can often give you a lot of information and there are also apps and websites out there which are great at being able to provide analysis.
Advertising – In order to have a wider level of engagement of social media, there is always the choice of paying for advertising. This can be very effective to reach a wider audience than simply those who follow your social media.
To pay or not to pay?
On most social media platforms, and Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram especially, you have the option to pay for advertising. This has proven to have great conversion rates and can be very cost-effective, especially when compared to other forms of media.
The decision to pay to promote social media posts will depend on a few important factors, not at least your overall budget. They can work fantastically but you need to go into them with a clear strategy and analysis on exactly who you should be targeting.
Don’t get left behind
We have seen with quite a few companies what happens when they don’t keep up with the times. Whether it is not embracing new technology, not having an internet presence or not embracing social media, all companies have to adapt.
Social media marketing should not just be a small part of your marketing strategy, it should be fundamental to most companies marketing strategies, especially as we move close and closer to completely digital formats. You have to know what message you want to get across, how you will present your brand then have a strategy for engaging with your audience.