Social Media Marketing (SMM)refers to the use of various social media platforms to connect and collaborate with the target audience to build an individual’s brand, increase their sales, and drive off the website traffic. This mainly includes publishing great and ideal content in their various social media profiles just by listening and engaging them with their followers, analyzing their results followed by the running of the advertisements of various social media platforms. Some of the main social media platforms are as follows:-
- Facebook:- Facebook serves to be the universal social media network. Containing more than 2 billion users on a monthly basis, it holds and hosts a quarter of the world’s population, that provide advertisers with an unparalleled amount of opportunities to reach digitally to anyone or everyone. Facebook excels itself at the generation of the lead, when it comes to ecommerce sites or business.
- Instagram:- Instagram is a social networking site or a social media platform that accentuates photo and video sharing via its app, i.e. Instagram. People can take, edit, publish, and visualize content for their followers to interact with them through likes, comments and shares. With the time, Instagram has been among the fastest growing social media platforms. This social networking platform has gained over one billion active users in a very less time. Ove the time, this social media platform has changed itself from a simple photo sharing app to a powerful marketing tool that is used by most of the influencers and businesses to reach their target audience or potential customers.
- Twitter:- Twitter contains many of the revolutionized breaking news and also offers unparalleled access to the users to connect with both niche as well as mainstream influencers. Containing 328 million active users on a monthly basis, it is also considered as one of the most famous social media platforms. Today a number of ecommerce sites or stores use Twitter to advertise awareness of the brand and promote some of the particular products for direct rate of conversions.
- LinkedIn:- This social media platform serves to be another social media platform that has its primary rotation across the markets of B2B. With 227 million active users on a monthly basis, it is evenly distributed between male users and female users. Out of 227 million active users, around 61% of the users come into the category of 30-64 age range bracket. It is mainly suitable for the B2B ads and various social media marketing campaigns.
- YouTube:- It serves to be one of the most famous social media platforms in the world, It establishes a number of connections in several unique and attractive ways. Also, the reach of YouTube to its target audience is quite impressive. On mobile itself, this social media platform reaches to more 18-49 years aged people than any cable channel or the network. It also serves to be the best and ideal place to share unique and attractive advertising content. It also permits for the combination of both traditional media and social media that simply works together.
Apart from the above mentioned social media platforms, there are also many other social media platforms such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc.
There are also a number of management tools available for social media that help small or big businesses to get the most out of the social media platforms that are mentioned above. Buffer serves to be a platform of social media management tools that helps an individual to achieve success with their available social media marketing. Whether an individual wants to build and develop their brand or simply wants to grow their business, then this platform helps them to succeed.
Social media is just simply a digital tool or media like websites and applications that are designed in such a way where people are allowed to share their content quickly and efficiently. Social media are also sometimes referred to as internet communication tools that allow its users to share content, images, videos, news, etc. and also they try to engage with the public. Social media engagement simply means that it is more than just the aggregation of as many followers on various social media platforms. It also helps people to know about how many people on a daily basis are paying attention and trying to interact with the brand. Social media is all about engagement with friends, relatives and all other people. That’s why it is called “social” media.
Why is social media an important part of its marketing strategy?
- It helps to learn directly from the customers and their prospects regarding how to make their performance and experience even better than before.
- Social media engagement increases loyalty through positive interactions with the brands on various social media platforms. It also generates a word of mouth for its users.
- People expect that their business will get a much faster response on social media. People generally go to Twitter and Facebook for customer support, product enquiries, or just simply for saying thanku to the people associated with the brand or business.
- On social media, posts that are being more active and have more thoughtful interactions will get more engagement than other posts. It also helps to broadcast it’s content results in low reach as well as in referral traffic.
A Quick Overview of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing first initiated with the term publishing. Businesses tend to share their content on various social media platforms to generate more and more traffic to an individual’s websites along with the sales. Being just a place to broadcast and publish content, various social media platforms have matured far beyond. Nowadays, businesses tend to use various social media platforms in a pyramid of different methods. For instance, a business that is connected and responsible for what other people are saying about their brand would monitor the conversations and responses along with the several comments to relevant social media listening and engagement that simply take place on various social media platforms. Businesses, either small or big that simply want to understand and analyze how it performs on various social media platforms would simply go through its reach, engagement including the generated sale on social media along with the various analytics of social media. A business that has the main aim of reaching a particular segment of the target audience at a scale would simply execute highly targeted social media ads also known as social media advertising. To sum up the above points, these are also known as social media engagement.
For social media engagement, these factors must be considered:-
- Time:- Try to give more time on social media for building social networks with the public either daily, weekly or monthly.
- Resources:- To increase engagement on social media, one must need right resources for this work. Resources needed for social media engagement generally refers to:-
- People who will help them to handle various works on social media platforms and he/she must be an active user of various social media platforms.
- Various tools and services required for well organized and smooth work of social media engagement.
- Skills:- For any work to be perfect, it requires a set of skills. One can develop these skills via training that helps you to work efficiently. Same is for social media engagement. Apart from people and tools, one must also need relevant skills for doing this work.
How to increase social media engagement?
- Try to analyze your current engagement. By analyzing you must get an idea of how you can increase it or how you can improve it.
- Try to set goals and objectives to increase engagement of various social media platforms. Creating an interesting and unique content can help to get more engagement on the posts.
- Try to understand the components and composition of an engaging post, i.e, the type of customers you want to engage with.
- Try to execute ideas and plans of action that work well in increasing engagement for social media.
The Five Core Pillars of Social Media Marketing
Before an individual dives right in and wants to publish or upload something on social media, then they need to take a step back and then try to look at a bigger picture. Here are the five core pillars of social media marketing:-
- Strategy:- The first and foremost step to be followed by an individual is to think about their strategy for social media.
- What are their goals:-
- How can social media will help an individual to achieve their business goals and objectives?
- Most of the businesses use various social media platforms to enhance their awareness for the brand. Meanwhile, others use social media platforms to drive their website traffic and sales.
- Social media platforms can also help an individual to generate more and more engagement across their brand, create a community, and serve as a customer support channel for their customers.
- Which social media platforms does an individual want to focus on?
- The main social media platforms that are mentioned above in this article are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.
- There also serves to be some smaller and up-and-coming platforms like Tumblr, TikTok, and Anchor, and various platforms available for social messaging like Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, etc.
- To have a new start, it’s better to choose a few platforms that an individual thinks their target audience is on that particular platform that to be available on all the platforms.
- What type of content do you want to share?
- What type of content will attract an individual’s target audience best? Will it include, images, videos or links? Will it be educational or entertainment content?
- It serves to be the best place to start is to create a persona of marketing which will help an individual to answer the above mentioned questions. And this doesn’t need to be fixed always. According to how an individual’s social media posts perform.
- What are their goals:-
For example, Fortune magazine uses various social media platforms to grow their brand. Heather Muse, Franchises and Social Media Editor of Fortune Magazine says that “The main objective we’ve is to grow our brand. Social could be a place where we will own our brand and persuade you to buy. We pay lots of attention to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ to market our content and to interrupt news, basically to induce our stuff out there.”
- Planning and Publishing:- Social media marketing especially for smaller businesses mainly starts with having its consistent presence and identity on various social media platforms. Approximately three billion use social media. Being present on various social media platforms, an individual can give their brand an opportunity to discover and know their future customers personally. To publish something on social media is as simple as to share a blog post, a video or an image on various social media platforms. It is just like how an individual would share on their personal Facebook profile of theirs. But an individual will seem to plan their content ahead of time rather than creating and publishing content immediately. Also, to assure that an individual seems to maximize their reach on various social media platforms, they need to publish ideal content that their audience likes, at the right time and frequency. There are now a number of social media scheduling tools like Buffer Publish, that can help an individual to publish their content automatically at their preferred suitable time. This mainly saves their time and allows an individual to reach their audience when they are most likely and available to engage themselves with their content. Shannon Barker, Social Media Manager of Car Next Door says that – “If in our team if anyone even publishes a new blog post or some unique piece of content, then she will definitely add it to the queue in Buffer. If it serves to be an evergreen content which it almost be, then she will schedule it many of the times in the coming next 3 to 4 months of time and that too in different formats. It also gives a link that has been directly connected to the post along with the graphic that they have made in Canva along with using a number of different captions, etc. The remaining of the shots she will fill up mainly with reposts of photos or videos that their group members have shared along with the recent and new media coverage of Car Next Door and some of the curated as per the interest of their audiences.”
- Listening and engagement:- As an individual’s business and social media following and engagement grows and increases, conversations regarding their brand will also increase among the people. People will start commenting on their social media posts, tag others also in their social media posts and message them directly. Without letting an individual or others know, people can also even talk about their own personal brand on various social media platforms. So, an individual will only need to monitor their conversations on various social media platforms simply about their brand. If it serves to be a positive content for themselves, then an individual may also get a chance and opportunity to either delight them or surprise them. Otherwise, an individual can also provide various types of support and they can also correct that situation before getting it’s worse. An individual can also manually check and monitor their notifications around all the available social media platforms. But this doesn’t seem quite effective and efficient and an individual also won’t be available to see the posts that have not tagged their business profile on various social media platforms. An individual can rather than use a tool for social media engagement and and listening that assemblages all their social media mentioning and messages, including posts also that didn’t tag their business profile on social media.
1Password serves to be an organization that engages, connects and collaborates with their customers via social media platforms.
For example, Kate Sebald, Social Interaction Lead of 1Password, says that “Today, it’s more important than ever to fulfill their customers’ needs where they’re today and what they simply want. We live much of our lives on social media and expect the brands we use to be there too. Our customers are as global as our faraway friends and family and therefore the same tools that help us stay in reality with our loved ones, help 1Password stay engaged with those that interact with us. Engagement is quite just marketing. It’s lending an assist when things go awry, keeping the conversation going when problems are solved, and spreading the nice word about what we’re up to and where folks can come and say hi. The conversations we’ve got on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, and in our 1Password blog comments, allow us to really engage and show folks that 1Password isn’t just an app, but a gaggle of passionate (and sometimes goofy) humans working to form the online safer for everybody.”
- Analytics:- Along the way, where an individual seems to publish their content or engage themselves on various social media platforms, an individual just wants to know how their social media marketing performs.
- Are they reaching more people on social media than last month?
- How many positive mentions do they get in a month?
- How many people used their brand’s hashtag on their social media posts?
- The various social media platforms offer a fundamental level of information. To receive more in-depth analysis and information or to easily and rapidly compare over the various social media platforms, an individual can use the variety of social media analytics tools available with them like Buffer Analyze.
For example, Foster Coffee utilizes various social media analytics to assist their content decisions. Justin Ozanick, Marketing Associate of Foster Coffee Co. says that “
- Advertising:- When an individual has more funds to grow and develop their social media marketing, an area or spot that they can mainly consider is known as advertising of social media. Advertising of social media allows an individual to reach larger sections of the audience than those who mainly follow them. Platforms of social media advertising serve to be so immense nowadays that an individual can exactly specify their ads and to whom they want to display their ads. An individual can also create their specific set of target audiences especially depending on their demographics, interests, behaviors, and more. When an individual seems to run any social media advertising campaigns at once, then they can also consider to use various tools of social media advertising to make necessary changes such as changes, automate processes, and optimize the ads, etc.
One of the items that i actually like about Buffer is how I can build out as far as i would like into the foreseeable future, but really start to tailor campaigns if we see certain trends within the industry. we are able to get it before that and it’s very easy to customize the publishing schedule afterwards. We want to grasp our top performing posts for the year, we wish to grasp what content was in those posts, so we are able to build a far better model moving forward of content that generates more engagement. Because as we all know, the more engagement we will get online, the more that’s visiting translate to a possible sale, or somebody walking through our doors, or testing our website and perhaps making a buying deal that way”
For example, Buffer utilises various social media ads to promote their blog posts and reach the audience at a more wide level. Alfredo Qua, Content Crafter of Buffer says that “We use Facebook ads to push our blog posts. Facebook’s powerful targeting options mean that we’ve been able to show our ads to only those that we predict would have an interest in our content. and also the results are great. We’ve been getting a large amount of traffic monthly for as low as eight cents per click! We also use Facebook ads, Pinterest ads, and other social media ads to extend our brand awareness and engagement on the respective social media platforms. Many other companies also use social media ads to drive leads and sales.
Some common myths about social media marketing as a career:-
- Social media marketing is easy:- But it’s not like this. It requires various factors such as creativity, attention to the details, data analysis, proper research and patience.
- Social media marketing is objective instead of subjective:- Social media marketing needs to be data driven and that too be made on some of the objective results.
- Social media marketing serves to be treated as an experiment:-No it’s not like this. Rather than it requires a long term focus and strategic plan of actions.
- Social media marketing doesn’t require institutional knowledge:- No it’s not like this. Each and every discipline contains some basic rules and guidelines that need to be learned.
Steps to build a successful career in social media marketing:-
- Be a voracious learner:– Social media marketing as an industry is rapidly growing very fast and very competitive also. Each and everyday people need to learn a new trick and unfold a new chapter for themselves. To succeed in their life, a social media marketer needs passion and desire for themselves.
- Education yourself:– The formal qualifications are some things, which can build the sub-structure on which the superstructure of a successful social media marketing career are often formed. There are several short courses offered by universities and other institutes. you’ll educate yourself through online classes. Attending conferences, seminars, lectures dedicated to social media marketing may be a good learning experience.
- Always stay updated:– Be a daily visitor of major digital marketing sites and social media influencers. Remember, major players like Google, Facebook and Twitter regularly tweak their paid advertising platforms and algorithms. So you’ve got to be a radical vigilante.
- Learn the industry jargons:– A social media marketer may also know digital terminology like SEO, PPC, SEM to assist different digital media campaigns and understand what strategy will work and what will not.
- Be a nerd:– A career in social media marketing usually seems to be quite glamorous, but the reality is, it should be more data-driven and technical. Basic knowledge of HTML and graphic design would facilitate your stand out.
- Build Your Brand:– If you would like to achieve success in social media marketing, your online presence should be robust. If you’re visiting to show your client that you simply are the correct person to make their company’s social media visibility, then you would like to point out that you simply have already built your brand.