What Is Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing- the most used promoting platforms these days.
You might have often heard people saying that they are social media marketers!!
The question is “What is this social media marketing?”
This article will give answers to all your questions.
But, before talking about social media marketing let’s first discuss “What social media is ?”
Well, Social Media refers to those websites and applications that allow people to share their views and content quickly, and in real-time.
Nowadays people assume social media to be those apps they use but, that’s not true, these communication tools started with computers.
The ability to share our thoughts, opinions, events and all other stuff have given us a new and much smarter way to live and of course to promote our business.
Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a platform that uses social media websites as a marketing tool.
It connects the company directly to the users for getting feedback and queries via different social media sites.
What Is Social Media Marketing Used For
Now, you might be wondering that why should we use social media marketing for the promotions as we already have so many means of marketing available then why social media marketing only?
So, let’s discuss some benefits of Social Media Marketing that you might not get by any other means of marketing.
- Social Media shows your post only to the targeted media. This means that you deal with the audience who are genuinely interested in your company and your products.
- Though creativity is the most important factor for your site’s ranking but, sharing your creativity on social media might help you increase your site’s SEO ranking.
- Using your social media to publicize your company will help you go an extra mile all you have to do is tag a quoted expert along with your post so if they get the notification they might reshare it on their page and that would help you increase your traffic.
- An active social media presence can help you create a bonding with your customers and helps you gain their trust.
- Such platforms provide you with a highly targeted audience and also you to customize your page according to your customer’s need.
- You can use these platforms to promote your events and functions and make them successful.
- Nowadays the customers want their queries to be solved immediately, and social media allows you to do that, so you can solve your user’s problems instantly.
- According to Texas Tech University, ” the brands with active media profiles have more loyal customers”.
- As we all know, “The Traditional Press Release Distribution is very overrated” and on the other hand, social media gives you the privilege to get in touch with your users personally.
The points mentioned above are the reason for Social Media marketing being so popular and demanded these days.
But But But, Social Media Marketing is not that easy, you need strategies, skills, and knowledge to become a successful marketer.
So, I have mentioned some very essential aspects of Social Media Marketing that every learner should know before starting with their journey of exploring Social Media.
Social Media Marketing Needs A Plan
Before starting any of your social media campaigns you need to plan many things regarding your business and it’s growth.
Social Media Marketing without Social Media Strategy is like a pointless endeavour, you’ll have fun in the starting but it won’t be of any use in the long run.
Below is a list of questions you should consider before starting your social media marketing plan:
1. What do you achieve from social media
You should have a clear idea about your preferences which totally depends on what kind of a business you are in.
In the words of famous Canadian Writer Arjun Basu, “ Without strategy content is just stuff, and the world has Enough Stuff.”
Defining how your social media reach will provide help to your customers is the first thing to be considered.
2. Who maintains your social media accounts
The person who handles your account on social media platforms must be creative and skilled enough to implement effective social media campaigns so as to increase traffic on your account.
Especially, a qualified employee in the marketing department can be the best choice for the post.
3. Who is your Target Audience
Before starting any campaigns you must know about your audience so that you attract your users easily.
For Example, if you have a travel agency you can promote it on Instagram as it might get you more traffic whereas, a business company might find it’s purchase on Twitter or LinkedIn.
4. How often should you post your content
Well, talking about this I might say that you should post different creative contents on your page for at least five times a day.
Your users come online at different time periods and so it is suggested for you to keep updating your account at certain intervals of time to attract them.
You can even use social media schedulers to get this task done smoothly.
5. Be picky about what you share
When it comes to selecting the content you need to take proper care of the content you are choosing as your target audience might not entertain all types of content.
Relevant, entertaining, and knowledgeable content is liked by most of the users these days, so make sure, the content you create should be entertaining and sensible at the same time.
So, these were certain points you should consider before initiating any social media marketing campaign.
How To Use Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing mainly works on the principle of improving a company’s reputation on social networks which is also called Social Media Optimization.
SMO works exactly similar to SEO and attracts new people to the selected website.
Many people use social media to search for things, and also share many different links thereby building a strong connection of links because of which search engines also care for social networks.
To discuss further, Social Media Marketing can be done in two different ways:
- Active SMM promotion
- Passive SMM promotion
Active Social Media Marketing (SMM) Promotion
Active Promotion refers to adding links to the content posted on the website towards social networks.
Social media sites like facebook, twitter, Pinterest, youtube, and many others allow the active promotion and each social media platform has its own terms and conditions.
Passive Social Media Marketing (SMM) Promotion
Unlike active promotion, passive promotion refers to promoting your activities on social media platforms by uploading status, and blogs.
The best part of the passive promotion is that the users can ask their queries in real-time as soon as they see the story of the company, which increases the company’s chance of gaining users.
Social Media Marketing Tips
Now, you know enough about Social Media Marketing!!
So, are you ready to promote your company via Social Media Sites?? Yes? Alright then let’s discuss some useful tips that could help you run a successful social media campaign.
Here are a few points that will help you start your campaign with a bang:
1. Social Media Management Tool
Social Media Management Tools are the software designed for you to monitor and manage all your social media accounts individually.
It makes it easier for you to keep up with your social media engagements, schedule and share your posts on time and allows smooth user interaction.
Social Media Management Tools collect all the messages from your different profiles at the same spot which saves your time and effort of shuffling different profiles constantly.
Every customer is unique so, avoid plagiarized responses and start personalizing your experience by keeping notes of your interactions with the user.
These tools will help you reduce confusion by letting you and your team view all the responded messages and it also allows you to view the messages that are being answered at the time you are online so as to keep a clear track of responses.
A smart social media management platform provides additional layers and permissions so that only trusted employees can get in touch with you and if you receive any inappropriate message then you can check the profile of the sender as well.
Most of the people mention your brand’s name in messages and posts assuming that you might not even see the message thus, you need social media management tools so as to keep a track of such messages and respond to them as required.
Social media management tools help you track your competitor’s handles and key product phrases to gain intelligence on new marketing tactics and products.
These social media management tools help you think about your content posting strategy and set your timing likewise.
It helps you analyze your performance, in order to plan your future you need to look into your past performance to know what worked and what did not, social media tools make it easy for you by keeping a track of past posts.
Not only the social media managers but the stakeholders, managing director and the client of your agency also look into your social media analytics.
Social Media Management Tools often have their mobile applications which give them a privilege to manage their presence even if they are not in front of their systems.
Now, you might have realized the importance of social media management tools for having a successful social media campaign.
2. A/B Testing
A/B Testing or split testing is a method by which we compare two versions of the same post or webpage to see which one is the best.
This method is known to most of the social media marketing professionals who use it but almost all the small businesses that are on social media are not even aware of it.
In simple words, A/B testing involves posting the same post with different and unique taglines so that the company could which post gets a better response.
Usually, marketers use this method to check the responses on landing pages and sales pages but, we can also use it for our social media posts as well.
All we need to do is scheduling the same link multiple times with different captions for each post. People react differently on the same post depending upon the headlines.
This feature is important as it allows to analyze the reason behind your audience not responding to your posts, maybe the post is of low quality or it the content of your post did not grab your audience’s attention.
So, now schedule the same post for the whole of the week with different taglines and see which post gets more engagement.
3. Social Media Analysis
You can’t go along with the social media marketing tips without analyzing your return of investment, you need to measure your efforts and then analyze your results accordingly.
According to Sprout Social, “over 40% of the businesses do not track their social media ROI at all” therefore, such people have no idea if they are getting something in return of so much hard work or not.
If you don’t want to be in the same category then start tracking your return on investment now.
But, Is there some application or software for doing this??
Yes, there are a number of Social Media Analytics Tools that help you track your ROI easily. Some of those tools are mentioned below:
- Google Analytics
Though Google analytics is not an official “social media analytics tools” still it helps you track your social media marketing plans and also measures your social ROI.
It is a service that provides statistics as well as basic SEO tools for marketing purposes.
It has data visualizing tools like a dashboard, and motion cards to display the changes in data over time.
The features of Google Analytics also include custom reports, email-based sharing, and communication and unification with other Google products.
This tool helps you to scale your public relations on social media platforms, connect you with relevant users and determine your brand’s worth in your specific industry.
Meltwater gives you standardized insights on different views from the market and allows you to look into your competitor’s social media efforts so that you keep yourself updated.
It also provides email alert service and reporting system as well.
Brandwatch provides you with in-depth insights into the preferences of your customers so that it becomes easy for you to sell your product to your target audience.
They set you up with the right data to make smart marketing decisions. By using this social media analytics tool you can search on the internet about specific conversations for your brand.
After searching you can divide them into categories and analyze them to get the vital critical information.
Hootsuite the most famous social media analytics tool, it is not only a social media analytics tool but it is also a social media scheduler.
It also helps you to see which content does worst or better and make smart choices.
This software works for all social media platforms therefore, analytics of all your social media pages are collected on one single page.
- Sprout Social
This social media tool allows you to create a social media calendar, schedule posts, and respond to appropriate social media conversations.
Not only this but sprout social also provides an agency partnership program, where they provide educational materials, social media marketing strategies, and exposure to all the brands using the tool.
4. Use Keywords
There are many social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, etc. that have features which work like that of search engines.
Therefore, adding keywords in your posts and profiles may help the users view your company’s profile easily.
The content on the different apps and sites needs to be categorized precisely due to which social media optimization is being advanced day by day.
So, it’s recommended for you to use more hashtags and keywords in your every post so that people can view your profile when they search for things related to your industry.
5. Join Different Communities
No matter if it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media site all of the platforms have a feature for it’s users to get in touch and this is one of the best ways to promote your company among the like-minded people who could understand you and your thoughts.
Joining in these communities will give you and your company exposure, you might share your thoughts with influencers and after some time those influencers might share your content with their friends or even on their website.
It would be better if you join communities related to your industry so as to attract like-minded people, and starting with facebook groups and twitter chats might be better as these as the most active platforms of today’s time.
6. Build A Community Of Your Own
It is also possible that your industry is not so common and famous among people and there is no chat group for your industry!!!! Then this is the perfect time for you to introduce your industry to the world.
You yourself can make a community and might ask all your interested friends to join that community, assuming that there are a decent number of interested people.
Many times this happens that a community or a group is much needed but people refuse to take the responsibility, so now you can take this responsibility and become the trendsetter.
7. Give People A Reason To Follow You
Have you ever thought about your company on a consumer’s perspective, like Why should people follow your profile, What is so special in your profile??
People have lots of profiles to follow so you must try to have something different on your profile that could compel the users to follow you. Gaining followers is not an easy task you have to stand out in every way possible to gain traffic.
Try to maintain your profile, share all your knowledge and valuable content via your posts on specific social media sites, and also share behind the scenes on your profile that will help you create a bonding with your users and gain more traffic.
8. Build Strategic Alliances
As we all know the toughest task is to gain those initial followers on our profile, and definitely nobody will wish to do business with a company having merely 50-60 followers.
So the question is, how to gain followers in the first place with no identity and no value of the company ??
Well, there are two ways by which you can gain enough followers in less span of time.
The first way is by partnering up with a company who already has an online value i.e. a company who already has more than enough followers.
This strategy is based on the “Know, Like, Trust” principle according to which you ask a company who has loyal followers to give you a shout out and tell their followers that they recommend you and trust you.
This makes your brand recognizable and trustworthy in the eyes of their followers. The easiest and best way to achieve this is by a paid shout out.
Nevertheless, you must do proper research before you use any of these services so as to prevent yourself from buying fake followers.
Then, the second way is by building a relationship with well-known influencers and let the opportunity come to your way naturally without paying anything.
You can send e-mails to such well-recognized company mentioning your interest in their products and telling them how much you like their posts and content.
When you get the opportunity of getting featured on their page then you might create some posts or introduce a giveaway event to attract more and more people.
These were the two ways you can use to gain followers easily and make your brand famous.
9. Don’t Be Afraid To Sell
All the social media marketing lists ask you to be careful about being too much promotional. Promoting your brand in all your posts might irritate the readers and it will be considered as a spammy post.
But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t promote your brand, being a bit conservative while promoting your company in your tweets or posts is all you have to do.
Occasionally posting about your company is acceptable just for an example if you post 8 posts a day then 5-6 of them should be non-promotional.
This way you will be able to create a healthy balance of promoting your brand and not losing your followers as well.
10. Be Interactive
The last tip for successful social media marketing is by being interactive with your audience. This tip can be the game-changer because no user wishes to follow a company that keeps sharing links all day.
The bonding between the brand and the user is built only by interaction after all the main purpose of social media is to engage with others so you should try to reply to all the messages on a daily basis.
Mention people in your posts, reply to other people’s posts even if they do not mention you, retweet, and make all the efforts to make people notice your existence in the social world.
If you follow these tips then eventually you will start getting traffic at your profile and your brand will become successful in no time.
Choosing The Best Social Media Platform For Marketing
Along with the amazing social media marketing strategies and tips you also need to know which platforms are appropriate for you to do social media marketing. So, here is a brief overview of some famous social media platforms.
Facebook is a casual, friendly software so you need to have a strong social media marketing strategy.
You need to create a Facebook business or fan page, and since it is a platform where people come to relax so you need to keep your content light and readable.
The most important component to gain users on Facebook is the visual experience, therefore, you need to make sure that the layout you prepare is attractive.
You can even consider the Facebook ad Strategy to create an impact on a bigger number of audience as naturally, you can reach out to limited people only.
Pinterest is one of the most excelling social media marketing trends which is an image-centred platform and is ideal for the retail of different high-quality pictures.
Anyone aiming for social media marketing can get benefitted on Pinterest, it allows brands to showcase their products offerings along with eye-catching pinboards to attract people.
Twitter is a social media marketing tool in itself, it helps you share your thoughts all across the world via the web.
You might follow the people from your industry to get a good number of followers in return. Don’t forget to give replies to the followers who appreciate you and your brand, and also try to be interactive with the customers who have queries regarding your product.
If you wish to build a strong and loyal following using Twitter as a social media marketing tools, then, you have to be as much interactive as possible.
This platform has incredible potential in social media marketing and it is an ideal place for sharing captivating content.
The marketers are warned to share only unique and exceptional content with no spammy or sales promoting in it or it could backfire in no time and your business can be reprimanded as well.
But, if you have an exceptionally exceptional content that you think will be liked by Reddit users then you must share it as it may help you earn tremendous traffic.
Youtube again is a social media marketing tool. It is also a social media platform which is ideally perfect for sharing video content.
Many companies try to make videos so they could “go viral” on youtube. But, making a video go viral is not that easy.
So, you must focus on making knowledgeable and useful videos. This could attract relevant users and will also help you rank on google search.
Social Media Statistics
You have been using social media since a very long time, or you might have joined it now. But, it is very necessary for everyone to look into the hard data i.e. the social media statistics.
In this section, we will be talking about the statistics of the most important proportion of social media.
1. General Social Media Statistics
Social media is getting on-demand day by day, people nowadays spend most of their time on social media. It’s use is growing rapidly.
The use of social media has increased 9% from last year i.e. 45% of the total population use social media now.
5.11 Billion people own mobile phone from which 3.26 Billion use it only for accessing social media. It’s a 10% rise.
90% of the brands do their promotions via social media. Only 34% are able to measure their social return on investment.
53% of brands use social media advertising for their promotions. It is expected that social advertising cost in 2019 will be nearly $93 Billion.
Social media advertising spending has increased by 32% in 2018 and is predicted to further increase by 73% in the coming 5 years.
Social Media Trends
Social Media is evolving just like most of the digital marketing channels. Along with the new technologies being introduced day by day people and their behaviour is also changing.
Humans are becoming advanced with technologies and properties of social media platforms.
In the words of Trish Carey, the Marketing Director of SellerEngine Software,
“While we’ll see a lot of changes in 2019, to me it really still comes back to understanding your audience, crafting different, targeted and appropriate messages for those audiences, and creating engaging content.”
This one statement clearly points out that Social Media Trend is going to be one of the most important aspects of Social Media Marketing in the coming time.
So, here is a list of trends that must be considered by all the marketers and brands in 2019 to become successful.
1. Love and Care About Audience
You need to show your commitment and dedication to your audience.
Love and Loyalty are a two-sided thing. If you don’t love your customers then how can you expect them to love or stay loyal to you??
You will be required to stay interactive with your users and replying to their messages should be your first priority.
Kevan Lee, VP of marketing at Buffer said,
“In 2019, social media will shift even more toward 1:1 interaction, rather than 1: many broadcasting that many brands and businesses have been doing, One of the absolute best things that brands can do on social media is to be responsive to their customers and engaged with their audience.”
2. Work with Influencers and Micro-Influencers
Influencer Marketing will be an authoritative trend in this year. Influencers can help your brand reach to more and more people.
Therefore, companies will be investing a lot in Influencer Marketing in 2019.
The Director, and Founder of Purple Imps, Barrie Moran says,
“When it comes to social media, everyone is someone, Engaging with those ‘influencers,’ remains key, knowing who to speak to when, how to speak to them, and knowing when to shut up and listen, are all core skills for social media marketers.”
3. Focus on Videos (Vlogs)
Video is finally back in trend.
People nowadays prefer to watch rather read, therefore, videos might gain you more traffic this year.
Live Videos, Interactive Videos, High-Quality Videos, and Videos related to queries of your customers will be in great demand.
Akvile DeFazio, President of AKvertise, gives advice regarding video strategy, He says:
“Set goal for your video, storyboard your team, repurpose your content where and when you can, and put your best foot forward in the first 10 seconds because no matter how interesting, useful, entertaining, or informative your video is, viewers, will begin to drop off after the 10-15 mark.”
4. More Strategic Employee
Are you indulging your employees in your content creation??
Then I suggest you must indulge them as employee-created content receives much more shares than the content created by the company itself.
According to Ted Rubin, a social media marketing strategist, says that,
“Your employees are the best way to humanize and personalize your brand… and truly the best way to scale relevant contextual content creation,” he said. “It’s well known that companies with engaged employees outperform their peers; involving employees in content creation can help to create a sense of common purpose.”
5. Don’t Forget Your Mobile Fans
Most of your users use a mobile phone to watch your posts and stories thus, you must create mobile-friendly posts.
Posts that can be easily viewed from your mobile phones will get you a number of users.
Though it is very difficult to create beautifully, and easily interactive social media experience but all the social media strategists advice you to do so.
Ashley Ward, CEO and Director of Marketing at Madhouse Matters said,
“Everything that you share on your social media profiles needs to accommodate a mobile user, this means that if you want them to click on a link in order to engage with your post, that link needs to go to a page that is designed specifically for the mobile user.”
Social Media Marketing Courses
There are many social media marketing courses available online. But, how do you know which course is good for you??
You can’t any trust social media company just like that, you need to do proper research before learning social media marketing.
So, here is a list of questions you should have in mind while selecting any social media company to learn your courses,
1. The Learning Method
Different companies have distinct ways of training. You need to to see which way suits you the best.
There are two ways of learning social media marketing the first being the online courses and the other one is face-to-face training.
Online courses have advantages of flexible study hours but there are certain courses that have submission dates.
Whereas face-to-face training will require you to go and attend real classes and you won’t get any flexible hours.
In offline training, you get a chance to ask your queries individually, which might not be possible on all online courses.
Online training might cover the course much earlier and allows you to view the courses again and again unless you understand it completely but, you won’t get this scope in offline training.
There are courses for 3 days of immense training as well.
There are many options available, it is you who has to select the most appropriate one for yourself.
2. What Qualification Will You Earn
The main purpose of doing all of these courses and spending so much of money is to gain a good degree of qualification.
After all, having a recognized degree indicates to have high skill and knowledge from a standard agency.
Mentioning these degrees in your CV might even increase the value of your CV as well as your social media profiles will get more traffic due to them.
You need to be sure about the standard and quality of course they deliver. Some trainers might check your progress via assessments, some might give you assignments, whereas, some might give you MCQs to solve.
It’s solely your decision about, which course, is more suitable for you.
3. Is The Course Accredited
A course is said to be Accredited when it works under an international institution having it’s headquarters in some foreign country.
The local trainer who has the tie-up with the foreign agency is always supposed to report the learner’s progress and accuracy in assessment to the main branch of the institution.
Accredited courses have more importance in the market than the local courses, therefore, it is suggested that the users must go for Accredited courses.
4. What Is The Level Of The Training
There are mainly three types of levels in the training of Accredited courses Award, Certificate, and Diploma.
The Certificate course is better than the Award, and the Diploma is better than the Certificate.
For Example, A level 3 Diploma Course will be deeper and knowledgeable than the Certificate course at the same level.
Level 3 refers to an ‘A’ level, level 4 can be considered as the first year, whereas, level 6 is generally equal to the 3rd year degree.
5. What Is The Quality Of Your Training
Before selecting any course you must check the quality of content they provide. You must look into your course’s information deeply before investing any money.
You must know the interval of time in which your course is usually updated, and after how much time do they update your study materials.
It is necessary for you to consider other people’s opinions as well since their opinions might help you get more information about your institutions.
Lastly, you must also check if the writers of your course are well-qualified trainers who know about different styles and are skilled enough to present their feedback in a constructive way to you.
Alright, so these were the most important questions you should ask yourself before taking any social media course.
Okay, so this was all about Social Media Marketing.
Now, there is nothing holding your hand, you have all the required information.
So, it’s time to start promoting your brand on social media, and experience all the success of this field in no time.