You must have heard of social media marketing somewhere along your online journey, which is why you’re here on my post, to find out more!
Social media marketing includes many social platforms. The likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube, these are all platforms.
These platforms market to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic.
A simple social media marketing strategy will involve publishing great content on your social media profiles, listening to and engaging with your followers, analyzing your results, and running social media advertisements to boost your presence.
Worried you can’t do it all yourself? No worries. Nowadays there are many social media management tools that help businesses to get the most out of the social media platforms available. There maybe a fee to join these services and some may offer a free plan for you to trial. Management tools such as Buffer, Hoot suite, Tailwind, Later etc. are all part of these tools.
Social Media Marketing (The big picture) explained
Social media in the early days was a very simple too. People would just pop on to publish a post in hope that people would engage. It was a great way to generate traffic and hopefully get a few sales. However social media has by far become a lot more advanced and allows it to be used in different ways.
Let’s look at some examples:
Social media listen and engage
If a business is worried about what people are saying about it’s brand, they would monitor social media conversations and respond to relevant mentions.
The likes of Twitter is widely used by customers to voice their opinion on a brand and is a platform where brands and businesses can respond back easily. A direct response from a brand can increase the trust in customers and build a 1-2-1 relationship.
Social media analytics
If a business wants to understand how it’s performing on social media, then it would analyse it’s reach, engagement, and sales on social media with an analytics tool. There are certain tools available that can help define this information and narrow down your target audience so you can target specific campaigns in your niche.
Social media advertising
If a business wants to reach a specific set of audience at scale, it would run highly-targeted social media ads. Ads on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are highly popular and widely used to generate revenue when showcasing a new product or idea.
A social media manager (if hired) is someone who will manage all the above for your business.
Social Media Marketing (The big picture) continued…
Beginning your social media marketing journey involves a few steps. If these are laid out clearly in the beginning, you can then go ahead and implement these into your business marketing plan.
Social media marketing involves 5 core principles:
- Strategy – knowing what you want to achieve from your social media for your brand/business.
- Plan and Publish – set the fundamentals in place for your brand by posting relevant content and posts.
- Listen and Engage – listen to your audience and take feedback for improvement, engage with your audience to build trust for repeat business.
- Analytics and reporting – understand who is engaging with your brand and how you can improve this.
- Advertise – Expanding your reach so you can reach a bigger targeted audience which will convert into more sales.
Let’s dig further
Before you can even dive into social media, you need to have a strategy. Otherwise, nothing will work as seemly.
There are a few things you can consider before beginning your social media journey.
- What are your business goals? You would firstly think how social media can help you achieve your goals. Do you want to increase brand awareness, or increase your reach, or become popular, such as an influencer. It all depends what the main goal or goals are.
Social media can help you generate engagement around your business, create a community, and serve as a customer support channel for your customers.
- Which social media platforms should you want to focus on? There are so many platforms that can help boost your business. You would need to form a strategy to choose your main focus ones. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat are amongst the popular ones. Other engaging platforms include the likes of TikTok, Quora, Wikipedia, Reddit which also can help customer engagement.
- Choose the type of content you want to share? Is your brand image based, videos, or links? Is it educational or entertaining content? Some prefer a visual approach, whereas some prefer a written approach. It all depends in what your comfortable in sharing with your audience.
2. Planning and Publishing
After you have created a strategy, the next step would be to plan and publish you brand on your social media platform. Social media has over 3 billion users. It’s a big potential reach for your brand. By being present on social media platforms, your giving your brand an opportunity to be discovered by your future customers.
Publishing to social media is simple. Once you have your image, video, blog post etc, ready you can hit publish.
Worried how to gain the audience? Check here on how to grow your social media platforms.
THE KEY here is to be consistent. If you plan to gain brand awareness, it won’t happen over night. you will need to plan your content ahead of time instead of creating and publishing content spontaneously. Also, to ensure that you are maximizing your reach on social media, you need to publish great content that your audience likes, at the right timing and frequency. You can use tools to help schedule your posts, this can save you time. Tools such as Buffer, Hoot suite, Tailwind, are all scheduling tools which automate the process for you.
3. Listen and Engage
As your business and social media following grow, conversations about your brand will also grow along with it. People will begin commenting on your posts and voicing their opinions. They will share your brand with their followers and message you directly if required. This is where listening and engaging with your audience comes in.
You can and should monitor your brands comments. These will help you improve your brand and take note of the positives which your audience is loving. When you are mentioned your brand name will usually be tagged in the post. Too many tagged posts? No problem. You can use certain tools which will gather all that info for you. You can also manually check all your notifications across all the social media platforms, most mentions are made on Twitter or Facebook, however a tool is more efficient once your business booms.
Along the way, whether you are publishing content or engaging on social media, you will eventually want to know how your social media marketing for your business is performing. Are people engaging positively, are your sales increasing, is your brand getting the mentions it needs. These can all be monitored in analytical tools such as Google analytics.
The social media platforms themselves provide a basic level of such information. To get more in-depth analytics information or to easily compare across social media platforms, you can use the wide range of social media analytics tools available,
When you have more funds to grow your social media marketing, an area that you may want to consider is social media advertising. With social media ads you can reach a bigger targeted audience by paying a monthly/yearly fee.
Social media advertising platforms are super powerful nowadays. You can specify exactly who to display your ads to. You can also create target audiences based on their demographics, interests, behaviours, and more.
Platforms such a Facebook and Instagram allow social media ads to run on your behalf. You can also use an ad platform to do the job for you.
Social media marketing (The Big picture)-Summary
Overall the best thing to have in place is a plan! Consistency is key and ensuring you never give up is another main aspect of running a successful business/brand.
“Success isn’t grown on trees, It’s nurtured” – WrittenbySadia
Having trouble choosing what platforms you want to use for your business? Check out my top 5 favourites which can boost your business immediately.
Related: How social media has changed in 2020