Social Media Marketing
The successful companies are the ones that customers recognize by name, and thus, brands must connect with their customers emotionally and be flexible with the cultural shift in every generation. If brands can communicate with their customers in a way that builds a long term relationship, they will continue to succeed. Social Media Marketing is an excellent way for companies to reach their customers and connect with them emotionally through entertaining, educational messages that their customers truly care about. Mastering social media marketing can bring enormous opportunities for companies to grow significantly. Traditional marketing approaches will be obsolete as soon as the generation that was used to those kinds of marketing, such as newspapers and tv advertisements, is getting old. The new generation would expect brands to be modern and easy to communicate. Therefore, Understanding social media marketing is critical for the success of any business. Without the proper knowledge, you can not leverage the power of social media; therefore, having adequate education on each type of social media platform is crucial. This article gives you a structured idea about how you should approach social media marketing and how you can get the most out of it without sabotaging your brand.
Social Media Strategy
Every company large or small has a social media presence, but you remember only a few of them because only a few of them are doing something innovative and exciting. The reason is that the company that failed to keep your attention lacked proper strategy. Maintaining a personalized plan to follow the direction of social media is crucial to your brand success. It is quite simple and almost takes no effort to have a common approach, and that is to post aimlessly, and that is nothing but a waste of time. Therefore, we can not stress enough the importance of a specific plan customized according to your business goal.
To make the strategy successful, you have to understand your organization's plans to achieve specific business goals. You will establish your social media goals based on your customer's presence, meaning you will choose to spend time and effort on such platforms where your prospective and existing customers are more likely to be present. Therefore, at the very first you will have to ask some questions.
- Where do your potential customers hang out?
- Which social network platform has the right demographics?
- How much time can you spend on a social network?
- What skills would you need?
- What do you want to achieve through social media presence?
After researching and getting the answers, you would be able to make a perfect social media strategy plan. It is of utmost importance to have an actionable and precise plan . A vague plan often left unrealized. A social media strategy document will help you clarify your company's priorities, plan out your campaigns more thoughtfully, and collaborate with others. Therefore, start developing your own social media strategy document that's actionable and results-driven by setting strategic goals to direct your campaigns.
Set Your Goal
It is essential to have a strategic goal to make your social media strategy work. The purposes have to be meaningful for your business, straightforward, and easy to understand. Some standard social media strategic goals are generating leads, improving engagement, increasing traffic, growing sales, and enhancing a brand's perceived value. , expanding reach, and While there are plenty of strategic goals to choose from, there are two essential goal types you need to remember. One is the ongoing goals, and the other is campaign goals. An ongoing goal would be like if a brand were to set the goal of increasing their messaging's reach on social media by 60% by the end of their first quarter. That'd be considered an ongoing goal as that goal does not have an immediate result. Rather, they are focused on the long term, and it is likely a result of all the activities on social media platforms.
On the other hand, a campaign goal is related to measuring the success of a particular initiative, For instance, if the same brand sets a campaign-specific goal for the short term, like gaining 10,000 signups from their month-long Instagram giveaway. It would help if you outlined a few goals in your strategy to maintain a balance. Now your organization can be a great example of a brand that knows how to use social media in an impactful way by creating a custom strategy.
Furthermore, it would be best if you do not try to reach everyone on social media because, by doing so, there are high chances that you would end up reaching no one. Instead, identify who is more likely to be your customers by creating a custom customer.
Targeting the right audience on social media is the most crucial task. By doing so, you can understand their challenges, interests, and demographics and tailor the message you want to convey. This distinct data about your customers can come from various places, including CRM, analytics data from your website, social media platforms, etc. Start putting together your personas by organizing your customers into different groups then assign demographics and behaviors that accurately define them.
The most accurate approach to social media would be investing in a smart mix of channels instead of trying to engage with every platform without a cohesive strategy. When choosing the right channels, you should consider Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn because of their high number of active users. Choosing a social network with a broad audience is crucial because it is more likely that a significant portion of your customer base is active on at least a few of these channels. As a part of your social media strategy, you want to make informed decisions about which channels make the most sense for your organization to use to reach your customers.
Your choices are so important here that having an impact on a social network and driving business value from your presence requires a serious investment of time and resources. It is recommended to research a channel's audience to determine if your customers are active there. Most of the social networks provide data on their own audience's demographics in terms of size, composition, and activity level on the platform, which you should check out. This research will help get valuable insights such as how Snapchat and TikTok, for example, have younger audiences under 25. And Facebook and YouTube are the most widely used by adults in the U.S. Finally, understanding what nuances make each social network distinct will help your company choose the right destination for communicating with your customers.
Let's have a brief look at some social media platforms and how each of them are different from each other. This information will help you decide which platform would be right for your unique business goal.
If you are starting to consider social media marketing for the first time, Facebook would be a good starting point. It is the most popular and largest social network, with approximately 2.4 billion monthly active users, and it has a wide variety of features to leverage. A business can create a Business page and share text, video, images, live video, and stories, as well as use its range of advertising options to target any demographic on the platform effectively.
Instagram is a Facebook-owned company, and arguably the most commonly used social media app currently available. People are obsessed with this app due to its unique filters that allow users to upload pretty images. It has approximately one Billion active monthly users, and 35% of them visit the app at least twice a day, and 60% of them visit at least once a day. Besides, 70% of its users look for new products on this platform. Therefore, it is a great place for brands to create awareness, showcase their products, and influence their audience to buy. Instagram Live is also viral now, brands can showcase their products on the live, and it has proved to be very successful. It is an online mall where people can be found doing window shopping now and then.
Who does not know Twitter, it is known as a social messaging service where users are limited to 280 characters of text to post amongst its audience. All the celebrities and famous people are posting and creating controversies. It is a platform for people to debate. Twitter is the news source for the world's current events. Thus, a brand can utilize this platform by joining in trending conversations and communicating with customers individually.
Microsoft owns Linkedin. It is a professional network for users looking to connect with industry people, showcase their expertise, and improve their professional skills. LinkedIn is mainly focused on businesses looking to target other companies for recruiting qualified talent and highlighting a company's work culture. Companies can open a Business page and also engage in paid marketing. Brands can generate leads, build brand awareness, and drive website traffic. It is a network of 675 Million professionals. Linkedin says it is the number one platform for lead generation, which can be true as most people on this platform are making business decisions. Hence, LinkedIn is a great platform to showcase your work, skill, and product to drive traffic and create interest.
YouTube is the Google-owned platform for watching videos online from consumers, businesses, and influencers, covering every subject from makeup to technologies. It has more than one billion active users. YouTube has always been a source of entertaining video content, but it's also an essential tool for marketers. Businesses can create a YouTube channel to share their products. They can also promote their offerings with ads before, during, or after a video is played on the platform. People spend one-third of the total time watching videos when they are online. The platform is vast and can be accessed in approximately 76 different languages, covering 95% of the world's population. YouTube can help brands improve their SEO and overall brand presence.
Tik Tok is a place where its users share and consume short videos of a few seconds that are typically pre-planned to tell a story or related to a big challenge that's trending. Businesses Should consider Tik Tok as an essential niche social network where a specific type of customer is present as Tiktok primarily caters to a particular demographic as opposed to the mainstream channels that pretty much reach everybody. For example, Tik Tok is very popular among teenagers, although older people are also showing interest slowly., hence it is a great platform to make things viral.
Pinterest is considered as one of the largest niche social network platforms. With Pinterest, you can tell a visual story about your brand. People use Pinterest as their idea book, so they look for inspiration on Pinterest. Therefore, if you can make your presence on Pinterest attractive, people will connect easily. Through pictures and videos, you're able to show your products, inform your audience about the things you value, what and who you support, and the types of products and services you sell. Pinterest users are more likely to buy products as they often look for things they want to buy.
Quora is a question-and-answer-focused social network where anyone can share a question publicly, and then experts on the topic chime in to answer from their perspective. So what happens is that people ask for recommendations on specific products and services. Therefore, if you engage in the conversations on the platform, you can attract traffic and better understand the marketing by educating yourself on the answers posted by users. It is a great platform to reach a considerable amount of people by adding value. While engaging in Quora, keep in mind that you do not talk about your product directly rather than add value and find a way to showcase your product and services organically.
People often use Reddit as a sort of internet forum, the core functionality of Reddit is that users submit content, and then others upvote or downvote that content. The most popular threads rise to the top. Where Twitter users follow individual accounts to tailor what kind of content appears in their feed, Redditors subscribe to the communities of their choice. Because of the voting system, opening the Reddit homepage is like getting a snapshot of the internet's most popular content. If you have an account, your front page is tailored to the communities and topics you like. From there, users upvote, downvote, carry on discussions, argue, and answer each other's questions. On Reddit, it is very crucial to contribute more than taking benefit. If you can make your way to Reddit in the right direction, you can create a large number of fans for your brand.
Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Snapchat
As people are moving from public to private due to privacy issues, it happens that some people might not be on the social media platform, but they often use chat apps to connect their families and friends. It would be an excellent and smart idea to keep. Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, and WhatsApp are widely used chat-based social media apps where consumers communicate in short messages, one-to-one, or small group chats similar to SMS texting on mobile devices. Unlike texting, these platforms are free to use, available internationally, provide a range of features, sometimes have more robust security, and offer a private space for family and friends to connect as long as there is an internet connection.
Research all of these platforms and understand which are the ones that best fit your business goals. Please keep all the top-tier networks in mind as they have a significant amount of users. The reason for being active on a mix of social channels is to diversify your investments. You should not rely on only a few channels, as it would be risky.
Type of content to publish on social media
It is essential to understand the types of content that are most often shared in each kind of platform. You need to understand each platform's unique features, and the psychology of a channel's user base to make the right decisions. You can learn these specifics by exploring and researching the channels first-hand, monitoring patterns in behavior, the kind of topics most often shared, etc. You can choose to mix research with experience to learn where it's most beneficial for your organization to spend its time on social media. Marketing is fundamentally creating demand for something by smartly attracting and keeping people's attention. Thus, exciting content would help to keep users' attention. Videos are often done well, and people are more drawn to motions. Make sure to choose topics that your customers would enjoy and find enjoyable so that they eagerly wait for your next post, which will help you get more followers.
Choosing engaging topics is essential. It would be best if you keep in mind to tell the stories that aren't always promotional but instead are entertaining, educational, value-driven, or a combo of all three. When a story you're saying on social media is enjoyable, teaches something useful, or expresses your viewpoint on an important topic, it's more likely to be engaging to a customer. It's okay to talk about the benefits of your products and services sometimes, but moving your messaging beyond that is an opportunity to connect with customers quickly.
Maintain an Editorial Calendar
You have to be organized with social media to see great results. Without proper organization and plan, you would go nowhere. One of the best ways to structure your approach more strategically is to develop an editorial calendar to manage all the timing of your social media publishing. You can keep this calendar as a spreadsheet or as part of a popular marketing tool. It helps you keep your social media efforts goal-focused and organized. You can save a significant amount of time by documenting when your social posts will be shared. There is a high chance of missing something important when you post haphazardly at the last minute.
Some of your posts on social media will happen in real-time to react to essential company updates or industry news, but most content can be pre-planned. You can start using a free or paid tool such as Google Sheets, CoSchedule, Trello, etc. This will help you to create a social media-focused editorial calendar. Choose a software that's best suited to the number of contributors you need to collaborate on a calendar, what functionality you're looking for, and how complex your schedule is going to be. After that, define how you will differentiate the content you'll plan to post from different channels. Maintaining an Editorial will make your social media marketing a lot better and organized.
Imagine you have done everything right and made an excellent, engaging post, but if it does not reach people, there is no point. To ensure the visibility of your post, you have to invest in paid advertising to promote your campaigns. It is essential to know what paid advertising options are available on social media and how to structure an ad campaign. Paid advertising is when you purchase exposure to specific audiences or preferred placement of your message on social media. The primary way leading social networks generate revenue is to provide a diverse set of paid ad options. When your company shares content without paying for exposure, you end up reaching a tiny number of people. So, if you can pay for that post to promote amongst a higher percentage of your customer base, that would reach a significant amount of users and ultimately help you attract more people.
It is essential to know what paid advertising options are available on each social media platform and how to structure an ad campaign. You have to spend money strategically to reach the right people for your brand. So, the best way to pay to reach more of the right people on social media is by understanding which social networks allow you to target which specific audience. You should also select the right kind of ad that corresponds with the goal of your campaign. The budget depends on what makes you comfortable. It is wise to start small. Your first advertising campaign on social media will include lots of trial and error. It is recommended to invest a small portion of your budget on different campaigns across platforms to see which ads perform for you and where. Do not forget to monitor the progress of your paid ads regularly and make necessary edits. If you think a particular advertisement is not performing according to your goal, you can pause or delete that.
Measuring the progress of social media marketing
To understand your progress on social media marketing, you can use specific measurement tools. You should review it regularly better. These tools analyze your posts' performance by assessing your company's social media accounts, reviewing public data on these networks, and tracking tagged links you've shared. Review the range of free and paid social media measurement tools available to get a sense of their capabilities and how they align with your company's needs. There are third-party analytics tools, like Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and Matomo, to help companies measure social media and other marketing channels holistically. If you want to measure social media marketing performance, you can check tools like Quintly, Keyhole, Sprout Social, and Agorapulse.
Besides, you can also use the native analytics tools that are provided for free with your business account on most social networks, like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. Investing in more than one social media analytics tool will give you a clear overview and accurate measurement of the performance.
At the very end, we would like to emphasis on learning about social media marketing and always stay updated, as the technology is changing very fast. We got to see new features, new approaches, emerging channels regularly, therefore if you want success in business at this time, you must leverage social media marketing. Develop a growth mindset and adapt to new platforms quickly.