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Marketing strategies have evolved over the years to accommodate the rising growth of digital technologies, which also involves the way people have come to depend on electronic gadgets. Social media marketing is now considered one of the best ways to get the word out on your brand.
With more and more people joining different social media platforms and spending more time doing so daily, it’s a smart idea to meet them with your marketing needs right where they spend time.
Learn more about how a great social media marketing strategy can help your brand or company get off on the right foot.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing involves using online marketing commonly used by “netizens” to promote a brand. Customers can interact with brands before deciding to make a purchase through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Success has been observed when social media marketing has been applied effectively through the right social media marketing agency and companies. Also known as SMM, it markets your brand to help you achieve the goals that you’ve set.
Audience engagement is the real reason behind every text, image, or video post relayed out through social media networks because it drives leads and sales.
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Benefits and importance of social media marketing
Social media marketing shouldn’t take much of your time once you’ve got it started on the right track. Here are a few benefits that list down the importance of SMM in the modern world:
Engage with your customers
Almost everyone is on social media these days. Just like you can interact with your favorite celebrities on Twitter, you can easily talk to your customers via social media posts, comments, or DMs.
Improve brand visibility
Social media allows your brand to become more visible. The correct implementation of a social media marketing strategy means you broaden the scope of your customers and keep them dedicated to your brand.
Improved brand loyalty
Regular interaction by brands through social media makes customers feel like they are a part of your journey, and this makes them more likely to stay in touch with your brand’s successes. By staying in touch and offering promos, discounts, vouchers, and the like to customers who come back, you will be able to gain their loyalty and increase the likelihood of staying around for the long run.
SMM is Cost-effective
Starting a social media page or account is almost always free. Rarely will you have to pay to create a social media account for your brand. Any promotions you have to create through social media are relatively cheap and are cheaper than buying a billboard or advertising through TV channels.
The return on investment is satisfactory, and you can funnel most of your budget towards other expenses.
Increased website traffic
If you aren’t on social media, then the traffic you receive on your site is usually your regular customers. With the way social media is accessible for all, you are opening yourself up to a wider customer market that brings in more traffic to your website and social channels.
This means you take a step outside of your loyal circle of customers and entice more to give your brand a shot.
Improved brand authority
You are almost immediately seen as a credible company or brand when users see you interacting with your customers and posts online through comments, likes, DMs, etc. Regular interaction means you are geared towards customer satisfaction, which drives more people to your company.
Satisfied customers will spread the word, and the more people know your brand and your reputation, the more credible you become in their eyes.
Improved SEO rankings
Search engine optimization is most effective when paired with written content and attractive and catchy visuals such as videos and photos. Social media paves the way for all of this to happen. Enlisting the help of a good SEO company or social media marketing agency allows you to boost your site’s SEO rankings on search engines.
Improved customer satisfaction
We’ve mentioned this plenty of times, but social media marketing bridges the gap between consumers and producers. Personalization is a key factor to SMM that gives customers a deeper insight and connection to your brand.
Customer satisfaction leads to more credibility, loyalty, and gains.
Major SMM Platforms
The major social media platforms are where you want to start when it comes to SMM. That is where the clients you sell will be found.
LinkedIn is a business primarily based in the USA but is open to all countries worldwide. Its main purpose is to connect employees to employers and vice versa through the use of professional networking.
Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms and comes with plenty of opportunities for advertisements and promotions. Users can easily connect with their family members and friends and you can interact between pages and potential customers.
Twitter is considered a “microblogging” system that allows users to create posts called “tweets” that are limited to 140 characters. Although both Facebook and Twitter offer ways to limit who can see posts, Twitter is generally more open to the public, making it a great avenue for your brand to interact with its customers.
YouTube is an online video platform that offers free video sharing and watching. Users can upload their videos or simply enjoy going through the videos offered on the website. It is the most popular video-sharing website worldwide.
Pinterest is a social media site best reserved for people who are into visual ideas. It’s a great place to market your brand and lead users from a Pinterest post you’ve created on your website.
If Twitter focuses more on microblogging, Instagram is best for visual blogging. It allows users to capture, edit, and share different sorts of media with their followers. Nowadays, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts can be connected for ease in posting.
Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app that allows people to interact with each other through photos or videos. It is most famous for the way photos or videos sent can only be viewed for a limited time before it disappears.
6 Types of social media marketing sites
There are different types of social media sites that are used for marketing purposes. Whether you want to focus on the big social media networks or the niche-targeted platforms, knowing which to use for different needs is essential. That is the only way to win in social media marketing.
Here are the six types of social sites that social media agencies use:
Social networking sites
These websites are considered the “jack of all trades” because it contains a little bit of everything. It can serve as a social review site, image sharing, and video hosting site, etc. Prime examples of these are Facebook, Twitter, and the like.
Social review sites
Review sites are specialized places solely intended for customers to share their personal experience from a certain brand, company, or establishment. They can also rate their experience and advise potential customers. Known social review sites are Yelp and TripAdvisor.
Image sharing sites
Image sharing sites are primarily for enticing visual people into checking things out. Stuff shared on image-sharing sites usually follows a certain aesthetic that is pleasing to the eye. One of the most famous sites for this is Pinterest, but Instagram could also be considered an image-sharing site.
Video hosting sites
Video hosting sites focus on allowing users to view and upload videos and interact with them via the comments section. The most famous video hosting site is YouTube, but other lesser-known sites such as DailyMotion do exist.
Community blogs are meant to connect people who belong to a certain community. They are most notable with people who belong to certain “fandoms” that revolve around a specific book series, film, TV series, etc. Tumblr is one of the most well-known community blogs, followed closely by Medium.
Discussion sites are sort of like Facebook but often add a deeper layer of anonymity to its users. Reddit is one such site, and it is broken down into “subreddits” made up of different communities to allow users the freedom to interact with people who have the same interests.
Steps to a Successful Social Media Marketing
As with everything good, there are certain steps we take that always lead to a successful marketing social media. Taking these same steps will also mean that you will also be successful.
1. Choose what goals you want to achieve
You can’t have everything at once. Narrow down your goals so that you have a higher chance of achieving them. Ask yourself what your company needs, and figure out your intended target demographic.
Narrowing these down allows you to create a social media marketing strategy best suited for your brand. Figure out what your customers want and set a realistic goal for yourself. Don’t expect it to take off immediately because SMM requires a lot of hard work.
2. Identify which platforms would benefit you
Starting a business on every single social media platform may sound tempting, but that may be too much too soon. Focus on one to three platforms that you will be able to handle before venturing out for more. Don’t spread yourself out too thin because this will cost you a lot of time and effort.
Who is your target persona? What platforms are they more likely to access? This is what you should be asking yourself before starting with anything.
3. Update your profiles with different content types
Engage your customers and keep all your platforms in the loop. Furthermore, play to the strengths of each platform. Instagram is best for visually pleasing photos and content, while Facebook is better suited for videos and engaging posts.
4. Research before you go-ahead
Don’t try to do it all in one night. Take it slowly and slowly build up as you go. Learn from mistakes and avoid setbacks the next time you’re attempting it. Many blogs talk about creating a good plan, so make sure you do a lot of reading before you start your own.
5. Create a Content Schedule
It’s easy to lose track of when you need to post something. Luckily, platforms such as Twitter and Facebook allow you to schedule tweets and posts. This is very useful because you can hammer out all the scheduled posts in one day and wait for them to come out as you intended.
6. Publish content consistently
Don’t forget about your SMM strategy after a month. If you’ve already built up a loyal fanbase, this will lead to confusion on the part of your customers. They’ll start to question the legitimacy and credibility of your brand. Schedule posts if you can’t log on to your pages regularly.
7. Use chatbots to reduce workload
Chatbots take care of answering frequently asked questions for you, reducing the need to answer every question individually. All you’d have to do is prepare automated responses for the most common queries.
8. Provide a budget for your social media strategy
It can be easy to get carried away with promoting your brand online. Keep yourself on budget by planning things ahead of time and avoiding unnecessary post boosts and promotions.
9. Create a group (community) for your brand
On Facebook, some authors are known to create Facebook groups that allow their readers to discuss the books published by the author in a safe space with people who think the same way. This inspires customer loyalty and satisfaction.
10. Include social media advertising
Promote posts through social media by taking advantage of the “Boost Post” or “Promote Tweet” options on different platforms. It costs significantly less than physical advertising strategies.
11. Listen and Engage with your audience
Customer satisfaction is your intended goal. By listening to what your audience has to say and making it known that you are listening to their feedback, they will see your brand as something worthy of their attention.
12. Test, track, and optimize everything
It’s a good idea to have a “dummy” account that lets you test things out to see how they’ll appear once you publish it officially. This is most useful for platforms like Twitter and Instagram because Twitter often crops pictures and the oddest ways possible. At the same time, you usually have to maintain a certain aesthetic to succeed in Instagram.
And of course, remember to analyze and see where you lack in your SMM strategy and adjust, so it doesn’t happen again. Use keyword optimization, and take advantage of the media you can post alongside text.
Social Media Marketing Tools
There is a basketful of social media marketing tools out there. From free to premium SMM tools. Not all are built equally. While some are worth their price, some free social media tools can be better than some paid tools.
Knowing which to use at each point in time, depends on the task to be achieved. In our SMM agency, we have gone through most of them over the years and can confidently rate their performance.
Here are some of the better known social media marketing tools to help your marketing gain traction/
This is a tool that helps you schedule and analyzes the activities you’ve started on your different social media accounts. It unifies your accounts so that everything you need is in one place.
SocialOomph is another tool that schedules and monitors what’s going on in your different accounts. You can access networks such as Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn through it.
Social Searcher is a free social media search engine that allows you to search for content posted on different social media networks. As long as the information was set for public viewing, you should find it here.
Crowdfire is an SMM tool that offers CRM services and social media scheduling, analysis of engagement, analytics, social listening, etc. They create reports that track the progress of your SMM strategy.
The Social Butler
The Social Butler is aimed towards creating social media presences that create a lasting impact with its customers. It enhances businesses and saves companies time and effort when it comes to maintaining an SMM Strategy.
Social Media Marketing should be a major component of your digital marketing strategy. Sometimes you need to hire professionals to do the job for you. If you feel like you need the help, then it’s best to bring these professionals in as early as possible so that they have a say in the strategies to be implemented.
imArena.net lead by Dede Dan is a known social media marketing agency that has delivered tangible results to its clients. You can start by trying us out.
Given the rise of digital technology and the growing dependence on communication and social interaction via online means, social media marketing remains more important than ever in the growth of your brand.