As the name suggests, social media marketing or SMM is a form of online marketing that taps the use of social media networks through the creation and sharing of content. Like other forms of marketing, online or otherwise, SMM is used to reach branding and marketing targets. Posting updates, sharing pictures and videos, advertising, and even commenting are all part of social media marketing. It is essential for business owners to learn social media marketing because most likely, their target audience is users of at least one social media network. But it does require some study and research. If you do social media marketing without first learning the ropes, you can end up wasting a lot of resources, such as time, energy, and money.
This guide is created to provide necessary information on social media marketing. It includes tips on how you can effectively use social media accounts to boost the social presence of your business.
When you finish reading this article, you’ll be able to develop a basic social media marketing plan that you can immediately implement for your business.
You Need a Plan to Succeed In Social Media Marketing
Before you start posting and sharing content about your business on social media, you need to be clear about your business’ goals first and develop a plan on how to achieve them. Starting a social media marketing campaign without a clear plan is like going on a trip without a clear destination and travel itinerary. It may sound exciting, but you’ll probably get nowhere.
The following are some questions you can ask yourself to help you define your social media marketing goals:
- What do you want to achieve with social media marketing?
- Who do you want to reach?
- What social media accounts is your target audience using? How are they using these accounts?
- What do you want to say to your target audience? What do you want them to know about your business?
The main driver of your social media marketing plan should be the type of business you have. If you’re selling clothes, for example, then you would need to use a social media account where your products can be displayed correctly. Instagram and Pinterest would be good choices since these sites are highly visual in nature. If you have a law firm, then more authoritative sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn would be more appropriate for you.
How to Reach Your Marketing Goals with Social Media Marketing?
You can use social media marketing to reach the following objectives:
- Increase the traffic to your website,
- Convert visitors into buyers,
- Raise awareness for your brand,
- Create a brand identity and reinforce positive brand association,
- Reach your target audience and improve how you communicate with them.
It will be easier for you to reach your marketing goals if you have a big audience and if they are heavy users of social media networks.
Most Effective Social Media Marketing Tricks
If you think you are ready to jump into social media marketing, here are some useful tips that can help set you on the right track.
Planning Your Content
Plan your social media content; as mentioned earlier, it is crucial for you to develop a clear social media plan first. To guide you in your content creation, you need to do some basic market and keyword research, at least to find out what your target audience is interested in. It also pays to know what your competitors are doing on social media.
Content is King
Remember that content is still king. As with other channels, content is also king when it comes to social media. You need to create and share information that will be valuable to your audience. You also need to be consistent and make sure that you are engaging your audience with regular posts. Some of the content you can share includes pictures, videos, guides, infographics, etc.
Consistency with Brand Image
Be consistent with your brand image. Since there are many social media platforms you can use, it can be quite challenging to track all of the content you’re sharing. But there’s one thing you need to make sure of. You need to be consistent with your brand image no matter what platform you’re using. It doesn’t matter whether your brand identity is fun or serious; it should be consistent.
Share your Best Content
Use social media to share your best content. If you have a blog and you’re confident with the quality of your blog’s content, then you can use social media to maximize your content’s mileage. Of course, it’s preferable to do this if you have a loyal social media following already. Social media is an excellent way to keep your followers updated. And by sharing your blog content on your social media accounts, you’ll be able to gain more followers.
You can use social media to share your curated links. Original content is not the only thing that you can share on your social media. You can also use your social media account to share curated content that you believe your followers will appreciate. By doing this, you will be able to add credibility to your business. You may even get some links in return. You just need to make sure that the links you will share are of great quality.
Keep a Check on Competition
You can use social media to check on your competitors. Social media is a great way to track what your competitors are doing. You can check what keywords they are using as well as other marketing insights. If you noticed that a particular social media platform is working well for a competitor of yours, then maybe you can also use the same platform. Marketing research will prove to be very fruitful for your business.
You can measure your success through analytics. To know if your social media marketing techniques are working, you need to track data. This is where Google Analytics can come in. With the use of analytics, you can measure your success and determine what techniques are working and those that are not getting you results. To monitor your social media campaigns, you should attach tracking tags to your activities. You should track the performance of all your social media accounts. Through analytics, you can also determine which social media accounts are working well for your business.
You can use social media to manage a crisis. A crisis can happen anytime, especially if you have a social media account. So it’s a good thing that you need to be prepared whenever a crisis happens. You need to brief your employees on how to handle a social media crisis. There are many resources online on how to handle a social media crisis.
The Different Social Media Platforms You Can Use For Marketing
There are many different social media platforms in existence. Choosing the best one to use for marketing purposes can be daunting. Below is a brief overview of different social media platforms and how you can use them for marketing your business online. Each platform will require you to use a different strategy.
How to Use Facebook for Social Media Marketing
Facebook is probably the most popular social media platform out there thanks to its friendly nature. To use Facebook for marketing, you need to be very active. You can start by creating a Facebook Business Page for your business. Make sure you have a good layout so that your visitors will have a pleasant experience browsing your page.
People use Facebook mainly to relax and to connect with their friends. So whatever you will share on Facebook, make sure that it is light in tone. As a way to reach people, Facebook can be quite limited. This is why you should seriously consider advertising on Facebook. Ads will help improve your organic presence on Facebook.
How to Use Google+ for Social Media Marketing
When Google+ was launched, it was touted as a Facebook competitor. But now, it’s more of a niche platform. Google+ may not be for everyone, but if there’s one advantage of this social media site to others is that its users are very active.
Just like Facebook, Google+ allows users to share photos, videos, links, etc. One great feature of Google+ is Circles. This allows you to group your followers into smaller segments. This enables you to compose and share specific content with the targeted audience. You can, for example, create a Circle of your most loyal fans and give them exclusive content and offers that are not available to others. Last year, Google shut down the personal version of the platform.
How to Use Pinterest for Social Media Marketing
Pinterest is a unique social media network and because of this, it has millions of users worldwide. Being image-centered, Pinterest is an ideal platform for marketing, especially if you are in the retail industry. The site is a great way to drive visitors to your website and increase sales.
You can use Pinterest to showcase your product offerings with the use of attractive pinboards that are fun to view. One thing you should keep in mind if you want to use Pinterest for social media marketing is that its primary users are female. If you want to reach out to women, then using Pinterest is a must. There is no general ruling to it, but research has shown that more women are attracted to Pinterest because of the visual appeal.
How to Use Twitter for Social Media Marketing
Twitter can probably rival Facebook in terms of popularity. Many celebrities and politicians use, tt’s not a secret that the President of the United States is a big Twitter user. So if the President is using Twitter, then you should too. People use Twitter to share their opinions about important issues. You should follow users from your industry to get updates on what they are doing. This should get you plenty of followers in return.
You should mic up your tweets to keep your account interesting. For example, you can tweet about exclusive promos one day then share fun facts or news on your next tweet. When a customer provides a review of your product, be sure to retweet it to boost your reputation. Answer all queries about your company and products or services as much as possible. Twitter is all about conversations, so be sure that you interact with your followers as much as possible.
How to Use LinkedIn for Social Media Marketing
LinkedIn is a social media network that targets business professionals. One of the best features of the site is Groups that allows users to enter into dialogues with other professionals from the same industry. LinkedIn is an excellent medium for sharing content with like-minded individuals. It’s also used by many for posting and looking for jobs.
The best way to promote your business on LinkedIn is to ask your customers to provide a recommendation on your profile. With recommendations, your business will look more credible and trustworthy to potential customers. Another way to promote your business on LinkedIn is by answering questions posted in the Questions section.
How to Use YouTube for Social Media Marketing
If you would like to share video content, then the best place to do so is on YouTube. This site is considered by many as a very powerful social media marketing tool. One of the mistakes that businesses make when using YouTube is that they try too hard to create a viral video. This isn’t easy to do. You should aim instead at creating useful videos that your target audience will appreciate. Think ‘how-to” videos that can add value to the lives of your viewers. These videos can also boost your ranking on Google.
How To Use Location-Based Social Media Tools For Marketing
Sites such as Yelp and Foursquare are known as location-based social media networks because they cater to people who are looking for a particular product or service in a specific location. When you register on these sites, do not forget to add extra incentives such as rewards and discounts to entice people to visit your site. You should also aim to get good reviews on these sites because many people rely on them for information. Having good reviews can convince people to check out your business.
How to Use Reddit for Social Media Marketing
If you have compelling content to share, then you should try using Reddit or similar sites such as Digg or Stumble Upon. Do you know that Reddit has over 2 billion page views every month? So if you’re not using Reddit for social media marketing, you’re clearly missing out. A word of caution, though, you should only share unique and exciting content on Reddit. The site’s users are quick to detect marketing content. Use Reddit with caution or your strategy may backfire.
It is also useful to know that Reddit users are mostly young, liberal, geeky, and are tech-savvy. They spend a lot of time online. Keep this in mind if you want to use the site.
If you want to improve your website traffic and reach more potential customers, then social media marketing is the way to go. The social media sites mentioned above provide excellent opportunities to let people know about your business.
How to Do Paid Social Media Marketing
If you have the budget, then you should seriously consider doing paid social media marketing. Going for paid advertising is a wise move because it’s a cost-effective way to reach more people. Organic social media marketing is effective but it can be very limiting. If you feel like it’s time for your business to expand, then the easiest way to do so is by using paid advertisements. Many business owners start to feel scared when they hear the word “paid.” But this shouldn’t be the case. For your business to grow, you really need to invest in it, and investing in social media advertising is one of the best investments you can make.
If you do social media advertising well, you’ll be able to send out your content to a broad audience. You will be able to reach people who haven’t heard of your business. This presents a significant opportunity for you to grow. The best thing about social media advertising is that it allows you to focus your budget on exactly the type of people that would be interested in the product or service you’re offering. This will allow you to use your budget most efficiently so you don’t end up wasting money.
If you are planning to try paid social media marketing or advertising, then you should read the useful tips below.
How to Create Effective Facebook Ads
Many seasoned marketers consider Facebook as one of the most powerful advertising platforms on the Internet. But if you want to maximize the results of your Facebook ads, you need to know how to use it properly. One of the things that you need to know about Facebook ads is that it’s not only for creating brand awareness. The platform is useful for generating leads. But how do you know that you’re using Facebook ads in the right way? How do you know that you’re not committing costly mistakes?
You can find tons of useful information online that will allow you to create effective Facebook ads that will provide excellent results for your business. The best thing for you to do is to study how to make effective Facebook ads either by enrolling in a course or buying a book about the subject. There are many free and paid resources available online. If you can afford it, it’s highly reliable that you invest in your education as far as creating Facebook ads is concerned. The information you will learn from paid resources will be invaluable. As long as you choose a high-quality resource from a reputable website or individual, you can surely get a return on your investment in no time.
How to Create Effective Twitter Ads
Advertising on Twitter can be quite tricky. Many businesses do not know how to effectively create ads on Twitter for increasing exposure and lead generation. If you want to start advertising on Twitter, then you need to know that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for it. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll waste a lot of time, effort, and, of course, money. Again, it would be useful for you to find a guide that can help you to create effective ads on Twitter. Look for a guide that will introduce you to the ins and outs of Twitter advertising and hold your hand through the whole process of ad creation.
More Information on Social Media Marketing
This article only offers a preview of social media marketing. If you want to know more, then you will be delighted to know that there is tons of information available out there. All you need to do is to Google. But it would help if you choose wisely which resources to use. Not all guides to social media marketing are created equal. Some are useful, while some are a complete waste of time. Some of the topics that you need to search for are:
- How to make social media ads more effective.
- How to do keyword research to know the most searched social media keywords related to your industry.
- What are the most useful tips and tricks used by seasoned social media marketers?
- How exactly do Facebook ads work and why some ads are worthy while others are not?
- What are the reasons to advertise on Facebook if you’re not yet convinced about how powerful and useful this social media network is to your business?
So there you have it, a comprehensive guide to social media marketing. But as mentioned earlier, your social media marketing education should not stop here. The social media landscape is constantly changing, so you need to update your knowledge and skills from time to time. Without a doubt, using social media is the best way to grow your business and get ahead of your competition. But you need to do it right or else you could end up wasting a lot of resources. Visibility Park will help in improving the social media presence and design the best social media marketing campaigns for you.