Social Media Marketing (SMM) is the promotion or marketing of products and services in a social media platform. Social media allows businesses, individuals, and other institutions to connect each other and form a relationship that brings value to both individuals and businesses. Businesses can promote their products and services in social media platforms. They can also connect with their customers and get to know their feedbacks, emotions, likes, and dislikes etc.
More than 3 billion people are active on the internet. Facebook alone has 2 billion active users. This is the opportunity of social media marketing. With SMM, you can reach to your target audience anywhere in the World!
Major Social media platforms include:
Getting Started in Social Media Marketing
Here are 8 steps to getting started in Social Media Marketing:
1. Determine your goals
First and foremost step is to determine what goals you need to achieve through Social Media Marketing. Your goals can include:
- Brand awareness
- Lead Generation
- Generate traffic to the website
- Build customer relationship and boost loyalty
- Improve ROI
Based on these, you should formulate strategies to achieve these goals. You can also consider doing paid social media promotion to achieve these goals. Facebook is a good platform to do paid promotion if you want to achieve results fast. But with a good social media strategy and a bit of patience, you can grow your social media presence almost organically.
The way you respond to these goals, largely affect your strategies and the way you publish contents in the social media. Therefore, fine tune your goals and preferences in order to achieve results efficiently.
2. Evaluate your competency
After setting goals, you need to identify your competencies. Creating good content requires the use of images, videos, and catchy titles and descriptions. Can you create these on your own? Do you need help from others? If you can’t manage these, you may need to hire someone who is capable of creating such contents.
On a basic level, you can do it yourself. There are a lot of tools available to create good contents. You can create your own images from scratch with tools like Canva, Piktochart, fotor, Stencil, etc. You can use Animoto, Powtoon, Vyond, and Camtasia to create videos.
Also, you need to allocate time for answering queries from your audience. Not all your audience is patient to wait for your reply.
3. Know your audience
Understand your target audience. You must be able to fine-tune your audience to get the right target audience. The next step is to do research on your audience. You must able to:
- Understand what your audience wants from you
- Where does your audience spend time online
- What your audience talks about
- Their likes and dislikes
- What content will be appealing to them
With these level of research, you can create contents that are both relevant and appealing to your audience.
4. Create amazing content
Creating quality content is very important. Great content can boost audience engagement. Contents should include a proper title and description and images and other visuals are recommended. Adding visuals can double or triple your reach and engagement. If you are stuck with what to post, get ideas from your audience. Conversation with your audience as well as analyzing their feedbacks can give you ideas for your next content.
5. Integrate your marketing efforts
Its a mistake just to stick to a single platform. Who knows your target audience is on another platform. Experiment with different platforms. Post contents on multiple platforms. Use tools like Buffer HootSuiteitet to automate your marketing efforts.
6. Create a schedule
Creating a schedule to post contents is important. The level of reach and engagement can differ on the basis of what time you are posting. Identify peek time to post your contents,
To identify the peek time, post regularly for at least two weeks. Post at a different time of a day. By the end of two weeks, you have enough data to correlate which time of the day is your audience active. You can also spy on your competitors to understand the right time to post contents.
Create a social media calendar. This can be a spreadsheet or tools like Sprout Social, Hootsuite or Coschedule. By creating calendars, you can plan and prepare contents in advance. This way you won’t miss a chance to post, especially on days like Christmas or Newyear and other important days.
7. Keep an eye on your competitors
Identifying you all are your competitors is very essential. Check what your competitors are doing. Chances are that they may be doing the right thing. We don’t ask you to steal ideas but learn from them.
8. Measure performance
Measuring how your posts performed is vital to formulate SMM strategies. This helps you to understand how your posts perform and how the audience perceives your posts.
The important metrics you need to know are:
Reach: This metric shows how many people saw your post. Post reach can help you to understand the reachability of your posts.
Clicks: Clicks shows how many clicks you got in your post. Clicks can help you understand the behavior of your audience. clicks are very relevant for paid campaigns. You can experiment with contents and finalize with which gets the most clicks.
Engagement: This is the total number of interactions (likes, comments & shares) divided by the number of impressions. Engagement determines the level of interaction of audience with your content. The more engaging they are, the more they will be contributing value to your business.
Hashtag performance: Hashtags are an important part of social media tools. Hashtags can help people to find you. Hashtags are more relevant in platforms like Twitter compared to others. Trending hashtags can give you wider reach and visibility. Tools like Hashtracking and Tweetreach can help with your hashtag analytics.