Everything About Social Media Marketing: The What, Why and How
Hashtags are the elixir of social media, you need to be active on all platforms, more followers mean more success; there are many other misconceptions about social media marketing. Honestly, the social media world seems very simple and effortless from the outside but once you step into the real world, things are pretty overwhelming.
No wonder why 46% of social media campaigns failed to associate with their marketing funnels. As a business leader, you would want to leverage social media channels for success but you don’t want to be in that failing position. So, the best way to escape this hardship is to know everything about social media marketing and what steps you must take to make the best out of it.
From creating the best strategy to understanding the strong points of social media marketing, this go-to guide has answers to all your questions. Read on and know everything about the trendy marketing system of social media.
Before we get into that, make sure that you are acquainted yourself with all there is to know about social media, its types, and the common social media networks out there.
What is social media marketing?
Do you remember the 2020’s most famous #safehands challenge started by the World Health Organization (WHO)? This marketing campaign clearly shows the purpose behind it- prevention of COVID transmission. That’s what a successful social media marketing campaign looks like. Nonetheless, what exactly is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is all about promoting your product or services on a social media platform using the right company culture and tone.
This is the easiest explanation of social media marketing that you often find in the digital marketing, aka e-marketing, domain. Apart from that, social media marketing is all about staying relevant to your social communities by keeping in mind different factors like demographics, location, behavior, and niche for better campaign success.
Why social media marketing is so good?
Social media offers what traditional marketing does not. Be it telemarketing, radio ads, or newspaper brochures, people often gravitate towards social media and also engage with it. However, the question is, apart from the people factor, why do businesses find social media marketing more rewarding than the rest? The answer lies in the benefits.
1. Worldwide reach
Today, there are approximately 4.50 billion social media users across the globe. That’s a huge number to work with; that too just by using your internet device. Mind-blowing, right? This makes it easier for every company to find their target audience’s information on social media, no matter what platform they pick.
Do you see the point? If you start your campaign, there is a great chance to drive more and more customers to your business.
2. Engaging audience
Traditional advertising techniques were all based on broadcasting your promotions. However, that usually worked as a one-sided campaign because companies don’t get to hear feedback from the audience that easily. Thanks to smartphones, this technology is making things easier.
Today, if you start your promotions, people can respond easily within seconds. This has helped companies to humanize their campaigns and engage with the audience on a personal level. Hence, building brand trust.
3. Brand awareness
Over 197 million users visit Amazon for their desired product. Do you think any of them would purchase your brand if they are unaware of how good it is? There comes social media where you can find an enormous variety of formats to create that missing brand awareness.
4. Easy to know your market
Every social media platform gives you everything you need to define and target your business-related customers. The data they provide are all based on some basic information like gender, location, age, and even interest and behavior. Therefore, finding people with similar interests is not that hard on social media platforms.
Think of it this way, you are selling vegan chocolates. There is a single woman, living in New York, loves animals, is a vegan, die-heart fan of chocolates. Bam! That’s the right customer to target and sell your goodies.
In fact, you can even find people who have checked out your company profile even if that is your website, video, Facebook ad, or anything.
5. Website traffic gets a boost
No matter what social media platform you are using to promote your product, you are always tagging along that website URL. This URL often comes with a CTA (Call-to-action) button that takes the customers from your social profile to the website. You know the rest.
Here’s a perk, if you offer them something for free, like an e-book, newsletter, or anything, and get their email address, you can build better connectivity for the future.
7. Measurement and optimization
As aforementioned, social media platform shows you insights into how your campaigns are performing. Suppose you post a picture of the upcoming Black Friday sale. You can easily see who liked your post, who commented, how many people visited your website, how many people shared your sales post, and so on.
Once you have all the data measurement in your hand, you can easily think of a good strategy based on tracked leads and convert them into sales. There are pretty good chances your campaign wouldn’t go to waste.
8. Organic growth at its best
You are absolutely wrong if you think you need to have a big advertising budget to promote your products on social media. People still love free/organic content on social media.
So, if you share a post, out of everyone who reacts, you can still convert many into customers. Sure, organic social media marketing is under massive competition. However, you can still win the game if you have the right strategies in your pocket.
Source: Sprout Social
What are the pillars of social media marketing?
From big companies like Nike to any small start-up, businesses have gained remarkable sales using social media. The question is, how do people decide what steps to be taken for successful marketing? Here’s your answer.
There are a total of 5 pillars or concepts of social media marketing that will help you pick the right thing for you. Know more about that below.
1. The Right Strategy
Before starting with anything, you need to have a strategy. That’s even before planning the actual thing. What do you need to have a customer-centric strategy for your social media marketing? Nothing but you need to find answers to a few questions.
- What would be the objective of your campaign?
- On which platform you will find your target audience, aka your suitable platform?
- Which would be the perfect content type for your right customer?
2. The Planning and Publishing
Social media users’ number is not staying the same. It is increasing with the introduction to better features and applications. In this race of being the best, businesses are competing to stay consistent in their social presence. Hence, you need to have the right techniques with you to present your brand to the audience.
Now, if your sole goal Is just to share a bunch of photos and videos, that’s like informing people about your brand. However, if the question is to promote the product for sales, you need to focus on planning your posts.
Crafting a social media post is a crucial step and for that, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- When are your target users are most active? – That’s the right time to post.
- How far is your post going? – Make it go viral.
- How engaging is your post? – It should be eye-catching and yet informative.
3. The Engagement
This point is more about staying consistent with your audience on your social media platforms. Sure, in the beginning, there is not much to do but just post consistently and answer a handful of queries. However, with time, you need to engage better with the customers.
As you grow slowly, you will see a rise in comments, likes, direct messages, people will start using your hashtags, sharing posts, and more. That’s a sign that customers are listening to you. Your duty is to stay in touch with them. For that, you need to:
- Check out comments and DMs and respond.
- Gain more positive feedbacks.
- Answer queries and resolves issues.
Being consistent with your customers will surely put your brand on an appreciation platform. So, keep that going.
4. The Analytics
Like any other marketing campaign, you need to have a clear idea of how well your social media campaigns are performing. The best way to do that is via reports and their analysis. Also, this is not just about a single post but your social media profile as a whole.
You’ll notice how each platform, be it Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, has in-built data analytics tools. What these platforms do is make things easier for you to understand what strategies are working by simply giving you data on campaign engagement.
For better understanding, analyze details like:
- How many people reacted to your post in a month?
- What are the positive reactions and their rates?
- Are people using company names and mentioned hashtags?
- Did you see direct responses like an increase in the number of followers than the previous month?
5. The Advertising
Once you have everything set up, it’s time for the real investment. Many people think that social media is totally free. However, if you are too serious to turn your campaign into a big hit, you need to lose your purse strings a little.
So, the suggestion would be to go beyond and promote your posts as social media ads. This way, your brand would reach the maximum number of people via displayed ads. Hence, more people will come to you for sales and conversions.
Social media marketing may seem like a piece of cake but actually, it’s a game of consistent efforts and great strategies. You can maintain consistency but for the strategies, you need to experiment and learn at every step. Do you see? It’s a try-and-test battleground in which you get sales as your reward.
Most importantly, always remember social media marketing is about people. Not tools, not strategies but people. As rightly said by Sean Gardner, the Forbes Social Media Influencer and a leading Digital Marketer, “Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence”.