Introduction To Social Media Marketing - The Ultimate Guide To Become A Pro
How many times do you open your Instagram and spend hours just scrolling through the reels without looking at the ticking clock? Yes, for many of you it’s part of your profession, we get it, but no matter what the reason is, we all have been there.
About a few decades ago, social media was just a digital space where we used to connect with people on the other end of the world. It was all about sharing text, a bunch of photos and videos, and connecting with unknowns, or many known ones too. However, look around today, social media is where our everyday lives depend on. No wonder 4.48 billion people are currently using social media for an average of 145 minutes each day.
As a social media manager, you may have realized sometimes that social media platforms are not a gossip park anymore. It’s more about taking the responsibility of connecting customers to the brand by creating awareness and boosting leads. In fact, it isn’t a piece of cake to come up with the best work all the time. However, we are here to help you make things fall into place.
Here is a detailed social media marketing guide that takes you from an amateur to a pro. This complete guide will take you through the proven social media trends, marketing types, helpful tools, amazing tips and tricks, and more. So, without any further ado, let’s begin.
What is Social Media?
This one has an obvious answer but still, to put it in the simplest words possible;
Social Media includes all internet communication tools that allow people to connect with others.
It’s the place from where we get news, collaborations, and even run company marketing campaigns by sharing relevant content. While talking about social media, there aren’t just one or two types but six types of social media content people share. These include:
- Content community
The names themselves suggest what they mean but still, some of you would be like ‘Okay! But what how they are different from one another?’
Not to worry because here is everything you need to know about social media.
Anyways, you cannot post all content types on one platform. Why? Because each network is built especially for each type of content you want to share. Before we get into what kind of content you can post, let’s first cover the different types of social media networks out there.
Types of social media networks
Understanding social media is not very hard but only if you categorize everything about it. So, here are the types of social media networks that we often come across while surfing through the internet.
QnA Discussion – This includes networks where people share their doubts and gain information through a bunch of question-and-answer games. Quora, Reddit, and Digg are some examples that belong to this category.
Social network – The social media platforms where we interact with people, build connections and share similar views are social networking platforms. For example, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Publication – When we post blogs and share detailed information through online publications, we often use publishing networks like WordPress, Medium, Tumblr, and Blogger.
Media sharing – This one is the most famous category where we share media like photos, videos, music, and more through social media. A large audience is a big fan of TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, media sharing ease is the reason behind this popularity.
The shopping experience – We usually trust the real user’s shopping experiences and there are platforms where people share their reviews in detail. Platforms like Etsy and Fancy are some of the platforms from this kind of network.
Shared interest – There are platforms like Goodreads and Houzz where people come up with shared interests and connect on these platforms. How many times have you shared your interest in a book on Goodreads and come across some nice people like you? This is exactly for that.
The bookmarking – Many platforms allow you to collect ideas and bookmark them in one place. How many times have you saved your favorite design on Pinterest? This is what it is here for. Also, there is Flipboard where you can curate your content and bookmark them.
Consumer reviews – This may sound like the shopping experience but, in a way, it is different. People share a variety of reviews and apart from shopping, they can share other consumer-related reviews on platforms like Zomato and Yelp that help others to make their decisions.
Source: Love To Know
Every social media platform we come across belongs to a different category of networks but how is this information helpful to have effective social media marketing? We just gave you a glace of the networks and their types but here is more on how to use these platforms to have more engagement and conversions.
Enters social media marketing…
What is Social Media Marketing?
Posting content on your social media profile and engaging with the audience to increase sales, create brand awareness, and drive traffic to your website, that’s what social media marketing is all about. It includes advertisements that you run on various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube (just to name a few).
We know this is something everybody knows but social media marketing is not just about broadcasting content, there is more to it. Besides, it revolves around a single question – ‘what the brand wants?’
Many of you must be wondering why brands often choose social media marketing over any traditional way of advertising. Yes, technology is playing its role to make things easier but here are some common reasons why they choose to do that:
- Helps you reach worldwide.
- Lets you engage with the audience and build trust.
- Gives you real insights into the market.
- Accelerates your website traffic.
- Works best to advertise organically.
- Helps you measure your conversions more accurately.
Yup, social media seems like a cakewalk but to be honest, you have a long walk ahead if you are stepping in it without much information. What are we here for?
We are surrounded by social media no matter whatever we are searching for on the internet. It is basically related to what network you are choosing. As a beginner, anyone can be overwhelmed thinking about how big this social media marketing responsibility is. Well, if you take one step at a time, things become quite clear to you.
To continue, you must figure out what it takes to begin social media marketing according to your business needs.
Source: The Scientific World
What are the stages of social media marketing?
‘One step at a time’ – this practice applies to everything you want to become a pro in, be it swimming or just the easiest hiking to the mountains. Similarly, when it comes to social media marketing, there are 5 pillars that ensure you are going in the right direction. Let’s begin.
1. Begin with the research
Having the knowledge of your right market is a necessity for any marketer and even the whole business. So, for starters, you need to do thorough research for your social media platform. This goes like this:
- Knowing where your target audience is from?
- What age group do they have?
- What platform do they use more often?
- Or anything related to their specific needs.
Tip: While talking about research, the best way to make it easy is to check out what your competitors are doing and for whom they are launching their marketing campaigns.
2. Continue with the strategy
For many people, this is one of the most confusing questions because as an amateur, nobody has a clear vision of the purpose behind social media marketing. This is the part where your research will pay off. Just to clear the fog for you, all you need to do is to answer these questions:
- What is the objective of marketing?
- What is your suitable platform for marketing?
- What will be the right content to share?
3. Create a plan
Now that you have a clear idea of what you will be posting and how, you need to come up with a plan that follows the time, tone, and voice of your content publishing. This plan is extremely significant because it will help you stay consistent for longer. FYI, this should consist of information like:
- The right time to post,
- The response of every post
- How the engagement is working?
4. Build connections
Moving on, while we are on the engagement part, you must understand that it is about the audience more than it is about the brand. So, connect with them through a consistent engagement system. For that, respond to their messages, answer their comments, share stories and updates, or do whatever so that your audience would feel more connected.
5. Focus on the result
It’s not like once you post something your work is done. You need to keep a track of how your social media posts are responding to your brand, aka main gaol. Every app nowadays shows you detailed results of your post responses and this information, even the ones you get from the tools, will help you analyze. Better understanding and analysis will refine your next move.
6. Paid Ads are magic
“Why pay when you can have organic responses?” Glad you ask. Most companies go for paid promotions because it helps them to reach out to maximum people and get more conversions on their business. This is something beyond free marketing. So, to take your marketing to an advanced level, go for paid ads but only if you understand how social media marketing actually works.
Knowing how social media marketing begins and how to make it more professional doesn’t end here. For some of you, it might be eye-opening that there are various types of marketing available on social media and each of them is meant to suit a particular network.
Let’s dig a little deeper into social media marketing types.
Source: Byte Origin
What are the types of social media marketing?
We are sure many of you consider marketing as sharing daily content on social media to get more followers, likes, and comments. Well, it is one type of social media marketing. Shocking. Right?
Down there are popular social media marketing types that you can try and experiment with.
1. Social content marketing
This one is what we just talked about. Social content marketing is when you share images, videos, podcasts, blogs, and any other type of content on one or more platforms. This marketing type works with the sole purpose of having more audience reach and the best part is, it works for anyone be it an influencer, manager, or copywriter.
2. Paid Social Ads
Have you ever come across a section on Facebook that informs you about the new launch of a company? That’s a type of marketing campaign the company is sharing on social media. These columns, which you often see on your social media walls, are generally paid promotions that help companies highlight their goal as advertisements.
Paid ads practice costs you way too little as compared to other types and you get to meet your desired goal many times. That’s why companies prefer to burn a hole in their pockets and get the best results faster for better conversions.
3. Influencer marketing
Moving on, you must have come across the social media posts in BTS McDonald’s meal? This single marketing campaign worked like an absolute win-win for both the popular K-pop band and the fast-food chain. This is what influencer marketing is all about because it works on the basic human philosophy ‘we trust words of mouth’.
4. Community management
Building a community is another social media marketing that revolves around creating a constant effort on staying in touch with your target audience. To be precise, when you post regularly, respond to all your messages and comments, upload stories, and put efforts to remind your customers that, ‘Hey! We are here for you.‘ Besides, if you are looking for something to have a long-term effect, this is the right choice for you to show your consistency towards your audience.
5. Sponsorship marketing
‘Banners banners everywhere’ – that’s the situation of today’s sports world. Yes, sponsorship is what we see nowadays everywhere including social media. Sponsorship marketing is when companies collaborate with other companies or influencers to share information through paid posts. It not only helps you reach your brand to maximum people but also helps you build a relationship with people.
6. Thought leadership
When you show yourself or your brand as an expert of your specific needs, people start to trust your services and goods easily. Thought leadership is what sets you apart from your competitors because, in this one, you present yourself as an expert in the business you are in so that people don’t have to put too much effort into dealing with you.
7. Groups and forums
How about creating a space on the social media platform where people with similar interests can interact with each other? Groups and forums are there on websites like LinkedIn and Facebook where you bring together your target audience and interact with them on a personal level. Without any doubt, this has proven to be a smart move to market your brand on social media.
8. Company reviews by users
How many times do you scroll down to the review section while buying something on Amazon? We all do that for many reasons but the real one is again ‘trusting the words of the user’. When companies use social media where real users get to share their feedback, the new users suddenly feel more comfortable making their decisions. That’s why Zomato and TripAdvisor exist.
Understanding types of marketing and platform may seem easy but when it comes to selecting the right way, things kind of unravel. This is the point where you ask yourself ‘which direction should I go for?’ That’s why we are here for.
To be accurate, research is essential. You need to figure out your target audience based on location, gender, and other criteria. This helps you understand what exactly they are looking for. Now, you should match your goals with their wants and this will give you the answer.
If you still find it confusing, find out in detail what type of social media marketing is right for you.
Once you choose the right social media marketing type, you can speed up your growth with the help of an easy-to-use tool. No doubt there are many available in the market but having the best one is what brings the difference.
Let’s focus on Social Media Marketing tools.
Social media marketing can be nerve-wracking once you get to the everyday posting on 10 platforms. Thanks to marketing tools that turn this roller coaster ride a smooth track.
Having a reliable tool helps you:
- Schedule and plan periodic content in one space, hence, maintaining consistency.
- Streamline and automate your process and other manual activities.
- Assist you in tracking audience engagement and managing their needs.
- Access hot ideas to curate content that eliminates struggles.
The best social media marketing tools you can trust.
We know you are wondering ‘sure, a tool does a lot of what but what are the best ones to go for?‘ Well, we have a list prepared just for you. So, have a look at the best tools available in the market.
Source: Rival IQ
The first one here is Buffer which is renowned for its variety of functionality. You can link this tool to multiple social media accounts and use it as a browser plugin to schedule content timing and more.
2. Rival IQ
Keeping an eye on social insights can be a tough job. Rival IQ is here to unravel things for you and make it seamless with the help of its engagement metrics. With this, you can control everything from a single dashboard.
Next up, we have BuzzSumo in this list which is literally unbeatable especially if you are looking for the best tool for Influencer Marketing. This tool has an excellent analytic function that shows you everything you need, be it keywords or trendy topics, to have perfect content to post. Not to mention, its competition analysis will surely never let you down.
Another most amazing analytic tool is SocialPilot which is renowned for its quite user-friendly interface. It not only helps you manage and monitor everything but also lends you a helping hand in optimizing, curating, and tracking content on different social media platforms.
What if you get a tool that focuses on one platform? This is what Tweetdeck does for you. This one is particularly for those who want to rank on Twitter because it helps you come up with great content to share on your Twitter wall. Moreover, you get to monitor, use tactics, and have every detail you want to make your content have better results.
There you have a list of the best tools to try in your social media marketing initiative. However, having tools or the best strategies may make your work easier but that surely cannot guarantee you success. Do you know why we are saying this? Because 95% of small businesses on social media often back out because they face failure.
As a social media manager, you need to be precise about your next move. Nonetheless, this seems like a topic beyond your comprehension. Not to worry, we are here to the rescue with proven tips that have worked wonders for big brands.
Some pro-tips for social media marketing
Like any social media manager, you can post, post, and post on social media but leave with nothing but slim pickings. Obviously, social media is not just about posting but much more. So, here are some pro-tips to help you succeed.
Tip 1: Always have a defined strategy
Got it, we have discussed this point in the beginning as well. However, many beginners often take the planning for granted. So, just to remind you, like everything, social media marketing also starts with a strategy and not just in your head but a well-described one.
While we are discussing a marketing strategy, one thing you must make sure of is one strategy doesn’t work on every platform. Also, your goals, competition, and target audience should be very specific when start planning your strategy.
Tip 2: Value consistency
After having a strategy in your hand, all you need to do is stay consistent. By consistency, we mean it can be maintaining the time, tone, voice, and even expression of the content you are sharing. The best way to stay consistent is to have a plan ready beforehand and what is a better way than taking help from a marketing tool?
Tip 3: Video content is an amazing choice
Imagine you have to read a blog but there is a video available with the same information. What will you choose? Obviously, the video because is easier to get than reading a blog post. The same thing is applied on social media platforms because videos work better as compared to other types of content.
Source: Point Visible
So, if you want more engagement, flexibility, and value on your profile, get videos on your wall and explain your purpose behind the post more clearly.
Tip 4: Highlight the message
No matter what content you share, you must focus on making the message clear. Well, this one is kind of obvious but here is how you can come up with the finest message. You need to keep a record of your specific target audience like:
- Where are they from?
- What language do they know?
- What age group do they belong to? And much more
Tip 5: Go with the trend
We often find brands sharing reels on trendy songs on Instagram. Why are they doing that? It’s because going with the trend gives them the opportunity to stay on top against their competitors. Also, think about it? You get to experiment to mold the trend to match your company goals and that will make your brand stand apart from the rest. P.S. Here are some of the top social media marketing trends for 2022.
Tip 6: Measure and improve
Post content timely and you are done. That’s not how the social media market works. You need to understand the records of how the content is working on your social media profiles. The stats that you get from tools and even the platform of your choice as well are great to analyze. That too with better-guaranteed results.
So, there you have the tips coming straight from the experts of the social media marketing industry in this guide. However, this list just doesn’t end here because there are still a bunch of other tips and tricks that work wonders to sky-rocket your success rate on social media. Check out this article to find out the best tips for social media marketing as recommended by social media pros.
Understanding social media marketing is a pretty hard thing because things keep on changing and people quickly move on from what they saw the other day. You definitely don’t want to sound outdated on your social media.
The question is – ‘What to do to stay up-to-day in this constantly changing and evolving digital world?‘ We have the answer.
Ways to keep up with the evolving Social Media trends
Even though you have access to the best tool in the market, there are still difficulties that can make all the extra effort you put in harder to stay on top. So, here are some tested ways to move shoulder-to-shoulder with the always-changing trends. Check them out.
1. Use social media every day
If you want to be the best on social media, you need to stay active on social media. ‘What do we mean by that?‘.
Undoubtedly, you need to spend time on Social Media to observe the industry in-depth as this guide suggests. This will help you observe and understand the audience and their needs better. Also, that works not just for a specific niche but an overall industry needs.
2. Be a part of a community
Spending time on social media is good and all but the real value comes when you are closer to people who are from the same industry as you are. The best way to do that is to join relevant groups and communities that we often find on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Why is it important? When you join these groups, you get access to the personal experiences of the audience and that is everything, Trust us.
3. Get access to newsletters
Every business and website is here to give you access to their newsletters. We often ignore these but their need comes in when you are looking for valuable information. So, subscribe to newsletters and even magazines that you find relevant. These papers will give you access to the main trends and updates of the week. Apply that to your work and you’ll be a pro.
3. Smart work > Hard work
No professional goes for the number of hashtags to market their posts better. However, they play smart games and take a different turn. How? Take, for instance, you are promoting your content on Instagram. What you can do is look for #SocialMediaUpdates and get straight to the goldmine.
This is where tools help you play a smart role but show you all important information just with a single search about a specific keyword.
5. Listen to podcasts
How many of you want to know what the market gurus have to say about your social media marketing? These experts often share their ideas through podcasts that you must listen to if you want real suggestions on trendy social media marketing hacks. Also, all you need to do is plug in your headphones, pay attention, and continue your everyday tasks. Podcasts are that easy.
Just to get you started, start following Neil Patel’s podcasts and enter the real pro-world of social media.
Here, in this social media marketing guide, we have covered the important pro tips you can follow but there are more. Check out the well-explained evergreen tips to fight the ever-changing social media algorithms and begin your social media marketing journey with not-so-amateur knowledge.
Now, social media is no longer the text and media exchange game, it has gone way too far to market your brand at its best. If you are starting from scratch, the best advice would be not to be too hard on yourself because this is just about a try-and-test battle.
Now, it’s your time to try social media marketing guide tips and pull out all the stops in between. Also, just in case you find something difficult, this social media marketing guide will be here to lead your way out of every problem.