Social media marketing is just one type of marketing you can include in your strategies to increase brand awareness, conversions, and audience engagement. Learning how to do social media marketing can help you understand it better. This may make it easier to develop a strategy that fits your marketing goals and resonates with your audience.
Social media marketing (SMM) is a marketing niche that uses social media channels to promote products, services, companies, or brands. It’s more than just another form of advertising where you’re broadcasting your messages to the void and hoping someone sees it and uses your products or services. It involves publishing lots of content on social profiles, conducting social listening, engaging with followers, advertising, and reviewing data about the profiles. Companies of all sizes, from startups to billion-dollar corporations, can use this type of marketing. Some purposes of SMM include:
These five areas work together to benefit and sustain a social media marketing plan:
A strategy helps you determine how all the pieces of your plan work together. It makes you consider your goals and how social media is part of reaching your bigger business achievements. This may be different for every company. It can also help you determine which social media platforms to use to best reach your audience and encourage engagement. The platform choice can also help you decide what type of content to share, or the other way around.
Being on social media helps your company increase its chances of getting discovered by a wider audience. But there is much more you can do to make that more of a guarantee rather than a guess. Planning how you intend to publish your content in advance can help you maximize your reach and pinpoint the frequency and timing for posts to engage the most people.
It’s called “social” media for a reason. There’s a lot of interaction that happens among people and accounts. Some of these interactions you see by receiving alerts and notifications, but others you don’t. Social listening is the process of monitoring search, account tags, hashtags, mentions, and other smaller segments of social media usage to learn what people are saying about your brand and its competitors.
Analytics are the data and statistics you collect from sharing your content and interacting with other users to learn more about how your content performs. These can influence how you make and plan your strategies and tell you if you’re meeting your goals. Most social media platforms have their own analytical tools, but there are others you can use from around the web to track data for all platforms in one place or provide additional insights.
Social media advertising is a popular way to increase your reach and conversions. With ads, you can target certain audiences based on their interests, social behaviors, and demographics. This means you can reach who you want no matter where they browse.
Social media marketing may look slightly different from platform to platform. That’s because each one attracts a different type of user and runs things through its own algorithm and interface. Consider information about each platform to choose which ones are right for your business:
Related: Complete Guide to Viral Marketing
Use these tips to get the most from your social media marketing:
Vanity metrics, such as likes and followers, are easy to track, but don’t provide any real value to your strategy. Now that people can follow accounts but hide that content from their feeds, your follower numbers don’t tell you as much about your engagement as they used to. Similarly, likes don’t always mean people are going through the process of engaging with your content beyond tapping the screen. Instead, focus on factors with more measurability and weight, such as conversion rates or click-throughs.
We talked about social listening as a pillar of social media marketing, but it’s honestly so important that we’re going to stress it again. Social listening lets you run competitive analysis and self-profile audits on your social media channels. You can search for your competitor’s company names, account handles, or trending keywords to discover their presence around social media and how customers perceive it.
You can do the same for your own brand to see how your reach and engagement compare to theirs. Using a social media management program can make it easier to set up streams and alerts to track all this information.
Running an audit on your brand name may also reveal imposter accounts, or fake accounts using your business name, branding, or products for unethical purposes. These accounts can damage your brand’s reputation if they mislead or rip off people who could have otherwise been loyal customers. Getting your official account verified is one way to ensure your customers and clients know they’re dealing with your actual team online.
When you get verified on social platforms, your account receives a badge or token, such as a blue checkmark next to your profile name, to let users see that it’s legitimate. If you find imposter accounts, be sure to report them. You can also alert your followers of fake accounts and urge them not to engage with them.
Consider the mix of content you’re putting out on each channel. Posting the same things each day or all the time may not grab your audience’s attention. There are different post types you can use, such as:
You may follow certain rules of content, such as the 80/20 rule. It states that 80% of your posts should educate, inform, or entertain your audience and 20% can be directly promotional for your brand. Another option is the content rule of thirds. It says that a third of your content should go to each of the following categories:
A social media strategy is a plan you create to make your online marketing efforts a success. It typically includes a typed document outlining your goals, the tactics you intend to use to achieve them, and the metrics you want to track to measure how well you’re executing the plan. You can break the strategy down further by social channel to set goals for each one and define the responsibilities of each team member or group to execute it. Use these steps to create your social media strategy:
Without goals, your strategy has no plan. You have nothing to work toward and nothing to track to see if you’ve been successful. Setting SMART goals can help you pick ones you can actually achieve within the period of your strategy. SMART stands for:
Making sure your goals fit all these categories can make them more beneficial to your strategy. An example of a SMART goal may be: Use Facebook for customer support and lower response times by an hour by the end of the month.
Do you know your target audience? Understanding who views and interacts with your content on social media is one of the best ways to figure out what they like and what gets them excited. When trying to find out more about your audience, you can look at factors like:
These are just a few of the many factors you can track. When you learn about the most common demographics, you can then craft audience personas. These are fictional representations of a customer who may engage with your brand. Doing this can help you create not just your social strategy, but your overall marketing and sales strategies to best target these customers.
It’s not a secret that your competitors are using social media in their marketing strategies, too. Conducting a competitive analysis can help you learn from what they’re doing and adapt it to fit your own brand. Running one can give you a sense of what works and what’s expected in your industry on social media. It can also help you identify opportunities for your marketing if there’s an area they aren’t targeting where you could capitalize. For example, this may include trying a new platform or a certain type of content.
If you’re looking to do competitive research across internet channels, not just on social media, consider taking advantage of our competitive analysis tool. It’s free for everyone!
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Look at your own social media presence to discover your starting point for social media marketing. This can tell you where you’re already succeeding and where it’s important to spend your most time and effort making improvements. Do an audit of all your social accounts and ask questions such as:
An audit can tell you the purpose of each of your social media accounts within your strategy. It can help you determine if there are any channels you should use that you aren’t. It can also help you decide to abandon a channel because it’s no longer serving you or the audience.
Once you know what’s working and what isn’t, you can optimize your accounts for user-friendliness and better strategizing. For example, if you think you need to be on a new platform, create an account there. You can also figure out which channels to use for what content. An example may be using Instagram to show off artful product photos, while you may use TikTok for behind-the-scenes creation, packing, and shipping videos. Make sure you’ve filled out all profile fields, like contact information, and include keywords in your descriptions and captions to help people search for your business.
Creating a plan for your content distribution on social media is just as important as doing it for your website and blog. A social media content calendar can help you decide when and where to interact with your audience. You can use research about your engagement to plan it so that you’re releasing content when it can get the most views and clicks. Your posting schedule includes the dates and times at which content goes up on each channel. It may also briefly describe the piece or its purpose within the larger campaign.
Using a calendar can also help you space the content on a particular channel appropriately so that it stays in front of people enough to remind them your brand exists, but isn’t too much that it becomes overwhelming.
You’ve done all the planning, now it’s time to make the content you want the world to see. Remember to keep your posts aligned with your goals and the purpose of each social channel. Use your writing and editing teams, SEO experts, graphic designers, and other members of your marketing crew to deliver the most interesting and valuable pieces for your audience. Need help to develop your content strategy? Contact CopyPress! We can get you started with our strategists and creatives to make your job easier.
Your social media metrics are the numbers, figures, charts, and graphs that can tell you if you’re meeting your goals and your strategy is successful. For example, performance metrics, such as seeing how your audience moves through your profile, can help you learn which posts drive the most traffic to your website. As you review the data, you can reevaluate your social media strategy in real time to determine if you can change upcoming posts or the purpose of each channel.
You can also use the data to influence future campaigns. Consider checking the performance on each channel at least once per week to track your growth over time and keep a record of the data to review or reference. You can also use tools like customer surveys to determine if you’re meeting their needs or expectations. Running a poll on your social channels, sending an email, or creating a popup for your website are just a few things you can ask your audience about, along with how they interact with and value your content.
Social media is always changing. New networks arise and others go through revamps and rebranding. Paying attention to these changes and staying on top of your social media strategy can help you be more prepared for shifts. This helps keep your audience engaged and excited about your content for a long time.
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