The Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing
Most businesses use some form of social media marketing, even if they don’t invest a lot of time or money into it. This is because social media can be a great way to reach a wide audience, not to mention the fact that you can target your content at specific audiences.
If you’re new to social media marketing, it may seem a bit overwhelming. There are lots of different social platforms to choose from, as well as various tools to help with things like scheduling and analytics. To help you get started, we’ve explored the basics of social media marketing below:
What is Social Media Marketing?
When we discuss social media marketing, we’re describing the process of using social platforms to reach out to an audience, hopefully engaging with them and increasing brand awareness. It’s a way for businesses to cast a wider net in terms of promoting their products or services, and speak to their customers in a more informal setting.
In regards to brand awareness, social media can be a fantastic way to get your company name out there. Although it can be difficult to increase your revenue through social channels, at least at first, you should be able to use social platforms to create a buzz, and get people interested in your business.
It’s also important to note that you can easily track the success of your social media campaigns. Not only do social platforms have their own analytics tools built into them, you can also use other analytic software to get a better breakdown of various metrics.
How Does Social Media Marketing Work?
When social platforms were first introduced, the way people communicated with each other began to change. While people could speak via things like email, these were usually more formal methods of communication, and on a more individual level. Marketers began to see this change, as platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram gained traction, and realised the potential of this method of marketing. They could start interacting with customers in a new way.
Tailored content is a big advantage of social media marketing – as you can filter using a vast number of specifications, from age to geographical location, bespoke content can be created for each sub group you’re reaching out to. The message can be tailored to different personas, making it more likely to resonate with these groups of people.
Key Areas of Social Marketing
There are five main components of social marketing, each of which needs to be carefully considered for strategies to be successful. We’ve explored each of these in more detail below:
As you can probably guess from the name, this component of social media marketing is all about preparation before launching a campaign. You can determine the overall goals for your marketing team, such as increased website traffic or a boost in engagement. You should also consider which social media platforms you think would work best for your business, as well as what types of content would be effective.
2. Planning and Publishing
Once you’re confident about your goals, you can start to plan your content. Think about what sort of topics you’ll cover, and whether you’ll write content for holidays and big events. Milestones in your organisation’s timeline may also be something to consider writing about. After deciding on the topics, you can think about different mediums, such as videos, podcasts, or infographics.
3. Listening and Engagement
There’s no point publishing content and then just ignoring it. You need to monitor what people are saying about the post, and what their reactions are. One of the simplest ways to do this is to look at the comments posted on your social channels. And to make this even easier, you can use social media engagement tools, such as Sprout Social or HubSpot.
4. Analytics and Reporting
Analysing the results of your campaigns is an essential step in any social media strategy. Find out the demographics of your audience, as well as the number of people you’re reaching. The data you collect can be used to inform your next campaign, and hopefully help to improve your results.
You may not always be able to reach a wide audience through social media organically, therefore you may wish to invest in a few advertising campaigns. Using ads on social media can be a great way to develop and promote your brand.
Advantages of Social Media Marketing
There are a number of benefits to using social media in your marketing efforts. Perhaps the most obvious advantage is that you’ll be able to quickly reach a wider audience. If you were to use traditional print marketing, you couldn’t guarantee that your content would be viewed. But with social media, as long as you’re willing to invest a bit of money into it, you can ensure that your content is seen. You can furthermore be confident that this content is presented to people interested in what you’re offering.
Social media marketing can additionally boost your website traffic. This in turn can increase your conversion rate. Directing traffic to your site should lead to more sales, thus social marketing is a great return on investment.
Another advantage of social media marketing is that it’s not too costly. Relatively speaking, this method of marketing is one of the cheapest out there. And if you’re patient, and keep producing regular, engaging posts, you should see a significant growth of your audience.