Social media channels have recently become an inseparable part of marketing strategies for businesses. And understandably so.
One can not simply ignore the impact of “social” in building meaningful connections with consumers. Additionally, social media consists of a massive network with over 4.3 billion users who love to share, seek and create content or information. The extraordinary traction, rather than mere numbers, makes you realise the potential of social media marketing. Today, the social media presence of individuals or businesses is a close representation of their existence.
Now the question arises – as a business owner or marketer, how would you utilise this network in a way that generates positive results for your business? This blog has everything you need to know about social media marketing, how it works, and why it is necessary for your business. So if you wish to learn more about growing your business and want to elevate your brand to the next level, keep reading for a brief insight.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Put simply, social media marketing (SMM) is the process of curating content for each social media platform that drives engagement and promotes your business.
What is SMM aimed at? Social media marketing is all about connecting with your audience or customers and helping them understand your brand better. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most efficient ways to grow your business.
Look at it this way. With social media, you could build a deep relationship with your audience which was not possible before Facebook went viral. We now have the leverage of social media to converse with our audience and present to them what we have been doing. An ideal social media marketing strategy speaks to all of your cold, warm and hot leads on a single platform, which drives the growth of revenue.
You probably know enough about social media and that millions of businesses globally have been using SMM for a while now. It’s high time we get into the why of starting a social media marketing campaign for your business. Regardless of the current scale of your business, SMM could benefit you in a number of ways.
Why Do You Need Social Media Marketing for Your Business?
Social media marketing is no longer a choice. It is an essential way to reach your customers, get valuable insights and stimulate your business growth. So if you are still wondering why you should opt for social media marketing for your business – here are the top six reasons. Social media marketing helps your business to:
- Build awareness: If people are unaware of your business, they can not become your customers – it is as simple as that. With over half of the global population actively using social media now, platforms like Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter would be the best places to reach new and highly targeted potential customers.
- Enhance brand authority: In making any business powerful, brand loyalty and customer satisfaction play a significant role. However, after a certain point, everything comes down to communication. When customers (existing or potential) see your company posting and engaging on social media, especially responding to their queries and sharing valuable content, it builds a positive image of your brand in their minds.
- Increase website traffic: Social media posts along with advertisements are the most optimal ways to drive traffic to your website. Posting quality excerpts from your blogs or website on your social handles is a popular way to gain readers as soon as you publish a new post.
- Generate leads: Social media allows an easy and direct way for prospects to express interest in your business. Lead generation is such a significant benefit of social media for organisations that various social platforms offer advertising arrangements tailored to collect leads.
- Boost sales: Your social media accounts are a vital piece of your sales funnel i.e. the process through which a prospect becomes a customer. As the number of social media users continues to rise and social selling tools continue to innovate, social channels would become essential for product search and e-commerce. There could not have been a better time to align your social marketing efforts with sales goals.
- Humanise your brand: The ability to establish real human-like connections is one of the major highlights of social media for business. Introduce your followers to the people running your company and share testimonials of existing customers. Let them know how others use and benefit from your products.
How Does Social Media Marketing Work?
There are millions of businesses online fighting for attention. It may sound obvious but only the best brands make it to the top.
Whether your aim is to build a massive following or attract new leads to your site, you have to regularly curate and share outstanding content to engage your audience.
Any business looking to grow with social media marketing should follow these marketing tactics:
Research Your Target Audience
Various audiences go for different social media channels so you should reach out to your prospects where they frequent often.
For instance, an online travel agency would find good success on Instagram but an American lifestyle brand could get a lot more clients on Pinterest than anywhere else.
However, that does not imply your business presence should be only on one platform. Researching and identifying your target customers and their priorities would assist you in proceeding with relevant channels.
As a rule of thumb, deciding on your target audience would help build your business presence on popular social media giants such as:
These channels host billions of active monthly users. Hence, you would get a fair chance of reaching out to your target customers.
Next, you need to thoroughly research your competitors to see which channels have been working best for them.
It could prove beneficial in trying your hand on other social platforms such as TikTok, Snapchat and Reddit, and find out if there were any competitors with a considerable audience there. How does that help? Well, you could save a lot of time and your confidence would receive a boost.
Create Accounts For Your Brand
Now, you need to create social profiles on each platform you select.
The primary objective here is to maintain an impressive brand identity. You would want to keep your brand as a top priority for each prospect on various social media platforms.
Make sure you publicly share your professional business details. Use a real phone number, address and website to ensure high credibility.
Moreover, you need to use professional design for your profile which would include your logo and brand color palette. This helps immensely to establish consistency and leave lasting impressions on all prospects.
Publish Content Regularly
You need to curate a content marketing strategy that defines the following:
- Type of content you will post
- How often you will share new posts
- The ideal time to publish your posts
- How to interact with your audience on social media
Next, you need to start sharing content in different forms – whether images, videos or text-based posts.
In the beginning, it is never clear what works optimally for your business but there is no need to worry about every small detail. Things would become clearer when you keep trying out different forms and learn from your audience.
All you need to do is to stick to your content plan and be consistent with your schedule.
Analyse Your Your Social Media Data
Monitoring progress is an essential part of any marketing strategy. You should be able to judge if your content is driving the best results and how you can improve.
The most important metrics you should track for social media marketing are:
- Post reach/impressions
- Post engagements (likes, reactions, comments, shares)
- Number of follows/likes on your account
- Account tags
- Views (for videos)
These metrics are always easily available for you to check on your profile. All of these ultimately help you refine and enhance your marketing strategy.
For example, with some brands, the audience interacts better with images on Instagram while in other cases, Pinterest drives the most site visits when you post infographics.
Build An Audience On Social Media
As social media users start noticing your brand, you might establish high authority on the platform. This allows you to attract an even bigger audience through social shares and reposts.
Your final step of the social media marketing loop is to drive those leads to your site, convert them into permanent customers and increase your revenue.
At this point, your audience probably trusts your brand and knows what you have to offer. So, all you need to do is serve them an offer they can’t refuse.
One might feel like they could be too late to the social media marketing game to make a difference. Or that it involves more effort than it is worth. However, once you begin executing the best practices and proven social media marketing tactics, you could still see good results.
The crucial thing is to stay consistent over time, invest a good amount of time to understand your audience and engage with them in meaningful ways.