What is Social Media Marketing, and How Do I Use It?
If you are looking to expand your company’s success through social media, you are not alone. Utilizing social media marketing to immediately reach a bigger audience is a smart idea. But you might be asking yourself: What is social media marketing? How do I use it for my business? Why is it important? Let’s take a look at social media marketing.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of marketing that uses social media platforms and networks to connect with an audience and push products or services by creating and publishing content. SMM relies on word-of-mouth mentality while also listening to and engaging with the audience.
There are many benefits to SMM. It can help build brand awareness, increase sales and drive web traffic. Businesses can also use SMM to really learn who their target audience is, what they want from the company and what their current experience with the company is. If the experience is bad, then the business owner can improve the service or product.
What Platforms Can I Use for SMM?
With hundreds of social media platforms, there is no wrong answer. The major platforms you should definitely look at are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat.
As a business owner, you should always be thinking about expanding, though. Consider using Tumblr, TikTok, WhatsApp, Yelp, Foursquare, Reddit or Digg. Any of these social media platforms can be used in SMM.
Why is SMM Important?
The goal is SMM is three-fold: you want to push your products or services while also connecting with your audience and building a strong social media presence. This is all done through posting good, sharable content and ads, while also engaging customer feedback – the good and the bad.
SMM can help companies of all shapes and sizes – startups, small businesses and major corporations.
How Do I Use SMM?
SMM has four main parts: develop a social media strategy, plan and publish content, listen to and engage the audience and complete analytics and reports.
1. Develop a Strong Social Media Strategy
Before you do anything else, you need to create a social media strategy. Figure out your company’s goals; do you want to drive website traffic or increase sales? Do you want to improve customer support or build brand awareness? Your goals might be a combination of these.
You also need to figure out who your target audience is; this will drive the rest of your social media strategy. What platforms does your target audience use? This will help you figure out what platforms you need to use to reach them; try to start with one or two before adding more. What kind of content does your target audience like? This will help you decide whether to post images, videos, blogs, infographics or a combination.
Once you know your target audience, you can create keywords and content to engage them. Don’t hesitate to look at your competition, either.
2. Plan and Publish Content
Once you figure out what content you are going to use, create it. Again, you can mix it up with images, videos or blogs. Consider posting how-tos or even Q and A’s. A good rule of thumb with creating and publishing content is “don’t post simply to post.” Make sure your content has meaning and will engage your audience.
If possible, share content from other sources. This can enforce your company’s reputation and also encourage other sources to share your content to their audience. Word-of-mouth is definitely helpful.
Once your content is ready, it is time to publish it. Post content consistently. Be present and engaging so potential customers can find you.
To plan ahead of time, use social media publishing tools like Hootsuite, HubSpot or Sprout Social.
3. Listen to and Engage the Audience
If you post content correctly, people are going to respond. Some will comment on the post while others will message you directly. They will tell you what they like or don’t like. Appear active by responding to their comments, even if they are good. If the comments are negative, address them the best you can and build your customer service skills.
This is also the time to really fine-tune your content based on their reactions. If your audience agrees that your content is lame or not fun, spice it up a bit. If you come across as a robot pretending to be a human, relax a little. You will have to experience before finding the perfect balance.
Use this time to also tag customers and encourage them to continue word-of-mouth techniques by sharing your content.
4. Complete Analytics and Reports
After submitting some social media content into the world and running your SMM, run a few reports to see how your SMM is doing. Gauge the strengths and weaknesses of your campaign while also looking at your competition. You might see a keyword or tactic they are using that you might want to use.
In these reports, look for several factors: the number of people you are reaching, the number of clicks, comments, likes and views, the number of mentions, tags, reposts and shares. Ultimately, ask yourself if your goals are being met. If they aren’t, now is the time to change your SMM.
Google Analytics is a good tool to use during this stage. You can also use analytics from individual social media platforms, such as Twitter Analytics or Facebook Analytics. These tools can often tell you how well your content is engaging audiences so you can decide which platform to maybe use more.
With social media constantly changing and new platforms being added to the long list every day, we understand that understanding and properly utilizing SMM can be difficult. That is why you should use Promotion LA. We are up-to-date with social media changes, and we have perfected the way to manage social media platforms to best meet goals.
Don’t wait any longer; call Promotion LA to schedule the ideal SMM plan for you and your company so we can make you successful.