what-is-social-media-marketing

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is no longer just going an extra mile, it’s an essential step for any business to cover all the channels through which it can acquire new customers, keep old ones up-to-date, and establish its name among and above competitors. 

For this reason, you have to be aware of where to find your target audience on different social media platforms, how to reach out to them, get them hooked, and keep them around. And this is why you need to figure out a social media marketing strategy.

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing, also referred to as SMM, in simple terms, is the act of using social media platforms to spread awareness in regards to your product or service in order to widen your customer base.

You can do so using whatever platform best suits what you have to offer, including the use of text posts, images, videos, or other media types that would drive engagement from the audience, create leads, and land you customers.

So, How Can I Create a Social Media Marketing Plan?

SMM is a project, and like any of them, it needs proper planning to be successful and fruitful. In this section, we’ll go over a couple of steps and tips to create an efficient SMM.

1. Create Objectives and Goals

To create the optimum strategy, you have to set specific goals and objectives in order to lay out a plan and measure your success in pursuing these goals. Following the S.M.A.R.T. steps for optimization, which entails that the goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant 
  • Time-bound

In other words, you should be able to say, “We will use Instagram story polls to increase user engagement by 2% by the end of the upcoming quarter.”

This should enable you to track marketing metrics that matter when it comes to making profits, like conversion rates, click-through rates, and engagement.

2. Understand Your Audience

In order to create a marketing campaign that suits your target audience, you have to first understand that target audience, and the best way to do so is by creating personas for them.

If you don’t have any existing data, you can use basic demographic information, like age, location, and gender.

Furthermore, you can use information like language, average income, spending patterns, potential obstacles to purchase, stage of life, and interests. In the case that you’re opting for a B2B (Business-to-Business) agreement, you might want to take the size of the business into consideration as well.

This helps you understand your customer base and target audience better, which helps you curate the content that would drive more engagement from them and land paid customers.

3. Understand Your Competitors

You can’t make it to the top if you don’t understand your competitors just as well as you understand your audience and customers. The optimum way to do this is through competitive analysis, which entails collecting various types of information regarding your competitors.

First of all, you have to define who your competitors are and which of them pose the highest threat in terms of driving customers or leads away from your business.

Understand what the product or service they offer is, who their customer base and target are, what sale tactics they use, what their pricing ranges are, how they market their product, how their shipping or service fees compare to yours, what their content strategy entails, and how their level of engagement stacks up against your own.

You can do so by observing the number of likes on their posts, views on their Instagram videos or reels, views on YouTube videos, number of subscribers or followers, and number of shares or retweets they get.

By understanding what your competitors have to offer, you can improve your own product or service to match and exceed the expectations of the common target audience.

4. Audit Content That Already Exists

If you already have some content to analyze, you should ask the following questions:

  • What content strategies are working and what aren’t?
  • Which types of audience are engaging with your content? Why?
  • Which social media platforms have the most engagement statistics?
  • How do you compare to the competition in terms of social media presence?

These questions help you form a solid bigger picture and give you a place from which you can start working on your strategy by improving it. If not, you’ll have to put in a little extra effort, which means that you have to start from scratch.

5. Create a Strong Presence or Improve the Existent One

One of the most important things when it comes to driving engagement, believe it or not, is the timing of your posts. This is why plenty of platforms offer insights into this particular metric, and it’s why you should make sure that you have access to it somehow.

Moreover, you have to understand the optimum content mix for your business. This means that you should determine what percentage of the content should:

  • Drive traffic to your website.
  • Be curated content from other sources will be posted on your behalf.
  • Be generating leads, which means how many people sign up for the newsletter or how many of them download an ebook, etc.
  • Be about your vision, culture, and explain to customers just who you are.

If you’re only starting out, you might want to follow a rule that you’re looking for more engagement and entertainment than promotion. In other words, 80% of the content should be fun for your audience, while only 20% should be for promotional purposes in the beginning.

6. Analyze Results

Finally, a content strategy can never be successful without evaluation, analysis, and deciding what to continue pursuing or what to terminate to stop wasting resources.

For example, you can use UTM parameters, which are short text codes that you add to your links in order to analyze various aspects, including:

  1. Understanding how effective your social media marketing campaigns and programs are.
  2. Precisely determining where the traffic converted to your website is coming from.
  3. Comparing individual posts head-to-head, much like the A/B testing style.

Through this cycle of creation, testing, feedback, evaluation, and improvement, you can ensure that you’ll be driving plenty of traffic to the right place and that your SMM campaign wouldn’t be just a one-hit-wonder.

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