How often did you hear of Bitcoin before it boomed? And how often do you regret not investing in it sooner?
That is exactly what happened with social media. What started as an idea for “writing in Walls”, became one of the biggest platforms ever to exist. Facebook became publicly available in 2004 and has seen a sharp rise in its number of users ever since. It was not until 2006 that Facebook Ads was launched, giving organizations the power to target and harness their audiences. Very few saw the glittering gold in the beginning. Now, there seems to be an endless rush for it in every sense of the word.
That’s just Facebook. There are a ton of others, of which you might have heard of a few. Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube usually top the list.
What is SMM?
Social Media Marketing is the process of producing specific content for social media networks to engage with your audience and boost your web traffic. A digital marketing agency in London may define it as a channel that allows you to create user engagement and promote brand awareness.
If you look at it in summary, then there are four aspects to the concept – social media, audience, engagement and brand. All parts of the wheel are co-dependent and interestingly create the inertia that keeps your marketing on the move.
How Does It Work?
With SMM, a different strategy needs to be applied to each platform. The goal is to create content that sticks with your target audience and goes viral. No matter what form of information you bring forward, it should be engaging enough for your users to share it ahead.
Social Media Marketing is more than just tooting your own horn. It also involves understanding your consumers and giving them the value they need through your network.
What are the Benefits of SMM?
- Social media presence helps with increased brand awareness and recognition. Around 43% of users research a product online before they buy. SMM gives your enterprise an omnipresent outlook.
- It expands the reach of your content from the comfort of your home or office. 27% of internet users find new products through social advertisement.
- SMM aids in boosting SEO efforts by increasing the probability to be found. Cross-platform sharing speaks of a higher authority level to the algorithms.
- You get to engage with your consumers in real-time. You can address their concerns in real-time building brand loyalty and advocacy without any additional costs.
- Social media acts as a conduit to your website traffic, giving more leads interested in your products and primed for conversion.
- It provides first-hand knowledge about your industry patterns and changes, delivering actionable insights to stay ahead of the curve.
Which Marketing Goals Does It Meet?
Social media marketing is such a colossal powerhouse that it is sometimes used in solidarity to propagate a brand. Nearly everyone you want to reach is on one platform or the other. With a few tweaks in the strategy, you can achieve the following goals –
- Increased website traffic
- Growing brand awareness
- Inbound lead generation
- Real-time feedback loops
- Consumer and competition research
- Audience expansion
- Creation of a customer-based community
- Better press engagement
How to Choose the Right Platform?
Since content and audience perception change with every platform, it is crucial to know where and how you shall find your crowd. Tailoring a strategy for each network is how you can harness its true potential. Let’s dive into which platform is known for which personalities.
Facebook is open to all kinds of people and all forms of content. Whether it be text, images, videos or an external link, you can integrate pretty much everything into the network. It has a user base of 2.7 billion and growing for you can find everyone in one place. The platform also boasts of the most advanced ad targeting capabilities.
Instagram is driven by pictures, videos, captions and hashtags. It is one of the most appealing social media platform to be ever made with a daily average of 53 minutes spent on the app by its users. Influencer marketing forms a considerable part of this network where an aesthetic and some consistency can take you a long way.
YouTube is a video sharing platform that has changed the way ads are displayed in the online world. It is also the second-largest search engine across the globe. The network works best as a video hosting space that lures in your audiences from other platforms to either entertain or educate about your products and services.
Predominantly a text-based platform, Twitter gives you the space to push out a regular stream of updates about your brand. It also acts as a practical resource to address consumer complaints and expectations. What makes Twitter noteworthy is its capability to create and sustain conversations around every topic.
LinkedIn is on a growth trajectory and is yet to reach its full potential in many ways. Being a professional platform, your brand tone needs to be strict and completely informational here. It is marked as a business place and is used to create genuine interest in your offerings through a focussed network.
What Goes in Devising a Winning Strategy?
You SMM strategy depends on two factors, the level of interaction you plan to sustain and the budget you’re willing to expend. Depending upon your goals from a particular network, you can create an action plan in terms of the type of content, posting frequency, comment turnaround time, and promotional campaigns.
The aim is always to build a conversation around your brand that, in turn, creates recognition, engagement and association.
Where to Start?
Entry into the sector of social media marketing fairly simple, thanks to the networks being free in the first place. You can begin with creating content that has already been working well for your organization and build on it after seeing the actual numbers on the platform.
Don’t forget to study and include the latest social media trends within your strategy to ride out the already soaring waves. Since the paradigm keeps shifting, there is always room to improve and do better with the next piece.