Last updated on January 1st, 2023 by RGB Web Tech
When you use social media marketing, whether on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or another platform, you’re engaging and interacting with your audience on multiple levels, building their brand awareness and interest to drive leads and sales.
You can create devoted fans of your business through your social media strategy.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is a digital marketing strategy that uses social media to promote your business online.
When you market your business with social media, you use different social media networks, like Facebook or Instagram, to connect, engage, and communicate with your target audience, as well as promote your products or services to drive brand awareness, website traffic, and sales.
It sounds easy enough, but there is more to SMM than meets the eye.
This guide serves as your partner for getting started with social media and learning the basics of social media. Use it to learn how to bring social media and marketing together. Plus, get inspiration from real-life social media marketing campaigns.
Social Media Marketing Guide Definitions
Here are some common terms you need to know when developing your social media marketing strategy.
- Content : Content is whatever you post on social media. It can be a Facebook status update, a video on Instagram, a Tweet, and so on. Content comes in many different forms, and you need to tailor it to each platform. What’s even more important than content, though, is context.
- Context : Gary Vaynerchuk said, “Content is king, but context is God.” For instance, you might have a great joke, but if you place it somewhere inside a 3,000-word blog post, very few people are likely to see it. On Twitter, however, that same joke as a tweet might crush it. Plus, anyone can get in on the fun. When looking at the most retweeted, funniest Tweets ever, we can see even the CIA sees the value in using social media to create some positive buzz.The opposite is also true. Packaging your entire blog post into one tweet is hardly possible, so try a good call to action with some relevant hashtags instead. And that brings us to hashtags.
- Hashtags : By now, you probably know that hashtags are a very common tool that people use to add meta information on almost all social media channels. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all use hashtags to let you describe the topic of your content or mark it as part of current trends.They make your content easy for users to discover and therefore more likely that they’ll share it.
- Shares : Shares are the currency of the social media world. When people engage and interact with your content, that’s good. But when they share it, that is the time to celebrate. A great social media tool to measure shares and the overall impact of content is BuzzSumo. The more shares, the more people love your content. Shares are the best form of engagement that people can have.
- Engagement : This is a general term referring to how people interact with the content that you produce. It can be a like, a reaction, a comment, or a share. All of these are good, but the shares are where it’s at. Now that we’ve covered some social media definitions, let’s take a look at the core pillars of social media.
Core Pillars of Social Media Marketing
There’s no doubt about it: these days, your business needs to be on social media, and you should concentrate at least some of your marketing efforts (and budget) on your social media strategy.
With 4.48 billion people owning social media accounts, there’s a whole world of potential customers that any business can access, simply by logging in and creating brilliant content.
Brands like BooHoo, Depop, and Chipotle excel at social media, and there’s one simple reason: they integrate the core pillars of social media marketing.
There are five main pillars. Let’s talk through them one by one.
A sound social media marketing strategy is the backbone of your social media presence. Without a strategy, you’re wasting time, unlikely to achieve your goals, and will most likely struggle to reach your target audience.
In case you’re not sure, a content strategy consists of getting the “Right content, to the right people, at the right time.”
In its most basic terms, a content strategy helps you achieve your business goals by enabling you to:
- Create Valuable Content
- Drive Engagement
- Increase Conversions
A good social media marketing strategy has clear goals, specific plans to reach those goals, and must be measurable.
Finally, you need to set benchmarks to see how things are going and whether you need to change your approach.
2. Planning and Publish
Social media is a powerful tool, but you can’t just go out there and start publishing content without a plan behind it.
When you’re planning content make sure that you:
- Know your audience: You need to know the demographic of your audience in order to connect with them.
- Focus on quality: The quality of content is just as important as the quantity.
- Consider your brand: Keeping in line with your brand values is crucial.
When it comes to publishing, there is one golden rule: consistency. A regular publishing schedule keeps people coming back for more.
3. Listening and Engagement
Plan your content and above all, actually engage with your audience.
Your feedback might not always be positive; but, if you don’t make changes, neither will the tone of your responses.
Listening and engagement are all part of a successful digital transformation, especially if you’re going to enhance the overall customer experience.
It’s also worth mentioning that social listening isn’t just about customer experience. It can allow you to:
- Pick up on New Trends
- Identify New Streams of Income
- Gain Industry Insights
- Find Influencers in Your Niche
Need some assistance to get started with social listening? Hootsuite has a free introductory tool for measuring key terms and hashtags.
The success of any social media marketing campaign depends on analytics for tracking and collecting data. Without this information, you can’t:
- Understand user behavior
- Refine your strategy
- Find which platform works best for your brand
- Discover the best times to post
- Analyze your competitors
Once you have all this, you’ll know with certainty what works and what doesn’t. That way you can spend more time on what does, and waste less. In turn, analytics will inform the decisions that you make for future campaigns—and highly influence the success rate.
Similarly, A/B testing is great for determining what content, design, CTA, etc. work best.
If you’ve been noticing certain types of content receiving double the engagement than other posts, play on that.
For example, if you’re a small business, your followers are most likely going to be family and friends who will love the personal insight and celebratory posts because they care about you and your successes.
Producing high-quality content that your audience isn’t interested in will mean that engagement levels tank. You need to work on making sure your posts appear in people’s feeds before you start feeding through those insightful industry blogs.
For anyone looking for an audience, social media advertising is worth exploring. With approximately 2.89 billion active monthly users on Facebook alone, that’s an incredible amount of prospects.
The three main types of social media advertising are:
- Organic: Content that picks up views naturally and you don’t pay for.
- Paid: Content that an organization sponsors and therefore costs money to post.
- Earned: Content that has been given freely in the form of shares, likes, and comments.
There are several ways you can advertise on social media. For example, you can:
- Create content: This includes posts and videos.
- Promote content: Create posts that are promoted/sponsored.
- Engage with people: Get active in groups related to your industry, interact with influencers in your industry, etc.
- Grow a following: Get people in your industry to follow your brand by creating and sharing content that appeals to them.
- Get downloads: Offer PDFs, white papers, PowerPoints, videos, podcasts, etc. on your social channels and profiles.
Additionally, if you aim to enhance your brand recognition, build loyalty, and increase conversion rates, advertising could be the way to go.
Aside from these main pillars, you should also:
- Ensure you focus your content on a specific niche or demographic.
- Build quality connections with influencers, brands, and customers you can build relationships with.
- Add value with your content and comments
Finally, ensure you’re accessible on social media so your customers know they can reach out to you. Don’t just wait for feedback. Invite it!
Different Types of Social Media Marketing
Aside from the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, social media marketing takes many different forms, such as:
- Content Marketing / Content Creating
- Advertising / Sponsorship
- Influencer Marketing
- Social Media Management / Community Management
- Paid Media
- Building Your Following
- Contributing to Forums
If you’re serious about growing your brand, don’t just focus on the large sites with a vast audience. Although they’re an obvious place to start, look for different, more creative ways to engage your prospects and develop leads.
Also, while you’re exploring some of these other methods, find which content works best for each channel to optimize your results.
FAQs of Social Media Marketing
1. What is meant by social media marketing?
Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of internet marketing that uses social media apps as a marketing tool. These social media platforms enable brands to connect with their audience to build a brand, increase sales, and drive traffic to a website.
2. What is an example of social media marketing?
Social Media Marketing (SMM) is marketing that targets social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok for brand promotion, target audience growth, driving website traffic, and increasing sales.
3. What is the role of a social media marketer?
Social media marketers are marketing specialists who use social media platforms to promote a company's offerings. They often use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to reach new customers, engage with current ones, and announce new products or services.
It's clear that social media marketing has its advantages, so if your business doesn't already have the appropriate profiles, create them! Fill out your business' information and post some engaging content to begin gaining followers. As mentioned, ask people relevant to your business to "like" and "share" your page to help build your profile. With consistent updating, the right social media marketing strategy will lead to increased traffic, better SEO, higher conversion rates, improved brand loyalty, and much more. There are virtually no reasons not to implement social media into your marketing strategy. Since it is so cost-effective, there is hardly anything to lose. Your competition is most likely already on social media, so don't let them take your potential customers. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll see growth in your business.