What Is Social Media Marketing(SMM)?
Let us understand “What is social media marketing(SMM)?”?
Did you know that TikTok will take over social media leaving other platforms to adapt while other platforms will stay competitive? This is a fact as much as another fact that consumers are no longer loyal to one channel leading to content diffusing (Report:Hubspot).
There is so much more to ever evolving social media marketing.
In 2022, Metaverse formed the trend to connect the consumers who can themselves form communities to impact marketing from brands. So now you must know that brands, consumers, and social media platforms all go in circles to reach a wider audience and improve sales.
SMM is important to let the world know that you exist.
Let us read in detail about the subject.
What is Social Media Marketing?
A brand, product, or service is promoted utilizing social media channels in order to connect with and engage a target audience is social media marketing which is also refer as SMM.
This might entail creating and distributing content, running advertisements, and communicating with followers and clients. In order to boost brand visibility, customer loyalty, and sales, social media marketing tries to develop connections with and engage the target audience.
The summary about SMM says that if you want to exist and fight in the market to capture the audience, your brand must:
Follow the audience:
To accelerate your brand, serve your audience with what they want. Connect with them and find out what keeps your audience engaged. Try to build content around the same lines. Be a part and indulge in things where your customers spend time.
Throw out the traditions:
Offering informative content is great but a traditional way of marketing. Well if you are looking for quick results it is best to create user-generated content. If you do that, your audience will spend more time with your brand. Change is the new trend.
Think of monetisation model:
Like many platforms have done through influencers or reels, it is best to develop a monetisation model for your brand. You can create affiliate programs so that the audience thinks of connecting with your brand to earn money. It builds a loyal customer base.
If the loyal customer base is ready, you must innovate to offer new things that offer solutions to the consumers. It gives you a chance to increase your business and sales.
Why is Social Media Marketing Important Today?
SMM is essential today as:
- It allows businesses to reach a large and engaged audience.
- It provides chances for lead creation, customer engagement, and brand building.
- It also offers affordable real-time feedback, which makes it simpler to monitor the performance of marketing efforts.
Different social media platforms give brands chances and let them grow their businesses.
Let us look at some stats here:
Facebook: It remains the most widely used social media platform despite seeing a tough time in 2022. The number of active users for Facebook accounts for 2.93 billion.
YouTube: Another platform that does not seem to have a faded popularity is YouTube. Over 100 countries, there are 2.2 billion active users. There are more than 38 million active YouTube channels and of those 122 million are daily active users. This just indicates the scope of popularity a brand can get.
LinkedIn: Good for B2B promotion, LinkedIn is a great medium that connects the brands to promote their audiences. There are about 740 million active users. This number is on a growth which is why companies are changing to this platform.
Twitter: The platform has 436 million monthly active users which is a good number if you want to promote your brand and enable people to share their thoughts with the big audience.
WhatsApp: Though WhatsApp lacks detail on demographics and engagement, it is still considered a social media channel because of the number of users. There are about 2 million active users which gives a huge potential to the businesses for growth.
Instagram: Instagram has 1.4 billion active users which makes it the fourth most popular social media platform. Instagram has the maximum number of users in India than in any other country.
How Does Social Media Marketing Work?
Social media marketing helps a brand improve its identity, drive website traffic, and increase sales. Increase in brand exposure via social media can benefit the brands with increased traffic and higher leads.
SMM works by creating and sharing content on social media platforms to achieve marketing goals. The process typically involves the following steps:
Define target audience:
Identify the target audience for the campaign and understand their behavior, interests, and preferences on social media.
The social media platforms where the target audience is most active. Though you cannot stick to just one platform because the users are not engaged to one. Hence, diffuse your content or recreate it for different platforms to capture the audience wherever they are.
Develop content that aligns with the marketing goals and appeals to the target audience, such as posts, videos, images, and infographics.
Publish and promote:
Publish the content on the selected social media platforms and enable it to reach a wider audience through paid advertising or influencer marketing.
Engage with the audience:
Respond to comments and messages and actively engage with the audience to build relationships and foster brand loyalty.
Analyze and optimize:
Regularly analyze the campaign’s performance and optimize it based on the data to improve its effectiveness.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing(SMM)
The benefits of social media marketing include the following:
- Reach: The overall number of people who view your material is known as reach. Social media platforms offer a sizable and expanding user base that enables businesses to reach a wide range of customers. The platform enables advertisers to interact with their target market wherever they are.
- Cost-effectiveness: SMM is relatively low cost compared to traditional advertising methods, making it accessible for businesses of all sizes. You get a larger audience on one platform. Chances of connecting to the attention of a wider audience improves if you market your brand on more than one platform.
- Targeting: Social media platforms offer advanced targeting options which enable businesses to approach their target audience based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.
- Engagement: Social media enables companies to stay connected with their customers in real time, boosting relationship-building and brand loyalty. The only thing you need to do is to write content that keeps people reading your post.
- Lead generation: Social media can drive traffic to a website, generate leads, and collect data on customer behavior and preferences. The platform can engage the audience on landing pages or on websites via a link.This way your leads can easily come searching for you. Along with the social media channels, Geo-targeting and location tools can also be used for spotting your leads and changing the marketing strategies.
- Brand building: Social media provides opportunities to build brand awareness, establish brand personality, and showcase products and services. Companies can increase their brand awareness by using platforms to create content that includes videos, infographics, ads, links, etc.
- Measurable results: Social media platforms include powerful analytics tools that let businesses analyze the efficiency of their campaigns and evaluate their return on investment. Reach, impressions, audience growth rate, audience amplification rate, engagement rate, virality rate, video views, video completion rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, and others are some of the metrics for which social media platforms and their tools can produce reports.
Types of Social Media Marketing
Different types of SMM’s are used to achieve other marketing objectives and reach different target audiences. Each type offers unique advantages and opportunities for businesses to connect with their audience and achieve their marketing goals.
For example, content marketing is effective for building brand awareness and establishing thought leadership, while influencer marketing is great for reaching new audiences and increasing brand credibility. Paid advertising can increase conversions and instantly reach a wide audience, whereas video marketing can engage viewers emotionally by telling a story.
Businesses can more effectively reach their target audience, increase brand awareness, and promote engagement and conversions by integrating several forms of social media marketing. In addition, by understanding the distinct advantages and features of each type of social media marketing, businesses may create a more thorough and successful strategy.
There are several types of SMM, including:
- Content marketing: Creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a target audience and drive profitable customer action.
- Influencer marketing: Partnering with influential individuals on social media to promote a product or service.
- Paid advertising: Using paid advertisements to boost brand awareness and increase conversions on social media platforms.
- Video marketing: Telling a story and interacting with the audience through the use of video on social media platforms.
- Live streaming: The practice of streaming live video on social networking sites to interact with viewers in real time.
- Social media management: It involves posting material, answering comments, and monitoring performance to manage and optimize a company’s social media presence.
- User-generated content: Encouraging clients to post on social media about their interactions with a brand, resulting in user-generated content that the company may share and market.
- E-commerce: Using social media platforms to drive online sales, promote products, and connect with customers.
Some brand examples that use a blend of different social media marketing strategies include these:
- Nike: To reach its target audience and advertise its products on social media platforms, Nike combines influencer marketing, content marketing, and paid advertising.
- Airbnb: To reach its target audience and advertise its services on social media platforms, Airbnb combines content marketing, influencer marketing, and social media management.
- McDonald’s: To reach its target audience and advertise its menu products and specials, McDonald’s uses social media management, paid advertising, and live streaming on social media platforms.
- Coca-Cola: To interact with its target audience and spread brand awareness, Coca-Cola employs a combination of content marketing, video marketing, and user-generated material on social media platforms.
Challenges of Social Media Marketing
Often there arise challenges for brands to best use social media marketing because of:
- Rapid changes in technology
- Difficult measuring of success
- Privacy and data concerns
- Quick development of organic strategies
- Large audience base
- Fast changes in trends
- Managing feedbacks
Some of the challenges that brands face for SMM are:
How To Create A Social Media Marketing Strategy?
77% of social media marketers say that social media marketing brought an increase in the sales of the company. (Source: Hubspot) This makes building social media marketing strategies important.
SMM Strategy for B2C
Around 74% of people follow brands on social media and nearly 33% spend their average time on the internet.
Considering the relevance of the consumers on social media, this is how you can build strategy for social media marketing:
- Choose the right platform:You may have an audience on one social platform but not on another. So be wise before you start marketing your brand. Prominent social media channels are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. It is best to devote time to all the platforms but strategise before you do it.
- Post engaging content:Engaging content is the one which provides relevant information to the readers. Engaging content can drive more traffic to your site and increase the brand awareness where you see people talking more about you. More the people, the higher will be the chances of lead conversions. Content can be engaging when you include visuals, bold backgrounds, videos, data, etc.
- Interact with the audience:Pay close attention to consumer feedback and take use of the chance to enhance your marketing, brand, and goods or services. Take the time to answer when people leave comments on your blogs or mention you on their own. Respond to any queries that people may have.
- Promote your posts via contests:Offering visitors the chance to win something free is the only surefire approach to get them to visit your page. Because of this, it’s a good idea to periodically hold contests on your social network. This way they will remember your brand for longer.
- Share testimonials:Authority is good! If you have received testimonials from your clients that is a win-win situation for you. Share it across social media because it builds credibility for you.
- Blend with the local community:If you run your business in a small area, it is best to first capture their minds and then rank for the business in the local market. Gain loyalty and then spread the word to gain attention from others.
- Schedule your posts:Don’t miss consistency. Decide how many times you would like to post, Remember that out of mind is out of sight so be there in front of your audience with the meaningful and engaging messages.
- Target specific audience with paid ads:Use the power of paid media ads. It lets you reach the audience who could not find your page and reach to you. You can target the audience based on demographics like age, gender, location and occupation.
Next let us look at B2B strategies that brands can use considering their target audience.
SMM Strategy for B2B
B2B companies need to be successful on social media to beat the competition and generate brand awareness. Some of the tricks you can use for B2B social media marketing include:
Set SMART goals:
The key to gauging the effectiveness of your company’s social media efforts will be to define clear, quantifiable KPIs, whether they are based on brand awareness or customer acquisition.
S: Specific. I want to increase the brand awareness over Instagram and other social media platforms about twice a week.
M: Measurable. There should be a 3% increase in engagement rate.
A: Attainable. The engagement rate of the customers should increase by 2% by publishing the posts every week.
R: Relevant. Boost brand awareness and get more leads.
T: Time-bound. The goals should be achieved within the end of the month.
Make note of competition:
The marketing plan or the social media marketing strategy of your competitors is now accessible thanks to social media. Keeping an eye on your competitors is standard practise for larger businesses. To determine whether their campaigns are effective, you should find out what they are. And you can obtain ideas from that campaign if your target audience is comparable to that of that company.
Share original content:
Audiences have the mind to differentiate between the original and the copied content. This is why sharing original content is important.
You must try multimedia to spread the message. Think of the ways with which you can engage the audience for longer.
Set a distinguished brand voice:
Your content should be aligned with the company’s brand voice. This is how the target audience will connect with you forever. Try to convey the brand voice which could be friendly, casual, formal, and serious. Google Cloud is dedicated to offering building solutions in categories of modernization, data management, AI, and machine learning, business analytics, and collaboration. Their intent and voice is to talk abouts solutions for world’s largest companies and help them to transform their business.
Consistency is one of the hardest aspects about posting on social media. It takes a lot of work, preparation, and content production to post to every channel daily. If you’re just getting started, consider investing time in developing insightful material that enriches your audience’s feeds rather than posting frequently.
Experiment with content posting times:
You will have to try and test the content posting times. Because at different hours, the audience may differ and so do their interests. So someone reading in the morning hours may like to have a content that is statistically rich and at the evening hours people might like to read pleasant story content. So try and see what works best for you.
Engage in conversations:
If you see an audience interacting with you it is wise to engage in the conversations. It proves that you are committed towards your audience. And know that social media is for connecting with the people.
Best Social Media Marketing Tools You Must be Using
Some of the best social media marketing tools that you must use for your brand and spreading messages include:
- Hootsuite: A social media management platform, Hootsuite, that allows you to schedule posts, monitor and respond to mentions, and analyze performance across multiple platforms.
- Sprout Social: A comprehensive social media management tool, Sprout Social includes features such as scheduling, analytics, and team collaboration.
- Buffer: Buffer is a social media scheduling and analytics tool that makes it easy to plan, publish, and measure the impact of your posts.
- Canva: Use Canva -a graphic design tool that allows you to create eye-catching social media graphics, posts, and ads.
- Google Analytics: A web analytics service that allows you to track and analyze the performance of your website and social media channels.
KPIs You Should Be Tracking For Your Social Media Campaign
These are the KPIs you should be tracking for your social media campaigns:
- Engagement Rate (like comments,shares, etc)
- Audience growth rate
- Click-through rate
- Conversion rate
- Reach and impressions
- Dwell time
- Bounce rate
- Video views
- Lead generation
Social Media Marketing Campaign- A Case Study
Let us read about Dove- a marvelous case study to understand social media marketing.
Dove’s mission is to improve women’s self-esteem. They produce content that presents a story that appeals to women since they are aware of their target audience.
According to a study by Dove, 80% of women have seen or received unfavorable comments on social media. Dove wanted to alter this and improve the experience of women when using social media.
Dove and Twitter collaborated to create the #SpeakBeautiful Effect tool, which deciphers the body-related terms people use most frequently and the times of day when probability of negative talk is the highest.
Dove claims that their message inspired women.
Over 168,000 people have used the hashtag “#SpeakBeautiful“
Dove knows their consumers and drove 800 million social media impressions for the campaign. Only by being aware of your audience can you effectively communicate with them. Personas are the most effective method for this. You will undoubtedly benefit from knowing your audience’s life stage, employment status, areas of interest, and other details when developing content. Then, to produce something as effective as Dove’s campaign, consider connecting your audience to your brand values.
Social Media Marketing can be a powerful tool to reach a large audience and increase brand awareness, but it’s essential to have a clear strategy, target audience, and regularly measure the success of your campaigns to ensure you’re getting a positive return on investment.
How Can One Get Started in Social Media Marketing?
To get started with social media marketing, get started with:
- Defining your goals
- Choosing a platform for your business
- Creating a strategy for content
- Engaging with the audience
- Measuring performance
- Staying up-to-date
What is SMM Cost for Small businesses?
For small firms, the cost of basic social media marketing can range from Rs. 20000 to Rs. 40000 each month.
The cost of SMM can vary widely, depending on various factors such as the platform, target audience, the scale of the campaign, the level of expertise required, and the type of content being created.
Some platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, offer paid advertising options that allow businesses to reach a wider audience through sponsored posts or ads. Depending on the target audience and the campaign budget, these costs can range from a few to hundreds or thousands of dollars.
SMM can be done in-house with a limited budget for small businesses. At the same time, larger enterprises may opt for the services of a digital marketing agency that specializes in social media marketing.