Marketing trends in the industry over past years have changed tremendously, rising interest of people in social media has opened the doors to a new age marketing: Social Media Marketing. Today we have various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Businesses these days are using these social media platforms to market their products and services. New jobs have been created in industries of every field for this and guess what’s the best part…. One doesn’t need to be a degree holder for this job. The only requirement is that a person should know the basics of Social media marketing. So now just not let waste more time and discuss the basics of social media marketing
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing involves promoting a brand or product on social media platforms such as Facebook. Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, etc. This involves creating tailored content for the platform on which it is being shared on to increase brand awareness or boost sales of the product. Through Social Media, a brand can reach its targeted audience where they can interact with them in realtime and get their feedback/suggestions for their products or services.
Why do you need Social Media Marketing?
In today’s era, social media marketing has become an essential factor for a business to grow, if you’re not interacting with your audience socially you’re lagging behind. Social media marketing influences business growth in the following ways:-
- Creates brand awareness
- Helps in building a bond with customers
- Generating leads or conversions
- Keeping a track of competitors
Does having a social media marketing strategy make any difference?
Almost every business today is using social media for marketing. But the only thing that makes a business stand apart from the crowd is their social media marketing strategy. Different companies use social media in different ways – some use it to create their brand awareness, some use it to drive their sales while others use it to gather opinions/feedback from their customers.
For a beginner, the definition of social media marketing would be just sharing a product online on various social media platforms but it is way beyond that.
To scale a business one needs a well designed social media marketing strategy that involves
Research on the audience
This is the first step to be followed while planning or designing your social media marketing website strategy. This is done to target the requirements of the audience appropriately. This involves the determination of the audience that is to be targeted and the reason why they should be targeted. Doing this will automatically help you in determining the type of content that is to be generated.
For eg., Consider a college, if it uses social media marketing for its promotion its main target audience would be people aged between 18-23 further these can be categorized into boys and girls. Also to increase its reach it can target an audience under the ‘parent’ category here the age bar ideally can be 43-48 as parents of the students are to be targeted.
Determination of social media marketing websites to market the business on
Every social media platform has its own user base different social media marketing websites have different active users when it comes to numbers and interests. To explain it in detail lets us take a look at the numbers of different social media platforms.
- Facebook has 2.5 billion active users as per 2019 Q4 reports and is best suited for brand awareness and paid ads. It has a mixed audience type i.e. people of all age groups, it can be used to retarget the audience.
- Twitter has 126 million active users and is ideal for public relations as the cost of paid ads on this platform is quite high. It usually has a limited crowd, a crowd that is aware of the latest social happenings and of course the high profile crowd as well.
- Instagram has 1billion active users and is best for paid media advertising and is ideal to connect with users. As the majority of the youth spend their major time scrolling through the Instagram feed.
- Linkedin has 610 million active users and is best for business development and hiring capable employees. As it has a professional audience as their active users.
- Youtube has 1.9 billion active users and is best for brand awareness
This is the key to business growth. Creating unique and engaging content can scale your business to new heights. It can not only fetch your followers but also increase your sales too. Generating unique content is also important. Your content should not be copied from your competitors as it can make the brand image go down. It also affects the number of followers and people’s mindset for the brand.
Also copying content from others attracts copyright claims from whom you have copied the content and penalties from Google that can adversely affect your ranking and monthly traffic on your website.
So where to get content ideas from?
For generating content you can take an idea of what other businesses of the same industry are doing to promote them and then generate better content as compared to them. Hosting live videos, competitions, giveaways are some of the tactics to gain more followers. Moreover, you can use the cliffhanger method or use your current follower base to increase your reach further. Social media influencer marketing is another great way to boost sales of your products.
- Scheduling of the content – Scheduling of content can be hefty and tiring process when you start applying your strategy. It is important that the content you are posting reaches the audience at the right time. As mentioned earlier different social media websites have different types of users who use these platforms at different times and at this point scheduling comes into the play.
Which is the best time to post on social media platforms?
According to a study by sprout social the best time to post on Facebook is on Wednesday at 11 am and 1 pm and the worst day to post is Sunday early mornings and evening before 7 am and after 5 pm have the least engagement.
Now you might be wondering how can I be that punctual every time to post the content on time?
To solve this problem there are various scheduling tools available online such as Hubspot. Hootsuite and sprout social media management tools save you a lot of time and post the content on your accounts. A user just needs to link their accounts with these tools to submit the content that is to be shared and enter scheduling information about the posts. And that’s it! Now you’re ready to go with your strategy
Analyzing the impact of the strategy
You should measure your strategy impact on your brand and social media. It plays a major role in deciding whether you want to continue with the present strategy or not. It also gives a reality check of the efforts that you are putting in your social media marketing strategy. There are various metrics on these social media marketing websites that help you to analyze your strategy. Such as engagement, reach, followers, impressions, profile visits, mentions, tags, repost, and shares. Further to keep a track of all these metrics different social media platforms have their own analytics tool. Facebook has Facebook analytics to analyze all the activity that occurs on the post. Paid ads can be analyzed effectively through pixels from Facebook. Similarly, twitter has twitter analytics to analyze activities on the post and Instagram has insights feature paid ads can be monitored through pixels on insta.
We can classify Social Media Marketing into two categories:
- Organic marketing
- Paid marketing
Organic marketing involves marketing on social media platforms without paid promotions. When you literally do not spend a single penny for promoting your business online.
Where Inorganic Marketing refers to paid promotion. It requires money to be spent by the brand to boost their post on the platform on which it is being marketed. Any post that you see online bearing a sponsored tag is paid social media posts.
Paid marketing involves boosted posts, online advertisements such as video ads these can be targeted according to various demographics and behavioral data. Inorganic marketing also includes social media influencer marketing.
Which is better Organic or Paid social media marketing?
Many business owners using social media for marketing believe that organic marketing is enough to scale their business or make their impact online. This was true earlier but now with the growing awareness of social media marketing, things have changed drastically.
For almost all social media platforms, now they have become pay to play networks. All these social media marketing websites run on algorithms and show the post as per the behavior and preferences of the user instead of following a fixed order.
According to this, a post shared from a Facebook page reaches only 2-3% of users. Recently Facebook has announced changing the way it reports viewable impression. When this change will take place organic reach is expected to go down by 20% on average. All this is being done to correct a past metrics error.
With facts like this, one is forced to question the need for organic social media marketing.
How to overcome this?
It doesn’t matter if the organic reach is high or low, having an active and consistent presence on social media platforms is the key to an effective social media marketing strategy. People may see your ads and visit your website or buy your product. But a company’s social media profiles are the places where people generally turn up to see the latest updates about the company or ask questions from them.
This is where organic marketing comes into play. For example, if your page is empty or outdated people might lose interest in your brand. As a result, all your efforts could go in vain.
In the end, “Content is the King”, a boring content promoted with paid ads cant give you results but an engaging content marketed organically can do wonders. To develop an effective social media strategy one should make more efforts on paid marketing while maintaining a regular and consistent organic posting.
What is the outcome?
To summarize this all organic and inorganic marketing both are important and one shouldn’t proceed with only one marketing method. Both of these have their separate significance. On one hand, organic marketing is aimed to improve a brand’s online presence and reputation. Where inorganic marketing increases brand awareness and reaches amongst the audience that is being targeted. Managing these two together takes time and a lot of effort. But in the end, it’s results are worth giving your time and efforts for. That’s all comes in the basics of Social Media Marketing and can give a special stand if you know how to use it properly.