What is social media marketing? – The Ultimate Guide for 2021
Social media marketing (SMM) involves all activities that are geared towards growing a business and improving sales and profit through social media channels.
The purpose of social media marketing (SMM) may be to grow a brand, drive traffic to a website, increase engagement on a post, sell products using social media catalog, increase conversion on a page, generate leads, build customer loyalty, and grow an audience for your products and services.
Different social media channels can be employed in SMM to achieve different business goals. Social media marketing includes creating campaigns and posts to reach an audience and achieve one or more business goals.
SMM can be achieved through paid advertising as well as organic social media. The objective of social media marketing varies from one business to another. Both small businesses and huge corporations enjoy the benefits of social media marketing to grow their brand and reach more audience of potential customers.
Top Social media marketing Platforms
Social media marketing can be carried out using different channels. Different social media channels offer a range of opportunities in social media marketing; social media channel like Facebook and Instagram offers businesses the opportunity to reach millions of potential clients through advertising.
When creating an SMM campaign, it is important to define a strategy that properly identifies the social media channels where your best audiences are constantly engaged.
The following is a list of social media marketing channels;
Marketing on social media is a broad concept and may be affected by a range of factors such as landing page creation, ads creation, good knowledge of design, consistency, copywriting and good customer relationship or management. These factors work together to determine the result of your social media marketing efforts.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is of great use in growing a business and increasing return on investment (ROI), social media managers employ different social media marketing strategies to achieve one or more of the following business goals;
#1 Grow an audience
Social media marketing provides easy ways to grow an audience for your business or niche. Growing an audience on social media can be achieved through the creation of social media groups and pages like the Facebook groups for your products and services and creation of quality contents around your topics.
#2 Drive more traffic to your website
One of the best benefits of social media marketing is the ability to direct traffic to your website through social media. This can be achieved by creating ads with links to your website where your potential clients will be encouraged to take one or more actions on your landing page.
#3 Grow your business or brand’s presence online
Growing a brand can be achieved on social media through activities such as creating business promotions that tell people one or more relevant things about your brand that will help to retain your brand name in their memory.
If your goal is to grow your brand, when creating an ad, select create brand awareness as your business goal.
Growing your brand through social media marketing is a very good way to improve customer trust and loyalty, two basic factors that drive return customers or visitors.
#4 Provide 24/7 business access
Social media marketing gives businesses the opportunity to be easily accessible to potential clients through their business pages and groups. Such platforms provide easy ways for customers to reach businesses and find out more information about their products and services with ease.
#5 Create engagements and easy customer service
Social media marketing enables business owners to freely interact with their customers or clients through posts engagements like likes, comments and messages. Such engagements are usually free except during promotions. Engagement on social media helps to increase brand awareness and sales.
Link building is a very important aspect of website visibility, social media platforms allow sharing of blog post links and product links to increase the number of backlinks on a website, this is a great way to improve ranking on search engines.
#7 Ads targeting and promotion
Using social media marketing makes it easier to target a particular audience using the targeting options in ads manager like Facebook ads manager.
This practice ensures that your ads are displayed to only people that are interested in your product or services thereby helping to reduce the cost of advertising and at the same time increasing the profit or rate of conversion on a website.
When creating social media campaign for a website with marketing tools such as Facebook pixels, such tools provide the opportunity to create a retargeting ad to great improve conversion on your website.
The retargeting ads will be shown to people who have taken one or more forms of action on your website or landing page.
Social media marketing strategy
Social media managers start by creating a good social media marketing strategy that will include the following;
- Keyword and audience research
- Set achievable business goals
- Competition Research and analysis
- Content creation
- Content optimization
- Create ads or promotions
- Measure metrics and improve
One of the best ways to achieve a business goal is to research the audience and relevant keywords to get information on whether or not your products or services are relevant to your intended audience.
Carrying out a good keyword and audience research will deliver relevant campaign information such as the location where your products and services are relevant, the volume of people that are interested in your product or services, the level of competition and the competitor’s advantage over your business.
Access to this information will help you to improve your business goals and strategies to achieve a better result with social media marketing.
Before creating your social media marketing campaigns, it is important to set business goals that are in-line with your level of competition and also achievable at your desired duration. Sometimes, one of the key ingredients here is to create a campaign budget that aligns with your business goals.
When creating your SMM campaign, ensure that your copy is straight to the points and as simple as possible; the copy must find a way to connect with the audience and share in their personal experiences or story.
Social media marketing campaigns can be achieved using marketing tools like Facebook ads managers, Instagram ads, Twitter ads, LinkedIn and many more platforms that support business growth through ad creation.
Basic aspects of social media marketing
There are some key aspects of social media marketing that every social media marketer or manager needs to take into consideration
- Social media marketing strategy: Social media marketing strategy includes all the ingredients used in marketing that produces results. Different page managers employ a range of marketing strategies to achieve their business goals on social media; content strategy, images and videos, promotions and competition analysis.
- Creation and publishing of contents: ability to create engaging contents on social media is a very important aspect of social media marketing. Creating engaging content helps brands to grow and go viral on social media. This can help to achieve popularity and trust in doing business.
- Product listing and engagements: Social media platforms like Facebook gives sellers opportunities to list their products on marketing places, groups and pages for free with a clickable call to action button that can lead potential clients to a business website. Facebook allows one to create Facebook shop where several products can be listed and sold directly on messenger or website.
- Advertising: Advertising is a key aspect of social media marketing. Social media platforms like LinkedIn. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and messenger allow its users to create ads to reach thousands and millions of potential customers in a few clicks. With the right targeting, businesses can use this aspect of social media marketing to increase sales, grow brand presence and drive traffic to their website.
- Analytics and Measurement of results: A very important factor in all business decisions is the ability to measure the metrics or data within a selected interval. Business data helps to make improved business decisions for social media marketing campaigns. Social media tools such as Facebook analytics will help to give reasonable insights into the activities on a page or Facebook group.
Social media poster
Social media poster is a marketing automation tool that enables one to post across several channels at once. Although the majority of social media posting softwares available today have paid subscription options, there are a few social media posting softwares that are still free though with little limitations.
Social media poster is an automation tool that enhances the activities of SMM. These tools can be employed in creating engaging content, creating social media ads, creating social media calendar and posting across multiple social media channels. They provide a great hand in social media marketing.
They help to reduce the time spent in crafting a social media post and publishing the same post across multiple social media channels thereby greatly improving SMM activities.
Examples of social media posters include the following;
- Facebook business suite
- Mailchimp social poster
- Streamyard – for posting live videos across multiple social media channels.
- AdEspresson – for marketing automation
Hootsuite is one of the simplest social media marketing tools to use, it is primarily used to create content and publish across multiple social media channels at the same time. This tool gives one the impression of a social media king and it helps to keep one constantly active across multiple social media channels.
The Facebook business suite is a simple social media tool that is used to connect Facebook, Instagram, Instagram direct and Messenger, all in one place. With Facebook business suite, one can effortlessly create and publish posts on Facebook and Instagram, respond to comments on Facebook and Instagram and also respond to messages from Instagram,
Mailchimp is an email marketing software that also helps to achieve some simple social media marketing goals like posting, post scheduling, and ad creation.
Videos form another crucial aspect of social media marketing, live videos greatly increase reach on social media and thus more brand awareness. Video streaming softwares like streamyard and zoom can be used to stream live videos across several social media channels to promote a product or service.
The concept of social media marketing is broad and requires proper understanding, Social media marketing includes your ability to create a good social media marketing strategy, identify social media channels that will benefit your social media marketing promotions and business, identify relevant tools that will help to promote engagements on your social media platforms, create engaging contents on each social media platforms.
SMM is a very important aspect of business growth as it helps to show your products and services to millions of potential clients online and daily. Social marketing activities are usually coordinated by social media page managers who are actively involved in content creation and optimization as well as creating promotions that will convert or generate more leads.
A good SMM campaign is achieved by a thorough analysis of all data obtained from social media activities such as page visits, page likes, comments, website clicks, add-to-cart clicks, open content rates and other metrics that are relevant for making informed business decisions.
The ability to properly measure such data will help in creating more effective campaigns and targeting which is relevant to ensure that success is achieved using a defined social media marketing strategy.
SMM is a very important aspect of digital marketing; the ability to achieve a great business result with social media marketing requires some good skills including copywriting and the ability to understand an audience needs and measure social media marketing metrics across multiple channels for easy decision making and implementation.
A good SMM strategist needs to understand all aspects of social media marketing in order to be able to manage a successful campaign on social media.
It is a very important skill for social media planners, social media managers, marketing managers, small business owners and freelancers. Social media marketing such as messenger marketing has proven great results and has been reported to possess as many potentials as email marketing.