What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?
It is estimated that 4.48 billion people use social media—that’s roughly 57% of the global population. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok have proven to be an invaluable tool for businesses to reach an audience via social media marketing. What is social media marketing (SMM)?
Social media marketing (SMM) is when a business uses social media platforms in order to market and advertise their products and services. While this is a simple concept, it requires cultivating powerful content tailored to each specific platform and demographic. Successful social media marketing campaigns can result in boosted engagement and conversion rates.
Social media marketing is not as easy as posting a photo or two on your company’s Instagram page. In order for your SMM campaigns to be effective, it requires a considerable amount of planning. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Strategize Your Social Media Marketing (SMM)…
Before your business begins posting on social media websites, there are a few questions that you and your collaborators will need to ask yourselves.
What are your goals and how can social media marketing help you achieve them?
Businesses choose to use it for a wide variety of reasons: increasing brand awareness; engagement; website visits; or sales. You will need to decide which (or all) of these reasons are important to you and your business.
What is your target demographic?
Different demographics use social media in different ways. Identifying your target demographic will help your business decide which social media websites or apps to maintain a presence on and how to talk to your audience.
How do you want to connect with your audience?
First, you need to create a solid voice for your brand, which dictates how you talk to your audience and what type of content you share. Should your brand voice be formal or more casual? Is your content for entertainment or educational purposes? Will you share text posts, images, or videos? Identifying your business’ target demographic can help answer this question, as different demographics will respond better to specific methods.
Once you have answered all of these questions, your business will be ready to move on to the next step.
Plan and Publish Your Posts With a Purpose
Social media marketing can be as easy as posting frequently and consistently on your business’ social media accounts. However, there is always a right and wrong way to post. Social media websites have powerful algorithms that dictate how and when users see posts from the accounts they follow, and it is important that you study these algorithms in order to use them to your advantage.
For example, you cannot expect your audience to see a post published at 2 A.M. when they are asleep! Instagram and Facebook have analytics features that show business accounts when their followers are most active. Of course, you should plan to publish posts around these times, as your followers are more likely to see them. When you post is almost as important as what you post.
Effective SMM also requires consistency. Your audience is far more likely to see and engage with your posts when your business account posts content on a regular basis. However, do not overdo it. The majority of your audience—regardless of demographic—will get fed up if their feeds are flooded with your posts. A good rule of thumb is to post two to three times a day at regular intervals.
There are many different tools that can help you plan ahead. Websites like Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to schedule and publish posts at a specific time, so you can plan posts weeks in advance instead of posting them all manually.
Create High-Quality, Unique Content
In the world of online entrepreneurship, most people already know that having high-quality, unique content is important when driving traffic to your website. The same rule is important when it comes to social media marketing!
Your audience wants to see content that is relevant to your business and their experiences. Additionally, it should be visually appealing. Your audience does not want to see your business post grainy old memes from five years ago.
Creating fresh and quality content will often require the addition of a content creator, such as a photographer or graphic designer (depending on your business), to your social media marketing team.
Engage With Your Audience
One of the biggest benefits to social media marketing is that social media acts as a direct link between your business and your audience. While this does mean your business may receive complaints in your Instagram direct messages about a faulty product, it is a great way to give your customers first-rate customer service.
You will be able to talk directly to your followers, which helps them gain a better relationship with your brand. This relationship builds trust between your business and your audience, which is important for keeping your business afloat.
Additionally, social media marketing helps you stay in the know about what your audience thinks about your business. People may discuss your brand or products without tagging you on social media, but by being present on these apps or websites, you will be able to see these public conversations and gauge public opinion.
You Can Advertize… Often for Free!
At its core, social media marketing is advertising. Though engaging with an audience and posting high-quality content are important aspects, social media marketing’s true goal is to drive traffic, sales, and awareness. While your business’ social media pages serve as advertising, you can take it a step further.
Social media apps and websites offer social media advertising. Your business can purchase an ad on their website. These advertising services are remarkably advanced, as you can choose exactly who you want your ads to be shown to. You can choose target audiences based on age, location, interests, and more.
These ads take social media marketing to the next level, as it allows you to seek out potential customers who may not have heard of your brand before. It also helps your business reach existing customers who may not follow your business’ social media pages or are not aware of their existence.
Final Thoughts: What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is one of the most powerful tools any business has in their arsenal. Without it, your company will be missing out on one of the largest audiences in the world.