How and Why You Should Deploy Social Media Marketing?
Ever since we started to buy and sell items, services we needed, we also needed a source of information to guide us to the right place. We had to know who was the best craftsman in town, where to buy shoes that will last for years and how to get our hands on what we wanted. Information is always circling around, either delivering something of value, something we actually need or just plain gossip. Things have been working this way ever since we have built societies, but there have been major changes to how information is delivered to us.
We relied on the milk man, the post man, newspapers, television and friends to provide us with the information we wanted. But as the Internet and social media exploded, millions of people are looking things up and searching for anything that is on their mind. Hundreds of people might be looking for you or your service this very second as Google gets 40,000 search queries every second and 3.5 billion queries every day (source).
For this very reason, Internet marketing has become a must have for any business out there. Having a website and an online presence has become a key factor in any business plan but it isn’t the best way to communicate with your potential customers.
Social media platforms make it very easy for users to find content on the Internet. They can enable small and large businesses, to expand their reach and have more customers. Social media users are interacting with their favorite brands, so having a strong social media presence should play a key role in a social media marketing plan. If it is implemented correctly, your business can see astonishing success.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is a specific form of Internet marketing that helps businesses leverage various social media networks to achieve their branding goals and marketing communication. Social media marketing is based around sharing content such as images, videos, goals and purposes along with paid advertising in a social environment.
It helps you build brand awareness, good communication with costumers and a fan base, full of users that constantly engage with you.
There are four key steps to take, in order to make your social media campaign successful:
- Find Interested People
- Deliver Quality Content
- Capture Information
- Stay In Touch
It is very important to keep in mind, that you do not make money with social media. You make money by doing business with people that like and trust you. You market with social media to develop relationships with people who will come to know and trust you. Then and only then will they buy from you. To do this, you shouldn’t overload them with marketing your business. Instead you should deliver quality content to them, so they will want to engage with you.
There is no need for you to overload yourself with thousands of social media websites. You should use the most popular search engine friendly sites. You can use Facebook to reach out to its 355,000,000 users or LinkedIn to engage with 35,000,000 business people.
You should also promote content, not commercials but content on the second most utilized search engine on the Internet, YouTube. There are also many online magazines that you can write articles about or set up a blog. There are many ways to publish your content and expertise and become a great leader.
After that, you can guide users to a landing page that offers something of high perceived value and ethical bribe, to give you their information and email addresses. From there, you’ll have a much better way to stay in touch with people who want to have more information from you and see you as an expert.
All of this will give you the following:
- It will make you credible
- Increase referrals
- Build new relationships
- Demand higher prizes
- Outstanding visibility
- Increase familiarity
- Build trust
- You become the perceived expert
This will give you a much better way to offer your products and services and will make you top of mind, the perceived expert in your industry.
Now that you get it, it’s time for you to know what you can do to be successful in social media marketing. We will first cover the very basics and give more in depth advice in further articles.
First Step of Social Media Marketing: Have a Plan
Before you start creating your social media marketing campaign, consider each of your business goals. Creating a social media campaign without a plan in place is like wandering the world without a map, it will get you lost.
To create the right plan, you’ll have to consider each of your business goals, but more importantly, who is your target audience? Think about where they would hang out and how do they engage with social media. Knowing exactly what message you want to send to your target audience through social media marketing is key.
Social Media Marketing can help us achieve the following goals:
- Building Brand Identity
- Building Brand Awareness
- Improving communication and interaction with your targeted audience
- Increasing website traffic
- Building quality conversations
- Distributing quality content
Well established goals are the only thing that can measure the ROI of your social media endeavors. Here are a few pro tips that will help you stay on the right track with your plans.
Good Tips and Tools for Social Media Marketing
Quality Content is Key – Content is the king when it comes to social media marketing and in other areas of marketing as well. Make sure that the content you are promoting is full of valuable information. Implement as many formats as you possibly can, including videos, images, info graphics along with classic text based posts. Make it as high quality and as engaging as possible to drive more and more attention to your brand with each piece you put out there.
Build a Consistent Brand Image – You can project your own unique brand image through a great variety of social media platforms. Use your voice and your content to make your brand image consistent on all social media platforms you use to promote it.
Plan Ahead – As we mentioned above, planning is crucial to a social media marketing plan. Do a throughout keyword research and come up with various content ideas that will be interesting for your target audience.
Links – Social Media Marketing is mostly based on your business sharing information and its own unique content to gather followers and fans. Coming up with your own content is what gives you identity, but it’s a great idea to share content from outside sources as well. Sharing links from different places will only make you more trustworthy and could get your links shared as well.
Use Analytics to Measure Success – The only way you can accurately measure the success of your campaign is by using analytics. You can’t go by without it. Google analytics is a great social media marketing tool that will help you measure which of your social media marketing techniques serve you the best and which ones should you abandon.
The Biggest Social Media Platforms
Facebook has a very casual, user friendly environment. To start out, you’ll have to create your own Facebook Business Fan page. Pay attention to your layout, because the visual component is one of the key aspects in the Facebook experience. Social media marketing is largely based on sharing industry based articles, videos and images with your target audience. Read our guide to find out more details on how to drive more traffic to your website using Facebook.
This social media tool lets you broadcast your updates or “tweets” to your audience. You can post about specials, discounts and just about anything that is related to your business. But Twitter is mainly about communication, so be sure to answer as many of people’s questions as possible. Engage in dialogs and interact as much as possible to find success on Twitter.
A social media platform that is similar to Facebook in many ways. It offers the same casual and engaging environment that lets you post pictures, videos, links and all of your +1s are visible as well.
A great thing about Google+ is circles. You can split your followers up to different groups and share content with them accordingly. A group of followers might be very loyal customers, to whom you want to offer special services and discounts.
Google+ also lets you host conferences with Hangouts. You can use this to engage in conversations with your audience or share tutorials. You can do a “how to bake a cake” conference with hangout if your business is a bakery. It all depends on how creatively you use this feature.
Pinterest is a site that lets users save, upload, sort and manage their images (pins) and other kinds of content. This personalized media platform is ideal for retail businesses. It offers an easy way to promote their products and service. It helps them develop their brand’s personality with their own unique pinboards. Read our guide to find out the basics of Pinterest marketing.
The number one website for sharing your video content, it is a really powerful tool for social media marketing. With YouTube, you should focus on consistency, by sharing how-to videos or any type of video content that will get a constant stream of views. Learn more about Youtube marketing by reading our previous guide.
Paid Social Media Advertising
With paid social advertisement, you have a highly cost effective tool that will help you expand your reach by a great deal. You can put your content and your offers in front of a large audience at low cost if you do make the right moves.
It enables you to focus your money on the exact people you wish to target and who are most likely to be interested in your offers. Combine this with some effective Facebook ads and your business will be propelled forward incredibly fast. You’ll also have much bigger brand awareness.
Social media marketing will do more than just help your business reach more people and improve your website’s traffic. The most valuable thing about it is the fact that you’ll learn more about your costumers and your target audience. You can easily keep track of what they want and you can obviously leverage the quality of communication this kind of media offers.
We hope that you have got a well-rounded idea of what social media marketing is and what it can offer you and your business. We will post another article that will give some more in-depth information. It will have many tips and tricks you can use to make your social media efforts much more powerful, so stay tuned for more!