SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Social Media Marketing 101: Leveraging its Power for Your Business

Gone are the days when salesmen would send you offers through mail or knock door to door hoping to land a paying a client. In today’s world, you can utilize social media marketing for your business.
Promoting your business to generate income and sales has evolved from mainstream media advertising to digital media. Under this umbrella of marketing tools lies Social Media Marketing.
Social media marketing can make or break your business. It is only essential that you know why you need it, what it is about, what it can do for you, and how you can capitalize on it.
It is not rocket science. After all, humans crave connection. We are naturally designed like this. When we share common values, interests, experiences, and behavior with another person, we learn to trust that person.
This could be the reason why almost everybody is on social media. It satisfies our need to connect. And you can maximize this potential for your business.

Why pursue Social Media Marketing for your business?

Did you know that on Facebook alone, there are 1.66 billion users daily as of December 2019? This is not yet considering the other popular platforms like Instagram and Twitter. And most of these users are on multiple platforms!

While a website is essential to build a strong online presence, you need social media for customer interaction and engagement. This is the start of building relationships with your audience and turn social media users into your business followers.

Social media marketing is thus essential for many reasons. First of all, Facebook, for example, has massive amounts of data of its users, making your marketing strategy based on solid data. Do you want to target FB users who were born in January? Or users who have liked baseball posts perhaps?
Aside from users, there are also millions of advertisers, too. And yes, you can spy on advertisers who happen to be your competitors!
The question is, do you know how to maximize all these tactics to suit your business goals? Do you also have the time to interact and engage with customers who interact with your posts and social media ads?
More importantly, how can you advertise on social media without blowing up funds or worse, having your page taken down? Facebook has been known to just shut down a page when it goes against their “Community Standards.”

What does a social media marketing company do?

Primarily, a social media marketing company adds the human side of your online presence by using social media platforms for customer interaction and engagement.
Through interaction with your audience, you build customer relationships, and a social media marketing company knows how to engage with your social media followers.
They also know how to gauge the success of an ad campaign by doing split testing, or even spying on competitor ads.
Hiring a company takes away the high demands of social media engagement. Customers and potential customers like it when their comments are acknowledged, and, more importantly, their questions answered.
This is very important, because most of the time, a sale is just one answered question away!
A solid SMM agency also knows all the rules of these platforms so that your posts or ads do not get disapproved, or worse, have your page banned or taken down by FB, for “not following Community guidelines.”
Hence, it is best to leave social media marketing to the professionals.

These are some questions that a social media marketing company can address. Usually, their services include the following:

Publishing content

This involves organizing and preparing the content, adding descriptions, captions, titles, and all of these social components. They provide content that is designed around your brand, products, or services.

Driving traffic

Traffic is a measure of how effective you are in attracting the right audience to visit your site or your page which improves your business’ visibility. The more visible it is to the right audience, the higher the chance of converting these visitors to paying customers.

The company’s strategies may include putting a link in a post that people click to visit or running an advertisement. You pay for ads, so, if you are not an expert, you may burn money before even having your first sale.

Since this involves more money, then, you might as well hand over the task to a social media marketing company.

Optimizing ads and analyzing data

Wrong targeting of ads can blow up your funds. How many times that an FB ad of a pool company in Houston is seen by somebody from the Philippines? With wrong targeting, you will just flush money down the drain, and the Facebook Insights of wrongly targeted ads will not bring any useful data at all.

Engaging with the audience

This includes managing the interactions with the audience like replying to comments, liking stories, and answering queries which could be demanding.
Strictly speaking, social media marketing is different from social media management. But both go hand in hand to make the strategy work and many companies offer this in their package, too.
Getting the services of an entity that specializes in these tasks could be worth the time and effort.

What companies need social media marketing?

At least 54% of users go to social media and browse for products. That is big in terms of building your brand, retaining your customers, and scaling up your existing business.

If these are your goals, then, you must consider social media marketing. Whether you are just starting up or already established, you need to do it.

Whether you are an online entrepreneur or a brick-and-mortar business, you can leverage the power of social media to market your products or services, in all forms whether digital or physical.
Or else, you might be losing customers to your competitors who are already doing it!

What are the types of social media?

Knowing the different types can make you streamline your marketing strategy to only deal with platforms that apply to your business. Here are some of the types, what they are, and examples for each:

Social Networking Site

This is the most popular type and its foundation is the relationship of the users. Examples are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

In these platforms, users like and follow each other, and your network becomes bigger as you add more people. You can post all sorts of content including running ads.

Media Sharing Network

While you can build your network in platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, these are mainly designed for creatives to share photos, artworks, crafts, videos, and anything visual.

Discussion Network

Reddit and Quora are examples of this type. People engage with each other through comments on discussion boards.

Since these are real people with real problems that speak their mind, sites like these are a mine of valuable information that you can use for market research and for listening to the voice of your customers.

Blogging Network

You got WordPress, Medium, and Tumblr under this category. Publishing networks like these allow sharing articles that users can follow and comment on.

The blog posts are perfect for sharing information that can improve awareness for your brand, generate leads for you, and establish authority in your niche.

Bookmarking Network

Pinterest is the most popular example of this. In it, you can post photos that have links that you can share to drive traffic to your website, for example.

Usually, users go to a site like this to search for specific kinds of content that they want to see. The interest is already there and the intention to pin what they like best.

So, if you can design your brand to something that appeals to these interested users, then, you can drive traffic and subsequent sales.

An outstanding feature of Pinterest is that, even your posts (called pins of course) from years back will continue to be served in searches. Your “pins” therefore, can be effective in driving traffic to your site for years to come.

What are social media marketing tools?

These are software that you can use to ease the management and data analytics side of social media marketing. Among the many tools available out there, look for ones that have these features:

  • Dashboard: This visualizes the activities within your social media account that can give you information on audience growth, the virality of a certain post, and engagement history.
  • Scheduling: This helps with consistency and posting specific posts on specific platforms at specific times of the day where engagement is at its peak. Talk about automation!
  • Integration: You can centralize many of your activities into a single tool for easier tracking and improved productivity.

Other tools offer content suggestions so you can never run out of things to post. If used effectively, all these tools can make your marketing go on autopilot.

But to get the best out of your marketing, use the advertising features of the social media platforms that you are using. You can boost your posts, select audience who will see your offer, and link to your website.

Take Facebook for example. Facebook has already acquired Instagram and WhatsApp. And of course, the Messenger is already integrated with it.

Using Facebook for business will give you access to these different platforms, too, not just in the main Facebook network.

Creating your page, posting in it, and interacting with your audience will not cost you a thing. But, if you want to run an ad campaign using your business manager’s ad account to reach more users, you need to have the budget to run and sustain that.

How do I start social media marketing?

Now that you have seen the potential of social media marketing, it is time to act. As in any kind of marketing, you need to start with a plan. Stick with it and you will be on track. Here is a guide that you can follow:

  • Establish your goal. Once you have created your specific goal, give yourself a timeline and determine how you will measure your success. Everything else in your plan needs to align with this goal.
  • Know your capability. Do you have the resources to maximize your ads? Can you write captions that convert well? Do you have the time to personally attend to queries and engage? Will you build a team for this or outsource?
  • Determine your target audience. What appeals to them? Who are they like? What are their interests? Where do they hang out? You need to know them so that you can create your brand around them and the content that will appeal to them.
  • Create engaging content and post. Create posts that aim to engage your audience, establish your brand, build audience loyalty, and promote your business. More than anything, build trust and a good reputation.
  • Review your performance. Set aside a time to check if you are achieving your goals.

Yes, this is a lot. Which is why you need professionals in social media marketing.

Wrapping up

Social Media Marketing is an instrument to a business’ success. It takes sound skills and knowledge to make it work.
Although social media platforms are a place to connect with people, there are a lot of algorithms, rules, regulations, and expected social behaviors that govern these interactions.
You must always be on top of everything so that you and your business will not get left behind. If you ever need the assistance of a social media marketing company, look for one that has proven results and a clean track record.
They are a team of experts that you can partner with to achieve both your business and personal goals. Employing an expert team to do this stuff for your business can fast-track your success. And more importantly, it can give you the peace of mind that you deserve.
Lastly, more than the data that dashboards and reports show, an authentic personal connection is what matters.
Serve your clients with integrity and respect. Listen to their feedback and address issues. Connect with your audience. Build and protect a positive reputation. Then, watch your business soar.

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