Do you need help getting your social media marketing strategy up and running? Do you know what social media marketing involves?
Since the use of social media has increased significantly, many have looked at the social network as an advertising platform. But social media marketing is challenging and has many techniques and tricks that we will discuss in this article on smart strategy blog.
We will show you what steps you need to implement a successful social media marketing strategy. Then, for a better understanding, we will review each step of starting social media marketing for a restaurant, so stay with us until the end of this article.
What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?
Before starting and dealing with social media marketing techniques and principles, it is necessary to define them. In a simple sense, Social Media Marketing (SMM) uses different social networks and creates content to achieve marketing and sales goals.
Social media marketing means using social platforms to communicate with audiences, branding, increasing sales, and increasing website traffic. In this system, you publish the best content, listen to followers’ words and interact with them, analyze the results, and run advertising campaigns.
The most important social media that are widely used these days include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat.
Benefits and importance of social media marketing for online businesses
Many users spend hours of their time on different social networks. The whole purpose of social media is to establish more two-way communication and interaction, which increases the effectiveness of content and marketing processes. For this reason, the presence of businesses in social networks is significant. Each brand should choose its desired platform according to the nature of the company, its target audience, and many other things.
The benefits of social media marketing are:
1. Increasing brand awareness
2. Generating quality leads
3. Improve the conversion rate
4. Establishing deep, long-term, and two-way relationships with audiences
5. Analyzing competitors and learning from them
6. Increasing incoming traffic for the site
7. Effect on SEO and improvement of ranking in search engines
8. Receiving audience and followers’ information
9. Increasing customer loyalty
10. Creating added value
11. Improve brand credibility
12. Good cost and effectiveness
13. Market leadership and intellectual leadership
14. Become a content source
15. Customer behavior
16. Setting up customer affairs and support
17. Brand humanization
Types of social media marketing
There are different types of social media marketing. But in general, this solution is divided into four main categories, which we refer to below:
1. Social networking (Facebook and LinkedIn)
2. Microblogging (Twitter and Tumblr)
3. Image sharing (Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest)
4. Video sharing (YouTube, Facebook Live, Periscope, and Vimeo)
Social media marketing techniques and tricks
There are many techniques and tricks to be successful in your social media marketing strategy. Different people have raised various issues according to their experiences. Here are the most critical points:
1. Development of presence and content strategy
2. Using storytelling and appropriate tools
3. Paying necessary expenses for marketing and advertising
4. Considering video content as part of the content strategy
5. Compliance with essential matters
6. Using targeted advertising
7. Introducing yourself as an authentic and reliable source of content
8. Continuity in producing and publishing content, especially video content
9. Special focus on communicating with followers
10. Coverage of business news
11. Converting customers into brand ambassadors
12. Use of User Generated Content (UGC)
13. Addressing users by name
14. Establishing two-way interaction
15. Accurate knowledge of the target audience
16. Collaborate with the sales team to better understand the customer journey
17. Being sociable
18. Showing attractive aspects of business
19. Expression of successes and failures
20. Asking questions to followers
21. Custom tone and style
22. Creating a personality for the brand
23. Cooperation with influencers
24. Use of statistics, figures, and infographics
25. Holding competitions and challenge programs
Marketing implementation methods in any social network
In general, social networks are free platforms that provide good facilities to users. Although some of them have special features, you have to pay the specified fee if you intend to use them. In addition, it is also possible to use paid advertising plans. But each social network has a different marketing method according to its nature, users present in it, free and paid features, limitations, and the extent of their use.
In the following, we discuss the methods of implementing marketing in popular social networks.
Instagram social media
Undoubtedly, one of the most popular social networks is Instagram, which has many users, and small, and large businesses are trying to have a severe presence on it. To implement your marketing plan, you should consider the following:
Professional Profile: Contrary to popular belief, having a professional and complete profile that shows who you are and what you do is an essential part of your marketing plan on this platform.
Post regularly: Content is a significant part of the marketing process on Instagram. According to the nature of this network, attractive and practical images and videos play a critical role in attracting followers, communicating with them, informing them, creating value, and increasing trust.
Stories: Stories is one of the most attractive and practical free Instagram features. Stories play a critical role in your marketing plan and strategy. You can easily use the various useful features of this section.
Hashtag: Hashtags, if used principally and standardly, will play a valuable role in categorizing content and driving audiences toward you. So be careful not to fill your caption with irrelevant hashtags.
Captioning: Many images and video posts alone cannot convey the concept, and you must include captions to complete them. For this reason, you should use this section well in line with your goals.
Cooperation with influencers: Macro and micro-influencers have a lot of influence on their followers, and collaboration with them is highly effective.
Holding a contest: contests and challenge programs are another part of the marketing process that helps to engage your audience well and have a good interaction.
Campaign implementation: You can also use Instagram advertising or sponsoring campaigns to achieve your goals.
Twitter social network
Twitter is mainly known as news, microblogging, and political platform. But you can use its capacities to start work, attract followers, public relations, communicate closely with the audience, crisis management, surf the trends and hashtags of the day, offer discounts, etc.
LinkedIn social network
LinkedIn is a social network for professionals and businesses. If other companies need your services and products and you are B2B, this platform can help you with targeted advertising.
8 steps to get started with social media marketing strategy
1. Identify your social media marketing goals.
Each piece of the puzzle of your social media marketing strategy serves the goals you set. It is only possible to move forward if you know what to expect in front of you.
Take a close look at your company’s overall needs and see how you want social media to help you achieve your goals. No doubt you will gain some of your objectives, but in any case, there are a few goals that all companies should consider in their strategy. For example, companies’ common goals are increasing brand awareness, retaining customers, and reducing marketing costs.
It is better to choose two primary and secondary goals and focus on them. Too many goals will distract you, and you will not achieve any of them.
2. Consider the marketing achievements for yourself.
We mean achievements are the small goals you must complete to reach bigger ones. The purposes will only be helpful if you have the parameters to determine the time to reach your goals. For example, if one of your primary goals is to get ahead of your competitors and make good sales, how much of this work do you need to do to ensure you’ve successfully reached your goal?
Marketing achievements describe how you got from point A (unfavorable conditions, unmet goal) to point B (successfully met goal). The principles of social media marketing tell you that you can define your achievements with the S-M-A-R-T approach: Your achievements must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
3. Identify your ideal customers.
If a business has a problem with low engagement on its social media pages, it doesn’t have an accurate profile of its ideal customer.
Knowing the personality and characteristics of customers can help you reach your target at the right time and place and with the right messages.
When you know your target audience’s age, occupation, income, interests, problems, obstacles, habits, and motivations, it will be much easier to target them on social media.
4. Research your competitors.
When it comes to social media marketing, researching your competitors will inform you of what they’re doing, it’ll help you understand what’s working best in your market, and you can apply these successful tactics to your efforts.
Start by making a list of your 3-5 competitors. Then, check which social media they use and analyze their content production strategy. Please pay attention to the number of their followers and fans and see how they post. Also, pay attention to the type of content they share and their context and tone (formal, funny, etc.). Finally, please pay attention to how they respond to their fans and communicate with them.
Participation is the most critical activity you should pay attention to in social media marketing. Although the admin of these pages is the only one who can accurately and continuously know the participation statistics, you can also estimate these figures by following these pages.
5. Determine strategy and tactics in social media marketing.
One of the mistakes that many companies make in social media marketing is that they engage in all social media without considering the best and most appropriate option. Instead, you can use the information you get from your customers to choose which medium is most suitable for you, and thus, you don’t waste your time in the wrong place.
Suppose your current or potential customers say they spend 40% of their online time on Facebook and 20% on Twitter. In that case, it’s clear which one you should place the primary and secondary focus of your social media marketing on. If your customers use a particular medium, you should operate there.
6. Create a content strategy.
Social media and content have a close relationship with each other: without great content, social media marketing would be impossible and meaningless, and without social media, no one would know about your content. So use both together to achieve your goals and visions.
There are three fundamental components to any successful social media marketing strategy:
Type of content, time of content posting, and the number of content posted.
The type of content you should share on each social media depends on its form and context. The form indicates how you present that information, which can be text, image, link, video, etc.
The context should also match your slogan and specific business platforms. Accordingly, your content can be funny, serious, detailed, educational, etc.
Many studies show you when is the best time to post content on social media. However, it is suggested to use these studies only as a guide, not rigid rules. Remember that your audience is unique, so trial and error is necessary to get the best timing. Finding the most appropriate number of posts or, better and more precisely, the best posting rate can be very critical.
Also, after creating content, pay attention to user comments. Creating an online forum requires communication and interaction with others. Whether a tweet, a Facebook or Instagram post, comments are made for them. Psychology’s role in managing a community’s health is vital.
7. Provide funding and resources for social media marketing.
To finance social media marketing, consider the tactics you choose to achieve your goals and achievements.
Make a comprehensive list of the tools you’ll need (for example, social media analytics and management services and email marketing), the strengths of your service (for example, graphic design or video production), and all the advertising methods you’ll use. Next to each, add the annual cost of the project so that you can have an overall picture of your investment and how it will impact your social media marketing budget.
Many businesses first set their budget and then choose tactics and strategies that fit it, but taking the opposite approach is a better option. So first, define your social media marketing strategy and adjust the budget accordingly.
If your strategy costs more than your budget, prioritize your tactics. Tactics with the fastest returns, such as direct advertising, are given higher priority because they generate immediate profits that can later be invested in longer-term tactics (for example, increasing fans and followers, producing quality content, or long-term engagement).
Knowing who is responsible for doing what will increase productivity. Everything may seem crowded and chaotic at the beginning. Still, over time, people in the group understand their roles better and realize what they are responsible for daily.
When everyone knows their role well, the planning time for project implementation begins. You can set your plans daily or weekly. It is not recommended to do monthly planning because many events and changes will happen during a month, and you may end up spending time adapting to these changes and needing to be able to implement the plan properly.
in this article on the smart strategy, we deep dive into different sides of social media marketing strategy.
Smart strategy as a leading digital marketing agency providing social media services in Canada. For more information about our social media marketing services and a consultation with our social media strategist, please contact us.