What is Social Media Marketing

Wondering what’s social media marketing? Or looking to know how to do social media marketing? Then, you’ve got to come to the proper place.

Nowadays, social media marketing has become an important tool for brands and businesses of all types to broaden their reach and grow sales. Social media platforms provide opportunities to create relationships, engage with customers, and increase sales like never before. It’s faster and cheaper than any traditional large-scale publishing, promotion, or customer relation has ever been.

Whether you would like to grow your brand through social media or to level up as a social media marketer, developing a social media marketing strategy is important.

To guide you on how to market on social media, we’ve prepared an easy guide on social media marketing only for you.

Let’s start.

A) What is Social Media Marketing?

Social Media is a way to communicate and interact with the people online through which we can share information with our friends, business partners, as well as customers. And that information can be in the form of images, text, videos, or any other form. In simple words, it’s all about establishing communication between marketers and customers.

Nowadays, businesses are using social media to connect with users, get real-time feedback, and improve their products or services. 

Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a form of internet marketing where you’ll present your business and promote it in front of the social media audience. It mainly includes,

  • Increasing website traffic
  • Customer engagement
  • Brand awareness
  • Creating various sorts of content on social media

Those contents are often in the form of videos, blogs, photos, or anything which will cause you to go viral.

In other words, it’s a technique that includes both social media and social influencers to achieve an organization’s marketing and business needs. Social influencers are those people that have a large influence on their followers under how much content they share online.

If you’re willing to promote or take your business to another level then you need to participate on social media to become a part of the community. On doing that you simply need to create your social media pages for your business or products on all the popular social media sites.

We all know that social media marketing includes various social media platforms to reach new customers, promote their business, create brand awareness, and increase sales.

In today’s time, there are the numbers of social media platforms dedicated to the mass market or the smallest of niches.

Some of the most popular social media platforms that we often used on social media marketing are 


B) Why Does Social Media Marketing Matter?

Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social Media Marketing Strategy

Today over a billion users are connecting via social media. As there’s a huge potential customer base, and we’re not just talking about the tech geeks. But you’ll find almost anyone online from teens to senior citizens, students to high-level executives. Hence, we could say it’s truly a universal medium.

For example, we’d think that Facebook is merely used by teenagers who are just giggling around with their friends and sharing funny videos and memes. But even if youngsters seem to represent a strong presence of Facebook’s user base, in reality, adults are the more active ones. Hence, these are the real adults with real spending power, who’re well worth your attention.

Nowadays, social media is becoming a mainstream platform where you would possibly find many of your existing customers already out there. Or they may already be talking about you online.

Social media is all about communication where people talk about plenty of different things. Even if you aren’t listening, your customers may be talking about you and your brand on different platforms. This suggests that you simply don’t need to actively participate to start a conversation.

Social Media Promotion
Social Media Promotion

Similarly, it’s quite easy and cheaper to advertise through social media as compared to traditional advertising which was expensive and time-consuming. Here, you’ll easily build an outsized community of friends or followers through Facebook, or become the viral subject of a well-liked tweet on Twitter. Through this, you’ll not only see a significant spike in website traffic but also get tons of customers.

At the same time, it also provides equal opportunities to both small startup businesses and large-scale marketers where the smaller one can also play alongside big ones. And if the smaller one played smart and has become more active and attentive on social media, then it can outsmart large ones. 

Social media also helps to establish a social connection between your company and your customer. It provides a unique opportunity to establish ongoing conversation together with your most loyal customer. It also helps to create stronger customer ties but also provides valuable feedback about your company and products.

Finally, the good thing about social media marketing is that you simply can track views, likes, shares, comments, and other aspects of engagement to check what parts of your strategy have the most impact.


C) Building a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Below is a step-by-step on how to create a social media marketing strategy. It helps you identify your social goals, engage audiences, and optimize your results:

  1. Set up your goal.
  2. Decide which social media will work best for you.
  3. Know your social media audience.
  4. Analyze your competition.
  5. Social media audit.
  6. Plan with a social media content calendar.
  7. Create and consistently post high-quality content.
  8. Promoting your online community.
  9. Invest in Influencer and Paid Promotion.
  10. Track and evaluate your result.

i. Set Up your Goal

SMART Framework
SMART Goal Framework

First thing first: you wish to set up the goal that you simply want to achieve using social media marketing. Without goals, you’ve got no way to measure success and return on investment (ROI).

So, before you begin posting online, make sure to define the overall goals of your strategy. And confirm that your social media marketing plan meets your overall business goal at the same time.

Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that your goals are SMART:

  • Specific: Always be specific on what you would like to achieve.
  • Measurable: How are you going to know that your goal has been achieved?
  • Attainable: Allows aim for something which will be achievable and it’s realistic at the same time.
  • Relevant: Always confirm that your goal matches together with your company’s mission and values.
  • Time-Bound: By what time you wish your goal to be achieved.

For example, if you’re an owner of a retail shop and you normally sell about 20 products each day and by using social media why not aim to sell 25 per day. 

After a couple of months, you can evaluate where you’re at by using analytics tools or other metrics that might help you track and measure your activity. In this way, it’ll help you find more information in a short period.

Let’s say if you’re using Facebook ads then you’ll measure using cost-per-click (CPC). Or using Instagram, you can track the numbers of Instagram Story views.

So, if you’re getting to start developing your social media marketing plan, then start it by writing a minimum of three goals for your social media.

ii. Know your Social Media Audience

Use of different social media platforms by demographic groups
Usage of the Major Social Media Platforms. Source: Pew Research Center

After you have defined your goals, then now it is time to understand your audience, and what they wish to see on their social media feeds. It’s very important to understand who your audience is and what they need to see on social media. In this way, it’ll help you to make a social media post that would go viral with likes, comments, and shares.

And if everything goes well, then you’ll be ready to turn social media followers into loyal customers for your business.

While you’re trying to find your target audience make sure that you simply look for these things:

  • What age group and gender are you initially following as your potential audience?
  • In which field of the topic your audiences have an interest in?
  • What social media do they like to hang out the most?
  • How do they intend to use that information?

In this way, it can help you understand your audience their needs, wants, likes, and dislikes. And based on that you simply can create products/services based upon that to meet your audiences’ needs.

iii. Decide which Social Media will Work Best for You

Most popular social networks worldwide
Most Popular Social Media Platform. Source: statista.com

In most of the cases, it’s been found that some people don’t spend time and energy on finding the proper social media for their business. This type of habit sometimes may come with consequences at the end of the day. So always check where your intended audience spends their time most before starting your marketing campaigns.

Since most of the social media are free so your time is valuable. So to use your time valuable, you want to always focus on one or two core social media. It also makes it easier to handle your social media account without any obstacle.

Also, every social media site might not suit the type of business you run. Hence, it may hamper your marketing, your audience, and also what you’re trying to achieve.

Therefore, to help you choose where to start with, firstly identify which social media your audience mostly hangs out. Or, secondly, search for the social network demographics to help you discover which is the best one for you and your business. Always avoid wasting time on such social media that your audience doesn’t use it.

iv. Analyze your Competition

This is another step during which you’ll identify your competition then evaluate their strategies. In doing that, you’ll learn their strategies, their strengths and weaknesses then you’ll make even better marketing strategies for your business.

Remember that your goal shouldn’t be to copycat or steal ideas from your competitors. But rather to seem for what’s working for them and how can you adapt to that together with your ideas.

Your competitors may be dominant in one particular social media with little effort into other platforms. So attempt to make sure that you simply would focus on that platform where your audiences are given less priority instead of trying to win followers far away from a dominant one.

For example, here’s how Samsung Mobile tweets on “Galaxy 5G” looks like.

Samsung Mobile Post on Twitter
Samsung Mobile Tweet on Twitter

At the same time when you’re researching on your competition check that you simply would research on following questions too:

  • What kind of social media posts are they posting?
  • What is the tone of their voice?
  • In which social media platform they’re most active?
  • How frequently are they posting and spending time on social media platforms?

v. Social Media Audit

Social Media Audit
Social Media Audit

A social media audit is the best way to get an idea about your content which will match with your audience, and a great way to decide upon what you would like to post to your audience. As we’ve talked earlier try to ask yourself these questions again and again.

  • What’s working and what’s not?
  • Are the audience participating in your social posts?
  • What age group of people is engaging with you?
  • How is your social media presence different from your competition?

Once you’re able to collect the information, then you’ll be ready to start considering ways to improve. Because it helps you to offer you a clear picture of what purpose each of your social media serves. If the purpose of your social media isn’t clear, then consider whether it’s worth keeping.

Another very important thing while auditing is to understand about the optimal time for the post to be posted on social media to urge more engagement. Since you should be knowing about what’s right for your business and you’ll use your page insights to work out what’s working.

vi. Plan Ahead with a Social Media Content Calendar

Social Media Calendar
Social Media Calendar

The majority of the brand’s face on social media is to consistently publish high-quality content for their audience. If you don’t post or keep updating online, people will assume that you’re going out of business.

Since it’s the consistency that will help you to boost your level of engagement and foster a strong relationship together with your audience. So, one of the ways to get it right is by planning with a social media content calendar.

This will help you to plan your activity for weeks, or maybe months ahead. It also can help you with how to step back from a day-to-day posting and helps you come with a wider strategy.

Although it looks like continuous posting to social media seems to be an honest choice, for the foundation of your strategy, a content calendar is very recommended.

One simple way to plan a content strategy would be to make a different theme for each day across your social media. For example, you’ll share your new blog post on Mondays, asking Q/As on Tuesdays, sharing your pictures on Wednesday, and so on. This way it’ll occupy your calendar, and stop yourself from becoming overwhelmed.

vii. Create and Consistently Post High-Quality Content

SiteNerdy Facebook Post
SiteNerdy Facebook Post

By now you should have a pretty good idea about what to post on social media based on your goals, and brand identity. You should also know that posting content for every week, then slowly drying up your activity won’t take you anywhere.

For the most social media platforms, updating twice or thrice per day may be a good target, but at a minimum, you should post a minimum of a couple of times every week so that your content continuously appears within the news feeds of your most engaged followers.

Always create high-quality content and don’t copy the content from others or else you would possibly get yourself in big trouble. Remember that less is more because the quality is more important than quantity.

You can create various kind of content that is available on social media platforms:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • GIFs
  • Live streams
  • Stories
  • Blog Articles
  • Tweets

viii. Promoting your Online Community

Promote on Facebook
Promote on Facebook

Although it looks like having good content is all you would like, you still have to gain your initial followers. They need to find your social media account before they prefer to follow you.

You can build your audience in the following ways:

  1. Invite friends,
  2. Sharing your page, and
  3. Using paid Facebook Advertising.

Inviting a couple of your friends may be a nice start, but it’s just a start. As sharing extends, your impact allows you to post about your page on your timeline, a friend’s timeline, or in a group you belong to. And then slowly a mass of a couple of hundred friends will reach toward million-plus fans and followers.

You can promote your online community by placing buttons for all of your social accounts. By placing it on your website that can be on your homepage, or your About page, and so on.

Similarly, you can display your social media URLs on your product catalogs, description box, or other places.

Finally, you’ll also promote it by running ads on your social account from where you’ll get your targeted audience to build brand recognition and increase your social followers.

ix. Invest in Influencer and Paid Promotion

Social Media Influencer
Social Media Influencer

You can also take advantage of working with influencers and engaging in influencer marketing. They also call themselves ambassadors, loyalists, or brand advocates.

All the people on social media don’t have an equal fan community. But some may be substantially more active and have a wider reach with a bigger friends circle and a stronger reputation. Hence, their opinion carries greater weight and influence. Hence they’re called social media influencers.

Having these influencers on your side can make a difference, especially to a smaller, newer online community. When you’re building a social network of fans and followers, don’t just blindly request everyone you can reach. Always remember to do a bit of homework.

If you select influencers whose followers match with your target audience, and you provide quality content to people that the influencers direct your way. Then, you would possibly have an opportunity that these people would then become your social followers too.

x. Track and Evaluate your Result

Evaluate your result
Evaluate your Result

It’s very important to understand the performance of your social media because it helps you to succeed in the long run. You should use analytics tools to measure the performance of your social media strategy.

There you’ll set your goals and see where your social media plan is working best, and estimate how your audiences are finding you so that you’ll work on that, and optimize your efforts. It’s considerably rare that you simply would nail your social media plan on your first attempt.

Therefore, evaluate your progress often and don’t be afraid to check with new ideas, and repeat what works for you.


D) Different Metrics for Different Social Media

As we all know that all social media platforms aren’t created equally. And different platforms require different metrics to work out their effectiveness in your social marketing campaigns. For every major social platform, you want to know what you can measure and what the numbers you get mean.

Social Media Followers
Social Media Followers

Similarly, for each metric that you track for your brand, attempt to capture the same metrics for your competitors. It’s extremely important to understand how their social marketing campaigns are performing in comparison to yours. Now let’s check out the metrics that make the most sense for some social media platforms:

i. Facebook 

Facebook Logo
Facebook Logo
  1. The number of followers: If you have a page on Facebook, then the most basic way to measure would be the number of followers. It usually represents how popular your brand is on Facebook. 
  2. Total interactions: It’s the total number of comments, wall posts, and other interactions generated by your post.
  3. Click-through rate CTR: This is another important metric that shows how much people engage with your content on their news feed. 
  4. Discussion posts: The total number of people participating in any of your polls or questions posted. 
  5. Reviews: It’s the number of times that your followers have used the Facebook Reviews to rate your page.

ii. YouTube

YouTube Logo
YouTube Logo
  1. Views: It’s the same data that public users can see. You can also check the number of unique views and the number of views by location. This can help you to know whether the people watching your videos are your target audience or not.
  2. Demographics: This category gives you the data by age, telling you what percentage of the views came from users in specific groups.
  3. Engagement: This will give you information about the people who have interacted with your YouTube videos through commenting, ratings, and sharing with their friends.

iii. Twitter

Twitter Logo
Twitter Logo
  1. Brand mentions: The most basic metric for Twitter is knowing how your brand is mentioned and with what frequency on Twitter.
  2. The number of followers who respond to your tweets.
  3. The number of retweets your tweets receive.
  4. Click-through: It’s the number of clicks you receive divided by the number of times your post is shown. It helps you understand your customers and tells you what works and what doesn’t work.
  5. Numbers of tweets that occur around the hashtags that you have created.

E) Mistakes to Avoid

After following all the right steps with your social media marketing plans, you still somehow fail on some points. It happens when you overlook the common mistakes of SMM. 

So let’s look at some of the mistakes that can be avoided for creating a successful social media marketing campaign.

i. Over Promotion; Not Building Relationship

The majority of social media users don’t visit Facebook, Twitter, etc. to simply see some companies trying hard to sell their products. They use them to interact with their friends and family and to be entertained.

At the same time, even your most loved followers won’t just care to see every single post you publish. Therefore, it’s your job to convince people to enjoy having your business as something big as part of their everyday lives.

Always try to earn your place, and you need to build trusted and loyal relationships by becoming friendly, sharing great content, and helping people with customer service issues.

For example, here’s how the H&M post for their new autumn arrival looks like. It’s simple and easy to understand what they’re trying to sell.

H&M's Facebook Post
H&M’s Facebook Post

With social media content in your mind, try to change your mindset from selling a product to helping others. Nowadays, competition is extremely high, so your content must be ready to touch your audience on both personal and emotional levels. All of those points can help you to create a positive image around your brand and slowly convert into sales.

ii. Not Being Patient

We all know that social media success doesn’t happen overnight. Firstly, you’ve got to create a bond between you and your audience which will take a long time. In some cases, some people may take longer to simply accept you and become your paying customer than others.

Always remember that social media marketing isn’t a campaign, rather it’s a commitment. Your goal is always to urge the customers to do the marketing for you. But it takes a longer time than you’d like. 

So to do this right, always talk patiently with your contacts, hear them, help them, and give the time they need to trust you. 

iii. Not Providing Customer Support

Customer Support
Customer Support

You should always be present to your customers once they need you. Making your customers feel good by answering their problems provides useful insights into your target audience’s personality. It also tells you about how well your business is doing, and what could improve on.

There are times when you and your brand might get into a controversy that you’ve got to deal with. Rather than running away from that make sure that you simply speak out publicly about it on social media to prevent them from happening again. Always reply to complaints on social media in a professional manner, and within a time-frame that matches the resources of your business.

You should acknowledge the customer’s feedback even though you don’t like it. Going defensive is not always a good tactic. You must be willing to admit your shortcomings and address them well with future improvements. 

iv. Forgetting/Ignoring your Audiences 

Interacting with audience
Interacting with Audiences

In the above point, we just talked about how we should always be prepared to provide answers to their queries. Now it’s also important to be very thankful for your valuable audience who is with you from the first time of your struggle.

You should not ignore your followers simply because you become busy along with your work. Rather, you need to reward or recognize the contributors of your fan community. A lot of people would participate generously with no hope of return.

These rewards don’t have to be money in any form but, you better be willing to thank them for their contributions. And reward them for their participation, and recognize how they’re changing your brand for the higher.

You can also do that by simply inviting them to special events, providing discount coupons, or featuring them on your website.


F) Social Media Marketing Tools

We have listed some of the most commonly used social media marketing tools below –

i. Post Planner

Post Planner
Post Planner

This is a software that finds and schedules top-performing content for any social account, hashtags, or topics that can be used in your social media marketing plan. It helps us to increase customer engagement on social media platforms.

It also helps you to find quality content, create a publishing calendar, manage posts, and sales. You can also use it to add Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram hashtags to your social feeds. Similarly, you can also organize your social feeds based on the engagement rating.


ii. Canva

Canva
Canva

It’s a great graphic design platform that comes with a drag-and-drop interface. And allows you to make images and designs for social media posts. It’s hundreds of pre-made design layouts for creating presentations, social media graphics, banners, posters, and more.

It’s straightforward to use and can be used by both professionals and beginners. Similarly, you’ll select from its stock library of over a million photographs, fonts, graphics, and more to add to your design.


iii. Buffer

Buffer
Buffer

A buffer is a publishing tool that manages different social media accounts for businesses and marketing teams to schedule posts and analyze performance. It’s compatible with various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and so on.

You can use it to set up a schedule for your social media posts, then add content to your Buffer queue. After that, it’ll automatically publish your post at the time you’ve designated. You can also use the chrome extension to add content from the web to your Buffer queue or you can share content on the go.


iv. Animoto

Animoto Social Media Tools
Animoto

It’s a go-to social media tool that allows you to create stunning marketing videos. You can produce videos by mixing different multimedia such as photos, videos, clips, and text. It’s fast and very simple to use.

You can turn your photos and video clips into stunning and professional video in just a few minutes.  It also has a large volume of templates and a collection of stock music to add depth to the video. This kind of tool helps you to capture a larger segment of your target audience.


Example: How to Use Buffer for your Social Media Marketing

Let’s talk about one of the tools that are mentioned above. In this, we will explain how Buffer is used to managing all of your social media handles at the same time from the same place. Step by step guide to using Buffer:

Step 1: Sign-Up

Buffer Sign Up
Buffer Sign Up Form

First and foremost you need to create an account on this platform. The sign-up is free. You can sign-up for it with any of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn accounts, or you use your email ID.

Step 2: Connect to Social Media Platforms

Connect New Social Account
Connect New Social Account to Buffer

After that, once you have completed the sign-up process, now you will redirect to the Buffer dashboard. There you would need to connect all the social media pages that you have chosen to link to your Buffer account.

You can connect your Facebook page, Facebook group, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn page, and LinkedIn profile to your Buffer account. Remember that you can only connect to 3 social media accounts on your Buffer account in the free version.

Authorize Buffer
Authorize Buffer

For example, let’s connect our Twitter account to Buffer. If you’re linking your Twitter to Buffer for the first time then Buffer will ask permission to authorize their app to work with Twitter.

After that just sign-in with your login with your credentials as you normally would do. Then, it’ll authorize the use of Twitter through Buffer.

Repeat these steps with any other platform you wish to connect with your Buffer account.

Step 3: Create Post

Buffer Dashboard Create Post
Buffer Admin Dashboard

After you have linked your social media accounts to your Buffer you’ll get this dashboard. On the top come to the dashboard, you’ll notice 3 tabs- Queue, Analytics, Drafts, and Setting.

At the top of the Queue section, you would write a post, and choose the social media platform where you would like to post that content. You can also use it to add images and videos to your post.

Step 4: Queuing and Publish Post

Add to Queue btn Buffer
Add to Queue Button

After you have created the post and choose the platform, now you can either publish it right away or can be scheduled to be posted at a later time.

You can also change the timing of your post anytime you’d like. Or if you don’t want to rely on schedule then you can press the drop-down menu that says “Add to Queue”. And press the “Share Now” button to post your content instantly.

Social Media Marketing Facebook Share Now btn
Share Now button

Similarly, you can also change or delete each post individually or delete the entire queue at once.

Step 5: Check the Status & Analytics

Buffer Analytics of Social Media Marketing
Buffer Social Media Analytics

In the Analytics section of your Buffer account, you can see how well your posts are performing. It also lets you see how many people shared, commented, or liked your posts. If any of your posts are getting popular then you can also easily Rebuffer them to your queue.

Buffer will also gather data on how well your content is performing and then it’ll even give you an option to rank your posts based on their popularity.

Hence, in this way, you can use the Buffer tool to schedule the posts for different social media accounts in one place. It’s very much easy to use and even beginners can learn to use it in a few minutes.


Conclusion

We hope that you simply are now familiar with all major concepts associated with social media marketing. Following this guide step-by-step, you’ll be ready to create a successful social media marketing strategy for your brand.

If you’ve any further queries about social media marketing, then please leave a comment below. We’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible. 

Also, check out our article on what is affiliate marketing and the most popular types of websites. Be sure to go through it once. If you like this article, then please share it with your friends and colleagues. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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