Almost all of us use social media in this digital era. Social media currently is not only for communication purposes, it has become a great medium for any business activities. Hence, we know that there’s Social Media Marketing (SMM) to support every entrepreneur in their business.
However, some beginner entrepreneurs run social media marketing strategies that are not suitable for their needs, image, and goals. Sometimes, by posting products on social media, they assume it is a strategy. Yet, Social Media Marketing is more complex than their thoughts.
What is Social Media Marketing (SMM) actually?
If you are an entrepreneur, let’s try to figure out what proper Social Media Marketing (SMM) is! Check this article out, then.
What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?
Social Media Marketing (SMM) is the use of social media in business activities to achieve certain goals, such as promoting products, engaging customers, increasing sales or brand awareness, driving website traffic, etc.
This goal might be different depending on the goals of each business person. Social media is also divided into various platforms. Yet, mostly they use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.
Functionally, social media is a strategic place for marketing. This is because social media is the easiest way to connect with audiences or customers.
The number of people who use social media massively makes social media an ideal market to promote products. This is the main reason why people wholly use social media.
Why is Social Media Marketing so important for your business?
The use of social media for business indicates that social media is an important component of business activities. There are several reasons why you should involve social media in business activities, such as:
First, social media is the easiest medium to introduce, promote, and market products. Instead of using traditional marketing, in which you have to offer your products one by one, social media is able to offer your product to the audience just at once because of the massive use of social media by the community.
Second, social media is an open market. You can freely offer and promote products to large audiences in a relatively short time. Social media reaches more customers easily.
Third, build interactions. If you, as an entrepreneur, need to know what kind of customers want and need, social media can help you perfectly. Chat features, direct messages, and so on, can allow you to communicate with customers or potential customers freely.
This also makes it easier for customers to easily find out detailed information related to the products you offer.
Fourth, easy to specify targets. Social media has features that can make it much easier to specify the target audience.
For example, if your product is suitable for people who are over 15 years old, then you can set your content or product promotions to be visible only to people over 15 years old. This will make it easier for you to reach more potential customers.
Fifth, cost-effective. If you have to spend hundreds or millions to place ads in newspapers, magazines, or television, now you don’t need that amount to place ads or promotions on social media. You can even promote your products for free by posting interesting content which can attract customers more.
Of course, there are many more benefits of using social media in business apart from those five things. You will be able to feel it if you have practiced it directly.
Pillars of Social Media Marketing
If you think that promoting products on social media is just about posting your products on social media accounts, then you are very wrong.
SMM has 7 pillars as the basis for marketing practices on social media. Look out for the following descriptions!
1. Audience research
There are many social media platforms that you can use for business activities. However, you can’t use all of them at once rashly. To determine which social media platform you will choose, then you will need audience research.
You need audience research to find out what platforms are most used by the audience and which are relevant to the products you offer.
For example, if you sell clothes for young women, then you can focus on the Instagram platform because Instagram is mostly used by women ranging in age from teenagers to adults. Then Instagram might be an effective platform for your business.
2. Strategy and planning
Set strategy is a must. To set the strategy and plan, at least you need some points which will be considered. Those points are:
a. What are the goals?
Setting goals is a crucial thing. You have to object to things as a goal. For example, if you focus on increasing brand awareness, then the action you have to take is to create attractive content and generate engagement. Goals are what will influence you in taking action.
b. What platforms?
Which platform would be suitable for your audience? If you are targeting young people, then you can use Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to attract their attention. You can also try the biggest or most frequently used platforms to increase brand awareness.
c. Type of content
Determining the platform will affect the form of your content. You can’t use textual content if you want to use Instagram.
You will need the image and video content according to the features facilitated by Instagram. You can use Twitter or LinkedIn if you want to focus on textual marketing.
3. Scheduling and publishing
It’s true that almost everyone has social media and uses it almost every day. However, based on data, there are certain times when users spend more time on social media. This causes business people to do scheduling their posts at certain hours.
They believe that there are times when customers are more easily attracted to a product psychologically. This time is called the ideal time to post content or introduce a product.
For example, you can choose during lunch hour, late at night, etc. Because during those times, people usually spend their time on the phone, especially on social media.
4. Listening and engagement
If you succeed in creating and increasing brand awareness, then that would be possible for people to talk and discuss your products. They might comment or like your post, or even tag and use your brand’s hashtag.
Besides, it will be a little difficult when they talk about your brand without commenting, tagging, or using brand hashtags. However, you can still hear them using the available listening tools feature, so you can keep hearing and engaging them.
5. Analytics and Reporting
How far does your content engage customers? How many people are interested in your content by liking, using your hashtag brand, sharing, and mentioning your brand? You answer these questions if you do social media analytics.
Social media makes it easy to find out how many people are interested in your posts, whether because of their likes, shares, or comments. By making these observations, you can also evaluate what content concepts should be maintained or eliminated.
6. Branding and promotion
Doing Social Media Marketing is all about how you attract customers’ attention. In other words, it’s time for you to set your creativity to its fullest!
If you talk about branding and promotion, that means you are also talking about how well you can image your product. Therefore you need interactive actions for branding your products.
For example, you can attract your potential customers by making content as interesting as possible, holding campaigns, contests, and so on.
Branding is not enough. Branding might help you to attract customer’s attention, but if you want to make your promotion wider, then you have to find the other way.
You can use paid promotions to make your promotions wider. Hiring a digital marketing agency or social media specialist might be able to help you do pay promotions. This action might be very effective in a way to make your promotion wider.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
If you’re still using traditional marketing methods and want to start trying Social Media Marketing (SMM), or you’re currently doing it but it’s still not running optimally, Yezza has prepared several benefits of using social media in marketing that might convenience you when you practice it.
You will get these things when you practice SMM:
1. Increase brand awareness
Awareness is a must! Brand awareness includes how aware the audience recognizes your brand. You must be dreaming if you just started an online market, then you’re hoping that the audience can immediately recognize your brand.
SMM can help you increase brand awareness, one of which is by creating attractive content to attract the attention of potential consumers. If brand awareness increases, you will get audience attention, so sales are predicted increasing too.
2. Humanize your business
What is an effective way to attract customers? Humanize your brand!
If you look at the social media accounts of brands, and they establish a good relationship or communication with their customers on social media, then they’ve succeeded in humanizing their brand.
The first step you can go through to humanize your brand is to be interactive. You can start by replying to audience comments on your social media, reposting their tags, or uploading behind-the-scenes your production process. Anything you can do to build the humanization of your brand.
3. Reach a wider audience
More than 3.6 million people use social media. This number, of course, is quite a lot when you compare if you open an offline store and do promotions traditionally.
That figure also shows that there will be as many as 3.6 million social media users who will see your single post! Isn’t it still a big number if half of them are interested and buy your product?
4. Knowing the buying pattern of customers
Social media allows you to know what your audience likes and doesn’t. You can see their preferences as easily as seeing what content and promotions they like.
With this approach, you can find out their favorite patterns and you can use them for your product promotion techniques. Social media is absolutely easier to reach and access customer behavior.
5. Build a relationship with your customers
We know that communication is a very important component in any relationship. even more in business life. Communication allows you to know the customer better, and also maintain your relationship with them.
Start trying to be interactive with any messages they convey. Interact with their complaints, suggestions, testimonials, questions, etc. Also, try to be nice! Customers will respect nice and kind sellers better.
6. Provide better customer service
Compared to traditional communication (via telephone), which can only allow communication via voice, now it’s much easier and more effective if you use social media.
Social media has various features which are reachable by customers. For example, the customer can make a complaint and provide photo evidence to the seller as proof of the damage.
That means social media also makes the quality of communication between buyers and sellers more reliable.
7. Make it easier to do competitor analysis
Analyzing the quality of sales of competitors is crucial. Hereby you can know what is working for them & whatnot. So, you also can adapt and improve their strategy to make your sales much better.
For example, if your competitor uses Facebook Ads and it works for them, you can also do the same thing. Yet, don’t follow all of their techniques and strategies! Find out which ones are suitable to your brand’s goals and needs.
8. Increase website traffic and SEO ranking
Theoretically, website traffic helps brand awareness. If your main goal is to increase brand awareness, then increasing traffic and SEO ranking is an important thing you can do.
To increase traffic, you can put the brand’s website link on your social media page, so it would be more accessible to customers.
However, to get customers’ attention to your social media page, you need to improve the quality of social media content. The higher quality of content, the higher website traffic you will achieve.
9. Cost-effective tools
Do you know that you can advertise your product on social media for free? You can easily do promotions for free on social media by uploading interesting content that can attract the attention of potential customers.
Generally, entrepreneurs use the content as a promotional technique on social media. Especially the use of hashtags. This is an important component because this is a killing part, so your audience can find your product easily through your hashtags.
Besides, you can use a paid ad which may be much more effective in promoting on social media. To do this, you have to start small and work smart to reach more customers. Of course, this paid ad is much cheaper if you have to advertise on television and in newspapers!
How to create a Social Media Marketing strategy
Social Media Marketing is a complex system. If you think that you’ve done SMM just by posting products on social media, then you may be wrong.
Yet, actually, you need a strategy so SMM can work well with your brand. Strategy is like a plan and steps in order to achieve your business goals. These are the SMM strategies you can do:
1. Set specific goals and metrics
In order to set goals, you can use the SMART strategy. What is a SMART strategy?
- Specific – Setting specific goals is a must. If you want to increase brand awareness, then you can’t just make it a goal. Yet, you can set “Gain 200 new followers per month” as a goal.
- Measurable – When you’re setting goals, it will be easier for you to measure them. If your goal is to gain 200 new followers, then you can modify your strategy per month if you only get less than 200 new followers.
- Attainable – Don’t be unrealistic! You may have high business dreams, but don’t be unattainable! For example, gaining 200 new followers per month is more realistic than gaining 10000 new followers per month.
- Relevant – Make sure that your specific goals are relevant to your main goal. Gaining 200 new followers is relevant to increasing brand awareness.
- Time-bound – Set a deadline! And don’t forget to always set a realistic time! It would be unrealistic if you collect 10000 followers within a month.
2. Research and analyze the target audience
Social media is rich with data users. You can use social media to collect demographic user data to analyze your target audience.
You can use this feature to find out what they care about and whatnot, also what they like and whatnot. This feature also allows you to analyze what kind of content engages them. In other words, knowing your target audience’s demography is the main key.
3. Conduct a competitive analysis
Having competitors is not always a bad thing. By having competitors, we can learn many things from them. For instance, you can learn strategies that work on them. In addition, you can also examine the shortcomings of their strategy.
Tips: Look at their pages and find out what their customer is complaining about or requesting from them. Then modify all of those kinds of stuff and adapt them to your brand.
4. Create engaging content and publish it on the right platform
Content is anything you post on social media. Whether tweets, FB status, Instagram story, feed, and so on. You can’t use the entire platform for your business purposes.
Use the platform that best suits your target audience. If you are targeting young people, you can use Instagram and Twitter for promotion.
In addition, you also have to adjust the content you post according to the platform you are using. You can’t upload textual content on Instagram, you can use LinkedIn or WordPress instead.
5. Know the best time to post and responses
Your convenience time isn’t always the same as a customer’s convenience time. You can just upload content in the morning when you are free, but your customer might be feeling convenient during the day.
This is why you need to do further research to know when is the best time to post your content based on customer convenience time. By knowing this pattern, you have a high probability of gaining more engagement from them.
6. Advertise social media posts
There’s so much content that is similar to your industry and brand. This is the main reason why you feel it is difficult to get notices from your customers. Yet, don’t make it the end way!
You can still withdraw their notice by engaging them with good-quality content. Good-quality content sometimes doesn’t feel like they are watching promotional content.
They just enjoy it and accept the message, then unconsciously pay more attention to your product. If you succeed in creating great content, that would be much easier for customers to get a message and be attracted by your promotion technique.
7. Analyze results and optimize
It is very important for you to always monitor the results of your content and evaluate them. So, you can find out which content engages more customers and which doesn’t.
So, if there is less effective content, you can replace it with content that is likely to be more effective. Also, you can maintain and improve the effective content.
To find it out, you just simply:
- See how many people share it by re-influencing their relatives.
- See how many people like, comment, or retweet your current content.
- See how many people talk about and discuss your content by using your brand hashtag.
This is how SMM works and what kind of benefits you will get through this strategy. SMM absolutely will benefit you with its tools, cost-effectiveness, range, features, etc. This strategy will be much more useful if you can practice it well.
Hence, would be better if you consider changing your traditional marketing strategy with this SMM to reach a better modern business. Happy practicing!