Let’s talk in numbers
Just imagine: it took 38 years for the radio to reach the audience of 50 million people, the television needed 13 years. However, Facebook won 200 million unique users in less than a year. Moreover, according to the Global Web Index, the average consumer has 5.8 accounts on social networks and actively uses about three of them, and users look into about 10.4 publications of the company before purchasing its product or service. The main purpose of social networks earlier was communication, today they are an effective marketing channel for brand promotion, which means you need to offer your audience high-quality social media content to help potential customers make the right consumer decisions.
So what is SMM?
You might already know marketing is a company’s style of communication with their clients in order to make profits. SMM is one of the marketing channels, standing for social media marketing. Both prepaid and free tools available on social networks are used for SMM. They are publications, sponsored posts, advertisements, banners, targeting, personal communication with potential and existing customers.
Such social networks as Facebook, Vkontake, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, OK, Telegram, Google+ and others are used as a platform for communication and promotion. We are going to dwell on the peculiarities of choosing the social network a bit later.
Why, actually, should I generally choose this way of promotion for my business? What will it provide me with?
Understanding your target audience. While communicating on behalf of the company, you can clearly see who follows your pages and who does not; who actively interacts with the content posted and who prefers to ignore it; who is interested in the product or service; what kind of needs the audience has and whether the product helps to cover them. Presence in social networks and contact with the audience helps the company to better understand the requests and desires of its customers and adjust the content and the product in accordance with them.
Reaches and mentions. The wider the company content is spread on social networks, the more reviews about its service and quality of products and mentions of the brand it receives. The more people refer to the brand, the higher the brand awareness it gets. Previously have seen the reviews about your product or service, the customer will recollect his thoughts when having a problem, and will more likely choose you. Do not forget, the majority of people (more than 87%) trust the brands they have already heard about or the brands their families and friends prefer to use! Thus, your goal is to stay visible.
Involvement. Likes, reactions, reposts, comments, link clicks, and other actions are called involvement in social networks. It is important to monitor the level of involvement in order to manage to hook your followers and to trigger their interactions. Comments and likes are important for collecting feedback about the product and social network content and figuring out the cons and flaws they can have
Transitions to the site. With help of social networks, e-commerce projects attract customers to their main websites and promotional: they collect leads, signups, and email addresses, sell goods and services, track conversions. In other words, perform all the actions useful for the company that occur on the website.
The image of the brand. The companies build their image as a brand with help social networks: they talk about the company’s employees and vacant positions, their corporate life, values, and hobbies, and give pieces of advice of what needs to be done to start working with them. The quicker the responses and the politer the communication are, the more positive image the brand has.
Sounds interesting. What about any hidden rocks then?
There are, of course, some them. Nevertheless, they are more than manageable.
Making people notice you on social media is challenging. Think about your own Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feed. New posts appear fast, you have not read the previous news or have no time and energy to do it and just scroll down, and the new information is here again. Sounds familiar? Thus, the only way to succeed in SMM is to create and daily post the relevant high-quality content.
Social media problems are viral and SMM managers have no chances to screw up. A joke cracked badly, the response to the negative comment from a client made it even worse, the SMM manager was too creative. All of this makes a hot mess out of the company’s reputation, leads to multiple rumors and may frighten your potential clients off. Do you remember the last Reebok Russia social media campaign?
Well, how should I begin my SMM journey?
We will try to cut it short here and highlight the most important points.
Step one: identify your target audience. Without understanding to whom and about what you are talking to, you will not be able to create a suitable content plan for your social networks and succeed in communication and business. Find out how old your customer is, where he lives, what language he talks, what beliefs he has.
Step two: define your goals. Is your aim to manage the brand loyalty towards your company, attract new clients, stimulate the repeat purchases or increase the number of subscriptions? Answer to this question carefully and, if possible, in numbers.
Step three: choose social networks for your business. You can try all the networks you know at the same time or choose them based on your target audience portrait and the region you work in. No time to create unique content for every network? It is possible to post the same information to all the profiles. However, we do not state it will get you to the same level of success!
Step four: plan your budget and time resources. If your business has just reached the stage of development, you can minimize your expenses on social media working just with sponsoring posts for better reach. There is no need to hire a new employee to make content, let the members of your team speak up first!
Step five: be ready to analyze the results! To count likes, comments and audience growth is an essential part of the SMM, however, not the key one. Using such analytical tools as Google Analytics, Yandex.Metrics, Amplitude, you can track your sales through social networks, signups, subscriptions, and any other conversions.
Any tips for choosing a social network?
Remember about the peculiarities of so-called content consumption and the organization of the feed in different social networks! Algorithmic feeds of FB and IG were created and implemented to deliver more relevant content to the users. The criteria for deciding whether the content is worth showing in the feed are the number of reactions received within the first hours after posting, and the frequency of posting. In other words, the more posts per day you publish, the lower their content quality is estimated, the smaller the organic reach is and the more rarely they are shown in the feeds of your followers. On the contrary, the more you post to Twitter, the better the reach is.
In addition, take into account your target audience when choosing the social network to post in. Do they live in Russia and other CIS countries or Europe and America? How old are they? What do they do for a living? Keep in mind, senior population prefers Facebook to Instagram, busy people are often fond of short posts on Twitter, people living in CIS countries use Vkontakte more often than Facebook, LinkedIn is popular among businessmen and -women.
Last thing to tell you about social media marketing for today: you have learned enough. It is high time you started implementing your knowledge.