If you are a business owner, you have probably heard of Social Media Marketing. But what exactly is it, and how is it implemented into your business? Well look no further, we are going to give you the rundown of one of the most important marketing strategies in use today.
At its core, and over simplified, Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a form of digital marketing in which social networks are use as marketing tools. The overall goal is to help a company increase its brand recognition and expand its customer reach. All of this is done by creating content that will, hopefully, attract attention and encourages the readers to share across the networking platforms. The most popular networks for SMM are facebook and twitter, but most any social media platform can be used.
Once a company decides that they need SMM, a marketing strategy will need to be developed. Many questions must be asked and answered during this stage. Some of the most important are:
1.) What social platforms will be used?
2.) What will the budget be?
3.) Who will run the networks?
These are vital questions that must be addressed early on in order to gain a better understanding on the effectiveness of your SMM. Hiring a Media Manager that can develop and execute the marketing strategy may be necessary, and is suggested, for most business. For more on marketing strategy, please read our Marketing Strategy: A step by step guide article.
Once the marketing strategy has been developed, next comes the creation and implementation of campaigns. Campaigns should be at least outlined within your marketing strategy, even if they are just simple ideas. The campaign is where the marketing really comes in to play. A company may want to introduce a new product to its lineup, the campaign is how they do it. A duration is set for the campaign, and it is the media manager’s job to make sure all of the videos, pictures and posts created for the new product flow together to give a fluent marketing experience across media platforms.
Often times, many campaigns are active at once within a company’s marketing strategy. It is important that an editorial calendar is in place for these campaigns. Editorial calendars are used to keep track of when campaigns begin and end. The most important element of running a campaign is the response and interaction you get with your followers. This interaction is called engagement.
It is imperative to understand that social networks feed off of engagement, which is the interaction of you and your followers. The better your company is at engagement, the more your followers will feel like they matter to you. This is accomplished by creating relative content for your audience to interact with. Whether it is a blog post about your new product, or the latest news about your industry, your followers want to be informed and empowered by YOU, which will build loyalty to your brand.
Traditional media used for marketing, such as tv, newspaper and billboards are limited to one-way interactions. Although effective, it is limited to customer feedback. Social media on the other hand, was built around the idea of two way communication. After you publish your content, you are then able to engage with everyone who interacts with your content. This puts more power in the hands of the consumers when it comes to control of the message, thus, giving more of an influence for a conversion.
Metrics help decide if the Social Media Marketing is benefiting your company. It shows the reach and virality of your content. Another important element of metrics is the Return of Investment or ROI. This is a measurement that shows how much of a return you are getting for running your campaigns. It should be noted though, that ROI with SMM is very difficult to measure as hard and tangible data. It should be used as a guide to interpret your SMM efforts, not the be all end all conclusion.
Speaking of conclusions, that is our summary of What is Social Media Marketing?. If you take your time and develop a good marketing strategy, you will begin to notice wonderful results with minimal effort.
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The 360-mb Team