What is SMM? A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is just a means of web-based communication through which people interact by sharing information. Initially, it started only as a tool for family and friends to be in touch but later on it started getting commercial when business holders saw it as an opportunity to promote their business and expand by reaching out to people. 

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.., are the different social media  marketing platforms in which Facebook is the most popularly used platform for marketing, followed closely by Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Gmail, etc. Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, creating devoted brand advocates and even driving leads and sales.

Advantages of Social Media Marketing

Marketing through Social Media lets you reach a vast number of people without even getting out of the comfort of your home. So with the right platform, imagine how easy it would be to grow your business! There are some major advantages to it. Let’s see in-depth:

On Point Customer Reviews:
Social media platforms are filled with information and data about people. Their likes and dislikes, preferences, etc. are also evident here and so this is a great way to get to know who your potential customers might be. Catering to them daily and customizing your digital marketing strategies likewise can help you to use it to your advantage. The data from customers through direct communication with them helps you to understand what they think about your products or services and also keeps a real-time check on any such updates.

Building Loyalty Through Constant Presence:
Everyone is on social media these days and that is the only place where they are most likely to come across your business. This staying in touch of a sort will ensure that they are engaged with your products and services enough to provoke interest. This will build brand loyalty when your customers can easily access you.

The biggest advantage here is the price. Most social platforms are free to sign up on and so you do not have to spend unnecessarily to share your content or expand your business through them. There are options for paid promotions but even they are reasonably priced and can give you quite good returns. So it’s still a win-win situation. In simple terms, no burning holes in your pocket! What more do we need?

Focused Advertisements:
Since ample data is available on the platforms, you can easily pick your target audience and customize your ads to fit their needs. This will increase your chances of your ad being noticed and responded to. For example, a lot of interests and demographic information is available on Facebook, so your ads can be relevant to that.

Direct Communication Leads to More Satisfaction:
Instead of automated emails that are generalized for everyone, with the help of social media, you can personally respond to any comment or post by customers on your page. This gives them a feeling of being heard and of personal attention and who doesn’t like that? Your customer ratings are bound to shoot up if you make them feel important in such a way.

Infinity Reach:
Social media shrinks the world for you. It enhances your visibility and makes you noticeable to people across countries. It assists you in reaching out to millions and presenting your business prospects. Needless to say, it directly results in an upswing in your sales. It helps you connect with the number of people you could not have imagined of connecting to, personally.

More Popularity Through Users:
Posts on social media are open to everyone and so they are likely to be shared and talked about through comments and compliments by your viewers. This means more popularity. Half of your brand awareness work is done by your customers themselves through various social media platforms. Isn’t that great? More popularity leads to a higher rank for your content on search engines.

More Traffic Leads to More Conversions:
Through social media, you can be constantly available and accessible to your customers. This will lead to regular interaction and so the customers will also like the prompt service. This will make them want to recommend you to others as well as come back again for more services from you. This will build a connection of trust and loyalty among your viewers.  Social Media Examiner made a report a few years ago saying that 66% of marketers saw an increase in their sales by using social media for just 6 hours per week.                  

Know Your Competition:
Just like you, your competitors will also be using social media and you can come to know of their business strategies and design yours accordingly to stay ahead in the race. It’s always advisable to do Competitor Analysis before posting for a better reach and growth. 

Since the essence of social media is to stay connected, it gives you a chance to build a personal bond with your customers. This is something that doesn’t happen in the old-school advertising world. 

Major Social Media Platforms

It is the most popularly used platform for personal as well as commercial uses. So needless to say, having your page here will yield results by giving you, regular customers. There are more than 2 billion users on Facebook and it is the top-rated platform for business as well.

It is crisp and to the point. It is a no-nonsense platform that lets you share your content and ideas with millions across the globe. Your content can be shared again by them and it is called ‘retweeting’. So you can keep your followers updated with your current ongoings in the business.

It is a purely business platform for professionals to register and get found by people who require their services. You can focus on a specific audience based on either the type of industry or location, etc. It is a great tool for professional relationships as compared to other platforms

It is a change from all the other ‘wordy’ platforms. Video-based marketing is even better. Instant eye-catching and it is the next biggest search engine after Google. You can go crazy with your creativity to keep your customers engaged and hold their attention for longer periods.

It is an image or infographic sharing platform. People get motivation on a multitude of topics like education, lifestyle, fashion, fitness, art and so on from images which are pinned by the users. Those images can also be integrated with respective websites which ultimately increases the traffic.

It is a platform that allows users to share visual information. Account-holders can upload photos or videos with a short caption which can be viewed by their chosen audience.

Social Media Marketing Strategy:

Make Goals
Be clear with your goals and what you expect out of this marketing. Working in a directionless manner will not yield any results. 

Use the Best-Suited Platform for Your Needs
All social platforms are for different reasons so you need to choose yours well. Facebook is mostly mandatory if you have a business, Twitter is for brand awareness, Instagram is for visual media, YouTube is for the in-depth creative content of your business, etc. 

Gauge Your Audience and Their Interests
Understand your audience based on their age, jobs, interests, professions, etc. Their digital footprints on the platform will give you an idea of their preferences and so you can target them accordingly. 

Consistency is Key
Maintain consistency and have a routine. Post regularly, stay in touch with your customers and update regularly. Organize your time on social media and be productive with it when it comes to posting and creating content. Keep a track of when to post, what to post, and how much to post. 

Be Attentive and Available
Be aware of what is being talked about in your brand. This is called Social Listening.  It will help you understand what people think and if your marketing strategies are working. 

Work Accordingly
Keep a record of which platform is bringing you more traffic and which of your posts are being responded to better. Identify if text, photos, or videos are yielding more views. And then plan your next strategies accordingly. You have to keep updating and work according to your audience on social media platforms. Your ideas should always be new and fresh.

Different Social Media Analytics Tools

The best social media analytics tools which can enhance and improve our performance in the digital marketing platform, helping us in knowing the valuable strategies that concern business growth. The following tools can indeed help you in a greater way to receive information about insights and analysis to enhance one’s performance in this marketing sphere.

Sprout Social:
It is a platform to manage all your social media accounts and to optimize your brand. With a host of features designed effectively, Sprout Social helps users to seamlessly connect with their customers. From scheduling posts to publishing them to getting regular insights into the performance of your brands, this platform is a single hub with a multitude of possibilities.

It even facilitates collaboration with workers and clients scattered all over the world. Valuing the users’ opinions Sprout Social also provides for a 30-day free trial before subscribing to the paid plans.

It is a platform that helps you manage all your social media marketing accounts. It covers several aspects of a social media manager’s role. Keeping in mind the importance of timely and engaging content, Hootsuite offers you features, wherein you can curate your content and schedule your posts for some time in Thone-stop.

It also integrates with different social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and collects all the messages in a single stream, making the correspondence with customers hassle-free. Hootsuite is the one-stop solution which can do multiple tasks like creating content, scheduling and analyzing your performance through the efficient and neat metrics on the dashboard. 

It is a platform designed to cater to the social media management of businesses which range from small to midsize. Like all other social media management platforms, this also has the basic features which allow users to post content, engage with the client and track the performance of their brands. It is integrated with Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest. 

Special features allow customization of posts for different accounts and sending them out at a single time. Scheduled posts on Buffer get uploaded automatically on other platforms. Specified analytics provide insight into the performance and update the users with weekly and monthly reports of the progress.

The Internet equips business owners with hordes of social media analytics tools to maintain transparency with their clients. Each is designed for the same purpose with some basic features. But it cannot be denied that everything comes with a set of merits as well as demerits. Though it is a level playing field for all the platforms, we cannot put a finger on one and declare it as the best or worst. It completely depends on the users and the organizations to harness the features the platforms offer and to find out what is suitable for them.    

Conclusion :

Social media has come down as a boon to all of us. Over the years it has transformed from a personal platform to a professional one. With the advent of social media marketing, there is an emergence of equity of opportunities in the business sector. It allows business owners of all sizes to find their potential audiences, engage with them, retain them and ultimately increase their sales. 

With such a great opportunity in hand, the onus lies with the owners to plan out ways to make their presence felt in the crowd. With a tinge of creativity and proper planning, it can be safely said that you are set to rule the market with social marketing as your weapon!

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