In an earlier post, we outlined the basics of online marketing – today, we’re drilling down into social media marketing.
Read on to find out what it is, how and why you can use it to help your business, and some tools to help you build your very own social media strategy.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Roughly, it corresponds to using social media channels (TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and more) to interact with customers, grow your online presence, advertise your products and services.
More and more companies are dedicating a larger chunk of their budget to social media. Many have specific Social Media Marketing teams, who are responsible for managing channels and generating social media content on behalf of the brand. However, social media marketing doesn’t just mean posting something every two days. It takes proper planning and a great strategy to stand out amidst the mass of content produced daily.
There exist several types of social media marketing, including:
- Content marketing. This corresponds to creating content (posts, videos, images) to post on social media.
- Influencer marketing. Using influencers and prominent social media users to advertise your brand. This could be done by paying for sponsored posts, or giving someone a discount code to share and paying them a part of the profits.
- Online advertising. As the name implies, this is just like regular advertising, but online. Companies can take out adverts on search engines, but also on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. They can also pay for targeted ads, which means they are more likely to reach the audience of choice.
- Community management. You don’t have to be on social media to advertise your products. Part of social media marketing is just growing your online presence and your brand awareness. A lot of brands use their accounts to interact with their customers, provide support, or make people aware of them.
Tips to Build Your Strategy
As we said above, nowadays it’s not enough to just create a Facebook a post every few days. Lots of thought and creativity must go into your social media marketing strategy in order to make it successful.
We’ve rounded up a few tips to help get you started.
- Define your intention. As with any kind of marketing, before you start make sure you know your end goal. Do you want to improve your online presence? Generate leads for your business? Sell more of your products?
- Choose the right channels. Once you know what you want to do, think carefully about how best to achieve it. Not every channel will work for everyone. For example, if your target is professionals, consider LinkedIn. If your products are aimed at teenagers, aim for TikTok or Snapchat. Use Twitter in order to make your business reachable and approachable.
- Set measurable goals. As well as a general strategy, set smaller, measurable goals to track your progress. It’s easy to get lost in social media and not evaluate your success because you’ve dismissed it as abstract. In reality, you can often count likes, views, followers, shares, clicks, etc. All of these will inform you on the efficiency of your strategy.
- Be consistent with your brand. Whether that’s in your message, your graphics or your tone, make sure you don’t veer away from your brand. This will only confuse followers and potential customers. People often come to a brand for its message and values, so going away from it could lose part of your audience.
- Focus on value. Social media marketing is all about sharing content that will bring value to your audience. People are unlikely to interact with content that doesn’t either entertain them, educate them, or add anything to their lives.
- Pay attention to trends. On every platform and on social media as a whole, trends play an all-important role. TikTok is the perfect example of that: a certain dance or challenge will go viral for a few days, then die down. You’ve got to be ready to pounce on these trends in order to capitalise on them.
- Engage and listen. As well as producing and sharing content, social media is vital to interact with your customers and audience. Make sure you check in and reply to comments and address concerns from time to time.
Social Media Marketing Tools
- Canva. Create beautiful graphics and social media content with limited design knowledge. Canva has a range of templates and easy tools to create professional-looking designs from an app on your phone.
- Meet Edgar. This social media scheduler enables you to prepare content in advance and schedule it for the future. It also reshares your evergreen content so you don’t have to worry about your accounts being inactive.
- Hootsuite. Similarly to a social media dashboard, Hootsuite helps you manage your content. Helpfully, Hootsuite connects with apps like Canva or Shopify in order to curate your social media feeds, hassle-free.
- Facebook Business Suite. Create a Facebook Business account to access a range of tools including powerful analytics and advertising accounts.
- Recart. You can now integrate Shopify and Facebook Messenger. Get Recart to send customers a message about their abandoned Shopify cart.