social media marketing

The art of being sociable

Social Media Marketing or SMM is your best to build your online brand,drive traffic and increase sales. Publishing great content, engaging followers, analyzing conversations and running paid social ads regularly will reap rich dividends for your business. Social media marketing is a highly cost-effective tool to drive business engagement and branding.

social media marketing

SMM is engagement!

Social media marketing is the only digital marketing process that gives your business an opportunity to engage with customers on a one-to-one level. And that is fantastic leverage.

Social media marketing is to leverage and engage!

Almost everyone on the internet use social media. No wonder then, 97% of marketers use social media marketing or SMM as a part of their marketing strategies. It is one of the most cost-efective marketing strategies to brand, engage and convert customers. Is your business leveraging it?

With over 70% of US population using at least one social media channel, we expect that over 3.1 billion users will use it by 2021. That is a lot of traffic and even at miniscule percentages, the conversions can be huge, when leveraged and put to good use.

Social media marketing creates a heightened consumer reception environment, making it easier to convert.

Why social media marketing?

Brand recognition

Most social media platforms are free to use, and with great content and branding, they are ideal channels for building brand awareness.

Easy to build your brand

* Engagement enabler

They designed social media platforms for people to engage with one another. For a business, they are great channels to engage with customers one-to-one at every stage of their conversion journey. Be it re-marketing, potential leads, present customers or customer service, you get multiple engagement options using conversations, posts, and ads. What better way to build your brand from the grass-roots?

* Content promotion

Continued creation and sharing content is necessary to market your business online. Most businesses use social media platforms to push good quality content. The reason is that they get more and relevant eyeballs besides adding value to readers and potential customers. A consistent branding guideline to push that content out can go a long way in establishing a visual brand, besides awareness.

* Social is for sharing

Social sharing is highly impactful for a brand because of its extended reach. And, if your post is engaging and worth the salt, it will see shares and re-shares, or go viral. Good posts also create an emotional attachment with the brand. You can share your own blog posts and related blog posts from other websites to engage your audience on social platforms.

* Creating insightful content

Content for social branding should be insightful and conversational. The simpler the content, the better. Once you share it on social media platforms, it is a good practice to strike up conversations. Most audiences will return the favor and that will go a long way in creating word-of-social for your brand.

Social media marketing costs

Publishing or advertising using social media marketing is easy and controlled. Did you know that the cost of using social is about 5% of direct mailing?

More bang for buck

* Use of Social Media

Social media usage has risen over the years and has become highly critical for business to ignore. Every business uses social media marketing today in various ways – to sell, to brand or to offer customer care. It has become an essential part of marketing and it is important that you realize its importance and pay due attention. As far as costs go, there is no fixation because it depends on what you want to achieve using SMM.

* To outsource or not

This is the first and a critical decision to make, considering that the reach of social media is huge. Operating social media campaigns is not as easy as it seems, especially the paid campaigns. Finding a nimble digital marketing agency would work better than opting for an in-house team. Since most agencies are flexible, vetting campaigns and posts should not be an enormous challenge. A well thought out strategy will work wonders and there are a few automation options that will ease the process. An agency will always be cost effective because of the experience they bring to the table.

* SMM Budgets

We do not etch no social media marketing campaign in stone; we create tailored campaigns for your business, keeping in. mind your objectives. So spending your budget wisely is very important. Most agencies offer packages and pricing models, however, the more bespoke your strategy, the more effective it will be. So, finding the right agency that plans the right strategy is critical for success. Any sensible, bespoke agency will do that after analyzing your goals and results.

* SMM Cost elements

Cost of any SMM campaign will depend on various factors like location, audience profiles, your business objectives, visual designs, copywriting, types of campaigns, etc. An effective, bespoke digital marketing agency can develop a lean SMM strategy for you. Again, cost of SMM campaigns differs from platform to platform. Depending on your business, choose the right platforms. The experience of our digital marketing agency comes very useful here.

Inbound traffic

Publishing interesting and good quality content can add to your website inbound traffic, thus adding to your SEO efforts. Consistency is the key.

Sociable marketing strategy

* Establish authority

Leveraging social media across relevant platforms can help create content cycles that will ensure engagement. By following the competition, you can gain insights on kinds of content that drive inbound traffic. You can use these insights to tweak your content thus establish authority. This will ensure a shared ecosystem to bring in exponential traffic.

* Organic boost to SEO

Social media platforms do not directly impact your search engine rankings, they will create a quantifiable exposure for your business, to expand reach. Once you establish authority in your niche, you will find influencers linking to your content or re-purpose it. This has a positive influence on your search engine optimization efforts. Ensure that the process is organic and not paid for, for long-lasting results.

* Innovation with social media marketing

While engaging and building your brand on social media, you will receive feedback through engagement, filter and check if you have missed out on some ideas coming through. Listen to your audience, tap into them, ask probing questions and it is easy to find new and innovative ideas to drive better engagement and build your brand.

* Customers and comfort zones

Customers are ever-changing and evolving and there is no better platform to understand this than social media marketing. On these platforms, you will be on your toes, engaging and tweaking your marketing skills. You need to evolve to customer needs and that will keep you out of your comfort zone all the time. The power and the “sociability” of social media should have an excellent strategy for best ROI.

Higher conversion rates

A good SMM campaign is worth 100% more than outbound marketing tactics in terms of traffic and conversion due to brand awareness and trust.

Engage, convert, engage, convert

* Social evidence and user generated content

Every business across the globe works on trust, B2B, B2C or C2C. When a customer buys your products, trust is a more important factor than price. For statistics, customers trust a product review 12 times more than the product description. And we base trust on ‘correct behavior’ more than anything else. If you want to buy a product and it is on ‘waitlist’, the automatic assumption is that the product is good and hence desired for. So, every time a product has excellent reviews, it is worth waiting for. There is no better tool than social media to instill this trust. All user generated content on social media is worth the ‘trust’. Are you sharing it?

* The 10-4-1 Rule

We do not know how many businesses follow it or even heard of it. Just a tip of the iceberg. Promoting on social media using gated content is the secret sauce here. The tactic is using ‘limited quantity’ or ‘running out fast’ is a fantastic CTA. Using gated content, you can take a customer to your website, to book, sign up or purchase a product or service easily, all the while instilling trust.  10-4-1 is about sharing 10 pieces of user generated content [third party], 4 of your own blogs or content pieces and 1 that takes the visitor to your landing page.

* The SMM sales strategy

On any social media platform, ‘reach’ is the most important aspect to engage and sell. The numbers may not be justified many a times.When you post good quality content, the users you have reached will be back before you know if you are executing a SMM strategy on a disciplined timeline. Reach builds relationships which are primary to nurturing, engaging and selling.

* Not just engagement

Social media marketing is not just about engagement. Social media marketing is about connecting with customers on a one-to-one basis, understanding their needs, supporting them, interactions and analyzing them, and giving. Out the best customer experience. This leads to better branding, customer retention, sales and word-of-social publicity, which brings business. Using it correctly through A/B testing is the way forward.

Elements to keep in mind

SMM and audience

Different social media channels have different audience profiles. Instead of spraying your content, focus on each channel with a tuned SMM strategy.

Customize content

Why audience profile?

About 42% of the world’s population which translates to over 3.2 billion people are on social media. If you need to get your product or service out front, you need to create the right audience profile, find out which SMM platform works best for you. And, that takes a ton of research. Spraying and raying will not help unless your content reaches the right audience, people who might buy from you.

What is an audience profile?

An audience profile is a set of details concerning a fictional person who you are targeting for an advertising or a marketing campaign. It contains demographic, psychographic information in addition to other details like preferred channels, personal goals, buying behavior, preferred content etc. This information is highly critical to the success of your campaign, when designed keeping these in mind.

Social Media Statistics

It helps to understand demographics and behavioural details of various social media platforms in order to fine-tune your social media campaign. Data like the number of visitors, age groups etc will help you choose the right platforms for the right campaigns. A generic campaign will only result in low conversion rates while a well-targeted one could result in an immeasurable boost.

Going about it

Now that we have an audience profile (right audience) and a strategy to engage that audience, it is time to draft compelling SMM messages. This is critical to the entire campaign. Add to it the importance of fine tuning your strategy on a daily (or as decided) basis, depending on conversions and numbers that you get. A wrong strategy running for a long time can ruin ruin your brand, while a good strategy, even on a short run can amplify it.

Listen & Engage

Your content will attract prosepcts. Regular analysis of content performance, engaging and conversing with prospects is very critical to SMM success.

Listening is a greater skill

Use social media analytics

Collecting data from social media platforms, blogs, and evaluating it to make informed business decisions is a part of social media analytics or social intelligence. It is not just about measuring the number of shares or retweets and builds the persona of a social consumer. Again, social media platforms are not just Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. They include all platforms where consumers share their feelings, beliefs, and opinions.

Measuring the chaos

Social data is more often than not ignored by brands because there is too much noise in it. The inherent dynamism of these platforms is a challenge, besides spam and bots adding to the noise. Actionable market data will come through only after you cut through the noise and collect intelligence. Conversational fluctuations, covered over a period, are the key to efficaci in SMM analytics.

Social sentiment analysis

All social media analytics are tied-in to social sentiment. You could see a sudden surge in ‘likes’, which may be detrimental sometimes. The only way to analyze this is by measuring the social sentiment. Measuring this aspect of SMM is the most tough part, and this is the very reason some brands abandon social analytics. The absence of AI based apps to analyse this is the main reason behind it. But AI is progressing and today there are many tools capable of such analysis.

Tools

Most state-of-the-art, social analytics tools use NLP (Natural Language Processing) to analyze and understand positive and negative conversations and emotions that come with it. Of course, all of them are not perfect yet, but it becomes easier to get cohesive insights. With such tools to analyze, you can hit gold in SMM.

Punctual calendar

Just having a presence on SMM is no good. You need to publish engaging content with regularity. Having a publishing calendar will be helpful.

Don't let it go

Social media calendar?

Usually, a social media calendar is a plan or an overview of future SMM posts. It can be created on Google calendar, a spreadsheet, or use an app to manage them. Each of the entries on your SMM calendar should include the date and time of the post, a list of proposed social accounts, social account(s) details, creative assets like graphics, links and other information, as required.

Why use a social media calendar?

Failing to plan is planning to fail and thus, planning is critical to social media success. By creating a SMM calendar, you will be saving time, have a consistent posting timetable, have enough time to create good quality content, reduce mistakes and plan relevant moments well in time. You will also be able to tackle your analytics better, making your campaigns super effective.

How to create a SMM calendar?

An effective SMM calendar will have certain components that can be organized in a few simple steps. It is no rocket science if you can follow these – audit your content and social networks (check if everything is working and then check again), choose the right social channels depending on the campaign, scale the analytics, create a content library (posts as well as creatives), create a workflow with team and allocate responsibilities, craft your content and posts, review them with the team and begin scheduling or publishing.

Use the right tools

There are tons of apps out there, fully capable of managing your SMM schedule. Most of them are paid apps and they work well with all domains. Choose wisely without burning your pocket. Always use the trial or periodic free version to check suitability. If you are still skeptical, use Google sheets or calendar to schedule your campaign posts. Don’t give up.

SMM advertising

It is smart to enhance your content audience using SMM advertising and run it with the same discipline as your search engine marketing process.

Advertising on social channels is effective

* Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads come with many interesting and unique targeting options. Since Facebook leverages personal data to serve ads, Facebook advertising is not about keywords but about interests and likes which is not so in traditional PPC networks like Adwords. Using Facebook ads, you can now target Instagram  users too.

* LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn is a huge professional network that helps businesses and people connect with each other. With over 650 million professionals using it actively, it does make sense to advertise B2B services. Targeting LinkedIn is different – you can use industry, function, job titles etc., to filter your ads making them more focussed and effective. This can greatly help your business to improve branding and increase conversions. Obvious, targeting decision-makers can make your ads lean and effective.

* Twitter Ads

There are millions of hashtags and tweets posted across twitter everyday. Sponsored tweets, as twitter ads are known, you can target your ads based on device, gender, interests and also keywords and hashtags. In addition to relevant display of your ads, Twitter also helps you grow followers and branding. By running twitter ads on your profile, you can build a long term social media following.

* Amazon Ads

Surprised, yes Amazon also has a PPC network of its own since 2010. If you business is B2C and you sell on Amazon, Amazon Ads can help keep your products on top of Amazon search. With a self-service platform and the capability to offer product-based ad formats, advertising on Amazon is the easiest way to drive your sales. Did you know that Amazon is the second largest search engine after Google when it comes to product search. Well, what are you waiting for?

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