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.

smm

SMM is Engagement!

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

Social Media Marketing is to 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, it is expected that over 3.1 billion users will be using 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 to build brand awareness.

Easy to build your brand

* Engagement enabler

Social media platforms are designed 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 uses social media platforms to push good quality content. The reason is that they get more and relevant eyeballs in addition to 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, in addition to awareness.

* Social is for sharing

Social sharing is highly impactful for a brand due toi it’s extended reach. And, if your post is engaging and worth the salt, it will be shared and re-shared, or goes 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 not only be insightful but also 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 favour 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 tremendously 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 realise 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 a big 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 due to the experience they bring to the table.

* SMM Budgets

No social media marketing campaign is not etched in stone. It should be extremely bespoke to your business and its 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 formulates the right strategy is critical for success. Any sensible, bespoke agency will do that after analysing 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 differ from platform to platform. Depending on your business, you will have to chose the right platforms. The experience of an 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, in turn 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

Although social media platforms do not directly impact your search engine rankings, they will create a quantifiable exposure for your business which in turn will expand reach. Once you establish authority in your niche, you will find influencers link to your content or re-purpose it. This has a positive influence on your search engine optimization efforts across the internet. Ensure that the entire 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 be well thought upon for the best ROI.

Higher Conversion Rates

A good SMM campaign is worth 100% more than outbound markeitng 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, trust is based on ‘correct behaviour’ 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 good reviews, it is worth waiting for. There is ne better tool than social media to instil 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 business 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, signup or purchase a product or service easily 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 times but the users reached will be back before you know, if you are executing a strategy on a disciplined timeline. Reach builds relationships which is 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, analysing them and giving. Out the best customer experience. This leads to better branding, customer retention, sales and word-of-social publicity. Using it correctly through A/B testing is the way forward.

Elements to Keep in Mind

SMM & 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
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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
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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
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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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