What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing refers to the use of social media platforms to connect with your audience, build a brand, increase sales and increase website traffic. This involves posting great content on your social media profiles, listening to and attracting your followers, analyzing your results, and running social media ads.
The main social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat.
There are also a series of social media management tools that can help companies get the most benefit from the aforementioned social media platforms. For example, Buffer is a platform for social media management tools that can help you achieve success through social media marketing. Whether you want to build a brand or grow your business, we want to help you succeed.
A Quick Overview of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing starts with publishing. Companies are sharing their content on social media to generate traffic to their website and hope to generate sales. But social media has gone far beyond just spreading content.
Today, companies use social media in many different ways. For example, a company that is worried about people’s evaluation of its brand will monitor social media conversations and responses to related mentions (social media listening and participation). Companies that want to understand their performance on social media can use analytical tools (social media analysis) to analyze their social media coverage, engagement and sales. Companies that want to attract specific audiences on a large scale can place targeted social media ads (social media ads). Overall, these are also commonly referred to as social media management.
Before you delve deeper and post content on social media, let’s take a step back and look at the big picture. The first step is to consider your social media strategy.
What is your goal? How can social media help you achieve your business goals? Some companies use social media to increase their brand awareness, while others use it to increase website traffic and sales. Social media can also help you interact around your brand, create a community and act as a customer support channel for your customers.
Which social media platforms do you want to follow? The main social media platforms mentioned above are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat. There are also some smaller emerging platforms such as Tumblr, Tik Tok and Anchor, as well as social messaging platforms such as Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat. At the beginning, it’s best to choose a few platforms that you think your target audience uses, not all platforms.
What kind of content do you want to share? What type of content is most appealing to your target audience? Is it a picture, a video, or a link? Is it educational or entertainment content? A good starting point is to create a marketing role, which will help you answer these questions. This doesn’t have to be solved forever; you can change your strategy at any time based on the performance of your social media posts.
2. Planning and Publishing
Social media marketing for small businesses usually starts with a consistent presence on social media. Nearly 3 billion people (3 billion!) use social media. By appearing on social media platforms, you can provide an opportunity for your brand to discover it for your future customers.
Publishing to social media is as simple as sharing a blog post, image or video on a social media platform. Just like the way you share on your personal Facebook profile. But you will need to plan content in advance instead of creating and publishing content spontaneously. In addition, to ensure that your influence on social media is maximized, you need to publish exciting content that your audience likes at the right time and frequency.
There are various social media planning tools, such as Buffer Publish, which can help you automatically publish content at your preferred time. This saves you time and attracts your audience when they are most likely to interact with your content.
3. Listening and Engagement
As your business and social media attention grows, so will conversations about your brand. People will comment on your social media posts, tag you in their social media posts, or send you messages directly.
People may even talk about your brand on social media without letting you know. Therefore, you will need to monitor social media conversations about your brand. If it is a positive comment, you will have the opportunity to be surprised and happy. Otherwise, you can provide support and correct the situation until it gets worse.
You can manually check all notifications on all social media platforms, but this is not efficient and you will not see posts that are not tagged with your corporate social media profile. You can switch to the social media listening and participation tool, which aggregates all your social media mentions and messages, including posts that have not tagged your company’s social media profile.
In this process, whether you are posting content or participating in social media, you want to know how well your social media marketing is performing. Are you attracting more people on social media than last month? How many positive reviews can you receive in a month? How many people use your brand’s hashtag in their social media posts?
The social media platform itself provides a basic level of such information. To get more in-depth analysis information or easily compare between social media platforms, you can use various social media analysis tools available, such as Buffer Analyze.
When you have more funds to develop social media marketing, the area to consider is social media advertising. Social media advertising can make you follow a wider audience than the audience following you.
Nowadays, social media advertising platforms are so powerful that you can specify exactly who to show ads to. You can create target audiences based on demographics, interests, behaviors, etc.
When running multiple social media advertising campaigns at once, consider using social media advertising tools to make batch changes, automate processes and optimize ads.