Social media marketing (SMM) is the online use of social media networks and sites to advertise a service or a product. While the terms digital and e-marketing are more dominant in academic circles, social media marketing is fast becoming popular for both academics and researchers alike. This popularity is partly due to the accessibility of SMM methods. SMM can be used on blogs, podcasts, Facebook pages, MySpace, and many other popular sites. As this focus on media increases, it is important to define the different components that make up a good social media marketing plan.
The core component of a good SMM strategy is an understanding of your audience and defining your target audience. There are some common mistakes made with SMM that can be very detrimental to your marketing efforts. These mistakes include the notion that everyone is in tune with or capable of being a customer, treating your audience like an untargeted subset of your target audience, and not providing an experience that your target audience will be willing to absorb. Avoiding these mistakes when formulating your social media marketing plan will ensure a successful venture.
Understanding who you are marketing to is absolutely integral to forming an effective social media marketing strategy. Your strategy should include both an understanding of the users on your site as well as the tone of voice that you wish to maintain throughout your campaigns. It is important to consider these two elements when formulating a strategy.
The second component is more of an extension of the first. It is critical to consider the target demographic that you are attempting to reach with your SMM efforts. This step may require a bit of research into various trends on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube. It is also important to establish your goals and objectives. These can range from increasing visibility of products and services, increasing brand awareness, connecting with a niche audience, and much more.
Another important aspect of your social media marketing plan is your brand strategy. Your brand is comprised of your unique creative web content, your logo, and your primary business website. By engaging your audience and delivering a consistent message across all platforms, you can achieve brand credibility and maximize conversion rates. In addition to engaging with your audience, you should also develop a content plan that includes a brand personality as well as an overall brand theme
The third component to a well-rounded social media marketing plan is research. It is imperative to study your competition as well as your market. By doing so, you can identify key phrases, keywords, and platforms that your potential customers are using to find you. In addition, you can use these same platforms to identify your target audience.
Lastly, use social media marketing to attract the right customers. Social marketing has enabled some businesses to sell their products and services before they ever opened their doors. For example, restaurant reviews sites have provided many new eateries with recommendations and potential customers. Likewise, consumers have used sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to connect with the businesses that interest them. Both online and offline surveys have also shown that this type of advertising has proven to be highly effective.
Utilizing social media marketing does not have to involve large amounts of money. Small businesses can easily establish a presence on these platforms by creating engaging visual content and engaging in conversations within the communities. Branding strategy should include consistent messages that offer value to your customer base. Additionally, marketers should use Twitter’s hash tag features to increase engagement among followers. Finally, it is crucial to engage in conversations with potential customers and fellow marketers to ensure the most efficient use of advertising strategies.