What is social media marketing?
Social Media Marketing (SMM) are social media platforms used to connect with your audience in order to promote your brand, improve sales, and drive traffic to your website. Social media marketing involves designing high quality content to attract prospective customers/clients, listening and engaging with your followers, analysing your results and improving where necessary, and making use of social media advertisements.
The most popular social media platforms in South Africa are currently Youtube, Facebook Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and TikTok.
Social Media Marketing Overview
Social media marketing was first used by businesses for publishing. Businesses used social media to share their content with their audience in order to generate traffic to their website, and improve sales. In modern society, social media is more than just publishing content.
Businesses nowadays use social media in a variety of ways. For example, a business may use social media to monitor what is being said about their brand and to engage with their audience. A business may use social media to build loyalty, trust and increase their brand awareness. A business may use social media to be established as a thought leader in their industry. A business may use social media to reach a large segment using targeted social media ads. There are so many ways a business can make use of social media, but understanding how the social media platforms work is what determines your success on social media.
These are also known as social media management.
5 Core pillars of social media marketing
Planning and Publishing
Listening and Engagement
Analytics and Reporting
A good strategy is always important in any activity. A strategy will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and it helps you decide where your efforts and resources are best spent. When working on a strategy, consider the following:
- What are your goals? What do you want to achieve and how can social media assist you on achieving your goals? How will you use social media to your advantage? Some businesses may use social media to publish content, increase brand awareness, increase website traffic and generate leads.
- Which social media platforms do you want to focus on? Depending on your industry, some social media platforms has a larger audience than other and can be easier to generate leads. For example, Facebook is a great platform for visual content such as images and videos, and keeping your audience up to date with latest products etc. LinkedIn on the other hand is a great platform to publish articles, blog posts and visual content etc. When deciding on a social media platform, it is best to find out which platform(s) your audience is using.
- What type of content do you wish to share? What type of content will attract your audience? Is it images or videos? Articles or blogs posts? Is it educational or entertaining content? Is it promotional or interest content? Creating a marketing persona will help you answer these questions and help you decide which is best for your audience. A good strategy should always be flexible.
2) Planning and Publishing
It is important for small businesses to be active on their social media platforms. Posting on a regular basis increases the chance to be discovered and helps your content reach more. Publishing content is as easy as sharing an image, video or a blog post on your preferred social media platform. Planning your content ahead will save you time and flexibility and make changes where necessary. To increase your reach on social media, it is important to publish content that is not only relevant but also interests your audience, keeping in mind the right time and frequency.
To schedule content, there are many tools available that will assist you such as Sprout Social, CoSchedule or Freedly. These tools will allow you to publish content automatically at the time you prefer.
3) Listening and Engagement
As your business’s social media presence increases, communications about your brand will also increase. Customers/Clients will comment on your posts, tag you in their posts, write reviews about your products/services or message you directly.
Sometimes you might not even be aware about the conversations of your brand. As your brand is growing you will want to monitor the social media conversations about your brand. For example, you can offer support and correct mistakes of negative comments/reviews, or if it is a positive comment/review on the other hand you can try and offer something of value in your response.
You will get notified across all social media platforms of people making comments on your posts and/or tagging your brand in their posts. But for posts that does not tag your business’s social media profile, social media listening and engagement tools comes in handy. These tools allows you to see mentions, comments and posts that didn’t tag your business. For example, you can use tools such as Brandwatch, Mention or Brand24.
4) Analytics and Reporting
At this stage you will want to track the performance of your marketing efforts on social media. Did your content reach more than last month or not? Were there any negative comments about your brand and what did you do to resolve the issue? Did people engage with your content? Did your social media followers grow? If you did not perform as well, you will want to re-adjust your strategy and improve where possible.
Every social media platform offers analytics about your social media profile, of how many people visited your profile, liked and follow you, and how they engaged with your content. If you want to get more in-depth analytics of your social media profile, you may want to use social media analytics tools such as HubSpot, TapInfluence or BuzzSumo.
If your business has the funds and resources to grow your social media presence, you might want to consider social media advertising. Social media ads will help distribute your content to a wider audience than those who are following you.
Using social media ads today, you can distribute your content to a specific segment or market you wish to engage. With social media ads you can distribute your content based on demographics, interests, behavior and more.
What if I don't have the time or knowledge to engage with social media marketing?
Don’t worry we have got you covered. Sometimes two is better than one. InDigita is a modern marketing agency established to help grow your brand and assist you where possible. Social Media Marketing is our expertise.
Send us an email to email@example.com or visit our Social Media Marketing page and find out how we can help your business.