Social Media Marketing: A Step by Step Guide
July 30, 2020
Almost all of us use social media at least once a day. If you’re an avid social media user, you might have an account on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and the likes. But, how much of social media do you utilize in marketing. If you’re thinking that simply building a page and a plain social media calendar is enough, you might need some more social media marketing tools to make social media pay for your bills.
You might not believe it, but almost 45% of the world population which adds up to 3.5 billion people, uses social media for an average of 3 hours a day. To break it down, 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers are avid social media users. Whether you want to build your personal brand or create awareness for your business, the social media space is a huge market to miss out on.
So, this blog is going to give you all the hacks you need on how to start your social media marketing. But first, let’s go over some social media marketing meanings.
What is Social Media Marketing?
The steps that you take promote your business utilizing content on several social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, is known as Social Media Marketing. It is not a one-size-fits-all kind of a marketing strategy. Your content needs to be unique and tailored to your specific needs and the audience of the platform. This will aid you in directing traffic, boosting conversions, and increasing your brand awareness. It is not like putting up a billboard in a crowded area and walking away to let it do its magic. Social media is where your brand personally meets your target audience, interacts with them, offers them what they need, and convert them into customers.
As stated above, your social media marketing strategy cannot involve launching one piece of content at one platform and replicating it on others. Social Media can prove to be incredibly beneficial for your business but your strategy needs to differ from one social network to another. And to do this, you need to know a little more about all the social media platforms.
Facebook is the king of all social media platforms (partly because it owns half of them). It is the most used platform by both marketers and consumers, this is the platform with which you begin your social media journey. Facebook offers you some of the best social media marketing tools according to the Sprout Social 2019 Index. Here are some important statistics about Facebook (Sprout Index):
- 89% of marketers use Facebook for business for marketing their brand
- 83% of users visit the platform daily.
- 66% are followers of at least a single brand on the platform.
- Facebook had attracted 2.6 million monthly active users by the first quarter of 2020.
As of April 2020, India, India ranks first in the size of Facebook’s user base. It is the best for marketing B2C products and services while creating impactful awareness for your brand.
Instagram is a networking service whose primary model is based on sharing photos and using hashtags for social media marketing. But Instagram is the most dynamic of all social media platforms with new features rolling in every few months. Instagram was the first to introduce the ‘story’ feature which now can be found on Whatsapp and Facebook. In 2019, it launched IGTV for longer videos which were earlier limited to a minute, and now with it has come up with ‘Reels’ within days of TikTok being banned by the Government of India. Instagram has more of a young user base with half of its users being 34 years and younger. Here are some statistical insights for Instagram
- According to Instagram, more than 90% of its user base follow a business
89% of marketers say that Instagram is the best platform for Influencer Marketing
- 500 million and more users visit Instagram Stories every day
Now, that is a whole lot of marketing space. But the standard marketing techniques don’t work here. It is a great space to engage and communicate with your audience and other brands while offering them a little more than just your product.
Content marketing and blogging took a drastic 180 degree-turn with the microblogging site, Twitter. It has been running as one of the top social media platforms. It is the best place if you’re a new business and want to be discovered. Twitter usage become increasingly predominant in times of major events. Registered users can read and post tweets as well as follow other users via update feed, and re-tweet the posts that resonate with them. Live-tweeting takes over during sporting events or television airings and it has become a popular way for consumers to engage online with others with similar interests and also communicate with the brand. Here is some data for Twitter:
Twitter is a great place to engage and communicate about your brand’s offerings, its principles, and thoughts with the audience and other brands. Twitter battles between brands are a real thing and a great marketing gimmick.
While LinkedIn is a professional networking site where you can’t really sell your product, it is a great place for employee marketing, brand awareness, and increase your B2B lead generation. It is one of the highest social media platforms ranked in terms of active users and even tops Facebook in generating leads. Here are some LinkedIn insights:
LinkedIn is a platform used best to market your B2B services, engage with similar brands, acquire talent through presenting the cultural environment of your company, and so much more.
Apart from these major social media platforms, there are so many others which you can utilize to create a comprehensive social media strategy such as, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, Medium, and more.
Also Read: Instagram vs Facebook vs Twitter vs Snapchat for Business
What are the Benefits of Social Media Marketing?
1. Increase Brand Awareness:
You’ve set up your business, a high-powered website and a sturdy sales funnel. But now, you need to invite people. How do you do that? Social media is a great tool to let the world know that you’ve arrived. With likes, comments, shares, tweets, and a lot more, you can greatly boost your engagement which leads to traffic. You can include links to your pages, your website, and your products to let people find you.
2. Generate Leads and Boost Conversion:
If people have already followed your account, your target audience is set. It’s time to advertise to these people which will lead to a high rate of conversions. You can give them offers, discounts, bonuses, and free goods through social media to get them to buy your product.
3. Healthy Relationships with Customers:
In today’s world, marketing is much more than simple advertising. You need to build healthy relationships with your customers and social media advertising is the way to do it. These platforms are best for engaging with your audience, telling them your story, making your brand a part of their daily life.
4. Learn from Your Competitors:
You can know all you that you need about your competitor, their strategy, and their products. This can prove to be a huge benefit for you as you can study what’s working and what’s not for your competition and tweak your strategy accordingly.
What are the Types of Social Media Marketing?
With new features rolling in for every social media platform, your marketing strategy needs to be dynamic. Here are some social media marketing types you need to dive into to create a comprehensive strategy:
1. Social Media Networking:
It’s called a network for a reason. In social media, the network works like word-of-mouth marketing in traditional advertising. If you create content that resonates with one person, they are most likely to share it with five others. People can post what they like, respond to content that reaches out to them, and since it’s all public, your content gets viewed by all those in the network who engage with you. You can respond to customer’s concerns which shows that you actually care about them, or get in direct contact with celebrities with millions of followers who are then exposed to your brand.
2. Images and Infographics:
People are constantly on the run, and so is their social media. You need to make an impact in those couple of seconds of the daily scroll of their feed. They might not have time to read lengthy posts and engage with you. So, this is where images and infographics come in. Instagram is a huge platform simply because a picture is worth a thousand words and you must use this platform, along with Snapchat, for your benefit.
3. Video Marketing:
YouTube is one of the biggest platforms out there. So, if your brand doesn’t have a presence on it, you’re missing out on a large audience. You can make video tutorials, tell your brand story, or show an insight into your work culture. And if long videos don’t work for you, Instagram Stories, Reels, and previously Tiktok offered you the platform to create immensely digestible bite-sized videos that will capture your audience’s attention in 15 seconds or less.
Blogging is one of the earliest forms of social media marketing. With Blogspot and WordPress taking a backseat, social blogging sites such as Medium and Tumblr have revived the art of blogging which was considered lost. These sites offer you a dedicated audience for your niche. All you need to do is keep shelling out content that helps them or adds value to their life, and they will keep coming back to you. Blogging is a great way for your SEO performance, too.
Reddit and Quora offer what other social networking websites don’t. These sites build communities of people indulging in their interested niches every day. It is home to discussions, revelations, and discoveries. This is a great place to be if you’re looking to be found. You can target one community related to your industrial niche and serve your target audience in one go.
How to Create a Stellar Social Media Marketing Strategy?
Now that we’ve gone over the basics, let’s get on to building a social media strategy tailored to your brand.
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Specific: You need to have a specific goal in mind before building your strategy. It can be a set number of likes, followers, or conversions.
Measurable: Your goals should be measurable through data, analytics, numbers, or figures. For example, it can be double the number of your Instagram followers.
Attainable: Your goal needs to be realistic and attainable in the allotted time.
Relevant: Your goal should have relevance to your business. For example, it should generate leads.
Time: Your strategy needs to have a beginning and an end.
Research Your Target Audience:
You should have clarity with respect to your target audience. You shouldn’t be selling anti-aging creams to teenagers.
Decide Social Media Platforms to Promote Your Business
Is your business consumer-centric or do you serve businesses? Your business model must decide on the social media platform you will be working on.
Make Timeliness a Top Priority
Your strategy should have milestones that need to be reached at certain moments in time. If it’s not happening, it means your strategy needs some tweaking.
Study your competitors and their strategies. See what’s working for them and if replicating that or getting inspired by them will work for you.
Create & Curate Meaningful Content
Content is King. Your content needs to add value to your audience’s daily life. So, push out meaningful content more often than promotional ones.
Do a Social Media Audit to Analyze your Social Media Performance
Social media for business offers a great deal of analytics for you to measure your performance. Audit your metrics to know if your strategy is working.
Social media platforms are ever-evolving, so your strategy and marketing tactics need to be dynamic too. Step on to the social media bandwagon for your business and witness the conversions roll in!