Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is not the same astraditional marketing. Depending on one's industry and business goals, it mayrequire traditional marketing as well as social media marketing to grow theirbusiness. There are elements of social media marketing that are inspired bytraditional marketing, but one would be foolish not to have a solidunderstanding of social media marketing specifically to maximize the possiblegains from it.
Whether you, yourself, are your brand or you aretrying to run a business from social media you will still need to use socialmedia marketing. Basically, you will not succeed on social media, irrespectiveof your endeavor, without a good social media marketing strategy.
If you have already started your business, it couldbe helpful for you to conduct an audit of the kinds of posts you have beendoing and the success of these posts. Doing so will also help you learn theskills that we are discussing throughout this book. The sooner you learn toapply the skills, the better; so if you can do an audit of any contentcurrently, it would be an advantage.
One element of social media marketing is thecontent that you will be producing. While we will discuss this in more detaillater in the eBook, it is something that you must keep in mind. Content can beyour every day or more casual posting style as well as specific campaigns thatyou run.
While marketing is how you do it, ultimately the content is what youare selling. You will be using analytics to understand the success of yourcontent.
You can have the best marketing strategy in theworld but if your content is not good, then your account will not be assuccessful as it could be.
You can monitor the conversation about whatpeople are already saying about you and steer the conversation in new ways.Listening to the buzz about you and the feedback you are receiving is animportant part of marketing and growing your business. For example, check inthe comment sections, checking reviews, and checking message boards. It is notjust enough to look on your own channels, you need to see how you are appearingin other places as well that you personally have less control over.
Checking your own notifications for mentions isone thing, but you also want to know what people are saying about you and nottagging you in. Sometimes when people air their grievances, they do notactually want to tag the brand itself, for fear of backlash or an uncomfortableconversation. This is why you just need to monitor things that include yourname as well— just in case.
The “social”of social media
It is right there in the name, there is no usejust posting blindly into the void or shouting into an echo chamber: engagementis everything. It should be one of the primary goals of your marketingstrategy. And do not forget, engagement goes both ways. Not only do you wantyour audience to engage with you, but you need to engage back. An element ofthis is your brand persona, but it also involves putting the time into replyingand commenting and also creating a conversation and space for your audiencewhere they feel valued, appreciated and, also have fun!
The research phase of yourbusiness strategy will be incredibly important. It will be the foundation ofyour business, in conjunction with your marketing, which is why you need tospend adequate time getting to the bottom of your goals and how are you goingto achieve them.
First, you need to researchyour industry. While it is likely that you have already done this—you can neverbe too prepared. It would be valuable to check marketing trends within yourindustry. This includes things like popular kinds of campaigns, hashtags, andlocations to post
You will also need to research your audience. Wewill discuss this more below (and throughout this eBook), but you need to havea very clear understanding of who your audience is and how they use socialmedia in order for you to be able to market to them effectively.
Additionally, you should be researching yourcompetition. Figure out who your main competition is (both direct and indirect)and analyze their successes and their failures, and it may even be prudent andvaluable to analyze their data, too. This will give you some hints of things toavoid and things that you should (and should not) be focusing on. Any advantagethat you can give yourself will be invaluable; do not waste time doing thingsthat have been proven not to work before. This does not mean that you shouldnot take risks, but simply that you should be careful about the ones that youdo take.
While it almost goes without saying, it isimperative that you understand your target audience. If you are lacking anunderstanding of where your target audience is spending their time online, whatkind of content they enjoy, and what kind of businesses they like, yourmarketing strategy will not be successful.
You need to be able to paint an incrediblydetailed picture of your target audience in order to be able to reach themeffectively. You need to understand them from a demographic perspective, butyour understanding will also need to include things like their income, theirpropensity to comment, and share posts, and their geographical location. Aswell as understanding the times of day that they use social media. Forexample,e there is no use posting a competition on Instagram at 10:00 am thatcloses a few hours later requiring them to share and comment, tagging a friendon a post if your audience typically does not share posts or does know how toand works regular business hours and may not be online during that time andaren't typically tag people all know how to. While that was a convolutedexplanation, often, social media usage patterns are convoluted too! These arethe smaller things that you need to take into consideration.
You also need to use the social media platformsthat your audience is using. It may seem obvious, but looking into the datathat shows where your audience is most online and how they use the social mediais the best way to enjoy a successful marketing strategy. After all, what isthe point of posting if your audience does not see it? In addition to this, youalso need to fill out your profiles completely; even on social media sites youmay not be using. As it is better to have claimed the username and have a basicprofile with consistent branding than to not. Not only does this open you tomore possible searches, but it also looks professional.
The next chapter will discuss developing abrand, and how that, too, will add a layer of professionalism to your business.
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