Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. Social media marketing involves publishing engaging content on social media profiles, engaging with audiences, analyzing results, and executing social media promotions.

The most popular social media platforms (currently) are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube.

There is also a range of social media management tools that help businesses get the most out of the social media platforms mentioned above.

An Overview of social media marketing

Social media marketing first started with content publishing. Businesses have been sharing their content on social media to drive traffic to their websites in hopes of making more sales. But social media was more than just a place to publish content, and it grew significantly.

Today, businesses use social media for many things. For example, a business that is thinking of positive feedback for its brand among people, in cyberspace should investigate and respond to comments and conversations related to its brand. A business that wants to check the success rate of its presence in social networks, should seek to analyze the interaction and the number of its sales with the help of analytical tools. A business that is looking to reach a certain amount of audience should take the help of advertising that is suitable for the amount of wide audience.

Generally, those who perform these tasks are known as social network administrators.

The five main pillars of social media marketing

  1. Strategy
  2. Planning and publication
  3. Listening and engagement
  4. Analysis and reporting
  5. Advertising

1. Strategy

Before you dive right in and post something on social media, let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture. The first step is to think about your social media strategy.

What are your goals? How can social media help you achieve your business goals? Some businesses use social media to increase brand awareness, others use it to increase website traffic and sales, and some seek to increase their social media following. Mass media helps you to interact with your audience in your brand domain.

Which social media platforms do you want to focus on? The major social media platforms mentioned above are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube. There are also smaller and more up-to-date platforms such as Tumblr, TikTok, and Anchor and messaging networks such as Telegram and WhatsApp. When starting, it’s best to choose a few platforms that you think your target audience is on.

What kind of content do you want to share? What type of content will best engage your target audience? Is this content images, videos, or links to products on the website? Is it better to produce educational content or entertaining content? This is a good step to start creating a marketing persona that will help you answer these questions.

2. Content planning and publishing

Social media marketing for small businesses usually starts with a consistent presence on social media. Nearly three billion people (3,000,000,000) use social media. By having a presence on social media platforms, you give your brand a chance to be discovered by your prospective customers.

Publishing on social media is as easy as sharing a blog post, an image, or a video on a web platform. It’s just like sharing a picture on your profile. But instead of creating and publishing content spontaneously, you should plan your content in advance. Also, to ensure you maximize your success rate on social media, you need to publish specific content that your audience likes at the right time.

3. Interaction with the audience

As your business and social media grow, so do the conversations about your brand. People comment on your posts, mention you in their social media posts, or message you directly.

People may even be talking about your brand on social media without letting you know. So you can control social media conversations about your brand.

4. Analysis and reporting

Along the way, you need to know how your social media marketing is doing. Have you made any progress compared to last month? How many positive comments have you received per month? How many people used your brand hashtag in their social media posts?

In general, social media platforms provide you with general information about these things. However, you can use a wide range of social media analytics tools to get more in-depth information about your social network data analysis or to compare multiple networks.

5. Advertising

If you have the right budget, you can also include social media advertising in your plan. Social media advertising allows you to reach a wider audience.

Social media advertising platforms are so powerful today that you can specify exactly to who your ads will be shown. You can target audiences based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.

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