Social Media Marketing (SMM) uses social media — internet-based platforms used to create and share information — to build a brand, increase sales and drive traffic to a website or landing page. Such platforms include but are not limited to Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Social media is shifting from its traditional meaning, as platforms like Facebook and TikTok are no longer used just for entertainment and interactions. They have become their search engines, allowing people to share creative content, showcase their merchandise, and earn.
In the digital world, social platforms have expanded the window for brands to learn, discover new opportunities, and grow their reach. As a result, many people have become social media experts, some selling their digital courses and others becoming highly-paid influencers.
Thus, marketers can engage their audience with a strong promotion strategy and the ability to create interesting content. And for this reason, this article helps you discover how to create an effective social media strategy, review some statistics, and then reflect on its importance.
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Creating a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Here are my 10 steps to help you create an outstanding and sustainable social media marketing strategy. Ensure you don’t skip any of them, and you’ll thank me later.
1. Define your SMART Goals
A sustainable marketing strategy must aim to meet Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound goals. These five features will help you keep your digital marketing, not just social media, in check. So I want you to brainstorm what you intend to achieve.
Answer questions like, why are you doing it? Do you want to increase sales? Are you seeking to increase brand awareness and followers? Are you targeting new customers or existing ones? What is their age group? These questions will help you create the right content for your audience.
2. Assess your Resources
Who will help you create or redesign your social media content? Which social media platforms are you going to use? Are the majority of your customers found on those platforms? Who will manage your social media accounts? Do you have a technical team, or you’re a DIY expert?
Also, define who will help you answer the questions or inquiries should they arise. Can you write or hire someone to write great content for you? Answering these questions will help you plan and implement your marketing campaign effectively, boosting its ultimate success.
3. Who is your audience?
Here’s where most marketers go wrong – creating content for everyone. By now, you should already know your audience’s demographics before even creating the product/service in the first place. Your intentions should be to solve a certain problem your target audience faces.
In this stage, understand where your target audience spends time online. What type of content are they interested in the most? What kind of information do they already know? Any knowledge gap? Understanding your audience helps you create helpful content for them that converts.
4. Get Inspiration
Before creating your social media content, I want you to seek inspiration. And learn one thing or two about what your competitors are doing. Check their most popular posts, do not copy their content or marketing strategies, but try to understand why they outperformed the others.
Then you can know what your target audience is interested in. Remember, learning is a continuous process, and you have to keep getting inspiration once in a while. Don’t get obsessed with it and try to copy-paste ideas or techniques, but share relatable content with your audience.
5. Create Great Content
The right type of content depends on your audience and the platform you’re using. Content is the foundation of your marketing campaign. So, you should take enough time to understand what your target population is interested in. Do they prefer images, shorts or long videos, or articles?
Remember, when it comes to content, consistency matters. So, I’d suggest you create a weekly, biweekly, or monthly plan. The intention is to keep the conversations about your brand going. In marketing, more engagement means more exposure and, eventually, more following and leads.
6. Create a Schedule
Now that you have the content and know your target, creating a schedule is time. How many posts will you create per day? How much time would you allocate daily to respond to customers’ inquiries? It’s preferred to share a post or two days and focus on quality.
A schedule will ensure you don’t skip any social media marketing activity daily. But most importantly, it keeps your audience informed on when to expect activity on your page. Platforms like TikTok/Facebook tell you when most of your followers are online – the best time to post.
As with many social media platforms, you can schedule your posts to go public on a specific day and time. The feature is available on Twitter, YouTube, and Meta Business. Scheduling posts could help save time and plan your posts a week or month before.
7. Choose Quality over Quantity
When it comes to social media marketing, it is easy to get caught up in the numbers. But I insist that the number of followers, subscribers, or likes should not determine the success of your marketing strategy. Focus on sharing content with your audience and interacting with them.
And, of course, don’t even think of buying followers/subscribers or likes. It won’t help you boost your numbers. But if it does, such numbers rarely add value to your brand’s success. Remember, you’re not creating or sharing content for everyone but your niche.
You better have 1000 followers that engage with your content than have 1M followers who are not even interested in your content in the first place. After all, the 1000 active followers would be easier to turn into customers, as opposed to having a large audience you cant turn into buyers.
8. Advertise your Posts
The good thing with digital marketing strategies, including social media and email marketing, is that you can monitor your posts’ engagements and organic reach. This feature is available across almost all channels – Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, Instagram – name them.
If you want to reach a larger audience or specifically target your followers or those who have interacted with your previous post, you can spend a few dollars to boost your content. So, if it’s your first time doing it, don’t create a huge budget; start small as you gain experience.
Alternatively, you can hire Ad Agencies or social media marketers to do it for you. Either way, advertising your social media post can help you reach a bigger audience. However, you need to know your target audience to attract a better return on investment.
9. Performance Tracking
Social platforms help track your content’s organic or paid reach as long as you have a professional profile. So, you can tell your Facebook or Instagram reel reached how many people. Did you reach the target audience you had estimated? What’s the outcome?
You can track the performance weekly and compare the website traffic analytics to see the percentage of your website users from social profiles. Alternatively, you can see how many impressions and clicks your posts receive from social media analytics.
10. Learn and Re-adjust Strategy
Now that you know whether your social media marketing strategy bore any fruit, it’s time to re-adjust your campaigns. Implement new things you learned and eliminate mistakes while creating your next campaign. Remain consistent to keep your audience hooked up.
By so doing, you’ll be ready to launch your next social media advertising campaign.
Interesting Social Media Statistics in 2022
Before we look into the importance of social media for business success, let’s review some interesting social media statistics and trends in 2022.
- There are expected to be 3.96 billion social media users worldwide in 2022—a 4.8 percent increase from a year ago. Between 2017 and 2022, the number of users increased by 1.1 billion.
- In 2021, over 4.26 billion people were using social media worldwide, and the number projected to increase to almost six billion in 2027.
- Facebook was the first social network to surpass one billion registered accounts and boasts approximately 2.7 billion monthly active users.
- Marketing statistics also show that 79 percent of the content users post affects potential buyers’ purchases. In contrast, only 13 percent of content from brands and 8 percent from influence-created promotions can have such influence.
- Images account for 72.5 percent of Facebook and 61.2 percent of Instagram content.
- The second most popular format on Facebook is videos (16.5 percent), followed by links (9.4 percent), status updates (0.9 percent), and Facebook Live videos (0.7 percent).
- On Instagram, videos are the second most popular format (19.8 percent of posts), followed by the carousel (19 percent), which can include images and videos.
- YouTube, the pioneer video-sharing platform and the second-largest search engine, experienced a 4.9 percent growth rate in 2021, according to SEMrush.
- In 2022, the number of YouTube viewers was expected to hit 210 million in the US alone!
See, social media marketing is very powerful. But is it important for your business’s success?
Why is Social Media Marketing Important?
- Increasing Brand Awareness: Over half of the global population uses social platforms. So, social media has turned out to be a great place to let people know about your brand. Did you know 83 percent of Instagram users discover new products on the platform?
- Customer Engagement: Another important of social media is that you can interact and engage with your audience, for instance, through comments. Research reveals that 68 percent of consumers agree that social media enables them to interact with brands and companies.
- Increase Brand Loyalty: Having a social media presence makes it easier for your customers to find and connect with you. Communicating with your clients through social platforms makes you more likely to upsurge customer retention and loyalty.
- Enhance Brand Authority: Communication is vital in establishing brand authority, loyalty, and customer satisfaction. Companies invoke positive customer emotions and images when they reply to inquiries and post original content. So, always keep your audience engaged.
- Implement Social Listening: Social media helps you listen to clients and what people say about their company. It opens a window for correcting your weaknesses while maximizing your strengths to build a reputable brand image. You end up understanding your audience’s needs.
- Boost Website traffic: You can post teasers or excerps on social media and include a link to your website. You’ll need to give people enough reasons to click your links, so accompany them with a few texts or images. You can also include links in bios and stories.
- Enhance SEO Rankings: Although backlinks from social media have no-follow tags, social signals are still important for your website’s SEO rankings. By sharing content on social media, you send signals to search engines confirming your brand validity, integrity and consistency.
- Sell Digital Services: For businesses that sell digital products, like Weebly and Bluehost, social media is an effective way to contextualize their portfolio to customers. A study revealed that 58 percent of brands stated that social media is an important part of their marketing strategy.
- Cost Effectiveness: Most social media platforms are free to sign up. So you can sign-up, create a business page and share your content with your followers and groups for free. Alternatively, you can advertise your posts relatively cheaply than other marketing tactics.
- Measure Marketing Efforts: Social media platforms and marketing tools enable you to track key performance metrics (KPIs) like new followers, leads, email sign-ups, and sales. So, you can monitor the return on investment and decide whether the advertising is worth it.
Social media marketing is very important for your business – not only to increase the number of followers but also to create brand awareness, leads, sales, and website traffic. It also helps you study your audience and discover new content ideas that you can turn into money.
And one advantage of using this marketing approach is that you can easily track the results – the number of sales, clicks, inquiries, etc. Even more interesting is that you can sign up for free, share content and grow your following. Then plan on turning your followers into customers.
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