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The world of social media IS HUGE!

With over 3.2 billion users in the world, social media is one of the most effective ways to connect businesses and brands with consumers. That is why so many businesses (online and brick-and-mortar) are quick to hop on the Social Media Marketing train.

In all honesty, if you own a business and are doing some sort of social media marketing, you are missing out on a huge market.

What is Social Media Marketing?

The benefits of social media marketing in your business. This infographic shows statistics about social media users and how brands use social media marketing to leverage their reach.

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Social media marketing is a powerful internet marketing strategy used by businesses to leverage the tools and wide reach offered by social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These platforms allow businesses to connect and interact directly with loyal and potential customers.

Effective social media marketing requires the creation and sharing of content on various platforms to execute and attain marketing targets for your business. It includes activities that allow businesses to directly engage with their target audience, which can provide valuable insight into WHO their market is and HOW to keep that market engaged with their brand.

Importance of Social Media Marketing

The success or failure of businesses depends on how they adopt and implement technology into their daily operations. For a business to have an effective marketing strategy in the current marketplace, it MUST incorporate social media.

Here are a few reasons why social media marketing is so important:

  • It increases competitive advantage
  • It increases brand recognition and awareness
  • It encourages interaction and engagement with the brand
  • It provides support to the marketing team
  • It gives the company and/or brand a voice
  • It allows for affordable growth and expansion

The Benefits of Social Media for Business

Social media can guide your actions and lets you know whether you’re succeeding or failing. An effective social media marketing strategy exploits various tools to increase sales or number of customers, enhance brand recognition, and other marketing targets set by businesses.

  • Increased brand awareness: Social media can be leveraged to increase brand recognition and awareness by customizing content to target different segments of consumers directly. With such a large potential reach, social media can be a great tool for new companies to enter the market.
  • Enhance brand loyalty: Social media creates a direct line of contact between businesses and their customers, which can be a great tool for building trust and loyalty with your potential customers.
  • Increase customer satisfaction: One of the main determinants of customer satisfaction is personalized service. Social media offers the opportunity to interact and engage with your customers and address their concerns individually with personalized responses.   
  • Increase Inbound Traffic: Personalized content enables your business to reach potential customers beyond loyal customer circle increasing traffic into your point of sale.
  • Increase conversion rates: Posting customized content increases the number of viewers converted to first-time buyers.
  • Analytical insights: Direct interaction with consumers via social media platforms enable businesses to understand the market by gathering critical data and information, such as changes in customer preferences and tastes, leading to informed decision making.

How Do Organizations Use Social Media

According to statistics, 90% of organizations use social media to increase brand awareness. Also, organizations use social media for advertising, with 95% being viewed on mobile phones. Even though these statistics are impressive, only 28% of organizations have a comprehensive social media marketing strategy.

So what’s the secret?

They Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Illustration with ribbons showing the acronym for S.M.A.R.T. - Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Time-Bound

Before diving into social media marketing. You must have goals in mind. A poor social media strategy can be detrimental to the success of your business. Be sure you set your S.M.A.R.T. goals before getting started. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.

Successful Organizations Track Results Over Time

Attaining your goals over time depends on the ability to track during the set time frame. Tracking is very important because it will enable you to understand whether the plan is effective based on data. It offers adequate time to reassess the plan if it is ineffective.

For example, if the goal is to increase followers on Twitter and your average is 50 followers per week. Increasing the target up to 70 per week within 2 months is realistic, but setting the new target at 125 per week within the same period may be unrealistic.

They Set Specific Objectives for Their Social Media Strategies

When developing a strategy for your social media marketing, you need to have clear objectives in mind. Some of the most common objectives for social media include:

  1. Generating leads and sales: This objective will enable your business to translate social media presence into sales and profits through ads. For this objective to come into fruition, you need to monitor how traffic on your social media is directed to relevant landing pages on your website. Also, you have to customize your ads to target a specific niche and choose the most effective calls-to-action. KPIs used to track whether your plan for this objective is working include:
    • Lead conversion rate
    • Sales revenue
    • Non-revenue conversions
    • Email sign-ups
  2. Increasing brand awareness: This objective requires an effective strategy for your brand to make a lasting impression on the targeted niche. It also requires an assessment of whether you are regularly engaging with followers and the time spent by the audience discussing your products against the time spent on competitors’ products. The KPIs used to assess effectiveness:
    • Followers
    • Impressions
    • Reach
    • Traffic
    • Share of Voice
  3. Increasing engagement with consumers: This objective is very important in defining the voice of your brand to connect on a high level with followers of your social pages. The KPIs to use:
    • Shares
    • Comments
    • Mentions
    • Clicks
    • Likes
  4. Increasing web traffic: Ensure that you always monitor whether followers directed to the main website are converted into first buyers to determine your social ROI. In addition, it will enhance your understanding of the most effective content and channels. The KPIs to use:
    • Traffic
    • Conversions
    • Link clicks
    • Email sign-ups
    • Product trials
  5. Grow the brand’s audience: To attain this objective, you can undertake social media campaigns to attract and increase the number of followers. The KIPs to use:
    • Number of followers
    • Mentions
    • Share of voices
    • Rate of engagement

Start Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Now is the time where you take action. Hopefully, this post has given you some insight into the importance of having a social media strategy in place and what you can accomplish with it.

Before you dive right in on all the social networks, it is important to note that not every social media platform is suited for all businesses and brands. Whether you choose to focus on one social network or all of them at once, the key is to find out where your target market lives and double-down on what works.

How is your social media strategy helping you grow your own business? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Comments

  1. Hitesh Sahni

    Splendid post Nick. Social Media Marketing is quite simply the need of the hour. Online businesses have the biggest opportunities to milk the game. And, in fact, they well and truly are.

    Absolutely, agree with you on companies taking to social media for growing awareness around their brand. Simply, because that’s where people are.

    Brands communicating and interacting with people humanizes the brand and sets up a relation with the customers which in turn results in registering better sales.

    The benefits are innumerable, even for SEO. Although SMM doesn’t play a direct role in enhancing your SEO, a study by Social Media Examiner has found out that at least 58% of marketers that employed SMM for at least a year or longer noticed an improvement in their rankings.

    Social media facilitates in your SEO by providing your website with reliable high quality links. Also, there is a possibility of gaining more outbound links through social media once your content goes viral.

    Moreover, social media can be a viable place to go for keyword hunting, as you get to see the trending topics on FB and Twitter. Accordingly you can create better targeted content on the topics that people are interested in.

    Reply
    • Nick

      Great run-through, Hitesh! You hit on a lot of great points here. I really liked your mention of using social media for keyword and topic hunting. I try to use this quite a bit when I am looking for new content. By looking at what posts are getting shared a lot on social media, you can find out a lot more of what your audience could be looking for and what content they like to consume.

      Sadly, most people give up rather quickly on social media when they don’t see immediate results. Most people think social media is the “magic bullet” that will result in instant results. Unfortunately, like everything else, social media needs to be nurtured. Just like the Social Media Examiner study, being consistent for a year and longer is what can really start driving results.

      Thanks for sharing, Hitesh! I always love reading your posts and comments!

      Reply
  2. Tami Wilcox

    I’m surprised how many people still don’t get how important social media marketing is!

    Reply
    • Nick

      It amazes me too! Social media gives everyone unlimited potential, yet not many people want to take advantage of that.

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

      Reply

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