What is SMM?

What is SMM?

SMM stands for ‘Social Media Marketing’, which involves promoting and marketing a product or service using various social media platforms and websites. Here, the firms can allow the internet to produce ‘user-generated’ content (reviews and comments) rather than using advertising copies prepared by the marketing facilitators.

Purpose

SMM is mainly used to create buzz of a particular product or service to potential users who have no clue about the product. With the help of electronic word of mouth, the social media acts as a medium for the products to be accessible to those who might be interested in it. Also, brands which are less active or inactive on social media tend to not show up on Google searches, leading to declining visibility and customer base.

Types:

1) Active SMM

Active social media promotion means adding direct links of the given product or service on social networking sites. Various sites used for the same are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube etc. These sites also provide paid advertisement options to reach a wider audience.

2) Passive SMM

Passive social media marketing includes activities like posting statuses, publishing images, tweeting, posting articles and blogs etc. to promote a product or service. The reactions of the social media users can then be analyzed to improve brand satisfaction. Here, real time information is obtained which is beneficial for the company.

Features/Benefits

  • It is fast and efficient as compared to its contemporary means of marketing
  • It is cost-effective – requiring low or at times zero budget.
  • User can obtain real time analysis of consumer behavior of the given product or service
  • With built-in data analytics for tracking the progress, engagement and success of the products in most social networking platforms, it becomes easy to use and monitor.
  • Uses two major modes for marketing : Consumers’ Online Brand-related activities (COBRA)– like posting a photo of your new Adidas sneakers online and spreading the word, and Electronic word of mouth (eWOM) – giving a hotel review which can affect the hotel in both positive and negative way depending on the type of review.
  • One can isolate a target audience and format target specific advertisements for better results
  • The visibility of the product largely increases, and eventually it leads to increased sales and revenue of the product, as well as increased traffic of a particular website.
  • Clients can get 24/7 technical support

Tips for better social media marketing practices:

  • For efficient social media marketing, set up a consistent posting schedule and strictly follow it. Researches show that posting about once a day is ideal, more than which is categorized as spamming.
  • Find out optimum time for posting, and schedule your posts accordingly. Use face book or twitter analytics to find out when your audience and followers are most active, and schedule posts accordingly.
  • Use visuals rather than plain text for marketing. Videos, images and animations attract a large number of people rather than simple text on social media platforms.
  • Create appropriate headlines for potential customers. An eye-catching headline always proves to attract larger audience.
  • Use anoptimal number of hashtags for interactivity with the target audience, and for greater visibility of the post.
  • Add links tracking back to your website.
  • Content of the post is the most important. It should be 1) Relevant 2) Helpful 3) Engaging/Entertaining to reach to its audience.
  • Build / join communities of like-minded people to spread the word. Join face book groups, Google+ groups and twitter chats to reach out to potential customers.
  • Give incentivesto lure the audience to go to your website - like exclusive discount coupons for followers, live webinars etc.
  • Organize contests and giveaways for boosting audience and followers from time to time. Create engaging posters and headlines for the same.

What to look for in a company when vouching for social media marketing

  • A company should have a wider social media reach apart from conventional platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
  • The company should be consistently uploading posts, and provide real time progress tracking and management options.
  • Check for the company’s tracking and conversion leads ratio.
  • Ask for additional features like pay-per-click advertisements apart from conventional social media marketing
  • Check for the company’s portfolio and analyze customer reviews.
  • Look for companies that promise long term relationship and technical support in the future.

Seek Out Your Target Audience

Who is your target audience? On which platforms are they spending most of their time? When they are on these platforms, what are they doing? What are they seeking out? Who are they interacting with? How are they interacting with the platform? Look at the key demographics such as gender and location of the users and gain a general understanding of what each network is used for.

You may also want to check out which platforms your competitors have successfully engaged with their audience on. A simple Google keyword search can help you see which social media network your market is most active on. For example, try search terms like “motorcycle shops + Face book”, or “motorcycles + Pinterest”. Even if your business caters to a niche market, you’ll be surprised at the broad spectrum of users who are on social media networks.

To get a comparison of social media networks, check out this post: Comparing Social Media Platforms for Marketing.

Define Your Objective on Social Media

What are your social media marketing goals? Are you trying to grow your audience, spread word of mouth, or engage with your current customers on social media? Perform an audit of your business: start with identifying gaps in your current marketing plans. Do you need to:- Grow your base? Improve your customer service and build customer loyalty? Create a channel for customer feedback? Update your customers on new products, services, or deals? Increase traffic to your website? Conduct informal market research?

Initially, rather than defining your goals in terms of the number of fans or followers you want to reach, think about which platforms will help you increase engagement with your audience. The number of followers you have is simply a vanity metric that doesn’t indicate business success. It’s important to keep in mind that with social media, a larger audience doesn’t necessarily convert to real results for your business, while a highly engaged audience (despite its size) will.

Align the objectives of your social media marketing plan with the platform that will complement your goals.

Identify Your Resources and Skills

What types of resources and skills are needed to execute a successful social media marketing planfor the different types of networks? We already know now that each platform is unique in terms of how you can engage your audience, but each platform also complements different sets of skills and require different resources to execute. It’s not only important to align the needs of your business with the right social network, but it’s also vital that you have the skill set and resources to effectively use it.

There are also a number of free marketing tools online to help you create content that’s optimized for each type of social media network. Think about what your strengths are and research what type resources or skills are involved to be successful on each network.

Choosing the right platforms and adopting a plan for your social media marketing is vital to saving you time and resources in the long run. For more tips on social media marketing, download our free eBook below:

How do I choose the best channel for my brand?

If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, you should know that choosing the channel that best fits your brand is fundamental. Set up a strategy before settling on Face book, and answer yourself this: How can Face book help me get more quality leads and increase ROI? The purpose of every company active on social media is to boost productivity. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Set up a Face book/ Instagram / Twitter page for your business.
  • Consult with a web design company to help you craft the best website.
  • Have a blog section on your site.
  • Start writing (make sure quality is a top priority).

Many brands wrongfully assume that they need to link to every possible social media platform out there. Wrong! The smartest approach is to choose the channels that best match with your business goals.

If you’re selling clothes, for example, Instagram and Face book are your best bet; there’s no real use to signing up for LinkedIn because you’re in the e-commerce niche, where the purpose is to sell.

Don’t add social buttons on your site just because everyone else is doing it.

Whatever the purpose of your business is, consider platforms that keep your audience engaged. Catchy content that is qualitative and consistent works the best when doing social media marketing.

How do I increase engagement (e.g. likes, shares, comments)?

As a brand, you need to find ways to foster engagement on social media. Interact with users with questions, comments, and mentions. If you’re just starting out, and are currently looking to develop a community, you should be active and present on social.

Respond to questions in a timely fashion, and cater to your prospects needs. Move on to building a strong data-driven strategy. This is where quality content comes in. What would your fans like to read on your page? Do they like visual content better, or do you think GIFs are a must suited approach?

How do I get started with social media stories?

Social media Stories is an embedded feature originally developed by Snapchat. Instagram and Face book use it too. Stories can be a powerful social media marketing strategy. Brands can use them to compel their audience by providing content that only lasts 24 hours; then it disappears. On Instagram, Stories can be used to market a promotion.

Your fans will have to act fast if they want to benefit from the discount, as your story is live for a limited amount of time only. Apart from promotions, you can add behind-the-scenes content, make a boomerang video to market a certain product that is on sale, and a lot more.

Social media monitoring (e.g. metrics and analytics)

Social media monitoring is a key piece of social media marketing. There’s no point in providing excellent content on social sites, if you’re not gathering information about your audience. With monitoring, you can use analytics (e.g. Google Analytics) to track traffic, engagement, sentiment, and analyze exactly what people want to see on your page. With Analytics, you can use this feature to better define your audience.

What social media management tools should I use?

For your social media marketing strategy to render the best results, businesses should use the right tools to boost engagement. Buzz Sumo, for example, is a platform that helps you find the best content on the web. Heavily-shared content should give you an idea of what people want to read and share on social media.

All you have to do is enter a website URL or keywords to get a list of the most relevant and popular blog posts that contains the keyword. Buzz Sumo is more like a news website that helps you get inspired, and come up with topics that your targeted audience might actually want to read, and engage with.

Benefits of social media marketing

Social media and blogging go hand in hand. They complement each other, making sure your social media marketing campaign renders the best results. Leverage social media and use it to promote your brand and business. Liking and sharing generate leads, but analytics and metrics are what truly matter. By monitoring who sees what on your social pages, you can segment your list and build a Settle on content that sticks on social media the most. It’s tough to make a decision at first, but if your audience is targeted correctly, you shouldn’t have any issues. The best type of content on social is:

  • Tips and tricks
  • Industry news
  • How-to guides
  • Know-how articles
  • Infographics
  • Company insights
  • Reviews
  • Q&A type of content

Keep in mind that some type of content may not perform well, and that’s ok. Do an A/B test to see whether industry news or know-how are a better fit. Testing is an excellent strategy because it helps marketers understand their followers. A social media calendar is more than recommended. It will help you organize and program your content, and posts, so that everything goes live as organized as possible.

Brand & business uniqueness

Your brand and business should have a voice of their own. It’s on to get inspired from other popular businesses out there, but your strategy should be unique. Have crystal-clear goals in mind, and settle on social channels that actually relate to the goals and mission of your brand. The purpose of any social campaign is to add tangible value. If you don’t pay close attention to quality, it’s literally impossible to grow your business, and implicitly you’re ROI.

Originality

A lot of companies today wrongfully believe that they can compete with the world’s biggest and most famous brands. Why would you want to build a brand that mimics other brands? Originality is fundamental when using social media marketing to help your company go viral on the web. Buzz feed’s Tasty, for example, was a genius idea. Because the concept was new, different, and unique, it caught on extremely fast. People fell in love with Taste’s addictive video; which basically helped Buzz feed craft a virtual food empire.

The website got 50 more million fans because of Tasty, thus proving that when people get content that they actually want to read or view, they actively participate in online campaigns by liking, commenting and sharing a lot.

Reputation

For your social media marketing campaign to render results, brands must work hard to build themselves a reputation. Focus on connecting and interacting with your audience, thus building strong relationships. Value your followers, and be active on social media to cater to their needs and wants. Since social media has completely changed the way we market our companies and brand, we must look after the demands of our customers and prospects. Online, connecting is challenging; negative reviews affect your reputation, and often times it takes a lot of time to get back on your feet.

Consistency

It’s not uncommon for brands to define their social media personality, and develop a voice. However, the key is to keep things consistent. Boost engagement, reliability, and trust by providing pertinent information your audience would love to read. If you’re not consistent when publishing content on social media, people might get confused. As a brand, you can’t afford to confuse your audience.

43% of all social media users choose to connect with brands to receive direct responses to queries. This means that almost 50% of users turn to you to get clearance on a specific matter, or it could mean that they have a concern, and they need you to help them fix it. In a report published by contently, it was mentioned that 66% of users are skeptical when using social media; as a brand, you should be crystal-clear about how you can help them. Do not attempt to deceive them, and use sponsored content to convey a real message.

That’s why replies to queries and educational articles matter so much. Monitor insights and track sentiment on social media to get a feel of what people want from you. Brand mentions are equally important; the right tool can help you find out what people are saying about your companies on social platform and channels. Don’t underestimate the power of social media, and leverage its potential to see your ROI skyrocket.

Conclusion

Bottom line is, as a brand you need social media to market your products. For your campaign to stand above the crowd, it needs to cater to the needs of your target audience. It all begins with choosing your social channels.

Are your prospects spending time on Face book? Or do they socialize on Instagram more? Make an informed decision and you’ll reap all the benefits of social media marketing. Consistency and originality are the keys, but it’s equally important to take good care of your reputation with stellar customer service on social media.