Social Media Marketing for Businesses – Complete Guide
On average, we spend more than two hours of our day hauled up and scrolling through the feed of our various social media accounts—yes, you read that right. If you take a look around, young adults and grownups alike are using their smartphones to catch the latest news about weather, gossip, and politics. There’s no denying that using social media daily has become one of the norms of many societies. So if you have plans of starting a business, being familiar with social media gives you an edge over competitors. Hence, this article provides a comprehensive outline of information about social media marketing and what it does to your business. Read this guide and get creative with your social marketing strategy.
Social Media Marketing for Businesses – Complete Guide
Defining Social Media Marketing
In the simplest terms, social media marketing is a strategic approach in digital marketing that uses a variety of social media sites to advertise and sell different products or services. In addition, the method can also promote a business and build branding for the enterprise, especially if it’s new in the industry. The ads you see while watching a YouTube video is the prime example of a company using social media to endorse their goods. When creating your business plan, make sure you include social media marketing in the list of strategies
Setting Goals: The Process of Social Media Marketing
Businesses have to be mindful of the contents they produce for their audiences. Whether it’s for traditional or modern advertising methods, companies have to consider different aspects of the promotional material. Social media marketing is more than randomly posting ads online. Instead, the task demands efficient planning and management skills. After all, it’s endorsing the products of the company and the enterprise itself. So, here are the procedures of social media marketing. Prepare your checklist to take down notes.
Determine the Marketing Goals
Start off the planning process by knowing and setting the marketing goals of your business. Is the present objective focused on increasing the volume of users? Does the company want the revenues to grow? How about the branding of the business? When you and the planners have pinpointed the goals of the company, then you have the foundation of your marketing plan or itinerary. In times of uncertainty, always go back and remember your business goals.
Building Awareness for the Audience
The target market is the priority of advertisements. Through these promotional materials, the audience has information about the promotions, changes, and developments of the enterprise. Social media marketing builds awareness for customers. With that, you have to create exceptional online content that increases the level of recognition for clients. For instance, the design of the ads has the same format and style, primarily if the materials are related posts. Mismatched and dissimilar online posts would confuse the target market.
An important aspect of social media marketing includes conducting research and preparing analysis reports about the competitors and the status of the market. To have useful marketing materials, you have to look at many elements—consumer behavior, trends, the business budget, and the state of the economy. After the results of the research, setting SMART goals for social media marketing campaigns is crucial. Without a well-defined goal, social media marketing will not work.
Understanding and Building Relationships with the Market
Based on the research results, you can begin crafting a marketing proposal on ways to build and gain the trust and response of the target market. You should take the time to understand the needs and preferences of the audiences. From there, the company can formulate social media content that relates to the viewers. An excellent example would be the Nike ad campaign in 2017. The “Nike: Equality” advertisement was a 90-second clip that encourages camaraderie, respect, and equality among individuals not only in the field of sports but in society as well. This kind of social media ad touches the heart of audiences and, in return, obtains their patronage for the company.
Creating and Curating Engaging Content
An engaging online content goes a long way. Even after its posted online, it can continue generating shares and likes, if it is informative and entertaining. Wendy’s, the famous fast-food restaurant, has one of the wittiest and enjoyable social media content right now. Through their Twitter and Facebook accounts, the enterprise gained the favor of many online users, whether that person is a customer or not of the food chain. Emerging businesses can learn from the strategic and amusing online materials produced by the company.
Selecting the Right Network to Reach Audiences
Different marketing tools are available for the benefit of companies. For now, the focus remains on social media platforms and their convenience for growing businesses. When using social media marketing, you have to choose the right network that works best for your enterprise. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are some of the popular and common social media platforms that are adaptable to any type of firm. Do note that having three to four networks already helps a business.
The Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Your Company
In 2019, Business News Daily reports that Americans spend almost a day in the week online—the number of hours collated and an average provided by researchers. From that information, we can conclude that if companies continuously make informative and creative online content, the possibility of these materials reaching the target audience is high. So, what are the advantages of applying social media marketing in business? Here’s the rundown of the benefits.
Promoting Your Business and its Branding
The ability of social media to reach broader audiences makes it a great candidate for increasing the visibility of the company. The method also falls under productivity tools as it helps businesses attain their immediate business goals. Most companies have agreements with media analysts to determine the feasibility of their online business marketing campaigns.
Lower Advertising Costs
By comparison, social media advertising rates are lower than traditional methods. The cost of billboard advertisements, which is highly dependent on the demographics and circulation of the place, still amounts to more than hundreds or thousands of dollars. On the other hand, social media accounts have a minimum budget of $5 for a post that can generate lots of traffic and views. However, traditional means of advertising is still essential because some audiences don’t use social media. Utilizing various mediums, both online and offline, for your business is an excellent way of capturing the attention of consumers.
Generate Leads, Sales, and Website Traffic
As a follow-up, social media marketing aid companies in generating traffic for websites and online accounts. After some time of employing the process in the business, you can observe the increase leads and sales results for the enterprise. If you have plans of starting your own business website, get a website launch checklist to organize things. A schedule on posts is also crucial in gaining the attention of online users. Avoid dumping the ads in one day; give sufficient intervals for each post.
Better Customer and Audience Engagement
Everything that’s happening in social media is real-time. That means the comments and feedback system takes place immediately. Whenever new ads are posted, there are records and reports. With this mechanism, the company has better engagement with customers. Whenever there is a question, the enterprise can respond right away. Through this approach, you can build the trust of the clients. It also shows that the company is reliable.
Effective Reporting and Analytics Results
As mentioned, social media accounts record the results of each post. The process then helps businesses trace the status of the advertisements and how many people saw the online content. With the basis of numbers, the results are accurate. Companies can then calculate the effects of this information on business finance. If the enterprise needs to push more resources on a particular social media platform because of the positive feedback, then you can decide on that matter.
Selecting a Social Media Platform for Your Business
With all this information, one question remains. How do you choose the social media platform to use for your business? There are thousands of social media sites on the web, but only twenty-one of them have the most number of active users. Buffer, a trusted social media management platform, ranks them according to monthly active users (MAU). But we’ll only list the top ten sites. Here are the ranks: (1) Facebook; (2) YouTube; (3) WhatsApp; (4) Messenger; (5) WeChat; (6) Instagram; (7) QQ; (8) Tumblr; (9) QZone; and (10) TikTok. Although Twitter only places in the 12th spot, it’s a favored social media platform among Americans. So how do you pick the site for your company? The answer is simple. You have to know the preferences and demographics of your target audience. By understanding what they like, you can select which social media site works best for your business. Conduct research to know the stats. With the results, the planners can formulate an advertising plan that will connect to the right audiences.
Metrics for the Efficiency of Social Media Marketing
As of 2018, Statista estimates that around 2.7 billion people around the world are using social media. That number accounts for almost half of the current population. Furthermore, it added that by 2021, the figure would increase and reach nearly 3.1 billion. Consequently, more and more people are registering their emails and personal phone numbers to join social media sites. For businesses, using the platform is the right step to take. But if you have reservations about the efficiency of this marketing strategy to the company, this section will discuss how social media changes the advertising scene in this modern setting. With that, measuring the effectiveness of social media marketing is possible because of three metrics. Here, you can catch a glimpse of how social media retains and reinvents some processes of advertising.
The website reports show the past, present, and future situation of the advertisements posted on the social media site. With this document, you get to see the quantitative data to see the performance of the promotional materials. Through the reactions and responses of online users, you will know which ads are more relevant than others. From there, better advertising strategies and plans will be developed by your company. Moreover, customer relationship management or CRM will get enough information about the inclinations of customers, which will help in how they handle customer service.
Return on Investment Data
Like any other advertising method, social media marketing is an investment. Not only do you exert time and effort on the approach, but it also includes monetary investment. For businesses that used notes to get the budget for this advertising technique, having numerical results is crucial. Return on Investment or ROI is the assessment that companies have to undertake to determine the feasibility of the investment. The tool looks at the percentage of the report to know the usefulness of the material. By looking at the data, you will see the efficiency of the marketing strategy.
Customer Response Rates
The last metric focuses on the feedback of the customers. These reactions are not limited to only likes and shares. Instead, it also covers the comments of the clients—whether it looks positive or negative in your eye. The response rates tell how the advertisement affected the audiences. Whenever online users view, react, or comment on the promotional material, it counts as feedback for the company. For example, if the business posts an advertisement and online users immediately react within seconds, it means that the social media page has a definite number of following. Nevertheless, the analysts have the responsibility to provide thorough explanations about the numbers.
Successfully marketing your products and services to the right audience is the challenge for new businesses. Besides handing out media kits to selected markets, companies have to look at other options that help increase the visibility of the enterprise. But with the innovations in technology, this task will be more manageable. That’s when social media comes in the picture. Truly, social media marketing is one of the efficient ways to grow your business. So, learn the basics of social media marketing and tweak some areas to match the demands and goals of your company. With foolproof plans, effective advertising strategies, and encouraging mission statements, your business will surely reach its destination—being a recognizable brand anywhere in the world.