Social media marketing is a highly effective strategy for all businesses to reach potential customers. Your customers are already following many other businesses on social media, so if you don’t reach out to your audience directly through social media, you’re missing out.

Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram are all popular social media platforms that can drive your business to success. Effective social media marketing can not only increase brand awareness for your business, but also build your trustworthiness and increase profits. This article will define social media marketing and show you how to effectively utilize social media marketing to benefit yourself.

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is a form of online marketing that utilizes social media platforms as a marketing tool. The ultimate goal of social media marketing is to produce content that potential and existing customers will find useful and interesting, and share with their friends. This will help your business increase brand awareness and expand customer reach.

Many social media platforms can provide your business with free data analytics which you can utilize to track your progress, success rate, and engagement rate.

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Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/social-media-marketing-kazi-afzal-anwar

Step 1a: Planning

Before you dive in and create a social media marketing campaign, you need to create a plan and set yourself some goals. If you decide to start your social media marketing campaign without a plan and goals, it can feel a bit directionless and chaotic.

Consider the following factors:

- What do you want to achieve through social media marketing?

- Who are your target audiences?

- Which platforms would your target audience most likely use?

- What impressions do you want to give your audience?

 

Step 1b: Define and research your target audience

 

Extensively research your target audience and find out what their interests are, what they care about, what they want and need. It’s best to be as specific as possible when identifying your target audience.

Consider the following demographics:

-  Age

- Location

- Occupation

- Income

- Problems/wants/needs

- Most used social media platform

 

Even the top marketers will not succeed if they don’t market to the right target audience.

Step 1c: Define your goals/mission statement

Your goals are what drive your campaign, so you must put careful consideration into them. Additionally, you can use your goals as a guideline to plan your social media presence, and define your brand identity. Remember to keep in mind your target audience when setting these goals.

Create and post your content according to these goals. Don’t stray too far from them otherwise you will most likely fail to maintain your customers’ interest. Customers want to take advice from experts, not generalists.

Step 2a: Creating content

Many businesses will jump straight to step two without considering step one. We strongly recommend following the strategies in step one before beginning step two.

Now that you know who your target audiences, goals, and mission statement are, you’re ready to begin creating interesting and useful content.

Consider the following types of content you can post on your social media page:

- Images

- Videos

- Tutorials

- Blog posts

- News

- Ebooks

 

These are only a few ideas that you can use – there are many other types of interesting and engaging content you can post on your social media page.  However, as mentioned above, ensure that your content is relevant to both your business and your goals. Your top priority should be to create content that your customers will find interesting and useful.

Consider the frequency and timing of your posts. We strongly recommend you mark down the timing and frequency of your posts on a calendar as well as writing down the content topics you’ll post. Most importantly, ensure that your posts identify a problem your target audience is experiencing, and provides them with a solution.

Step 2b: Gathering inspiration

If you aren’t sure what type of content to create, consider having a look at what your competitors are doing. Not only will you be able to see what works for your competitors and follow their most effective strategies, but also create content that sets you apart from them.

You can also check your target audience’s social media pages and check out the type of content they usually share. They can not only offer you inspiration, but also show you their habits and interests. You can then post content that caters to your target audience more effectively.

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Source: https://newstarttechnology.com/social-media-marketing-you/

Step 3: Tracking data analytics

As previously mentioned, many social media platforms can provide you with free data analytics that you can use to analyze your social media marketing campaign results. Don’t be afraid to fail – you can learn from your mistakes in the future. If your analytics show that Facebook is your most effective platform, consider posting twice and frequently on Facebook.

A great social media marketing strategy should never be set in stone. Make changes according to what your data analytics are telling you. Don’t stick with a strategy that isn’t working. The moment you find that your strategy isn’t effective, change it.

As your business grows, you may choose to change or expand your target audience. As new social media platforms emerge, you may choose to write them into your social media marketing plan. Ensure that you frequently update your marketing strategy in order for your business to remain relevant.

Sources:

http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/social-media-marketing-SMM

https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/social-media-marketing-plan/

http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-social-media-marketing

https://newstarttechnology.com/social-media-marketing-you/