Social media has become an essential part of marketing today. From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to LinkedIn, consumers are surrounded by advertising every single day. And while some of it is useful and even beneficial, a lot of it is a waste. On the other hand, social media marketing is when you use social networks to build your brand and get attention for your business and services.
However, there are many misconceptions surrounding social media marketing. One of the biggest ones is that social media marketing is only for big businesses and companies with huge budgets, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
With a little bit of know-how and a lot of perseverance, anybody can start building their own social media following, creating their online content, and getting the word out about their brand and services.
In this article, I’ll be going over the basics of social media marketing, what you need to get started and give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to write a beginner’s guide to social media marketing.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the process of building your brand’s visibility and influence by investing in and operating social media accounts. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube allow you to build a presence and generate traffic to your website or landing pages. By sharing content that resonates with your audience and amplifying the voices of others, you can build a loyal following.
When it comes to social media marketing, many people fall for the big-mouthed influencers who quit their jobs to build a six-figure income by making videos on TikTok and Instagram. If you ever thought that’s what social media marketing is for, then you have no idea what you’re in for.
Social media marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires time, patience, and a lot of trial and error to find the right mix of social media platforms, content, and strategies that work best for your brand. But once you’ve figured it out, it can be an extremely powerful way to build a large and loyal audience who are constantly looking to learn more about and purchase your products and services.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Social media is a great way to build your brand and generate revenue. Through social media, you can build a relationship with your customers, interact with them more personally, and provide them with helpful content and information. Social media also provides a great way to build your online presence and increase your online presence.
Let’s see how social media marketing can be the boost your business is waiting for.
Drive Inbound Traffic
When you use marketing methods such as SEO or PPC, the people who’re likely to visit your website are the ones who already have an interest in the products or services you offer. Thus, if a thousand people search for it on Google every month, you won’t get more than a thousand visits to your website. But with social media marketing, the rules of the game change.
Social media marketing is all about creating content to grab the eyeballs and engage with the audience. If your content is good enough and rightly distributed, it’s likely to land many people on your social media page as there are millions of people using these platforms.
Once you have ‘hooked’ a person enough to visit your social media page, they will go through your profile and are likely to visit your website, given that they are interested in your product or services.
Let’s say you have a project management system for developers and want to run ads for it on platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. That’s where social media platforms come in pretty handy. These platforms allow targeted ads, which means you can target people based on age, gender, designation, location, interests, etc. You’re targeting the ads to specific people, which results in a much higher ROI.
Increased Brand Awareness
Have you heard of Wix? Of course, you have. But where did you learn about it the first? We bet it was one of their YouTube ads that got you to know about their platform. And not just Wix but hundreds of brands have built multi-million dollar businesses through social media marketing.
This shows us that social media can be an effective tool for increasing brand awareness when used strategically. In today’s social media landscape, consumers are much more likely to interact with brands and learn about their products and services through social media than through traditional forms of media. This allows businesses to understand their target market better and creates opportunities to build a relationship with prospective customers that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.
Build Relationships with Customers
Social media has allowed businesses to engage with their customers on a much more personal level than ever before. With the rise of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, businesses have the opportunity to build a relationship with their customers that extends beyond the buying process.
With social media, businesses are now able to build a comprehensive understanding of their customers’ needs and desires, enabling them to build a stronger relationship with their customers and increase the amount of business they generate. This increase in customer engagement has led to a reciprocal increase in companies that use social media to build relationships with their customers.
Better Customer Service
Social media can generate immediate feedback about customer service. When customers can voice their opinions about a company’s products and services online, companies are able to identify problems before they become full-blown complaints. This enables companies to resolve problems faster, which improves customer service. Customer service is an important aspect of business, and it’s becoming increasingly important for companies to use social media as a marketing tool to improve it.
Let’s understand this with an example. Let’s say a customer is unhappy with your service and has tweeted a complaint that’s received hundreds of retweets and comments. If you’re a smart marketer, you’ll see this as an opportunity to get your brand to hundreds of people. You could accept your mistake and redeem the loss that the customer has had to endure. Such a humanized approach can turn the tables in your favour and communicate how helpful you are as a brand.
Top Social Media Platforms
Before devising a social media strategy for your business, let’s understand what top social media networks have to offer.
Facebook has become the dominant platform for social media marketing, and for a good reason. With its vast user base of 2.9 billion people, Facebook provides an excellent platform for companies to build their brands and engage with customers. Facebook also offers a range of powerful tools that can be used to conduct social media marketing campaigns. One such tool is Facebook for Business, which lets companies create custom audiences based on interests, demographics, and past purchase behaviour.
- High ROI
- Vast user base
- Powerful analytics
- Targeted ads
- High ad costs
- Needs constant content creation
Instagram has quickly become one of the most popular social media platforms for businesses to market their products and services. This is largely due to the highly engaging and visual nature of Instagram posts, which tend to get “re-gramme” and spread quickly across the network. However, Instagram is also a powerful B2C marketing tool for businesses that can adapt their approach to cater to the unique needs of this platform.
- Ideal for targeting a younger audience
- Mobile-first approach
- High chances of content getting viral
- Needs super-consistent posting
- Low engagement
As a leading global professional networking platform, LinkedIn has emerged as a primary source of business information for today’s consumers. In addition to its base of millions of professionals, the platform is an important source of information for millions of consumers looking for jobs, businesses, and other information.
Therefore, many brands are turning to LinkedIn to engage and connect with their target audiences. However, as a social media platform, LinkedIn also provides brands with an opportunity to build a presence, engage with their constituents, and build a relationship with their target audiences.
- Best platform for B2B businesses
- Target based on designation, business size, etc.
- Great for recruitment
- Not designed for e-commerce
- Less number of users compared to other platforms
Twitter is a powerful marketing platform with a wide variety of uses. You can use Twitter as a direct marketing tool to reach your existing and prospective customers. Twitter also makes a great customer service tool—you can use it to respond to customers, answer questions, and otherwise build relationships with them. Twitter also makes a great marketing platform—you can use it to build a presence on Twitter and create a marketing campaign around that presence.
- Easy to engage with the audience
- High chances of content getting viral
- High ROI in ads
- High competition
- Conversion is challenging
In the past, businesses spent a lot of money on traditional forms of advertising, like television and print. But with the shift to digital marketing, businesses now have access to a much larger and more targeted audience than ever before. One of the best digital marketing channels is YouTube. With a strong focus on marketing and entertainment, YouTube is a great place to build a fanbase, grow your audience, and promote your business.
- Video content is more engaging
- Gives creative freedom
- High conversion
- It takes more time to produce videos
- Requires high-quality content to grab the attention
Here’s a great infographic that sums up the various social networks quite well:
Steps to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Now that you know the benefits of social media marketing and various platforms, it’s time to get on the drawing board to create a social media marketing strategy that yields stunning results. We’ve tried to keep it simple and outlined five steps to get you jumpstarted.
Step 1: Define Objectives & Set Goals
You might say that your goal is to increase business revenue using social media, but that’s the ultimate goal of every business, and you’re not going to achieve that when you’re starting. Thus, you need clear objectives to steer the ship in the right direction.
The objectives could be increasing the followers, creating engagement, website visits, etc. Your goals are the quantified version of these objectives to be achieved in a specific amount of time. These are also called SMART goals.
Step 2: Create a Buyer Persona
Social media marketing is all about connecting with people where they are and inspiring them to do something. One of the best ways to do this is to build your buyer persona and tailor your social media posts and strategies to cater to their interests and needs.
Your buyer persona represents your ideal customer, and it defines who you’re targeting with your social media posts and strategies. It also helps you determine what social media platforms are best suited to reach your audience and identify the best times to post to maximize the impact of your efforts.
Here’s what the buyer persona consists of:
Spending power and patterns
Stage of life
Adaptability with technology
Preferred mode of communication
Level of education
Professional success & failure
Product or service that will help them
Typical working day
Source of their industry information
Most used social networking platform
Industry events they attend
Blogs/newspapers they read
The decision-maker in the company/family
Preferred mode of sales communication (emails, calls)
Mode of product/services research
In case you’re targeting businesses, you will need to create a firmographic to have a clear vision of the kind of companies you want to target:
Industry: Which industry segments are most interested in learning more about your offering? Consider identifying three to five potential segments or industries to target.
Company size: Are you looking for unicorns, startups, or large corporations? It’s critical to define your target companies in terms of team size and revenue.
Locality: If your company is dependent on location, you must first determine which areas you want to focus on.
Stage of the sales cycle: You must ascertain your company’s position in the sales cycle. Are they aware of your business? Do you remember any interactions you had with them? Did they express any interest? Knowing this information will assist you in determining the best course of action at the appropriate time.
Type of business: The nature or status of your targeted business may impact the decision-making process. Here are some examples of business classifications:
- Individual firms
- Standalone entities
- Subsidiaries of larger corporations
- Corporate Limited Liability (LLC)
- Companies owned by public shareholders
- Privately owned businesses
Performance: The growth curve will tell you whether or not they are interested in your products. Consider the following factors when evaluating the following:
- The duration of existence
- Rates of decline or growth
- Profits and losses
Step 3: Competitor Analysis
A key component of social media marketing is competitor analysis. By comparing your competitors’ social media strategies, ads, and content to your own, you can identify the working system, which can then be adapted and fine-tuned to improve your results.
A competitive analysis will assist you in comprehending the specifics of how your competitors operate and identifying potential opportunities to outperform them. It also allows you to stay up to date on industry trends and ensure that you are keeping up with, if not exceeding industry standards.
Step 4: Create a Content Calendar
Your social media strategy has to make room for fresh, unexpected content that can generate huge brand impressions. That’s where the social media content calendar comes in.
It’s an important part of your social media marketing strategy because it helps you to ensure that you’re consistently sharing valuable and engaging content with your followers. The content calendar also allows you to identify the best time to post each piece of content, which helps you build a loyal audience interested in what you have to say.
The thing you need to keep in mind creating is to structure it so that it’s not too flexible or rigid. It needs to have the right balance so that you can make the most out of it.
Step 5: Get Started!
When it comes to social media or any form of digital marketing, it’s too easy to slip into the never-ending black hole of thinking and strategizing. The thing is, you can never think enough when it comes to social media marketing. Plus, you can’t have the insights and knowledge without getting your hands dirty.
LeanSummits: A Premier Growth Marketing Agency
Social media marketing is not about posting cute photos and memes; it’s much deeper and requires much thinking and effort. Many businesses aren’t aware of it and feel overwhelmed as they start. This is down to the lack of resources and knowledge.
That’s where we come in.
Whether you are launching a new business or expanding the horizon and limits of your current one, we at LeanSummits believe in nurturing your potential through the journey toward success by providing you with the right tools and guidance.
LSS, by being a growth marketing platform, assists these leaders in taking a radically different approach—one that is based on actual knowledge of what leads to a successful transformation. We offer across-the-board digital marketing services to help businesses leverage the power of the virtual world.
Schedule a free consultation to know how we can help you.