Social media users have increased from 2.86 billion to 3.6 billion since 2017. And the prognosis says that by 2025 one more billion people will register on social media. Businesses continue to make their way in social media marketing.
Defining social media marketing
SMM is something that everyone heard of. It involves social media platforms and networks to drive audience involvement and royalty for achieving marketing goals and effects.
SMM includes content generation and promotion. It is a form of interaction between the company and the users that can bring measurable results.
SMM is used by every business. Big corporations, like Nike and Coca-Cola, run huge social media campaigns that are being studied by students. And small businesses must appeal to social media because this is the most cost-effective way for them to grow their business.
Advantages of social media marketing
Maybe you have already read about some advantages for business but let`s list various reasons for making an SMM plan.
- Brand awareness growth
People buy things they have heard of or recognize among others. Expose your business to people even if they have never heard of it before on social media. You can tell people about yourself, what you have, what you`ve done, or just planning to do through the use of social media. You also can improve your brand`s image by letting people know your story or the good things you do.
- Improve traffic to the website
Social media referral traffic grows year by year. Data from statista.com shows the year-on-year growth of referral traffic from main social networks. Social media can be used to add traffic to the website.
- Save money
Cost-effectiveness is the important benefit of using social media in marketing strategy. And it is simple to understand. On the main social media platforms you do not need to pay for registration. When you make a business profile you are free to share your content. The quality content sometimes speaks for itself. For better results you would pay for promotion and ads but yet it will save your money. If you have a clue how expensive is to advertise on TV (not less than $3000 for peak time) and how costly is ad production, then you definitely understand why social media is so attractive for promotion.
- Spread your ideas, build relationships
- Easy update
- Reach distinct audiences
- Target or retarget
- Overcome your competitors
- Get better SEO
Steps to effective SMM plan
Consistent steps should be taken for building and realization SMM plan: make strategy — work with content — collect results — optimize.
Every plan begins with a strategy. Every strategy starts with setting goals and objectives. You already know what you can achieve with social media but make your goals more specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
The next thing is to decide which metrics help you to see your progress or regress. Your most important metrics will illuminate your way to achieving results. Choose metrics that are coherent to your goals. Make a table where you write down your goals and metrics that matter for each of them.
Another important thing is to get an understanding of who is your audience. Do not make bold assumptions about your potential clients, gather information, search demographics to get the whole picture of what kind of people you want to target and what they might like.
Audit existing accounts if you have any and do the same to your competitors. This is the great way to understand what is working and what is not. It’s completely free and can give you some insights on how you are going to move further.
When you have collected all the data it will be easy to decide where you want to establish your presence. Each network will serve a certain part for your overall strategy.
Work with content
This is where the fun begins. You need to be both creative and strategic on social media. It is obvious that you need to fill out your profile information completely; create a unique design logo that will be the same on every platform. Also, you need inspiration. You can get it by reading success stories or marketing books. Or hire an assistant who will help you and with whom you can discuss your ideas. Your followers also can contribute to content creation and give you some nice ideas.
Post, tweet, upload stories and so on, on a regular basis. Each social media integration should be scheduled as well as the time you spend on communication with the audience.
Small brands should not expect that following all the recommendations and making valuable content necessarily means fast results. Social media accounts promotion is a must on your marketing plan. Arm yourself with patience and prepare to advance your profiles on the Internet. Each platform can be used for cross-promotion as well.
My personal recommendation would be to turn your eyes to YouTube. YouTube is a huge platform. Video search results that Google show are mostly from YouTube. So you should definitely give it a try. People love how-to-do videos and different reviews. You can introduce your products and services through videos which are better perceived than long texts. It is very easy to give yourself an initial boost when you buy YouTube subscribers. After that your video content appears better in search results and has more chances to be seen by YT members.
Analyze results and Optimize
To see where you are going and if your plan is working or not you need to collect and analyze results. Every social media provides statistics for free. Do it every week and every month. Try to compare results from different platforms. How do they refer to your website, help to increase sales? Discuss with your partners and always think how you can improve metrics. Even if something is working well for you now, does not mean that it will always be this way.
Do not be afraid to make social media marketing plans and adjust them to your needs. It is a constant process of development, creation and research.
Share in the comments how you make marketing plans for social media or your stories of success.
Anna R. is a freelance digital marketing specialist. She is passionate about her job and always tries new things. Traveler, giggler, and friend of animals everywhere.