Social media marketing is an innovative use of social media networks and websites to advertise a product or service. Although the terms’ digital marketing and e-marketing are fairly conventional in academia, social media marketing has become more prominent for researchers and practitioners alike. It’s fast becoming one of the most effective marketing practices for businesses of all sizes. But how does it work?
First of all, it takes hard work to get your message out. For this reason alone, many companies choose not to spend a great deal of money on social media marketing campaigns. Instead, they focus their resources on core elements of their business that have a greater chance of conversion. Many companies find that paid surveys and print advertisements are far more effective at capturing the attention of their audience. While these tactics are certainly effective, they’re not often seen as “social” by the majority of the audience.
Without a solid strategy for engaging with your audience, social media marketing campaigns can be a costly failure. Without a well thought out strategy, a company can quickly begin to see results from the strategy, but then fade off into the background – leaving their audience completely alienated and apathetic. Engaging your audience requires a long term strategy that is integrated into your overall branding strategy.
To engage with your audience, you must be able to identify them. If you want to market your brand through social media networks, then you need to know who your target audience is. This may seem obvious, but some companies waste hundreds of hours each week trying to identify their customer base. In order to use social media marketing in a way that benefits your business, you need to know who your target audience is. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to use different ways to identify your audience. Here are a few different ways you can do this.
The first step to creating a social media marketing plan is to understand who you are marketing to. It’s best to start by defining who your target audience is. This will give you a better idea of which social media platforms to use, and it will help you create a better marketing plan. For example, if you sell products or services based on pets, then you want to avoid Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and similar sites that are specifically targeted toward younger children. Instead, you want to market to parents looking to provide their children with educational material, or other specialized communities that have a more defined demographic.
The second step to creating a social media marketing plan is to use the various social media platforms to understand how your brand is being perceived by your target demographic. Social media analytics tools can really help you understand how your brand is doing, both in and out of your social media channels. This allows you to identify gaps in your strategy that you can fill in to make your brand more successful. For example, you may not want to use Facebook heavily as a marketing outlet, but you may find that the demographics you’re targeting using other social media platforms are completely appropriate for this medium.
Another great way to use social media marketing to gain insight into how your brand is doing is to pay attention to the discussion around you. If you are mentioned in a high number of posts or receive tons of comments on your wall, then you can be sure that people are interested in what you have to say. If nothing else, this will provide you with valuable data for your analytics tools, which will tell you exactly where your traffic is coming from, and what keywords are driving it.
Lastly, you need to have a clear understanding of which social media platforms bring you the most traffic. The best strategy is to focus on the platforms that bring you the most traffic, so that you can optimize your pages for those audiences. You don’t want to waste resources posting links to content that isn’t going to perform well, so pay attention to how your audience is responding to your links and posts. If they aren’t responding, then you should focus your time and effort on the platforms that are generating the most interest. It may take some trial and error, but once you understand your audience and have a solid understanding of social media marketing, you will be able to master it and drive your brand to incredible heights.