This is the most comprehensive guide to Social Media Marketing.
In this expert-written guide you’ll learn everything you need to know about meeting your target audience and customers where they are and as they socially interact with each other and your brand.
So if you’re looking to get more targeted traffic (and customers) from Social Media, you’ll love this guide.
No worries. Let me send you a copy so you can read it when it’s convenient for you. Just let me know where to send it (takes 5 seconds):
Let’s quickly look at some interesting stats…
49% of Your Brands First Interaction Happens Through Social Media
Total Population vs Social Media User's. (Smart Insights )
Now, there are over 3.5 billion active people on social media globally. Due to the sheer amount of people on social media, you can see why ensuring your business is sharing content related to your products as well as details about your company via a platform or two has the potential to help you improve Brand Awerness.
As usual, Wikipedia is a disappointment when trying to define social media marketing.It simply says, “Social media marketing is the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites.”
Wow, who would’ve thought, right?
I’d like to take a swing at defining social media marketing myself:
Social media marketing is the process of creating content that you have tailored to the context of each individual social media platform in order to drive user engagement and sharing.
Before you begin creating social media marketing campaigns, consider your business’s goals. Starting a social media marketing campaign without a social strategy in mind is like wandering around a forest without a map—you might have fun, but you’ll probably get lost.
Social media marketing is all about meeting your target audience and customers where they are and as they socially interact with each other and your brand.
While social media marketing as a whole is incredibly valuable and beneficial to your business growth (as you’ll see in the following section), your strategy will differ based on which social networks your audience spends their time on.
Before we dig deeper into social media marketing, let’s segment the strategy by platform.
Even though you hear about the major social media platforms (at the moment) Like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any others out there.
Wikipedia alone lists over 200 of them.
This Great Graphic called “The Conversation Prism” gives a good overview.
Social media itself is a catch-all term for apps and sites that may provide radically different social actions. For instance, Twitter is a social site designed to let people share short messages and media links with others. Facebook, meanwhile, is a full-blown social networking site that allows for sharing updates, photos, joining events, groups and a variety of other activities.
There are a variety of reasons why your company should use social media marketing. We’ve created a list of the four most beneficial reasons to consider.
Let’s dive in.
In fact, social media has been proven to boost brand awareness by driving up engagement. Social engagement includes things like comments, likes, shares, and re-posts. Social media also helps you increase brand awareness by directing traffic straight to your site. You can do this by including direct links to your website in your profile, bio, and posts.
Promoting and sharing your products on social media is a simple way to improve lead generation, boost conversions, and increase sales because you’re advertising to people who have opted to engage with you by following your account.
Here are some examples of ways you can use social media to generate more leads.
By connecting and engaging with your social media followers, you’ll be able to build lasting relationships between them and your business. You can do this by interacting with them on your posts, responding to their questions and comments, and providing them with any help they may need.
You can also ask your followers questions about your products, their pain points, or create giveaways to help you build trust and show them how much you value their input and support.
Social media is a great way to keep tabs on your competitors — whether that’s in reference to their social media tactics, the products they’re promoting, the campaigns they’re implementing, or their level of interaction with followers.
Social media allows you to get a look at what is and isn’t working for your competition, and therefore helps you decide what should or shouldn’t change in terms of your company’s approach. Lastly, reviewing the social accounts of your competitors can help you make sure your marketing stands out and is unique to your brand.
Before you dive right in and publish something on social media, let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture. The first step is to think about your social media strategy.
What are your goals? How can social media help you achieve your business goals? Some businesses use social media for increasing their brand awareness, others use it for driving website traffic and sales. Social media can also help you generate engagement around your brand, create a community, and serve as a customer support channel for your customers.
Which social media platforms do you want to focus on? The major social media platforms, mentioned above, are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat. There are also smaller and up-and-coming platforms, such as Tumblr, Tik Tok, and Anchor, and social messaging platforms, such as Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat. When starting out, it’s better to pick a few platforms that you think your target audience is on than to be on all platforms.
What type of content do you want to share? What type of content will attract your target audience best? Is it images, videos, or links? Is it educational or entertaining content? A good place to start is to create a marketing personal, which will help you answer these questions. And this doesn’t have to be fixed forever; you can always change your strategy according to how your social media posts perform.
To help you create a great social media strategy, here are our long-form, step-by-step guides on creating a social media strategy and social media marketing plan.
Social media marketing for small businesses usually starts with having a consistent presence on social media. Close to three billion people (3,000,000,000!) use social media. By being present on social media platforms, you give your brand an opportunity to be discovered by your future customers.
Publishing to social media is as simple as sharing a blog post, an image, or a video on a social media platform. It’s just like how you would share on your personal Facebook profile. But you will want to plan your content ahead of time instead of creating and publishing content spontaneously. Also, to ensure that you are maximizing your reach on social media, you need to publish great content that your audience likes, at the right timing and frequency.
There are now a variety of social media scheduling tools, such as Buffer Publish, that can help you publish your content automatically at your preferred time. This saves you time and allows you to reach your audience when they are most likely to engage with your content.
As your business and social media following grow, conversations about your brand will also increase. People will comment on your social media posts, tag you in their social media posts, or message you directly.
People might even talk about your brand on social media without letting you know. So you will want to monitor social media conversations about your brand. If it’s a positive comment, you get a chance to surprise and delight them. Otherwise, you can offer support and correct a situation before it gets worse.
You can manually check all your notifications across all the social media platforms but this isn’t efficient and you won’t see posts that didn’t tag your business’s social media profile. You can instead use a social media listening and engagement tool that aggregates all your social media mentions and messages, including posts that didn’t tag your business’s social media profile.
Along the way, whether you are publishing content or engaging on social media, you will want to know how your social media marketing is performing. Are you reaching more people on social media than last month? How many positive mentions do you get a month? How many people used your brand’s hashtag on their social media posts?
The social media platforms themselves provide a basic level of such information. To get more in-depth analytics information or to easily compare across social media platforms, you can use the wide range of social media analytics tools available, such as Buffer Analyze.
Ready to figure out your Social Media Marketing Strategy?
If you’re overwhelmed or don’t know where to start, you’re definitely not alone.
Because social media isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. Not by a long shot.
From choosing the right channels to figuring out your content strategy, analysis paralysis is a serious problem for marketers today.
That’s why we put together a comprehensive guide to creating a social media marketing plan from scratch.
A succinct strategy will help your brand tackle its goals with a sense of purpose. Below is a step-by-step social media marketing guide to help you identify your social goals, engage audiences and optimize your results:
First things first: you need to figure out what you want out of social media at large.
Whether that means more dollars and cents from your existing social presence or amping up your reach with new followers is totally up to you.
What matters is that you set realistic social media goals. We recommend tackling smaller objectives that allow you to scale your social efforts in a way that’s both reasonable and affordable.
Making assumptions is a dangerous game for marketers.
So much of what you need to know about your audience to influence your social media marketing strategy is already out in the open.
Take today’s social media demographics. These numbers speak directly to which networks your brand should approach and what types of content to publish. Here are some key takeaways:
See how no platform is one-size-fits-all?
And although the demographics data above gives you insight into each channel, what about your own customers? Further analysis needs to be done before you can truly know your customer demographics on social media.
That’s why many brands use a social media dashboard which can provide an overview of who’s following you and how they interact with you on each channel.
No matter what you’re selling, your social media strategy should be data-driven.
That means focusing on the social media metrics that matter.
The hiding of “Likes” on Facebook and Instagram should be an eye-opener for businesses today. Rather than focus on vanity metrics, brands are tasked with dig into data that aligns directly with their goals.
What metrics are we talking about, though? Check out the breakdown below:
An effective social media marketing strategy is rooted in numbers. That said, those numbers need to be put into a context that circles back around to your original goals.
Before you start creating content, you should have a good idea of what your competitors are up to.
While some brands might want to look into third-party competitor analysis tools to dig deeper into their competitors’ numbers, you can also gain useful insights from a fairly simple review of competitors’ social presence.
Looking at your competition’s social channels will directly inform your own social media promotion strategy. The goal here isn’t to copycat or steal your competitors’ ideas. Instead, it’s to determine what’s working for them and what conclusions you can draw to adapt your own campaigns accordingly.
For example, let’s take a glance at how two brands in the same space can take two different approaches to their social media marketing strategy and still be successful.
In this case, we’ll look at the surprisingly entertaining mattress space.
Casper regularly light-hearted content that’s brimming with personality, oftentimes emphasizing comfort and coziness with a sense of humor. In short, the brand does a great job of not feeling like a totally corporate account.
Your social media marketing strategy is obviously centered around content.
At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what to publish based on your goal and brand identity. Similarly, you probably feel confident in which networks to cover.
But what does engaging social content look like and how do you make it happen? The principles below can help.
One of the toughest challenges to visual content is creating it on a day-to-day basis. According to data from Venngage, one-third of marketers struggle with creating compelling visuals.
This highlights how important highly-visual content is to marketers and the people they want to reach. That’s why building content themes is a great approach to sectioning out your content.
Instagram is arguably the best channel for content themes given that it’s totally visual. For example, Postmates does an amazing job at keeping their Instagram feed consistent, colorful and aesthetically pleasing.
Timeliness is a two-way street.
You can’t always expect customers to operate on “your time.” Likewise, it’s crucial to be able to reach and respond to followers in a timely manner.
How do you do both, though? Let’s break it down.
Quick question: when is your brand available to engage and interact with customers?
You might see some recommending times to post late in the evening, for example. But if your brand isn’t there to communicate, what’s the point of posting at the “preferred” time?
Instead, try to ensure your social media or community managers are available and ready to answer any product questions or concerns when you tweet or post. It’s smart to learn the best times to post on social media. However, it’s just as critical to engage after posting.
And hey, that leads us to our next point.
Not only do customers expect speedier responses from brands but also meaningful conversations on a regular basis.
Your brand can’t forget these core elements of networking. It takes effort to ensure conversations or engagement opportunities aren’t left unattended.
Through social media, you gain respect as a brand by just being present and talking to your audience. That’s why social customer care is so important to brands wanting to increase audience awareness. It’s all about engagement.
Whether it’s capitalizing on a compliment or responding to a question, businesses shouldn’t leave customers hanging.
Through the right social media monitoring tools, you can find instances across all your channels to interact, respond and gauge customers around-the-clock.
Designating teams to specific tasks can help your staff run like a well-oiled social media team, whether you’re a group of one or 100.
According to our research, a brand’s average response time is around 10 hours. But did you know that most users believe brands should respond to social media messages within four hours?
As Social Algorithms go through continuous updates, organic content has an increasingly tough time reaching the majority of your audience. The last thing you want to do is ignore those who do engage and lose out on sending more down your marketing funnel.
Facebook remains the world’s most widely used social media platform, but there are now six social media platforms that claim more than one billion monthly active users each. Four of these six platforms are owned by Facebook.
Based on publicly available data up to 16 July 2020, 16 social media platforms have 300 million or more monthly active users*:
1. Facebook has 2.603 billion monthly active users.
2. YouTube¹ has 2 billion monthly active users.
3. WhatsApp has 2 billion monthly active users.
4. Facebook Messenger¹ has 1.3 billion monthly active users.
5. WeChat (inc. Weixin 微信) has 1.203 billion monthly active users.
6. Instagram’s² potential advertising reach is roughly 1.08 billion.
7. TikTok has around 800 million monthly active users.
8. QQ (腾讯QQ) has 694 million monthly active users.
9. Sina Weibo has 550 million monthly active users.
10. QZone has 517 million monthly active users.
11. Reddit has 430 million monthly active users.
12. Douyin (抖音) has 400 million monthly active users
13. Kuaishou (快手) has 400 million monthly active users
14. Snapchat’s² potential advertising reach is roughly 397 million.
15. Pinterest has 367 million monthly active users.
16. Twitter’s² potential advertising reach is roughly 326 million.
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