Social media marketing is a reasonably new thing and it is gaining in popularity. Essentially, it is about working with the various popular social media networks in an attempt to attract more visitors to your website. These visitors, in turn, should then become paying customers.
However, social media marketing (SMM) doesn’t just mean having a social media presence. Rather, it is about engaging on a commercial level in the right way, to actually benefit overall. It is about making sure your customers learn about your unique selling points and find these interesting enough to make a purchase. You can reach your targets in a more social way (hence “social” media), which means you have to first assess the prerogatives, the environment, the context and the toolsets. This needs to be followed through at all times, so that your messages always have a clear idea and goal. Additionally, it is about understanding that each of your posts, on each of your social media channels, is unique.
10 Things to Think about
- What is your base strategy? This includes budget and milestones.
- What is the environment of your campaign? What is your competition doing?
- Which platforms are best for you? It is impossible to use every social media platform, so is your audience on Twitter or on Snapchat?
- How much can you afford on online advertising? Many social media websites allow you to promote your posts, for a price.
- Who will be handling your social media campaign? This is not something that can be done as a side job, not in the least because it really requires around the clock monitoring. Do you want to hire someone as a member of staff, or do you want to outsource?
- Identify people who can influence you. Good social media activists and bloggers within your particular niche can become strong partners. At the same time, you must be careful, because if a blogger falls from grace, you will fall with them.
- How will you measure your results? What will be your benchmarks? What do you do if you don’t hit your targets, and what will you do if you do hit the or even exceed them?
- What offline work needs to be done to complement you social media campaign? Do you need photography? Do you want to set up events? Will you offer prizes?
- How will you monitor your content? It has to be relevant and of high quality and it has to work on the platform you choose. You cannot put a Facebook post on YouTube, for instance, but you can link a YouTube video to Facebook.
- Stay human! The strength of social media is that your customers can actually talk to you.
Essentially, if you start engaging in social media marketing, you will undoubtedly feel as if you have to do everything at once. You must assess the environment of your campaign and fully understand it, which takes a lot of research and forward thinking. The marketing process is not dissimilar to real world marketing, but it is a lot vaster at the same time and you have to be far more precise in everything that you do. This is because you cannot gauge whether what your prospect is writing is true or false, nor can you gauge their overall tone. You must, in order to be successful, mix human competencies and intuition with the various online tools that are available to facilitate social interaction, sharing and interchange. Doing this right means more brand recognition, an increased reputation and, ultimately, higher sales. Doing it wrong, however, can be devastating.