Social Media Marketing

Rapid technological advancement has revolutionized the marketing industry through the development of social media marketing. Social media marketing is a marketing technique that involves the use of social media platforms to connect and communicate with your consumers about the product sold. Some of the major platforms used include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Social media marketing was initially commenced with the art of publishing. Various people were sharing videos and photos. Businesses saw an opportunity to boost their sales by getting to share their product identification through these platforms. They started with just some simple pictures and small GIF illustrating their products. Nowadays, they use these platforms in multiple ways.  Due to the need and desire to reach a specific audience on a larger scale, they initiated the social media advertising.

Every organization should seek to implement social media marketing. This is because access to social media has been made easier by the introduction and spread of smartphones. Thus, people spend a considerable amount of time on these platforms. A business can engage and communicate with consumers about the various brands of products and establish a strong customer relationship.

Basics

If an organization is trying to wrap its head around modern social media, there is a high chance they will get overwhelmed. It’s evident that significant organizations have seen the need for using social media to enhance their publicity. But if a business is starting from scratch, various basics can be used as a guiding ground. Some of these basics include;

  • Social Channel Used – first thing to decide is the social platform to be applied. For large institutions such as Starbucks, there is the use of multiple platforms. However, if you dig into their social marketing history, you will realize they started with one platform and grew over the years. Therefore, pick a platform that will make the most sense to your organization.  You can choose to form Instagram Facebook or twitter for a beginner.
  • Complete and catchy profiles – another fact about the use of social media is having a well-done profile that should be 100% complete. By completeness, we mean that it should communicate your professional identity and educate consumers on what you are dealing with. A full profile should include a business name, address, product and brands.
  • Having a close monitor of competitors through following them on social media – Following others shows that you’re an active participant in the social space versus a profile that’s just blasting its content. Please make an effort to see their new patterns and what they are engaging in to see how they are doing in the social media platforms. 
  • Set up your content strategy – after setting up the profile, then decide on what to post regularly, and this is where the content strategy comes into play. This strategy helps one to develop posts and come up with brilliant hashtags and consumer luring.
  • Content calendar – knowing what to post I not enough, but also you have to figure out when to post. Moreover, this will help in avoiding posting the same content twice. Having a tool like the Sprouts social, you can store your posts and allows you to tap into optimal times for engagement. This avoids tedious actions of social media presence.

Types of Social Media Marketing

Despite the various platforms used, there are several types of social media marketing. They include;

  • Social Networks – use of interned-based sites to keep connected to consumers, example Facebook.
  • Microblogging – the technique of making short and frequent posts to a microblogging application such as twitter.
  • Photo sharing – just as the name suggests it is the action of sharing photos example Instagram.
  • Video sharing – posting veracious videos of products example YouTube.

Features/ Characteristics

Social media marketing has various characteristics. In quest of employing this strategy, one has to look at into the following features for a successful SMM practice.

  • Participation – SMM tries to bridge the gap between businesses and consumers. People participate in these platforms, and this is a significant boost for business identity.
  • Openness – social media requires honesty, transparency and integrity. You have o maintain trust with your consumers. Do not fake or falsify any information. 
  • Reliability – SMM involves the structuring of a reliable profile; you also need consistency to show your online presence.
  • Customer services – a social platform used should seek to help consumers not to promote the brand.
  • Avoid spamming – this means to avoid sending irrelevant messages to consumers. Your business should share insightful information with the consumers.  However, avoid sending the same information over and over again.

Pros and Cons of SMM

Pros  

  • Cheaper than other manes of marketing
  • Exposes your product and brand to vast masses of people
  • Helps in building consumer relationships
  • Fast
  • Induces brand loyalty
  • Higher conversation rate due to engaging and conversing with consumers
  • Provides information about other competitor activities
  • Through viewing competitor’s profile, a business can borrow tips
  • Aids in close monitoring of competitors

Cons

  • Time-consuming due to maintenance of constant interactions with consumers
  • Insecurity due to cyber attacks
  • Brand image can be damaged if a consumer posts a contrary view
  • Daily tedious monitoring

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