Social Media Marketing, in recent times, has gotten quite popular. This isn’t very surprising as a lot of people have jumped on different social media platforms, and are spending a huge amount of time on there.

It is only natural that there is some form of way to reach and access this amount of people online. This leads us to explaining what Social Media Marketing is.

You should read this if you’re starting a career in social media marketing, a business owner, digital marketer, growth associate, just picked interest in social media marketing, or want to learn a new thing.

Table of Content

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing is the intentional use of social media platforms to sell your products and/or services. Social media platforms, in this case, includes the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, and so on.

Usually, because of the large audience of these platforms, the creators build ways to make money via selling ad space. For social media platform owners, the (attention of the) users are the products sold to brands.

Brands and businesses, on the other hand, use social media marketing to reach both new and existing users on the platform they decide to market on.

Social Media Marketing can either be organic or paid. For organic, marketers and businesses use natural ways to reach their ideal customers. Posting consistent content and relevant is a way to grow using organic means.

For paid, money is paid to the social media platform to accelerate how many people sees a particular content. And by extension, how many people are turned into customers as a result.

Why Should You Do Social Media Marketing?

Social media platforms currently boast of millions and billions of users. You should do Social media marketing because it is imperative that you (as a business) get to reach a fraction of these users that might be interested in your product.

Here are a few reasons why you should do social media marketing:

1. To Improve Brand Awareness

Social media campaigns can help businesses improve their brand awareness. One way you can do this is through viral marketing. Where your content reaches a large number of people online solely via shares by users. Social media is a great way to make users have an idea of what your product or service is about.

2. To Sell Products/Services

Doing Social media marketing can help you actually acquire customers by selling your products and services. Good thing about the paid version of social media marketing is that you pay only for an action taken. This means you get to calculate if the amount you’re paying (Cost Per Action) is worth the value the customer would bring in. This form of marketing helps you make smart decisions quickly.

3. To Engage With Customers

You can Al’s use social media platforms to engage with your customers. Customer engagement can be done via pitting out interesting content that are valuable to them. This helps to keep you top of mind of your customers and can improve retention rate.

4. To Build A Large Audience

With social media, you can decide to build an audience to talk to, upsell or downsell your products and services to.

How To Start Social Media Marketing?

Here are a few steps you need to take to start social media strategy:

1. Create Your Customer Avatar

First, you need to know who you’re targeting. This is where your customer avatar comes in. You should describe in totality who your audience looks like, their interests, job titles, and so on before you embark on any social media marketing activity. This will help guide you on the tone of your content and ads.

2. Plan & Strategize

Planning and strategizing involve determining what kind of ads or posts you want to run, what products you want to highlight more, how long you want the campaign to run, how much you’re setting aside as your marketing budget, and more.

3. Choose The Best Platform

Best social media platforms

Here, you need to choose which platform is best for your kind of audience. Do they spend their time more on twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, quora, youtube, Snapchat, Linkedin, or any other social media platform.

4. Create Posts/Ads

You can now brainstorm and create your posts amd ads. It is usually better if you create posts in advance so you can schedule ahead of time.

5. Launch Campaigns

Go ahead to launch your ad campaigns.

What Social Media Platforms Is Best For Your Audience?

There are various platforms that are more appropriate for a group of people. In this case, your audience. Different demographics of people are more active on some social media platforms than others. To determine this, you have to research your audience as a business or marketer, find out which social media platforms they spend more of their time on. Target them on there.

For example, generally, matured folks prefer to use Facebook than every other social media platform. 

From statista, as of January 2020, 10% of global active Facebook users were women between the ages of 18 and 24 years. It was also discovered that male users between the ages of 25 and 34 years constituted the biggest demographic group of Facebook users.

This is similar for Instagram but with a bit of tweak. It was found that 35% of global Instagram audiences were aged between 25 and 34 years. In total, over two thirds of total Instagram audiences were aged 34 years and younger.

Most businesses have their paying audience between 25 and 34 years, who are also tech savvy enough to buy stuff online. So, usually, Facebook and Instagram are great marketing and customer acquisition channels for most businesses.

For LinkedIn, almost a quarter of LinkedIn’s users are aged between 18 and 29, with 61% of LinkedIn users falling into the 30 to 64 age bracket. This tells a social media marketer or business owner when to use LinkedIn as a marketing channel. It all depends on where the audience is situated.

So, to get the best social media platform to advertise, do some research about your audience.

What Tools Do You Need For Effective Social Media Marketing?

1. Buffer/Later/Hootsuite

Social Media Marketing with Buffer

Buffer, Later, or Hootsuite are tools that help you schedule your social media posts. What this means is that you don’t have to be online everytime to post content for your followers or potential users. You can use these tools to schedule and be sure that the content will go live at the selected time.

These tools are free to use but have a paid version with more features. You can explore Buffer, Later and Hootsuite to learn more about their functionalities.

2. Canva

A lot of what you will be doing in Social Media Marketing revolves around putting out content. These content can come in many forms and that includes graphics. Canva is a tool that helps you create simple graphics design with the use of available templates. It’ll prove very useful for your social media pages, especially Instagram that is image-based.

Canva is a free tool with paid functionalities. Learn more about the Canva tool here.

3. Google Docs/Sheets

Creating social media calendars, writing captions, and copies for social media can all be done with the use of a Google Doc or Sheet. They serve as a library where you can store some of your text-based social media assets.

Google Docs and Sheets are totally free. You can start using them right away as long as you have a Gmail account. Explore the Docs tool here and Sheets here.

4. Audience Insights (On Facebook)

Facebook Audience Insights for social media marketing

Creating ads on social media requires that you target certain audiences based on interests, demographics, job title, parents’ status more. With Audience insights, which is a Facebook-based tool, you can create different audiences you plan to target and customize them based on your customer avatar.

Learn more about Facebook’s Audience Insights here.

5. Mention

To succeed in social media marketing, you will need real-time monitoring to know how and when your brand is mentioned. It helps you track what customers are saying about your brand. Mention helps you do this. With the tool, you ga set up alerts for your brand and even your competitors. And Al’s respond to likes, tags and mentions in the app.

Mention is a paid tool that starts at $29/month. You can check it out here.

6. SocialInsider/SocialBlade

These tools help you know where your social media page stands against your competitors. With any of these tools, you can do a diagnosis of how well your social media account is doing and compare with other accounts. This can help you improve in the right places.

Check out SocialInsider here and explore SocialBlade here.

The Role Of Analytics In Social Media Marketing

Analytics is a very important part of social media marketing. Because it’s great to track your posts, photos, ad campaigns, videos, and all. If you don’t track them, there’s no way you can determine if they worked or not, or what you should tweak to get better results.

For example, instagram shows you via “insights” what time of the day your followers engage most with your posts. With this data, you can tweak the time you release posts on social media to when your followers are likely to be active.

Instagram Insights
Instagram Insights

It’s just all about tracking the right things and making the right decisions off your results.

Another example: when you run an ad campaign, some statistics are provided to you. Which include clicks, conversions, impressions, click through rate (CTR) and more.

If you discover a particular ad has drastically lesser clicks than another, you can look critically at it, tweak a few things and see the effect. All in a bid to improve the results.

So, in essence, analytics in social media marketing helps us to get better results from our campaigns. If used correctly, of course.

How To Track Your Social Media Marketing Results

Tracking social media results either from organic reach or paid campaigns would need you to understand a few terms.

Here are a few terms you should understand to track your social media results.

  • Impressions: This indicates the number of times your post or ad has been seen.
  • Reach: This is the number of people that have seen your social media post or ad. For example, if 10 people see your ad 2 times each, then reach = 10 and Impression = 20.
  • Cost per click (CPC): This is the amount you pay per each click on your ad.
  • Cost per Action (CPA): this is the amount you pay per each action taken from your ad. Usually, you get to set which action you want to pay for.
  • Conversion: This is an action that a potential customer or user takes that makes him a lead or user.
  • Conversion rate: This is the percentage of people that became leads or users from the total amount your ad reached.
  • Click rate: The percentage of people that clicked on your ad compared to the total number of people that saw it.

Conclusion

Social media marketing is a big deal for businesses. It is a great channel to engage customers, run brand awareness campaigns, and acquire new customers. Hence, marketers and business owners should take this more seriously.

The best social media marketers are those that research their audience and target them appropriately. Then keep learning about them from the analytics provided by the respective platforms.

If you have any questions about social media marketing, please drop them in the comments section below. We’re trying to build a community of marketers and business owners to help each other get better at this thing. 

Drop a comment below to register your presence as a social media marketer or a business owner. Who knows, you could meet someone you can build with.