Social media is one of the most popular ways for customers to find out more about brands and products. With one-click shopping and an unlimited potential audience, it’s an effective way to maximize marketing reach.
Businesses hire social media marketers through Guru for a huge range of projects, from creating long-term marketing plans to managing specific campaigns or analyzing ad performance to recommend areas for improvement.
Today, we’ll look at how businesses use social media for marketing and why a skilled marketer could transform the returns available from your social channels.
Social Media Marketing Explained
What is social media marketing? In a nutshell, it means leveraging your presence on any social media platform (or across multiple platforms) to hit targets linked with marketing, branding, and advertising. However, there is a lot more to it than creating a post whenever you have time or sharing product information now and again.
Instead, a professional marketer develops a cohesive strategy and content management structure with goals and targets that are measurable. Some of the common tasks for a social media marketer might include:
- Optimizing social media profiles and maintaining a regular flow of content
- Posting a mixture of media such as live stories, videos, imagery, and text that capture the attention of your target audience
- Improving customer engagement by replying to comments, acknowledging shares, or thanking buyers who post positive reviews
- Following accounts back, re-posting user-generated content, and building a community based on your brand
Social media marketing often involves paid advertising, but this is just one part of the bigger picture, which comprises analysis, engagement, content creation, and profile optimization for improved SEO and brand awareness.
How to Start Marketing on Social Media
There isn’t one universal marketing approach that will work for every business because the correct strategy depends on your sector, goals, customer base, existing following, and how much time and money you have available to invest. That said, a great social media marketing strategy begins by evaluating your current profiles and how they perform.
Most businesses hire a social media specialist to get to grips with their socials and recommend an action plan based on their knowledge of the marketing techniques and advertising options that will most resonate with the relevant audience demographic. Before you create a paid ad campaign, engagement strategy, or content calendar, you should have a good idea of the following:
- Your audience: Which social media channels do they use? When do they log in (in terms of days, times, and duration), and what other brands or influencers do they follow?
- Your brand: What does your brand stand for, what is your backstory, and what messaging do you want followers to think of when they see a post or campaign featuring your logo?
- Your aims: As we’ve mentioned, advertising is one aspect of a broader social media marketing plan. You need to know what you hope to achieve, such as higher sales figures, greater engagement, or more repeat customers, before you can identify the best approach.
Social media works in real-time. If you hope to grow your company through marketing, you need to produce regular, high-quality posts, maintain excellent levels of engagement, and be aware of trends and customer behaviors that will influence your campaign performance.
Social Media Marketing Versus Advertising
The core focus of your social media marketing should be on generating ongoing leads rather than simply selling one product or service at a time. Consumers use social media almost continuously and are less likely to buy from a brand they have never heard of–regardless of how great your ads are–than to engage with a company they know and like.
Carefully placed ads can be a great way to improve your follower numbers, but the main emphasis should be on quality content that is genuinely interesting to your followers. Around 70% of your social media posts should be informational, adding value to reader experiences, attracting more followers to your pages, and establishing yourself as a credible brand that posts the kinds of content your target audience wants to see.
Hiring a skilled social media marketer from Guru is ideal if you don’t have the time or capacity to focus on your socials to this level of detail, and ensures that each piece of content you post will support your overall marketing objectives.