Social Media Marketing is a type of online marketing that involves developing and sharing content across various social media platforms to drive brand awareness and attract new customers. A crucial part of this type of marketing is engaging with a brand’s audience by building an online rapport directly with existing and new customers. SMM offers an opportunity for a brand to reach its target audience much more quickly and through various ways, making it an affordable and effective marketing solution for businesses of all sizes.
Social media can be a powerful tool for engaging and reaching customers and future opportunities. The process of marketing a brand through social platforms starts with an understanding of the target audience, the brand goals, the competition, and the available content. An SMM strategy can be used to identify areas of opportunity and the best ways to align with a business’s objectives.
Social Media Marketing can be divided into three pillars – paid media, owned media, and earned media. Each of these components is equally important and must be addressed as a part of a social media marketing program to be successful. Paid covers any media that is paid for, such as boosted posts, dark posts, paid influencers, or retargeting campaigns. Owned involves media from the owned brand properties like the website, apps, email, or social platforms. Earned are the shares or mentions outside of the owned channels that can include blog links, news articles, or customer testimonials. In today’s SMM landscape, a great deal of focus is placed on paid media.
By instituting paid media, social channels can employ advanced targeting and dynamic ad types centered around attributes and audience traits. By using the available targeting options, brands can make sure they pay for the exact audiences they want to reach. This can include retargeting those customers that did not convert on an action, expanding into new audience segments, or retaining the existing customer base.
The most crucial aspect of any SMM strategy is setting specific, measurable, and realistic goals. We often see clients come to us with the following goals: increasing brand awareness, driving sales, creating a loyal fanbase, acquiring new conversions, and gaining insight on competitors. We measure these marketing goals’ performance through meaningful metrics like reach, leads generated, CVR, CTR, web referral traffic, and channel growth rates.
Outcomes and Value
With more visibility, there are more opportunities for conversions. People are already sharing, liking, and connecting across social platforms. These platforms give brands a ready-made location to convert potential customers. SMM can also drive more traffic to your online properties and reach users beyond your existing customer base. Marketing through social enables brands to broaden how they connect with potential customers and go after previously untapped audiences.
Visibility through SMM can further increase your brand recognition while allowing an easy way to engage and interact directly with your customers. Unlike other forms of marketing, social offers two-way communication with customers. Customers now often seek out brands on social media to address customer service issues. SMM also allows brands to learn more about their customers and improve their audience targeting and offerings. Through these engagement opportunities, customer retention and customer loyalty often improve.
Two of the biggest challenges we see brands face when it comes to SMM are paid media budget and content. These are vital to the success of a social marketing program.
Over time, organic reach and engagement on social channels have declined sharply. SMM has also become increasingly competitive and saturated. And that means that these platforms have become pay-to-play. Paid media helps target your audience, acquire customers, and get actionable results like conversions from your brand content. But there is more to developing these paid programs than throwing ad dollars at a campaign and hoping results come through. Different social platforms’ nuances require continued testing and daily optimizations of budgets to maximize the potential ROI. This means things like A/B testing, consistent spend, and ad type variations must be performed regularly. Without a healthy ad budget to cover the wide range of requirements for an SMM, the program will be challenging to grow.
The phrase “content is king” is often mentioned when it comes to developing an SMM strategy. Content can inform, entertain, educate or offer some utility. Therefore, a content plan is also vital to launching a social media marketing program. Content tells the story of your brand. It is what attracts customers and is what keeps them coming back to your channels. In today’s social media landscape, this means not only engaging copy but images, videos, and more. Content development requires the resources to produce and sustain its continued production. Whether historical assets, writing staff, videographers, or brand partners, content can be a never-ending challenge for brands to keep up with. But, its development is an absolute requirement to create a viable strategy for social media.
Our Social Media Impact
Our roots in social go back seven years to creating the first Facebook application for USA Networks. This program was scaled to cover all fourteen shows with a variety of social apps and advertising. This success led to work with Caesars Entertainment to deploy a social media management platform to all 40 hotels. From there, our social practice continued to grow to deploy integrated social campaigns for other brands like The Clymb, Pretzel Crisps, and Not Your Average Joe’s. Our years working in the field and our comprehensive approach to our clients’ online experiences mean we can quickly leverage decades of digital marketing expertise to support your business objectives.
Convertiv approaches any new SMM engagement with a comprehensive social audit to gain intelligence on the state of the brand’s social channels. The analysis allows our team to examine the current brand activity, channel utilization, and positioning of the brand on social media. By analyzing both the brand and the industry’s social efforts, we are able to not only find the strengths/weaknesses in the current strategy but also identify areas of opportunity for the brand relative to its competition. With the social audit complete, Convertiv can create a clear social strategy and roadmap catering to a specific business’s needs.