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Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and branding goals. Social media marketing includes activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and other content that drives audience engagement, as well as paid social media advertising.

Importance of Social Media

Social media marketing can help with a number of goals, such as:

  • Increasing website traffic
  • Building conversions
  • Raising brand awareness
  • Creating a brand identity and positive brand association
  • Improving communication and interaction with key audiences

Social Media Marketing Tips

Ready to get started with marketing on social media? Here are a few social media marketing tips to kick off your social media campaigns

  • Social Media Content Planning ” As discussed previously, building a social media marketing plan is essential. Consider keyword research and competitive research to help brainstorm content ideas that will interest your target audience
  • Great Social Content ” Consistent with other areas of online marketing, content reigns supreme when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure you post regularly and offer truly valuable information that your ideal customers will find helpful and interesting. The content that you share on your social networks can include social media images, videos, infographics, how-to guides and more.
  • A Consistent Brand Image ” Using social media for marketing enables your business to project your brand image across a variety of different social media platforms. While each platform has its own unique environment and voice, your business's core identity, whether it's friendly, fun, or trustworthy, should stay consistent.
  • Social Media for Content Promotion ” Social media marketing is a perfect channel for sharing your best site and blog content with readers. Once you build a loyal following on social media, you'll be able to post all your new content and make sure your readers can find new stuff right away. Plus, great blog content will help you build more followers. It's a surprising way that content marketing and social media marketing benefit each other.
  • Sharing Curated Links ” While using social media for marketing is a great way to leverage your own unique, original content to gain followers, fans, and devotees, it's also an opportunity to link to outside articles as well. If other sources provide great, valuable information you think your target audience will enjoy, don't be shy about linking to them. Curating and linking to outside sources improve trust and reliability, and you may even get some links in return.
  • Tracking Competitors ” It's always important to keep an eye on competitors”they can provide valuable data for keyword research and other social media marketing insight. If your competitors are using a certain social media marketing channel or technique that seems to be working for them, considering doing the same thing, but do it better!
  • Measuring Success with Analytics ” You can't determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Google Analytics can be used as a great social media marketing tool that will help you measure your most triumphant social media marketing techniques, as well as determine which strategies are better off abandoned. Attach tracking tags to your social media marketing campaigns so that you can properly monitor them. And be sure to use the analytics within each social platform for even more insight into which of your social content is performing best with your audience.
  • Social Media Crisis Management ” Things don't always go swimmingly for brands on social media. It's best to have a playbook in place so your employees know how to handle a snafu. Check out our guide to social media crisis management to see examples of the worst social media disasters, plus tips on how they should have been handled.

Best Social Media Platforms for Marketing

Here's a brief overview about how to use social media for marketing according to each platform's unique user base and environment. Different social media marketing sites require different approaches, so develop a unique strategy tailored for each platform.

Using Facebook for Social Media Marketing

Facebook's casual, friendly environment requires an active social media marketing strategy. Start by creating a Facebook Business Fan Page.  You will want to pay careful attention to layout, as the visual component is a key aspect of the Facebook experience.

Facebook is a place people go to relax and chat with friends, so keep your tone light and friendly. And remember, organic reach on Facebook can be extremely limited, so consider a cost-effective Facebook ad strategy, which can have a big impact on your organic Facebook presence as well!

Using Google+ for Social Media Marketing

Google+ entered the scene as a Facebook competitor, but it now serves a more niche audience. It won't work for everybody, but some communities are very active on Google+.

On Google+ you can upload and share photos, videos, links, and view all your +1s. Also take advantage of Google+ circles, which allow you to segment your followers into smaller groups, enabling you to share information with some followers while barring others. For example, you might try creating a œsuper-fan circle and share special discounts and exclusive offers only with that group.

Using Pinterest for Social Media Marketing

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media marketing trends. Pinterest's image-centered platform is ideal for retail, but anyone can benefit from using Pinterest for social media purposes or sales-driving ads.

Pinterest allows businesses to showcase their product offerings while also developing brand personality with eye-catching, unique pinboards. When developing your Pinterest strategy, remember that the social network's primary audience is female. If that's your demographic, you need a presence on Pinterest!

Using Twitter for Social Media Marketing

Twitter is the social media marketing tool that lets you broadcast your updates across the web. Follow tweeters in your industry or related fields, and you should gain a steady stream of followers in return.

Mix up your official tweets about specials, discounts, and news with fun, brand-building tweets . Be sure to retweet when a customer has something nice to say about you, and don't forget to answer people's questions when possible. Using Twitter as a social media marketing tool revolves around dialog and communication, so be sure to interact as much as possible to nurture and build your following.

Using LinkedIn for Social Media Marketing

LinkedIn is one of the more professional social media marketing sites. LinkedIn Groups is a great venue for entering into a professional dialog with people in similar industries and provides a place to share content with like-minded individuals. It's also great for posting jobs and general employee networking.

Encourage customers or clients to give your business a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. Recommendations makes your business appear more credible and reliable for new customers. Also browse the Questions section of LinkedIn; providing answers helps you get established as a thought leader and earns trust.

Using YouTube for Social Media Marketing

YouTube is the number one place for creating and sharing video content, and it can also be an incredibly powerful social media marketing tool. Many businesses try to create video content with the aim of having their video œgo viral, but in reality those chances are pretty slim. Instead, focus on creating useful, instructive œhow-to videos. These how-to videos also have the added benefit of ranking on the video search results of Google, so don't under-estimate the power of video content!

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