“Social media marketing” is a term that has become way too common these days. Every business — whether it deals in products or provides services, whether it is a multinational corporation or a locally operating business — is aware of the importance and ways of social media marketing.
And why not? In this age of the internet, when the pandemic has pushed the ‘online’ culture even more into being, the role of social media has increased in all aspects, let alone the business world.
What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?
Social media marketing means the use of social media to market the products or services of a business. It focuses on promoting your product, service, or brand on various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, etc. Typically, social media marketing is in contrast to conventional marketing techniques and requires proper knowledge and expertise about social media and its uses.
It might not be wrong to say that today no part of the world is probably untouched by the internet and social media. And it is for this reason that the importance of social media marketing is increasing each day. It allows businesses to reach out to a wider audience, irrespective of geographical boundaries.
Five Pillars of Social Media Marketing
If you think marketing on social media is as easy as surfing the internet, you are wrong. Even when you know all the what’s and how’s of social media, you need to understand the exact meaning, purpose, and technique of social media marketing. To enable a person to understand this better, there are five core pillars of social media marketing that are as follows:
The most important thing when you do anything is the strategy; that is how you will do it. If you do not know the right way to do something, you will not be able to achieve the desired results.
For better understanding, let us take an example. For instance, you have decided to post something about a particular product or service, so you will have to decide quite a few things. Some of these are:
- the social media platform on which you’ll post
- the target audience
- the appropriate time for posting
Planning and publishing
You cannot just go on and post anything about a product or a service to promote or market it. Proper planning of what is to be included in the post, how it is to be communicated to the target audience, and where it has to be posted requires devising proper plans and strategies.
Planning always ensures that the goals are achieved as desired. After all, it is rightly said that an hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing.
Listening and engagement
Getting active participation from the target audience is not any child’s play. It requires a lot of effort, planning, as mentioned above, and of course, a lot of time. You cannot expect your posts to reach a large audience within a day or two of your beginning. You need to be patient in this regard, as active engagement — on the part of the audience — develops only with time.
Another important aspect in this regard is listening to your customers or followers. You might do ample research and planning before posting something, but the audience’s approval matters the most. So, it becomes imperative to listen to your audience’s opinion as they might communicate what they expect or want from you and your products or services.
No doubt, planning and strategizing are the most important aspects of successful social media marketing. But you cannot outweigh the importance of analytics in the long run. Of course, you will do everything it takes to prepare the best posts for your product or service, but there must also be some way to measure how successful your marketing efforts are.
For this, you need to measure your performance regularly. There are various analysis and measurement tools on social media platforms themselves that will tell you how successful you have been in reaching out to people.
This fulfills a dual objective. First, you get to know if your marketing efforts are in the right direction or not, and second, you also get to identify the mistakes you commit in the marketing of your product or service.
It may be irritating at times for social media users to come across various ads on social media platforms and various websites. But when it comes to a business promoting itself, this becomes the greatest and easiest way to reach out to a large audience.
Social media marketing is a magic weapon that can take your business to heights if practiced correctly. Social media marketing comes to the rescue, especially for small businesses, with limited profits and not much to shell out on offline marketing.