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Social Media: A Powerful Marketing Ally for SME’s


Chooli

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Over the years, social media has transformed from just an innovative idea to an absolute necessity for marketers. It has proven to be a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes to reach specific audiences and customers. Of all media marketing platforms, social media platforms have turned all other traditional marketing mediums nearly obsolete. 

Social media allows you to interact directly and engage with your customers, potential customers, and other businesses.

If you’re still not speaking directly to your audience through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, you are missing out big time! Great marketing on social media can bring significant success to your business, creating better brand awareness and even driving sales and leads. 

Getting started with social media marketing can be intimidating, so in this article, we share some tips for effectively promoting your business on social media platforms.

Social Media Marketing 101: What Is Social Media Marketing?

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Social media marketing is a form of internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media platforms to attain your marketing and branding goals. 

This marketing style includes activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and other content that drives audience engagement, as well as paid social media advertising.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

  • Increasing website traffic or foot traffic if you have a physical store
  • Building conversions
  • Raising brand awareness
  • Creating a brand identity and positive brand association
  • Improving communication and interaction with key audiences

Regardless of your marketing objectives or the type of social media platform you use, the goal is to have great engagement with your audience. This will make it easier for you to check off every other marketing goal on your list!

Effective Ways to Market on Social Media

1. Choose the Right Platforms

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There is a growing number of social media platforms available on the web today, and selecting the right platform to share your content is crucial to your success. When determining which social networking platform to use, consider your customers and your business. Who is your target audience, and which platform would make it easier for them to connect with you? Research to find out what sites the majority of your audience is most likely using, and then use them too.

Secondly, you should also consider which sites would best fit your products. For instance, if you're a video production company, YouTube is an obvious choice.

2. Create a Content Calendar

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Just like everything rushed, last-minute and random posts can lead to low-quality, mediocre content. If you jeopardize planning and organizing your content well, it can lead to repeated posts or a slump in your online presence. Creating social media calendars can help you avoid these mistakes and lead to more effective posts. Content calendars also allow you to have a better view so you can develop more helpful strategies for meeting your goals in a specific time frame and tracking your progress.

To make a content calendar, use a regular calendar for each social media platform and map out your posts in advance, complete with hashtags, links, images, and other content. 

3. Engagement is the Main Goal

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What is your social media if it isn’t social? Your business’s online presence should be interactive and engaging. To reap the benefits of your social media campaign, you need to come up with content that will encourage interaction. 

Think of content that will spark curiosity- content that people will want to stop scrolling and read, ask questions, like, share and comment on. Knowing your audience can help you figure out what they might like.

4. Avoid Over-Promotion

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One common mistake businesses make is treating social media too much like a common advertising platform. Try not to promote yourself in every single one of your posts blatantly. Keep in mind that you need to create content that your audience will enjoy.

There is a ‘one-in-seven rule’ that marketers go by, saying that out of seven posts on social media, only one should be directly promotional while the other should be content-based.

Strategic self-promotion every once in a while will not hurt. Just be careful not to sell too hard.

5. Share Visual Content

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Social media is the best place for visual content to thrive. Visual content is especially great for grabbing people’s attention and conveying your personality and passion for connecting to your customers. 

Visual content has a unique way of standing out since people mostly scroll through there and are more likely to view and engage with what catches their eye. Visual content allows you to say more without taking up much space. Curate interesting and narrative-driven videos to get the best responses. 

6. Be Quick to Address Problems

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Occasionally, you may stumble upon someone upset, argumentative, or who has negative feedback about your business. You should carefully monitor and be vigilant about your brand mentions on social media, so you can track issues before they grow like wildfire. 

If you spot a problem, engage with the person with a public apology, if necessary, and offer to solve the problem through a direct message. Troubleshooting the problem this way will give people the impression that you are responsive without knowing the full details of the matter.

7. Build a Community

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Instead of focusing on growing the number of your followers, zero in on audiences who are interested, loyal, and engaged with your brand. These people are more likely to share your content, like your posts, and recommend your brand to their friends and family. 

Building a community around your brand where people within that community actively engage with each other will heighten more social media engagement and augment your online presence. You may also consider reaching out to online influencers and asking them to help you by reviewing your product and mentioning your business in a post.

8. Provide Value

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What is it about your business that provides value to your customers? Create content that your audience will find helpful. Perhaps a “Did you know?” post to give them information of something they might not know before, or content that entertains them, anything that is in some way beneficial to them.

Providing value on social media is what hooks the right customers to your business and makes them want to follow you and help spread your content. Ace this, and you’ll find yourself a big step closer to a successful social media marketing campaign.

Choosing the Best Social Media Platforms for Marketing

With the abundance of different social media platforms available, here’s a brief overview of how to use social media for marketing according to each platform’s unique user base and environment. Keep in mind that different social media sites require different marketing approaches, so it’s best to create a unique strategy tailored for each platform.

1. Facebook

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With 9.1 billion active monthly users, Facebook is a thriving hotspot for social media marketing. With its casual and friendly environment, you can make the most out of this platform by creating a Facebook Business Fan Page. Pay close attention to layout as the visual factor is a crucial aspect of the Facebook marketing experience.

Facebook is easily a place where people relax and have fun with friends, so it’s great to maintain a light and friendly tone of voice. Organic reach on Facebook can only do so much, so try to create a more cost-efficient ad strategy, which can, later on, do well in the long run and have a significant impact on your organic Facebook presence.

2. Google My Business (GMB)

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Search is digital. Even if you run a traditional brick and mortar shop, your customers and prospects are going to start their search for your company, products, or services, online!

Whether you’re looking for foot traffic or web traffic, Google is the ultimate go-to search engine. A Google My Business account ensures that when someone looks your company up on Google Search and Google Maps, they find it. Once they do, your listing shows searches where and how to visit your shop, whether you have a web or physical address.

Google My Business accounts also improve your local SEO. So when someone searches for you, you show up right on the first page.

3. Pinterest

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Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing social media marketing trends seen today. Pinterest is an image-centered platform making it the most ideal for retail. You can either use this platform for social media purposes or take advantage of its sales-driving ads.

You can use Pinterest to showcase your products and services while curating a brand personality with attractive and unique Pinboards. When developing a marketing strategy for Pinterest, remember that the social network’s primary audience is females. If your business has a primarily female demographic, Pinterest is for you!

4. Twitter

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Twitter is the social media marketing tool perfect for broadcasting your updates across the internet-sphere. For starters, follow tweeters in your industry or niche, and you should be able to gain a steady stream of followers in return. 

Have a variety of tweets from special promotions, discounts, news, and engaging, brand-building tweets. Don’t forget to retweet when a customer has good remarks about you, and make sure to entertain questions and concerns when possible. Twitter as a social media marketing tool is all about dialogue and great back and forth communication. Interact as much as possible to build your following.

Keep in mind that Twitter has a 280 character limit so make sure that you create content that are short, but fun and engaging. 

5. LinkedIn

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If you have a more professional audience, LinkedIn is the social media site for you. LinkedIn Groups is a place for you to engage in conversations with people in similar fields and industries so that you can exchange content with like-minded people. Recently, it’s also been an excellent place for job postings and employee networking.

In LinkedIn, your customers can give your business a recommendation on your profile. Recommendations make your business look more credible to potential customers. Don’t forget to go through the Questions section of LinkedIn. Answering questions and concerns will help you stand out as a hands-on leader and gain more trust.

6. Youtube

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Now that the trend in marketing is becoming more and more visual-inclined, it is the best time to take advantage of YouTube as a marketing tool to build more authority, trust, and market reach! Youtube allows businesses to gain a more substantial online presence through video marketing, and it also links businesses with currents and potential customers through comments. 

In this platform, you can showcase your products with aesthetically pleasing video presentations. You can share so much content with your subscribers and viewers, such as demonstrating your expertise on a subject related to your business niche, giving a behind-the-scenes look of your company, customer testimonials, and creating video tutorials of your products or services.

7. Location-Based Social Media Tools

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Nowadays, location-based social media tools such as Yelp or FourSquare are great for physical stores looking to have a marketing presence on social media. Go to these sites to register your location spots and consider putting in special incentives such as check-in rewards or exclusive discounts. Most visitors to your store will have their phones, making them just a few clicks away from writing a review. Good reviews from these customers will be your primary marketing tool to build your business’ credibility.

8. Reddit

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With a whopping 2 billion page views a month, Reddit has powerful social media marketing potential. Still, marketers should be warned that only unique and interesting content will be welcomed on this platform. Posting on Reddit is a double-edged sword—use overtly sales-focused content and your business could get hammered by this extremely savvy community.

In general, Reddit’s readers are young, geeky, liberal, and web-savvy individuals, so make sure you post in this platform content that this type of audience will enjoy. When done right, Reddit could reap you great benefits and gain you good traffic. 

Conclusion:

Using social media in marketing does more than improve site traffic and help businesses reach more customers; it provides a valuable venue for better understanding and learning from your target audiences.

We also love paid social advertising because it's a highly cost-effective way to expand your reach. If you play your cards right, you can get your content and offers in front of a huge audience at a very low cost. 

 

 

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