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Everyone is familiar with the social media. We all know that popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, etc. are nothing but the social networking services that allow users and/or vendors from different parts of the world communicate with one another, share different kinds of stuff like images, video, and become fully interactive. In other words, we show one another what’s up with our lives. And not just that, but also it is beneficial for the online retail stores, or software development company, for instance, to enable others to know more about themselves by publishing relevant things. Moreover, the customer can directly interact with the vendors and put their feedback about their experience, thereby giving them the chance to maintain or improvise.

The social media has revolutionized the marketing strategies. We are not just confined to waiting for days or perhaps weeks to get our advertisements selected and published in the renowned magazines, newspapers or billboards.

Advertising has become a lot easier and cheaper. Now the question arises, how do we do that? Digital Marketing is your answer to everything. Now, it is a widespread term with even more confusion if one digs deeper. The Search Engine Optimization is another term being used which comes under that. Here in this blog, we are to discuss the Social Media Marketing starting from the basics and a perfect SMM plan to execute so that one doesn’t lack behind in popularizing as compared to his/her competitors.

Social Media Marketing

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing helps to share and publicize a brand’s products and services via different social networking channels, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and so on. It helps a particular company promote itself, and so the possibility of the purchases gets heightened. But one needs to keep in mind that only creating profiles won’t help. The consistency in sharing something useful should always be there.

People often get confused between Social Media Optimization and Social Media Marketing, and many of them interchange these terms while exchanging verbal communication or through writing. So, below is the brief explanation of the difference between the two.

Difference between Social Media Optimization and Social Media Marketing

The Social Media Optimization covers the process or strategy through which a website can be streamlined so that the site can be well exposed to different kinds of social media channels. It includes refining the interface and usability of the website. For example, adding widgets to your site so that it becomes easier for your customers to share the contents (videos, images, blogs and articles, and advertisements, or anything else which is similar and has a common goal) if they wish to.

SMM is like convincing your audience to visit your website. SMM lets the target audience know that your brand exists. In Facebook, you might have noticed advertisements popping up while you scroll down through your newsfeed, even though you may or may not be interested in that product(s) or service(s). You might also have observed the related contents about your field of interest (using the browser history) show up suddenly. For instance, if you had visited a website showing jewelry, your Facebook newsfeed will show you the related brand names (Tanishq, Kalyani jewelers, etc.) even if you visited that site few hours or days before, or even outside Facebook.

Other than just sharing the contents for free, Facebook (and so does Google) also offers a few amount of payment through which any brand name or company can publicize itself. This is also a part of Social Media Marketing.

Social Media Marketing Strategies

  1. Target audience – If you want that people should Like/Follow your Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus pages/community then first filter the audience by pinpointing those who you exactly want to target. This depends on what kind of products and services you are offering. If you offer some kind of software plugin that boosts the speed of a server then you should target those who own servers. Owning servers is usually the case of those who own a company. On the contrary, if you sell home décor items, your audience will be those who are looking for decorating their homes which is usually the case of people belonging to middle or upper-middle or higher class sections.
  2. Meet the goals – Plan a strategy and make it happen. One should always have a realistic goal in mind. It is even better if the ideas are well written. While developing a precise social media marketing strategy, one should write down a few plans before actually executing. This will help them monitor their own actions and the related responses. The trial-and-error method helps people achieve their targets and that is crucial for growth.
  3. Create quality contents – It does not matter what kind of contents you have – a photoshopped image, a new image with an eye-catchy line, a slide-show video, or an advertisement video – without proper contents, it is impossible to increase your fan following. It may seem naive to some, but it is a sure way to sustain longer. It is even not necessary to write blogs and articles each time you intend to share something. It can also be innovative banners with minimal contents since most people are too lazy to read the whole thing. Content is King, indeed!
  4. Respond fast – An average customer expects a company’s response within 4 hours. But in general, a typical company takes roughly around 10 hours to reply, or even worse – No reply at all! This creates a negative impact on those who were your loyal consumers and converts. If an organization does not have a good reputation already, changing this attitude would slowly bring back its lost customers. So, whether it is through your social media page or comments section on your own website, always pay attention to what people say.
  5. Make use of tools – Tools like Google Analytics are really helpful. There are also tools like Fanpage Karma that assists the company to engage with its users in all of its social media profiles. Using that common platform, one does not have to log-in in different profiles. It also helps to monitor the existing scenario and analyze the previous case to get better.
  6. Share across the pages – Here we are talking about those pages that do not belong to you or your company. If these pages are relevant, i.e. contain contents that are related to yours then look forward to post something there. The administrator(s) will approve it if they find it genuine, and the followers who follow those page can see it.
  7. Use hashtags – The hashtags play a vital role in the social media marketing strategies. Once created, the hyperlink will automatically form. Clicking on it will redirect the user to the page that contains only those shared articles/contents/advertisements that have those particular tags. So, it actually increases the audience. Avoid adding 10 to 15 tags. It seems unprofessional and loses worth. Also never add irrelevant tags that have no connection with your posts. In Facebook the tags are auto-generated. In Twitter, one has to create it first and then use, OR use only those that are already created. There are separate protocols for each social networking site; these may or may not be similar.
  8. Don’t overdo it – Sometimes sharing your contents on each random page or comment section would rather repel the customers instead of liking it, since it more looks like a spam. So, avoid doing this frequently.

Sometimes the contents are so appealing that even an end-user would share it across his/her person profiles. If it is interesting then the sharing will be done by countless other people. Consider this as your score. Notice what exactly you did and that created an impact. You may also observe what your competitor does. The successes and failures of your competitors will teach you lots of lessons. But always keep in mind to never copy them.