Social media marketing has become something of a buzz-phrase. While many brands have hopped on the social craze, several others still consider social media marketing, or SMM, expensive and unnecessary. Some may argue that their clients aren’t online or that they market to other businesses, making social platforms irrelevant.
Sound familiar? If so, keep reading!
Social media is a robust marketing tool with a broad range of capabilities. Whether you’re a B2C, B2B, or ecommerce brand, there are ways in which a detailed SMM strategy can help you drive brand awareness, generate leads, and boost sales.
In this article, we’re going to show you:
- Why your business needs a social media marketing strategy.
- How to develop an effective SMM plan.
- How working with a professional agency can help you get the best results.
Why Your Business Needs an SMM Strategy
You might still wonder why your business is in such dire need of a social media marketing strategy. However, the fact that you’re reading this article shows that you understand the need to include social media in your marketing plan. Here are a few of the top benefits for businesses.
Boost SERP Ranking and Website Traffic
Social media is the new word of mouth. If your brand is worth mentioning, people are going to be talking about you online. It doesn’t matter whether you’re aware of the chatter or not – it’s happening. Without an online and social media presence, you have little to no control over the chatter, and that may just be costing you valuable traffic and conversions.
Having a social media strategy allows you to interact with potential customers while protecting your business’ reputation. It also gives you the opportunity to answer questions, show expertise, and drive users to your website.
In turn, the increased traffic and links to your website will help to boost your search engine rank (SERP), increasing your visibility and making it easier to find and contact you.
What if your clients are other businesses? Then it’s just about using the right social media network to target them.
According to GWI, 71% of decision-makers say that social media plays a critical role in their decision-making process. Additionally, over 33% use networks to discover new products and services, while another 30% use social media to compare prices. In fact, social media outranks all other forms of media, including TV, radio, and printed media.
Gain Audience Insights
Social media can provide you with valuable insights into your audience and even help you identify potential clients you may not have noticed.
For example, Old Spice used to be the man’s man deodorant brand. However, it soon became known as the brand for “old men,” and its ratings began to drop. To revitalize their client base, Old Spice used audience insights to see how they could improve.
The result? One of the funniest and longest-running digital marketing campaigns. Soon, women everywhere suddenly found themselves inspired to buy Old Spice because of the “Man Your Man Could Smell Like.”
Understanding your audience will help you find the best ways to target them, whether they’re consumers or other businesses. Find their pain points and show them just how creatively and effectively you can make their problems disappear.
Generate Leads and Drive Sales
Consumer brands don’t leave their marketing in the hands of the retailers who sell their products. If Old Spice did that, their campaign wouldn’t have reached the viral success it has today.
Social media is a fantastic way to generate leads and drive sales. It’s simply about refining your message and giving decision-makers a simple reason and way to connect with you.
If you’re looking for B2B examples, you need to look no further than Google, Cisco, Salesforce, Oracle, Intel, or Hubspot. In fact, they do brand marketing so well that it’s easy to forget that they, too, primarily target companies and not general consumers.
Showcase Expertise and Thought Leadership
Clients, particularly B2B buyers, don’t want to spend their money on an inferior product or work with an unstable company. They want to build partnerships with thought leaders and experts. That’s why many top brands use social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn to showcase their expertise through:
- Authoritative blogs and articles.
- Creative and effective outreach programs.
- Live videos and Q&As.
- Tutorials and webinars.
Simply putting something on your website isn’t enough anymore. Using social media forms part of an inbound marketing strategy that allows you to showcase your expertise, letting clients know why they should come to you.
How To Develop an Effective Social Media Marketing Plan
Developing a marketing strategy is a complex process that involves a combination of paid and organic posts and content. However, we will share a few of our tips for a creative and effective strategy.
Identify And Use The Right Platforms
As we mentioned earlier, the only way to have an effective social media marketing strategy is to target your audience on the correct platforms. A CTO isn’t going to visit Pinterest for IT infrastructure recommendations, and a stay-at-home mom isn’t going to buy baking recipes on LinkedIn.
Use The Appropriate Content Formats
Video and visual content typically outperform most other types of content. However, it’s vital to understand what your audience wants to see. Do they want a detailed tutorial video on your latest product, or would they instead read through a quick half-page summary highlighting the value points?
Understand what your audience wants and give it to them clearly and concisely.
Work With An Experienced Agency
Very rarely do business owners and marketers have the time to build, refine, and deploy social media marketing strategies. It’s a time-intensive and ongoing process that requires dedicated resources with technical, real-world experience.
Working with an experienced agency helps you save on the costs of hiring a dedicated team while also providing you with access to top experts and professional marketers.
Conclusion: Social Media Marketing is a Must for Business
Whether you’re selling to consumers or businesses, a social media marketing strategy can help you raise brand awareness, generate leads, and drive sales. It should be a vital part of your overall marketing plan. However, it’s just as critical to work with a team or agency that understands your needs and audience. With the right expertise, you can revitalize your marketing, gain audience insights, and boost your revenue.