Social Media Marketing (SMM) involves promoting websites, businesses or services through various social media channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube etc. Social Media Marketing provides a way for businesses to engage with existing customers as well as connect with new customers when they are enjoying their social media activities.

In general, people use social media when they have time in hand for engaging with something they like. So, when you use social media to reach out to people, it is almost certain that people are in listening mode. There is no better time to showcase your products to them and offer your services.

Social Media Marketing involves

  1. Maintaining accounts and profiles on all major social media channels
  2. Regularly creating and sharing brand content on the social media channels
  3. Boosting the content shared on the channels so that they will reach more people
  4. Paid advertising so that the marketing content reaches the targeted audience
  5. Involving in various communities and participating actively to show your brand presence to the related communities
  6. Engaging with your customers and potential customers to develop brand loyalty
  7. Listening to the target audience and learning that they are interested in. Responding to reviews and enquiries from social media users regarding your brand
  8. Responding to reviews and enquiries from social media users regarding your brand

While there are plenty of opportunities to promote your brand in social media, you will need to consider paid promotion opportunities offered by the social media platforms. Paid options will give you more opportunities to reach out to your specific audience even if they are not connected to you. Also, you can get more analytical data to understand how your audience is engaging with your content so that you can make changes to your strategies and plan your marketing budget.

Major Social Media Platforms

The following are the major social media platforms in the current market:

For business promotions, not all social media platforms work exactly the same way. Each platform has its own audience and has its own advertising channels.

As a brand or business that wants to explore all possibilities, you need to have a presence on all social media platforms mentioned above. However, where you need to focus more depends on where your target audience is. You will need to do some market study to understand which platform covers most of your audience,

Linkedin: If you like to reach out to C-suite executives or decision makers of big companies, then Linkedin may be a good choice. That is the platform people use to connect with professionals and top level managers. Also, Linkedin is a great platform for connecting with IT professionals

Instagram: If you like to promote your products to a young audience, then Instagram may be a good choice. Youngsters are more passionate about their Instagram profile than any other platforms.

Facebook: With over 2 billion active users, Facebook is the most popular social media platform. If you like to connect with a community who are interested in social communications, entertainment or general conversations, then Facebook may be a good choice to advertise your services.

When someone finds a good piece of content on social media, the immediate instinct is to share the same with friends and connections. Thus, an interesting piece of content can reach a wide audience through the viral effect of social media. So, one of the fundamental goals of social media marketing is to create viral content and distribute it through social media.

How businesses use social media?

Businesses use social media in several different ways. Some of them are:

  1. A business which is very cautious about their brand monitors social media conversations that mention their brand and respond to such conversations with the goal of maintaining the brand reputation. (Social media listening).
  2. Most businesses want to show their presence on the social media, so everyone creates a profile on all popular social media platforms
  1. A business which wants to share its products, services or news to their audience regularly shares their content on their social media channels.
  2. A business which wants to reach a specific set of people uses the targeted advertising options to advertise to the specific target audience (Social Media Advertising).
  3. A business that wants to engage with people and indirectly promote their business when opportunity comes would join several communities which include their target customers and actively participate in the discussions, indirectly promoting their business without making it look spammy (Indirect marketing/social networking).
  4. Some businesses create communities or pages and create informative content with the goal of building a follower base, which have the potential to convert into customers in future (Video marketing, YouTube channels etc).

All of the above activities are collectively called “Social Media Marketing”.

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