Besides SEO and content marketing, SMM is an essential component of inbound marketing. Social media marketing has helped companies large and small reach more than 3.48 users worldwide and growing. Social networking sites have also become an important means of communication with family, friends and the world at large, self-expression, in addition to exploring and interacting with different brands.
What strengthened the role of social networking sites in the marketing process, as users spend many hours of the day on them and are more interactive and responsive. Therefore, the presence of companies on these social platforms has become a non-negotiable matter, and their absence means more losses, as the rule says: “It should be where it is.” There is your audience.” If you are a product or service provider or the owner of a small or large business, this article was written for you.
- What is social media marketing?
- The importance of social media marketing
- Fundamentals of social media marketing
- Social media marketing strategies
- Tools and software to help you with social media marketing
- Tips when marketing through social media
- Advantages of social media marketing
- Disadvantages of social media marketing
What is social media marketing?
Marketing through social media platforms is the promotion and advertisement of a specific brand – a product or a service – on various social media platforms, such as: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and others . This is to achieve a set of marketing objectives including increasing brand awareness , increasing sales, attracting more visits to the company’s website and building brand loyalty .
The main goal of targeting social media in marketing is to publish attractive content that the audience shares and interacts with, in order to achieve the greatest presence of the brand. Marketing through social media helps companies to:
- Building interactive communities on social media platforms.
- Increase brand awareness.
- Increase Sales.
- Study the audience by listening to them and measuring how they feel about the brand.
- Communicate with customers and provide high quality customer service.
- Advertise products and services to the target audience.
The importance of social media marketing
Why is e-marketing via social media important? Users of social networking sites are increasing day by day, which has made presence on these sites imperative and very important for small and large companies alike. Here are a set of reasons why your company should join the race for promotion through social networking sites:
First: increasing the rate of visits
The use of social media has become a daily activity for people of this age, especially the Arab public, whose statistics show a strong and remarkable presence on these platforms, which has made the Middle East one of the most used regions in the world, according to the How Social Media is Used in the Middle East 2020 report . So you can use social network marketing to increase your company’s website visits.
Second: the cost
Social media is one of the most important low-cost marketing methods, so you can still create a free account for your company and launch an advertisement at costs that suit your budget. More importantly, social media sites have a higher conversion rate, so that a potential customer converts into an actual customer, by improving your brand trust and credibility.
Third: humanizing the brand
One of the advantages of social media marketing is that it humanizes the brand through its interaction with the audience, which increases brand popularity and sales, as customers spend 40% more on brands that interact with them and respond to them through social media.
Fourth: Understand and study your audience
Social media enables you to understand customers and know their trends and behaviors when purchasing, and this contributes to improving marketing messages and product development to meet customer needs, and this social listening process gives you a range of benefits, including:
- Learn about new trends in the market.
- Identify new sources of income.
- Gain insights about the industry.
Fifth: Analytics and measurement
The information we obtain from analyzing social media data helps us understand user behavior, know the best times to post content, improve marketing strategy, and analyze competitors.
If you’re still in doubt about the impact of social media on marketing, here are the results of a HARRIS survey of 1,000 US consumers and 250 executives, in order to understand their interaction with social media in the US:
- 55% of consumers learn about new brands through social networking sites
Social media has become a window for exploring new products and services. The advertising and marketing content of brands lives side by side with the regular content that the user watches, so that it cannot be ignored, as happens with television ads, bearing in mind that the users of social networking sites are growing. They are expected to reach 243 million users in 2025 in the United States of America alone.
- 68% of consumers agreed that social media enabled them to interact with different companies and brands
Advertising through traditional media is one of the traditional marketing methods, but its disadvantage is that it is one-way, meaning that the message reaches from the advertiser to the future without the latter being able to interact with it, while social media gives consumers a unique opportunity to communicate and engage with brands.
At least 2 out of 5 consumers report that they engage with the brand by following it on social media and interacting with its posts. So, brands are constantly interacting with consumers, engaging in two-way communication with them.
- 43% of consumers use social media to discover new products
The survey stated that 78% of consumers want to buy from a specific company, after having a positive experience with it through social networking sites. A positive experience with a brand on social networks is of great importance, whether through high-quality customer service or showing understanding of your customers at the level Individuals, it reflects positively on your brand, not only in increased sales , but consumers are more likely to choose your brand over competitors, recommend the brand to their network and feel stronger brand loyalty.
- 80% of entrepreneurs think it is very important to invest additional resources in social media marketing
62% of consumers believe that brands need a strong social presence in order to succeed in the long term, and 91% of executives have decided to increase their social media marketing budgets, to reach 50% in 2024, so that this budget is allocated to hiring or Paid advertising, or the production of more valuable and attractive content.
- 72% of companies use social media data to guide business decisions
This proves that companies use the information received about customer interaction with the brand through social networking sites, to understand the buying habits and behaviors of customers, thus improving the marketing strategy and product optimization.
These statistics are clear evidence of the role of social networks in contemporary marketing. Now that you are convinced of the importance of social media marketing, let’s begin the journey to enhance your brand’s presence on it, by understanding the basic pillars of social media marketing.
Fundamentals of social media marketing
Social media marketing is based on a set of pillars, namely:
1. Adopt a social strategy
The first pillar of social media marketing is building a customer-centric social strategy, and to achieve this, you must develop an accurate answer to these questions:
- What are your goals for social media marketing?
- What is the right platform that will help you achieve your goals?
- What type of content attracts your audience?
2. Planning and publishing
When we deal with the means of communication as a means of marketing, we must plan well and build a focused strategy to interact with the audience. You must be fully aware of the following:
- The times when your potential customers are on social media.
- Analyze and measure the reach of your message to the audience.
- Checking the attractiveness of the published content.
- Paying attention to drafting posts for social media.
3. Listen and share
Usually, the number of followers is small when creating a new account on social networking sites, but this number increases with the publication of attractive content, as the audience begins to communicate with you, whether through comments or page messages, and here you have to listen to your audience by absorbing and interacting with their messages And respond to them as quickly as possible, and solve the problems they face, in the event that these messages or comments deal with a specific problem they face with your company.
4. Analytics and reports
Analysis and reporting is one of the cornerstones of social media marketing. Check out some important information to help you in social media marketing including:
- The posts that achieved the most reach during the month.
- Total positive mentions you get during the month.
- The number of people using the hashtag or company name.
- The number of people sharing, commenting, and liking the posts on the page.
- Number of followers compared to last month.
Funded ads on social media are an important way to reach the largest number of customers, as many social media sites place a set of restrictions on free access to customers, and here paid advertising is the solution . In fact, it is a solution worth investing in, as it helps to reach the target audience accurately, so you can rely on funded ads to raise awareness of your brand and reach the largest number of users.
Social media marketing strategies
A social media marketing strategy can be defined by hootsuite as: a document that defines the goals you want to achieve through social media marketing, the tactics you will use in order to achieve this, and the metrics you will rely on to measure your success.
The social media marketing strategy should define the platforms you will work on, the goals for each platform, the plan should define the roles and responsibilities within your team, and set the tone for your reporting. There are a set of steps that must be followed when developing and implementing a social media marketing strategy. Social networking sites, including:
First: Choose your social media marketing goals
Your marketing strategy should include SMART goals , meaning your goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, and time-bound.
Second: know your audience well
The second step is to know your target audience accurately, in order to create content that appeals to them. In this context, there is a range of information that you should know, including: age, geographic location, average income, employment status, interests of your customers, and more. Social media analytics can help you understand your current audience and how they interact with your brand, helping you improve ideas and better reach your target audience.
1. Know your competition
It is a good idea to study your competitors and benefit from what they are doing, by conducting a competitive analysis to get new ideas in your field, setting goals for your social media strategy, and discovering more opportunities.
2. Select a social media platform
There is a mistake that most beginners make when using social media in marketing, which is focusing on all social media sites without achieving any result, and the best is to choose one or two social media platforms and focus on them to achieve the best results.
There is a good way that may help you choose the appropriate platforms and focus on them, which is to search for influencers in your field, track the platforms on which they work the most, and know the number of their followers on each platform and where they achieved better results.
Some questions may help you when determining the appropriate social media platform for your business, including: Is your customer base present on this platform or not? Does this platform fit your brand personality? For example, if your company targets women under the age of 25, then Instagram is the right platform for you, but if your company is B2B , then you mainly target companies, and therefore LinkedIn may be the right platform for your business. In general, ask yourself these questions:
- Is my company B2C or B2B?
- What is the target market for my company? Who is my ideal customer?
- What is my ultimate goal of social media marketing?
Here is a simple synopsis that will help you understand users on some social media sites, which will make it easier for you to target your audience correctly:
- The YouTube
Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day, it is the best place to post your long-form content for your marketing campaign.
It is one of the social networking sites, the site has brought in nearly 15 billion visits during the period from May 2019 to May 2020. If you are targeting teenagers and young adults, then SnapShab is your ideal platform
- snap chat
The site is used by about a million people daily, 61% of whom are women, and perhaps the most important characteristic of Snapchat users is that they are young, as the percentage of teenagers who use the site is about 69%, and it is known that the content published on Snapchat is transient and short, as the photos and videos disappear after 10 seconds max.
If your brand is targeting women, Pinterest is the platform of choice, because 60% of the platform’s monthly users are female, and Pinterest also features that images appear better.
- Tik Tok
It is a Chinese video sharing app launched in 2016. The site has more than 800 million active users around the world.
Facebook has the largest number of users, with more than 2.45 billion users .
The short tweets site has millions of users and is very active in a number of Arab Gulf countries
Third: Improve your social media profiles
After completing the identification of the social media platforms that you will target, make improvements to your company’s social media profiles, as this will ensure that you increase the number of followers, in addition to contributing to search engine optimization . Here is a set of general rules that apply to various social networking sites, and that contribute to improving your company profile:
- Use a real photo or your company logo, and avoid using anything unreal or images of animals.
- Write a good description of or about your company, including your background or the company, as well as your experiences and accomplishments.
- Write a user description about the content you will be posting, eg will you be posting content about family relationships, SEO, healthy weight, etc. So that it enables the user to form a correct expectation about the publications that he will receive from the site.
Fourth: Link your website to your company’s social media
After choosing the appropriate social media platforms, and preparing your company profile in the best possible way, it is time to link the communication platforms of the website. This is a huge advantage, as it makes social media sites and search engines know which website is compatible with your communication platforms.
Fifth: Add social media buttons on the website
In addition to linking the site to communication platforms, your company’s social media buttons must be added to the website, so that site visitors can easily access them, taking into account that they are placed in a prominent place for readers, and that the buttons are larger in size, in order to get more clicks One of the smaller buttons.
Sixth: Find and follow influencers in your field
Finding and following influencers in your industry has many benefits, including benefiting from the content and information they post, as well as the ability for their followers to follow you.
Seventh: Maintain a balance between your followers
You should keep in mind the balance between the number of people you follow and those who follow you, for several reasons, the most important of which are:
- Software applications usually use a ratio (followers/unfollowers) to make suggestions about who to follow.
- This percentage is mainly a matter of trust, for example: which do you think is better, an account that has 100 followers and 500 followers, or vice versa?
Eight: Share good content on social media
“Content is king.” This phrase is absolutely correct, because publishing interesting and attractive content, whether it is text, image, or video, has a great role in attracting a large number of followers, and benefiting from their interaction with publications, but what is interesting content? Some studies conducted in this context see interesting content as a combination of:
- Articles and stories that relate to your business.
- Interesting statistics that relate to your industry.
- Motivational quotes.
- Research studies.
- Video clips and photos.
- Post funny things from time to time.
- Use hashtags, especially on Twitter and Pinterest.
There is no doubt that you are now wondering about how to balance these elements within the content, and in fact there is more than one rule that can help you in that, and you can use any of them and change them from time to time, including:
The 80/20 rule
This rule is very useful for beginners, and means that 80% of posts on social platforms are concerned with educating, entertaining or educating the audience, while 20% of posts are directly concerned with branding.
The rule of thirds for content marketing through social media
This rule includes the following:
- One-third of the content posted on social platforms is brand-new, generates revenue, and drives readers to the site.
- The second third of the content is concerned with stories and ideas from opinion leaders in your field.
- The last third are posts intended for personal interaction with the audience.
In general, the content strategy on social media aims to:
- Create valuable content.
- Encourage the public to participate.
- Increase conversions.
Ninth: Post several times a day, but in moderation
A lot of people, especially newbies to social media marketing, ask how many times a day should I post? In fact, the answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the network on which you work. There are some studies that analyzed the impact of frequent posting on social networking sites, and reached some results, including:
- If it’s a personal account, post several times a day, especially on Facebook.
- If the account is for business, post 1-2 times per day and no more than 7 times per week.
- The more you tweet , the more followers you will have. The relationship here is direct between the number of followers and the number of tweets.
- Post on Pinterest several times a day.
- Follow your social media.
Digital marketing tools on social media
In addition to the capabilities provided by social networking sites, including the page manager and the ads manager provided by Facebook, there are a group of sites and applications that help you in creating and managing content on social networking sites, including:
This site detects grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors within the English text, so it is very useful when publishing an article or blog. You can write directly on the site or copy and paste the text into the box provided for that. The program is available in a free version, and you can also enjoy the additional features for subscribing to the site and paying $ 11.66 per month.
This tool helps you to identify hard-to-read areas within the text, as well as incorrect English, grammatical errors, and is completely free.
It makes your social media posts more attractive, but the problem for marketers is that every platform requires a certain image size. This tool helps you solve this problem, all you have to do is download the image you want, and then obtain several copies of it, suitable for each platform separately.
This program helps you create your video content easily and easily, and share it through various social media, and it is completely free, but the program’s trademark will remain on the videos, if you want to put your watermark instead, you can subscribe to the program on a monthly basis for 9.99 dollar.
Fifth: Google Alerts
This great free tool helps you track your brand or competitors’ brands, or any keyword you want to know everything about it daily, all you have to do is activate Google Alerts , select the keyword you want to track, then Google will send you a report about it via email daily.
Social media marketing tips
1. Use chatbots
Chatbots are the only digital tool that can communicate with your customers and save a lot of time and effort, in addition to the speed of response and interaction with customers. Chatbots can answer customer questions, require no coding knowledge, and integrate with all major payment systems. Simply integrate AI- powered chatbots into your company’s social media strategy.
2. Create a community for your audience
Make your company’s social media have a natural personality, so that users don’t feel like they’re interacting with a bot. You can achieve this by instilling a sense of humor, to enable your audience to connect emotionally with your brand. Don’t make your audience lose passion for you, here are these tips that will make your posts more interactive:
- Ask questions of your audience.
- Collect their opinions on some matters and issues.
- Share valuable information with your audience, rather than information about your products and services.
- Ask your audience to interact directly with your posts, whether by liking or sharing.
- Improve your company’s social media profiles.
3. Use brand advocates
The best way to promote your brand is people who love your brand, who can be leveraged along with your employees.
4. Create a social media budget
Allocate a special budget for social media marketing for your company, in order to reach the target audience. According to research conducted by ForresterK, digital marketing spending is expected to reach $120 billion in the near future.
5. Launch advertising campaigns on social media
Take advantage of the live broadcast, you can take advantage of the live broadcast on social media, in order to share a story about your company with the audience, this mechanism will make your audience feel as if they are not talking with just a money-making machine, which increases the emotional interaction with customers.
Benefits of social media marketing
- Reach a large audience through social media.
- Create a direct connection with your audience.
- Post marketing content for free.
- Increase brand awareness and build brand loyalty.
- Your content can go viral on social media.
- Introducing the product or service.
Disadvantages of social media marketing
- If your product or service is not good, you will receive many negative comments.
- Social media takes more time to build an engaged audience.
In conclusion, in this article, we discussed social media marketing, its definition, importance, and its most important pillars and strategies. If you are the owner of a startup or a large company, you can still increase your sales, increase your market share, and reach your customers wherever they are, through marketing via social media.
You can also achieve this by taking care of your company’s marketing team, or hiring one of the professional freelancers who provide social media marketing services on the Khamsat platform, the largest Arab platform for buying and selling microservices, obtaining a professional file for your company, and understanding your customers better.