SMM stands for Social Media Marketing, and it is a way to promote products and services through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and others. Nowadays, social media platforms are an important channel to reach potential clients. According to statistics, more than half of the earth's population uses social platforms. At the same time, more and more companies are using social media to get in touch with their audience and promote their products or services. It means that being able to promote the business on social networks has become an integral part of an overall marketing strategy.
SMM can be really advantageous for companies in really different ways.
1) First of all, a social media presence helps to increase brand awareness. Creating social media profiles makes your brand more visible and reliable for customers and gives the opportunity to engage with wider audiences.
2) SMM also helps to increase customers’ satisfaction levels as social networks enable you to keep up with clients’ opinions, react to the negative ones and manage your reputation. In general, you can easily understand your customers, analyze their behavior, and build strong relationships with them by establishing a dialogue on social networks.
3) The large number of users makes it possible to attract new customers, especially through targeting. Social networks provide well-developed mechanisms for increasing website leads or gaining more followers. Therefore, it brings more sales and a higher level of revenue.
As SMM is an essential part of marketing, it is necessary to develop an SMM strategy. It is a detailed plan including social media goals, the tactics to achieve them, and the metrics to track the progress. Moreover, it should contain the roles and responsibilities of each team member.
1. First of all, it is necessary to set clear goals that align with your overall business strategy. To avoid setting wrong goals that will waste your time, you can use SMART goal setting. According to this framework, each goal should be:
· Specific – the goal is well-defined and easy to understand;
· Measurable – you have tools to measure how (un)successful your goal is;
· Attainable – the goal is realistically possible;
· Relevant – your goal is relevant to the existing overall business plans;
· Time-bound – the timelines for reaching the goal are set.
2. Next step is identifying the target audience. It is a highly important stage of developing the strategy as it gives an understanding of what content you need to create and share. It is a key element to be able to create content that your audience will like, comment on, and share. Do not rely on assumptions, but do research confirmed by reliable statistics and sources of information. Define the customer persona of your target audience through a deep study of needs and behaviour models. The most common things you should know are:
·Typical job or industry;
3. After defining the target audience, it is time to choose key social media platforms. There is a wide range of them, and you should take into consideration that different platforms attract different audiences, have different algorithms and other characteristics. Twitter is more suitable for news and blog updates, while Instagram is more about visual content. Analyze your competitors’ profiles and make sure that the social media platform is suitable for you in terms of your business field, target audience, cost of promotions, number of competitors, etc.
4. Then main metrics and KPIs should be determined. You should find indicators that are not just popular but really meaningful and relevant to your business. The most common are: people reached, number of likes, reposts and clicks, conversion rates, level of engagement. Set your target indicators and time limits for them.
5. Next, distribute the roles and responsibilities of each team member and set clear expectations. To avoid misunderstandings, you can use different tools like the RACI matrix or Gant chart or just creating a list of tasks and appointing a responsible person.
6. Thereafter content plan could be created. Your content should be separated into different groups. For example, it can include promotional, entertaining, and informative content. Create a social media content calendar so that you can prepare everything in advance. Decide on the time and frequency of your posts. And remember about the difference of platforms. Content needs to be adapted for each platform.
7. Finally, the progress should be always tracked so prepare a template to start collecting statistics (including metrics and KPIs) from the very beginning and analyzing it on a regular basis to understand the strengths and the weaknesses of the strategy. Be flexible to change your strategy and correct your course.
To sum up, SMM plays a crucial role in business promotion and branding. That is why it is really important to take time and allocate resources for creating a well-developed SMM strategy, which will pay off in the future.