Meaning Of Social Media Marketing: A Guide For Beginners
Today the most popular medium of entertainment, business, and education are social media sites. If you are looking to promote your brand economically with very less or no expenses then this article is for you. Let’s first understand social media marketing meaning. Today social media has made the world very small. Humans have now no boundaries to get success in the digitized world. Just with your fingertips, you can achieve anything and everything in the social media era.
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Here we will discuss social media marketing meaning, its benefits, and the best strategies to be adopted for business success.
What is the meaning of social media marketing?
1. The term, ‘marketing’, comes from a Latin word, ‘Mercatus’, which means marketplace. Social media marketing or SMM is the way of promoting any product or service using various social media websites.
2. Let’s understand it more simply. For any business growth, there is a need of advertising its services or products. In ancient days people used to travel door-to-door for selling their goods. Many studies show evidence of advertising, branding, packaging, and labeling in ancient times. In the 4th century, BC wine jars were labeled and branded with their producer names.
3. Then came the era of Radio and Television where advertising has taken one step further with broader coverage of people. But this was limited only for big brands as it was very expensive and not in reach of small brands.
4. Technology transformed very fast in the 2oth century after the invention of the first supercomputer. The first official social media site was ‘Six Degrees’ where users could update their profiles and chat with friends.
5. Today there is a tremendous improvement in networking and communication. It is nearly a magical boom in software with so many social media sites came up with the best of their features.
6. Let us understand social media marketing meaning in layman language. For example, you need to start a small fast food center near your home. Traditionally you will inform your friends, distribute some pamphlets in your neighborhood and your friend circle. This will fetch you a few customers to start with your business.
Now how to grow your business beyond your close contact groups. For this need to have some tool through which you can broadcast your product details so that a bigger crowd can know about your brand. Same time you want to share highlights of your product like its photos, your innovative ideas so that people find it interesting and bound to visit your shop.
All this is possible now with just pressing a few buttons on your mobile or laptop. This magical tool is a social media site and this technique of marketing is known as social media marketing or SMM.
7. Social media marketing meaning is managing your business smartly and powerfully. It is the way of marketing by digitally interacting with potential users. It is the method of selling your product from the comfort of your home. No door-to-door traveling still a tremendous opportunity for business growth.
8. One main point to be included while explaining Social media marketing meaning is that it covers a broad audience. Marketers can customize their profile and content as per the target audience or focused group. It also includes posting content, images, videos, etc. on different websites.
9.Social media networks allow businesses and organizations to interact with each other and can make communities of people with the same niche. It is a method of internet marketing that is used to achieve company goals.
10.The social media marketing can be categorized in two ways.
First is organic social media marketing– For small businesses, it is not worth to go for paid marketing on social web sites. They can take benefit from freely available features of social sites. For example, post sharing on Facebook and interacting with users on Twitter.
Second is paid social marketing-Paid social marketing is paid advertisements. It can also be paid videos or images. In this case, your content is directly presented in front of your customers.
11. Social media marketing mainly deals with customized content creation for individual social media sites as per the product required to get maximum customer engagements. Conventional marketing methods were generic and common for everyone. But today social media sites offer a very personalized and focused approach to address your customers.
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12.Social media marketing or SMM also deals with using different social media management tools for analyzing business growth and results. These tools offer features like scheduling future posts and updates, performance analysis, etc. They also offer social media monitoring and listening tools where you can come to know what people are saying about your business.
13.Social media marketing meaning is building social listeners across the various networks in diverse geometrical locations. Engaging customers and all stakeholders actively. For example, consumer advocacy groups criticize companies and brands on various social sites. Traditional media such as TV was limited to only one-way interaction while social media marketing involves two-way communication. They are participative and open. Social media sites encourage customers to share their views on their products and services.
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Top 7 Social Media Websites For Brand Marketing
Even though we normally hear about very limited websites but there are many social web sites available for marketing. To learn about social media marketing meaning we must know about social websites. Top sites are listed here with their main features:
Facebook was created by Mark Zuckerberg and his co-founders in 2004. It was made public in 2006. Today, Facebook has become one of the biggest social media sites in the world. Approximately two billion people use this site every month. Facebook is a social platform with the highest revenue. It is also the most popular social website in the world.
One can have a lot of flexibility with Facebook where images, videos, or text posts can be published widely. You can go live on Facebook, you can shop and share your stories also on this site. You need to optimize your content for mobile suitability as more than 90% of Facebook users are mobile app users.
For promoting your brand you need to set up a business page on Facebook as a beginner. There is a tool available for marketing your business known as Facebook business manager.
Instagram was started in 2010. Today it has 1 billion active users across the globe. As per a survey in statista,
approx. 63% of users of Instagram are between 18 and 34. Instagram is known as the most engaging social media site in the world.
The main highlight of Instagram is its photo and video sharing with eye-catching visuals. Instagram has also launched a longer video feature IGTV which compensates for its limitation of 1-minute video size.
As a beginner to promote your brand you can create an Instagram business profile. This will help you in the analytics and scheduling of your posts.
A survey shows that
“Over 2 billion logged-in users visit YouTube each month, and every day people watch over a billion hours of video and generate billions of views. More than 70% of YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices.”
After Google, YouTube is having the most popular search engine in the world. YouTube is mainly Video-based social media. You can upload short term or long term videos as per your business requirement.
Today most educational institutes like coaching centers, tutors use YouTube to communicate with students. Similarly, for food bloggers, YouTube is the best social media. You can start with creating a YouTube channel for your brand and start uploading your videos on YouTube.
WhatsApp was introduced in 2009.WhatsApp is a messaging social media. It started with texting friends but eventually, it became one of the convenient mediums for small businesses to interact with their customers.
The latest statistics show that “1.6 billion of its users access the messaging app every month. That’s 0.3 billion (or approximately 23 percent) more than its closest rival and parent company’s Facebook Messenger”. Hence, it is a winning deal for any business to go on WhatsApp for their brand.
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5. Tik Tok
TikTok was founded in 2016. TikTok is a video-sharing social media site. It allows users to create, edit, and share short-form video clips that are along with the latest music trends this media is more attractive to young-audience with age group less than 30 years.
TikTok has grown very fast and within only a few years of launching has become one of the fastest-growing apps worldwide and a global viral phenomenon.
Twitter was founded in 2006. A popular survey (statista) tells that Twitter is most popular in the United States where the microblogging audience is 68.7 million users. Japan ranked 2nd biggest user and India as the 3rd most popular in using Twitter.
Entertainment, Sports, or Politics are the most popular topics on Twitter. It emphasizes more on real-time data. People share just live information like breaking news from all over the world. Twitter has a tweet limitation of 280 characters which is much lesser than other social media sites.
LinkedIn was founded in 2002. It has 660 million users in over 200 countries.
Initially, it was mainly a resume and job search site. Today it has become a professional social media site where all big industrialists build their profiles here and share content and promote their brands. It is a strong medium for employers to get skilled employees by analyzing their profiles posted on LinkedIn.
Benefits of social media marketing:
So far we have tried to learn social media marketing meaning by seeing its various features and popular social media sites. Now we will look into its amazing benefits:
1. Enhances brand awareness
Begin with creating your business profile on social media sites and start communicating with people. Post your content supporting your brand. Once people start liking your content, your brand value will increase. These sites provide the most cost-effective way of marketing. Social media sites increase your brand value as it has broad audience coverage.
2. Creats human connections to your brand
It humanizes your brand by understanding user concerns and expectations. You can share your brand values with customers.
3. Increasesweb traffic
Your posts on social media are a great way of attracting web traffic to your web site. While understanding social media meaning it is critical to know how to divert network traffic to your web site. Good content published on social media sites gives you more visibility. Social chats like #HootChat on Twitter is also a nice way to show your presence and promote your brand.
4. Creats more leads
One major benefit of social media marketing is giving potential customers. If your content is impressive and your brand reviews are positive then there are tremendous opportunities to get new leads for your business.
5. Improves customer satisfaction
Using social media for customer service and customer support helps in fast and timely responses to customers. This enhances customer satisfaction which in turn grows your business opportunities.
6. Sales growth
As per a survey,
“In 2020, over 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide”.
With such great audience coverage, social media sites play a key role in increasing your sales. People prefer online shopping rather than going to the market for purchasing. Your thoughtful social media marketing strategies can fetch enormous opportunities for your business growth.
7. Best work from home opportunity for female business aspirants
Social media marketing is a great benefit to female marketers who want to start with their business from the comfort of their homes. They don’t need to travel to remote places for selling their products now. Especially it helps in rural areas where people do not have many privileges to get user connectivity and advertise their business. Now using just mobile phones they can start any small business and pursue their dreams. It is a boon for beginners.
8. Low risk, high gains
These sites provide a very cost-effective way of marketing. Most of the features are free which you can use to interact with your brand customers. Even paid features are also very cheap and affordable for everyone.
You don’t have to do any major investment in social media marketing so the risk is very low but the returns are very high in terms of growing your sales to many folds if you follow the correct strategies to communicate with your customers.
In any job, performance monitoring and analysis are of utmost importance. The same applies to business. You need to have periodic gate reviews of your business to make sure that you are on right track. If any deviation, corrections can be made in time without missing any targets.
There are several Social media tracking, and analytics tools available. To know complete social media marketing meaning, it is also important to identify analytics suitable to your business. Tools like Google Analytics and Hootsuite Impact track your business parameters like website traffic from social media, chats, email sign-ups, and return on investment (ROI) for both organic and paid social media campaigns.
For example, Google Analytics is a free tool provided by Google to analyze your website traffic. It measures the effectiveness of all the campaigns you are posting to promote your product or services online. This tool provides user acquisition data like age, gender, and interests. Similarly, it gives user behavioral data like how many times the user visited your site or how long they stayed on your website, and which pages they are mostly browsing.
This data gives you feedback about your product. You can analyze the data and take some corrective measures if required.
10. Better SEO ranking
Search engine optimization is very essential in effective social media marketing. Your website must get ranking on top pages of search engines.
Even though this article is to tell social media marketing meaning to beginners but right from the beginning it is important to focus on search engine rankings. If you see an example of Google search, no one sees content from pages other than the first page. Hence it is very important to generate attractive content that is linked to your keywords. The posts linked in your social media sites will gain more ‘Likes and ‘share’s if your content is great. This will enhance your website SEO ranking and increase web traffic to your site.
How to build a social media marketing strategy
For any business proper planning is very much essential. If we see details of social media marketing meaning, It also deals with social media business strategies. Following are few important methods to be taken care of while using social media sites for your business:
1. Be clear on the purpose why do you want your brand on social media
Before moving your business on social media you should define your social media marketing goals. Your expectations for both short term and long term goals should be defined. This will help in choosing the correct social media sites with the methods relevant to your business goals.
More or less every business has broadly following social media marketing goals:
- Enhanced brand awareness
- Diverting more web traffic to your business
- Automation of various tasks like customer support, FAQs
- Analyzing business growth
- Creating new customers
2. Know your target audience
You should identify the actual users of your product or services. For example, if you are planning to sell beauty products then more percentage of your target audience should be women. Once you recognize the correct user category, you can build all other strategies around this focus group.
3. Decide which social media network suits most to your brand
After identifying potential customers for your business you need to know which social sites they are using. You can go for a quick survey also for your customers to get the details of their choice of social sites.
Based on this data you can choose social media sites for marketing. Also, you can check various surveys done globally to get the data of users per social media site. This data can help finalize the sites which are popular among particular kind of customers. Click here to get such details for more clarity.
4. Write your content effectively
While writing content on social media sites the following points to be kept in mind:
- Content should suit your business theme. Focus on your brand niche and develop content around it. If your content is not relevant or very generalized then the audience may not get attracted to your website.
- Each social media site has its own way of content writing. You should first understand each social media site’s rules and best practices. For example, Twitter permits only 280 characters in a tweet. So you need to plan your content size accordingly. Similarly, Instagram and Pinterest are image-based social networks. Here, you should generate more image-centric content for your users.
- Content becomes more appealing if it has visual content like videos or infographic content. Go for pictorial content instead of pf plain text-based content.
- Include storytelling in your content. It is observed that people get more interest in the reading matter which is told in story format. It gives more involvement to readers.
5. Be interactive on social media
People don’t like to visit brands that just stress selling their products. Instead, your posts should be engaging with users. For example, you can ask questions on user experience with your product or service. Similarly, request any suggestion to improve your product. In this way, customers will get more personal treatment and they would like to visit your brand again.
6. Implementing chatbots for customer conversation
A chatbot is a software that automates conversations with customers. It has pre-programmed questions and answers. For example, It requests the user to select or choose the type of service they are looking for. Based on the user’s selection it will present a response to users.
There are chatbots with artificial intelligence are also available. Few third-party service providers help businesses to design their chatbots easily.
Chatbots can be used for customer service, sales, or even for FAQs.
7. Review feedbacks and comments posted for your brand
Any business can grow with continuous improvements only. Hence it is very important to get the pulse of customers about your product. Social media sites do play a very crucial role in providing reviews for your business. Look for all such reviews and get your business up to the mark to meet customer expectations.
8. Keep an eye on your competitors
Always check what your competitors’ are doing differently to attract customers. You need to change your business strategies accordingly. Always keep checking the new additions in the market for similar brands and be aligned with them. This will help you to be ahead of your competitors in the market.
9. Keep yourself upgraded with the latest technologies in social media
It is very critical to be in synch with the latest technology updates of social media sites. If you are not aware of the latest features of social media sites then you may not be compatible with new-generation users.
10. Timely posting
Do some investigation when your customers are online. Based on the age group, country, etc you can decide their availability and accordingly adjust post time. You can use inbuilt features of automatic postings as per the set time.
I hope, now you have understood what social media marketing means. As half of the world is using social media sites, It is highly recommended that you take your business on social media. With digitizing your products and services. You will see an entirely new dimension of success in this competitive world.