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What is social media marketing?

By Becky Cleary – Social media account director

Becky Cleary from Birmingham-based social media agency Cartwright Communications examines how social media marketing can impact your digital strategy.

Social media is the coal face of your brand – it shapes how consumers interact with your company, it can be a powerful sales tool and can drive traffic and engagement to your website or online store. However, many brands don’t fully understand how to harness their audience on the platforms that matter to them or spread themselves too thinly across multiple platforms, rather than focusing their energy. 

What is social media marketing? 

Social media marketing, (SSM), refers to the ways in which businesses use social media networks to market products or services. It’s crucial to have a clear brand identity, define what each platform’s primary purpose is and to post consistent, useful content to create a community of engaged users. 

Why is social media marketing important?  

Social media marketing enables brands to reach new audiences, interact with their customers, collect crucial data and create conversions. The more you know about your audience, the better you can provide useful content for them, target them at the right time and make it easier for customers to interact with their feedback. Once you have a big enough community, you can then make use of user generated content and online shares to spread your message further. 

Social media marketing can be a more cost-effective way of promoting your business and allows you to build stronger relationships with your users. 

Many businesses find that a focus on a rough split of mostly informational messaging, a smaller portion of fun company culture content which showcases the more emotional side of the brand and an even smaller portion of promotional content which pushes services and products can all bring great results.  

4 Tips for building an effective social media strategy 

1. Decide which platforms work for your brand 

There’s little to no point creating a profile on every social media platform if it isn’t tailored to your brand’s content. For example, if your content is based on in-depth webinars, explainer videos and tutorials, you may want to focus on your YouTube presence. If you’re looking to talk to a professional audience, B2B clients and to reiterate your core company values, Linkedin might be the platform that suits best.  

Once you’ve finalised your platforms, make sure your profile is complete and links to your site, that your posts are relevant, diverse and engaging – with calls to action – and decide on the relevant split between paid and organic social in your strategy. Don’t forget to communicate with other brands – repost and interact with your community regularly.  

2. Set your metrics 

Your strategy should be overarching, looking ahead so that you can plan your main focuses for the year and have clear KPIs. Whether you’re aiming to reach a certain number of followers, increase your audience growth rate, boost clicks, shares or video plays, start tracking these from the beginning and review regularly to see what’s working and what’s not. Don’t feel that your strategy needs to be fixed; it can adapt to reactive changes on your channels. 

The best goals are measurable, relevant to your business goals, clear cut and achievable. It can also be useful to benchmark against competitors in the industry to see where you sit amongst the competition.  

3. Analyse your results 

Assess your analytics results regularly. For example, set up a monthly social media marketing report which rounds up all your key metrics and then dig deeper for further insights. Look at what kinds of posts generate engagement, whether your follower count is growing steadily, when engagement peaks and spikes and most importantly, what isn’t working and unnecessarily taking up resources. 

It’s also worth focusing on implementing social media SEO (search engine optimisation) best practice across your platforms and using formats that the platforms were specifically designed to showcase. Conduct A/B testing to determine what works and what doesn’t. 

4. Listen to the trends 

Things change very quickly on social media and sometimes it pays to jump on new trends, learn from others and gain sector insights. You might also want to identify key influencers in your industry who you can form partnerships with and potentially work with to gain access to their audiences. There are various industry tools which can be used for social listening, tracking terms and hashtags. 

Get in touch for help from our social media experts 

Do you need a social media agency in Birmingham? Contact us today and our social media and marketing team will conduct a free consultation and put together a tailored strategy specifically crafted for your brand.  

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