Social Media Marketing (SMM)

What percentage of Marketers value Social Media Marketing as an integral part of their overall marketing strategy?96%
96%

SMM Is Must To Propel Traction

A few years ago, as long as the brands were present on social media, they were doing more than there competition.

But this scenario has changed drastically, with a little over 30% millennials saying that they engage with a brand on social media more than once a month.

The definition of social media is the use of web-based and  mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue. Social networking, on the other hand, is a social structure with people who are joined by a common interest.

A social network site is a social media site that allows users to connect and share with people who have similar interests and backgrounds.

Different Types of Social Media Platforms to serve ads –

  • Social networking (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+).
  • Microblogging (Twitter, Tumblr).
  • Photo sharing (Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest).
  • Video sharing (YouTube, Facebook Live, Periscope, Vimeo).

Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service.A social media marketing campaign is a coordinated marketing effort to assist with a or reinforce a business goal using one or more of the social media platforms.

Social media campaigns differ from just social media efforts because of their increased focus, targeting and measurability. Social media interactive campaigns work wonderfully and deliver exceptional results.

Social Media Marketing (SMM) gains attention and traffic through social media sites. SMM uses social media websites and platforms to generate leads and sell a product or a service. Companies tap their current and potential customers, current and prospective employees, bloggers, their target audience and in fact tap the general public or as they say the entire world wide west.

They do this through applied filters on social media channels. Digging through your social channels is nearly impossible without monitoring or listening to specific keywords, phrases or hashtags.

Engagement metrics paint a better picture because building lasting relationships works on social –
  • Reach: Post reach is the number of unique users who saw the post. Reach gives us an idea if the posted content is spreading across the social platform and if it is actually successful in reaching the user’s feeds.
  • Clicks: This is the number of clicks on the posted content. Link clicks are critical toward understanding how users move through the marketing funnel. Tracking clicks per social media marketing campaign is essential to understand what drives curiosity or encourages people to buy.
  • Engagement: The total number of social interactions divided by number of impressions. It is about figuring out who interacted and if it was a good ratio out of the total post or campaign reach. This sheds light on how well the audience perceives the brand and their willingness to interact and engage.
  • Sentiment: This is the measurement of how users reacted to the brands content or hashtag. Did customers find the recent campaign offensive, good or great? What type of sentiment are people associating with the brand’s campaign hashtag? It is always better to dig deeper and find out what people are actually saying.
  • Organic and paid likes: The likes are generated from paid or organic content. For channels like Facebook, organic engagement is much harder to gain traction, which is why many brands turn to Facebook Ads. However, it is relatively easier on Instagram to earn organic likes.

It is also necessary to find the perfect balance between target content and being overly promotional. In fact, almost 50% of users say that they will unfollow a brand if there are too many promotional messages. Moreover, approximately 40% of users say they will unfollow a brand that shared too much of irrelevant content.

Brands gain respect by just being present and talking to your audience on social media. That’s why social customer care is extremely important to brands wanting to increase audience awareness. It is all about engagement and brands should not miss out on an opportunity to converse with social audience. Most users believe brands should respond to social media messages within four hours whereas most brands take more than double of this time to respond to users.

SMM Fuels E-Word Of Mouth

Social media campaigns utilize one or more of the social media channels be it Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google Plus, etc all to promote a message, build awareness or a brand.

LinkedIn and Facebook are leading social media platforms where clients can hyper target their ads.

Hyper-targeting not only uses public profile information but also information users submit but hide from others.

Most of these social media platforms have their own built-in data analytics tools which help the marketer to keep a tab on the progress of the campaigns, the level of engagement being generated, the success of the campaigns and the overall performance of the campaigns.

The essential demographics data for each major network:
  • Facebook’s most popular demographics include:
    • Women users (89%)
    • 18-29 year olds (88%)
    • Urban- and rural-located users (81% each)
    • Those earning less than $30,000 (84%)
    • Users with some college experience (82%)
  • Instagram’s most popular demographics include:
    • Women users (38%)
    • 18-29 year olds (59%),
    • Urban-located users (39%)
    • Those earning less than $30,000 (38%)
    • Users with some college experience (37%)
  •  Twitter’s most popular demographics include:
    • Women users (25%)
    • 18-29 year olds (36%)
    • Urban-located users (26%)
    • Those earning $50,000-$74,999 (28%)
    • Users with college experience or more (29%)
  • LinkedIn’s most popular demographics include:
    • Men users (31%)
    • 18-29 year olds (34%)
    • Urban-located users (34%)
    • Those earning $75,000 or more (45%)
    • Users with college experience or more (50%)
  • Snapchat and other auto-delete app’s most popular demographics include: 
    • Men users (24%)
    • 18-29 year olds (56%)
    • Those earning less than $50,000 (27%)
    • Users with some college experience (27%)

Social networking sites act as word of mouth or more accurately e-word of mouth. Social media websites help companies to interact with all their stakeholders and help build relationships and online communities.

Benefits Of Advertising Through Social Media 

  • Grow your sales and your fanbase.
  • Use customer generated content for ads (which perform better, too!).
  • Better target net new and returning customers (so you waste less money).
  • A/B test on the fly, using platform analytics to determine winners.

It is of general perception that social media is not very helpful for B2B companies..however that is not the case. Social media is also very useful for B2B companies..here is how a couple of these social media platforms are useful for B2B companies

Facebook For B2B

There is a common misconception that FB is not for B2B marketers. But 8 in 10 adults in India use Facebook. So if B2B is not on FB it is missing out. Why ? Because if 8 in 10 adults are in FB then B2B’s prospects are on FB. It is not anymore B2B but H2H.

But B2B will use FB differently than a human being. It will need to have a Business Page and have engaging content on that.

  1. B2B Facebook Post Timing Strategy

B2B can follow the below FB posting day and timing guidelines –

  • Thursday is the most active day on Facebook and the best day to post on Facebook.
  • 1 p.m. on Thursday is the most active time on Facebook and the optimum time to post on Facebook.
  • If B2B still must post on other days, then 9 am to 3 pm is the best time bracket to post for higher engagement and results.
  • Best posting days are from Wednesday to Sunday and this will also apply to B2B.
  • The least recommended timings are early mornings and late nights.

  

2. B2B Facebook Content Strategy

  • Images

The content should be compelling and helpful to the audience.  Being visual helps. Posts with images create 2.3 times more engagement. So B2B must make good use of images wherever possible when making a FB post.

  • Videos

Videos are in high demand and 43% of users would like to see even more from marketers. However only 15% videos are watched with sound. Hence videos should be easy to comprehend and should carry captions. Hence B2B should attempt to use of relevant and helpful videos in its FB post to grow engagement and association.

  • Do not post too many posts as it may tend to get annoying for the readers.
  • Keep the FB content fresh.
  • Engage – do not wait for the audience to interact first. Move towards conversation and engagement.
  • B2B must actively share links of articles posted on its website on it’s FB page.
  • Using emoticons increases comments by 33% and makes posts be shared 33% more often and get liked 57% more often than posts without emoticons (source: AMEX OPEN Forum infographic.)
  • Question posts get more comments (source: Hubspot).

3. Run campaigns

Targeted campaigns to employees of a specific company say a GE, Philips, Siemens, etc will yield the desired results.

4. Join relevant FB groups to drive relevant traffic to B2B’s website through relevant Link Sharing on these Group Pages

5. Engage with other relevant FB Pages through Comments, etc

6. Use FB Url in Email Signature to establish connect with Social Handles

7. Think Outside the Box and create a FB Contest to drive engagement

A 2013 stated that 35% of Facebook fans like a page so they can participate in contests.

People love contest and free stuff. Doing a Facebook contest for your fans will give you higher engagement scores and activity. A simple “caption-this-photo” contest can bring in 5.5 times more connects than regular posts.

Twitter For B2B

Every B2B entity must develop it’s Twitter Strategy.

The question that should be kept in mind here is – Who do we want to reach with our tweets?

Professional tweeting adds value with each tweet.

B2B’s must adopt these below best practices to spark conversations and keep its audience engaged.

  1. Write a Good Bio

Writing an engaging bio that clearly explains what the B2B does will help people to know whether they want to follow the B2B or not. The bio must include a link to the B2B website to drive referral traffic and allow users to discover more.

  1. Adopt the KISS technique. KISS stands for Keep It Short & Simple

A concise tweet makes an impact. We keep each tweet focussed on one specific message rather than giving away multiple messages. B2B can include a link to its landing page to convey a longer message.

  1. B2B should Use Visuals in its tweets

Adding a relevant image or video in a tweet makes the tweet more compelling giving it a personality of its own and thus leading to higher engagement rates. Statistics show that tweets which carry an image or video have three times higher engagement rates. Twitter allows four images to be included in a tweet.

  1. B2B should incorporate Relevant Hashtags

Hashtags are powerful tools that allows to expand the reach of the post by tapping into relevant conversations happening on that hashtag. B2B must focus on keywords that are relevant to its business. Best practices recommend not using more than two hashtags per tweet. Hashtags can also be deployed by identifying popular events with which B2B can link its business.

  1. B2B should Ask Questions and Run Polls

Asking questions is an effective way to interact with the target audience, bring readers into the conversation and understand people’s opinion. B2B can use Twitter Polls to execute a survey on a topic or Tweet open ended questions to understand people’s or target audience’s sentiments.

  1. B2B should Curate and Connect through Retweets and Replies

Retweeting relevant content and replying to Tweets are a great way to maintain a robust Twitter presence. Positive customer feedback, helpful articles, and messages that align with B2B’s business’s authentic voice are all impactful content to retweet. The rule of thumb here is – B2B’s retweets should reflect on its business and should align with its purpose and values. People love to talk to businesses directly on Twitter.

B2B must be responsive to questions, comments, and criticisms that comes its way. To avoid long exchanges, B2B can switch to Direct Messages to resolve complex issues.

  1. To make Tweets look Neat – B2B can use Link Shorteners like Bitly, Tinyurl, etc
  1. B2B should Respond to any question/s on Twitter Quickly to create a Responsive and a User-Friendly Persona 
  2. B2B should Retweet its Own Content more than once to extend the life of its tweets

B2B should retweet the same content a maximum of 4 times – once every 8 hours to attract a broader reach with limited overlap.

  1. Strategically Choose People whom B2B wants to follow

B2B should create Twitter lists. These are Twitter users whom B2B wants to follow. While Twitter lists can be as large as we want, we need keep the number of people manageable so that we are not overwhelmed with the stream. Further we don’t have to create lists from scratch. We can use other people’s lists as a shortcut. Lists can be public or private.

11. B2B should Time its Tweets to reach its key audience

B2B can use an app like Tweriod to determine the peak times of B2B’s followers on Twitter and accordingly time its tweets.

Google+ For B2B

Google+ is home to vibrant, active communities that foster deep engagement. The trick for B2B is to adopt strategies to take advantage of these communities to build long-lasting relationships with its core audiences.

B2B can adopt the below strategies –

1. Make B2B’s Google+ Page Findable

To make sure B2B’s Google+ page is easily findable, B2B can add a Google+ badge on its website. Badge will make it easy for visitors to find and engage with B2B in one simple click of a mouse.

2. Network Strategically with Circles

Curation isn’t just for content; it can be an important tool for organizing B2B’s relationships on Google+. Circles can be an effective way for B2B to manage different interest groups and home in on the communities and conversations that matters most to B2B.

Here B2B can use keyword searches to identify relevant people/pages/posts to add to its circles.

B2B can use circles as it is a great technique for building new relationships, as well as for keeping current relationships warm. Strategically B2B can curate its circles as this way it will be easy to target and stay connected with the right people.

B2B can create a Social Media circle that makes it easy for it to drop in on those people and participate in their Google+ activities without doing a regular search or sifting through its regular feed to find their content.

3. Include compelling Content

B2B can prioritize highly visual content such as images, videos and infographics as it is a winning strategy to stimulate engagement and promote shareability.

If B2B’s content is text-heavy because they’re information-rich and address a specific question or need, then it is okay to be heavy. B2B can also link back to its website for additional information.

4. Hashtags

B2B can add a #hashtag to make it easy for its audience to find related posts, follow ongoing conversations and join trending topics.

5. Be Proactive with Engagement

B2B must not merely post or share content. This will not be sufficient if B2B really wants to build deep engagement with its community/audience. It is equally important for B2B to interact by commenting on other people’s posts, asking questions and adding its opinion/perspective to existing conversations.

Further B2B should adopt the following.

B2B should always try to end its post with a question to spark discussion.

B2B should respond to users’ comments or questions and ask follow-up question  to continue to drive the discussion.

B2B must develop repeatable campaigns that are easy for users to participate in and contribute to. It should utilize a unique hashtag dedicated to a campaign.

Quotes, beautified/interesting photos and humorous content are also categories that are very popular on Google+ and B2B should leverage this to its advantage.

6. Join Communities

Google+ Communities  are gold mines for connecting and engaging with other users, especially those with interests relevant to B2B’s business. Participating in these features is critical to building a strong presence.

There are over 50,000 communities on Google+, spanning interests from social media to veganism to health and medicines. Once B2B has identified and joined relevant communities, it must be made a priority to participate regularly. Google+ is built on the principles of high-quality information-sharing; hence B2B must make sure to actively ask and answer questions, as well as share valuable content to fuel engagement and build quality relationships with its core audience.

7. Utilize Google+ Collections to promote B2B’s brand

This feature of Google+ allows users to categorize their updates by topics, which enables the people following them to find updates quickly for the subjects that match their interests and B2B can leverage this feature to categorize its posts on Google+

8. Use third-party posts and content

Apart from creating and posting self-created content on social networks and expecting engagement in return, B2B must post/share third-party posts, which are an untapped resource for driving engagement. B2B must add its own thoughts or opinion before reposting to add an original element to the content.

The whole concept lies around building new relationships with influencers, industry-friends, etc.

9. Focus on Becoming a Topic Expert 

B2B must select a topic that is related to its product and/or service and support what its ideal customers are interested in.

B2B should optimize its business profile for niche keyword terms and then make a habit of sharing related news. Pretty soon, B2B will be well known for having specialty on certain topics. This way B2B can best connect with its target audience.

SMM & Bridging Points Media

At Bridging Points Media we unleash the power of technology and analytics to social media marketing through social media monitoring, analytics, engagement and marketing tools.

We partner with media agencies, brand consultants, social media consultants, public relation agencies and others to licence, white label and sell our social media tools.

We enable Social Media Management Infrastructure for our clients for the purpose of brand monitoring, online reputation management(ORM), customer relationship management(CRM), competition intelligence,industry intelligence, etc.

Whether it is an agency providing insights for it’s clients or an enterprise company discovering it’s own demographics, an all-in-one dashboard solution is critical. We also engage in Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other social media campaigns and social media page management.

KPIs important to measure success of a Social Media Advertising Strategy –
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).
  • Engagement.
  • Reach.
  • Conversions.

Social Media is a useful source of market information and to hear customer perspectives. Bridging Points Media provides a whole host of social media services and not just plain vanilla boosting of Facebook likes, Twitter Followers or YouTube Views & Subscribers but also engages in publishing of Research Reports through analysis of analytics generated from smart social media tools, etc.

In fact Bridging Points Media facilitates the end to end of ‘Social Media Infrastructure Management’ through the execution, analysis, optimization and reporting of social media marketing campaigns.

Social media is helpful in the discovery of new content such as news stories and ‘discovery’ is a search activity. Social media also helps build links that support in SEO activities. Social connections may also impact the relevancy of some search results, either within a social media network or at a mainstream search engine.

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