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Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing
According to Daniel Nations, "Social media are web-based communication tools that enable people to interact with each other by both sharing and consuming information." Social media was initially originated as a personal tool with the intention of using it to interact with friends and family. It is adopted by businesses gradually as a novel communication method to take advantage of its popularity and ability to reach out to customers. Social media marketing is a process of attracting customers or users through various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (to name a few).

Social Media Marketing - Digital Ready

Here is how marketers use social media for their business. Facebook is always on top for usage by marketers. Look into the percentage of B2C and B2B marketers who use social media platforms.

How Marketers Use Social Media - Digital Ready

Advantages of Social Media Marketing

Social media has embraced the digital marketing with its potential to reach a massive audience in less period. When you choose a right social media platform then, it will help you grow your digital marketing strategy for your business. Let's discuss some key benefits of social media marketing:

Advantages of Social Media Marketing - Digital Ready

1. Provides Precise Customer Insights

Social media can help you gather a huge amount of customer's data. Billions of posts and likes on Facebook, millions of tweets on Twitter, and millions of photos and videos on Instagram every day generate a wealth of information about your potential audience. These data reveal who your potential customers are, their interests, what they think about your brand's products, and services. By engaging actively with your potential customers on daily basis and social listening can tailor your digital marketing strategies. You can gather relevant customer data and tailor them accordingly as per your business needs. All these information let you gauge your customer's emotions and their opinion about your brand and help you run reports in real-time. Direct communication with your audience and customer is always the best way to know their sentiments and needs and social media is all about knowing and communicating with your audiences in the best possible way ever.

2. Enhanced Brand Awareness and Loyalty

Your (business) presence on social media makes it easier for your customers to find you and connect with you. This helps in customer retention and building customer loyalty. This complementary tool lets you segment your content syndication based on customer’s interests and helps you to identify which type of content generates most impressions. Nurturing your audience with relevant and educating information builds loyalty.

3. Cost-effective

One of the major advantages of social media ads is its cost-effectiveness. Since signing up and profile creation is free for almost all social platforms, so you can promote your business and share your content in an inexpensive way. Even the paid promotions are relatively low cost compared to other marketing channels. If done in a right way, social media ads can give you higher returns at low cost.

4. Targeted Ads

Ads can be targeted precisely to reach the right audience. Based on the data available, you can segment your audience and can tailor the ads according to their behaviour, habits, location, etc. For example, an ad campaign on LinkedIn can be targeted based on location, job title, gender and age. A Facebook ad can be targeted based on demographics, interests, age, and connections.

5. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

Social media fundamentally is an online networking and communicating platform. You can communicate directly with your audience and customers on these platforms and connect with them in a more personalized way. Acknowledging a customer for their post or comment on your pages with a personalized response creates more bonding than sending out an automated message. Communicating via social media relays your attentiveness to visitor’s needs and make them feel important which ultimately leads to better customer satisfaction or rich customer experience.

6. Increased Inbound Traffic

Social media expands the horizons of your business and brings in more traffic than your usual customers. It introduces your business to a variety of people with different backgrounds and varying behaviour. Different people come with different requirements. Syndicating your content on different platforms let your audiences search you organically and reach your business.

7. Aids Higher Search Engine Rankings

Your high-quality content such as blogs, infographics, case studies etc. posted on social media will be liked and shared by your audience. This will build your own social media community where your audience will talk about your business in the form of compliments and comments. More awareness brings more popularity. This provides industry influencers with an opportunity to write about your business or services and generates backlinks to your site, which aids to rank your website high on search engine result pages.

8. Increased Conversion Rates

Social media offers regular interaction and well-timed customer service which results in increased sales and customer retention. The world-class companies have rated social media as the most effective way to identify new business opportunities and key decision makers. When a brand is online interacting regularly with customers, it builds trust and credibility among the audience. According to a report by Social Media Examiner, about 66% of marketers saw lead generation benefits by using social media platforms at least 6 hours a week.

9. Stay Ahead in the Ocean of Competition

Social media monitoring will give you key insights about your competitors and thus will help you to tailor your business strategies to stay ahead of your competitors.

10. Enrich Your Relationships

Social media is all about networking and building relationships. This two-way channel presents an opportunity to enrich relationships with your valued and potential customers which something traditional advertising does not yield.

Major Social Media Platforms

Major Social Media Platforms With Monthly Users - Digital Ready

Here are few social media giants to use to promote your business.

Facebook

Goals of Facebook Business Pages - Digital Ready

Facebook is the major social media giant with more than 2 billion active users monthly. Not only people use it to connect with family and friends, but it also has enormous advantages from a business perspective. It is the biggest social network which comprises the largest blend of demographics. It is an extraordinary channel for your business to connect with prospects and customers all around the globe. Having an interactive business page on Facebook results in a significant draw in prospects and customers.

Twitter

How Twitter Can Help Your Business - Digital Ready

The true value of Twitter lies in its ‘viral’ nature. It is a great channel to quickly connect with people. With Twitter, you can share short text comprising 140 characters or less along with images, videos, links etc. This is an effective means to spread your valuable content and business ideas. It can be shared and ‘retweeted’ by your brand’s followers and thus attain new followers. Twitter is a way to achieve brand awareness by keep updating the followers with current information about your business.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn As Marketing-Strategy- Digital Ready

LinkedIn is the place where business professionals meet, collaborate and market their services. With LinkedIn, one can target audience based on industry, job title, location etc. It works outstandingly for business-to-business marketing. Professional-to-professional relationships can be built on LinkedIn more easily than the other social media networks.

YouTube

Drive More Sales Using YouTube Marketing Strategy - Digital Ready

It’s all about video marketing these days! YouTube is the most efficient way to promote your video content about your business or services, and it is one of the major search engines next to Google. Creativity is the key concept to be successful on YouTube. Many businesses promote creative and educational content on YouTube to attract viewers. The Major advantage with YouTube is the ability to retain audience's’ attention for a longer duration. With Google’s acquisition of YouTube, the videos will appear on search engine result pages of Google for any related query.

Google+ (Google Plus)

Benefits of Google Plus - Digital Ready

Google Plus is considered as the second most used social media platform with more active users than Twitter, and its user base is increasing day by day. Google Plus has its unique advantages compared to other social media since it is Google. It provides improved local search visibility for small to medium-sized business. Your Google Plus posts rank higher in search results. Google Plus is both a personal and professional networking, so it has a stronger platform of expertise building.

Pinterest and Instagram

There is also Pinterest and Instagram to talk about. Both Pinterest and Instagram are visually oriented and based entirely on photographs/images or videos. These platforms are more of niche networks compared to Facebook, YouTube or Twitter, so these may not work for everyone. Popular business categories on these platforms are fashion, beauty, photography, food etc.

Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social Media Marketing Strategy - Digital Ready

It may sound complicated to build a clever strategy for social media marketing. But if you have a clear picture of your marketing purpose and commitment to follow a sensible approach, social media marketing is a simple process. Below are the steps to follow to build a plan for successful social media marketing:

1. Define Your Objectives

The first thing about the strategy is to determine what objectives you want to achieve with social media. A haphazard plan with no specified destination yields nothing. Clearly identify your goals and what outcomes you expect from your social media marketing. For example:
  • Awareness about your product
  • Better customer service
  • To engage previous/current customers
  • To build a customer base

2. Find Your Audience/Choose the Right Platform(s)

The most critical part of the social media marketing is to choose the right platform(s) for your business. Not all social media channels are the same. Each one has different primary audience and focus. Facebook aligns perfectly with any kind of business regardless of its size and type of industry. In fact, it has become a norm to have a Facebook page along with a website for a business. There are hardly any businesses without a Facebook page. Twitter works better for businesses which aim for brand awareness. This is the place to be active who has continuous updates to share with the audience. Twitter is also important for relationship-building with influencers and communication with your customer base. Instagram works better for image-oriented businesses like photography, designers, fashion etc. If the target audience of your business is 18-30 age group, this is a place where you need to be. Professionals from tech and engineering companies are more connected with Google Plus. Majority of Google Plus active users are males.

3. Understand Your Audience Persona

Social media is all about connecting with people. To connect with your audience on an authentic level, it is important to understand your audience. Distinguish your audience based on different criteria such as age, gender, profession, interests etc. To better understand them to take a look at their interest, buying behaviour, mobile footprint, where they are active on social media, what influences them. Identify the key concerns of these segmented audiences: their problems, needs, hopes. Come up with solutions that can help them with the problems and tailor your content that can address their pain points.

4. Get Started

Now that you know your objectives, where you can find your audience and what to convey to your audience, IT IS TIME TO GET SOCIAL! Set up accounts for your business on social platforms that you chose. Social media needs patience as it takes time to break the ice. One and only one mantra to follow when it comes to social media is consistency, consistency and consistency. The best way to practice consistency is to integrate social media activity into a daily routine. Block the time on your marketing calendar, organize and send the content out that needs to be shared. You can change the amount of time to spend on social media based on the results you achieve. Social media content calendar is a great tool which helps to streamline and organize your social media marketing activities. It helps to segment your content and your posts by topic, time and network. It is important to know what kinds of posts are effective on which platform and the right time to post it to reach a wider audience. Here are few important things to consider while creating your own social media calendar:
  • How often to post
  • How often to share content
  • Which platforms to post/share content
  • Best times to post/share
Make sure your calendar reflects the objectives defined for each social profile. Beginners can start their social sharing of content by following “Social Media Rule of Thirds”.

5. Share and Care (Social Listening)

Social media conversations happen all the time all around. It is important to lend your ear to what customers are saying about your brand. Social listening provides the insights of your audience and helps to align your marketing strategy in the right direction. Respond to comments from your audience, appreciate their mentions and value their feedback, even if they are negative.

6. Measure, Analyze and Shift the Gear

This is the most critical step in your social media marketing strategy. Most social media networks such as Twitter analytics, Facebook Insights, come with tools which can be used to track and measure the performance of your social activity. Tracking performance data offers essential intellects about which tactics are functional and which are not. Few metrics to measure and analyze:
  • The growth of your audience
  • Engagement with your content
  • Sharing of your content
  • Competitor benchmarking
Measure if there is a growth in your audience size. Keep track of which social media platform is most engaging and driving the most traffic to your site. Identify whether images, videos or text content performs better. Know how much of your audience you are reaching and how much are engaged with your content. Find if your core topics are interesting and valuable to your audience and whether it is shared or liked. Consistently review your analytics reports and make adjustments based on the results. Online and offline surveys are also an effective way to gauge your success with social media promotion. Find out about your social media performance by asking your followers, email lists and website visitors. The most important thing about social media marketing is that it should be constantly fresh and novel. If there is a new network, you may want to add it to your plan. If your defined goals are reached, you should set new targets. You have to “rewrite” your social media strategy periodically considering the latest updates or upcoming technologies.

Social Media Analytics Tools

There are some dedicated tools available to measure and analyze your social media presence/performance. To name a few:
  • Simply Measured
  • Panda 5
  • Rival IQ
  • Zest
  • Google Analytics
  • Zuum
  • So Trender
  • Quintly
  • Refind

Social Media Campaign Example

Social Media Case Study: How KFC India Has Boosted its Social Media Presence

Today Indian youth is becoming more and more net-savvy. KFC is a famous global restaurant chain brands and has increased their online social media presence incredibly. Watch the below social media case study video by Social Samosa showing how KFC has boosted its online social media presence.

Objective - The primary objective of this social media marketing campaign was to increase the sale of their product in India and to appeal and to target young audience by involving apps like Radio KFC RK Hunt, Designing their own bucket campaign, Currycature, and Wow Menu option. They wanted to develop their brand engagement. Execution - 3000 people around 30 Indian cities have participated in this competition. Radio KFC RJ Hunt - was a social media campaign to promote KFC brand’s in-house radio channel. For the execution, the fans recorded their voices over the internet with the Facebook app and were provided with the analogue radio experience. Design Your Own Bucket - campaign was their another execution where the participants came up with their colourful and creative KFC buckets. They received 5500 entries in total. They also introduced bucket entries with Sachin's picture on the KFC bucket on the day when he retired.

Design Your Own Bucket Campaign - Digital Ready

Currycature - was another creative marketing campaign of KFC which gave a unique experience to their fans where participants have to choose a character with an ethnic Indian touch and then to upload the pictures. Around 17 thousand currycatures were made by their fans.

Currycature Campaign - Digital Ready

Their next move was the “Wow Menu Option on an INR 500 note.” This app allowed the users to scan their 500 currency notes which would suggest them their various food menus to be purchased within that particular budge. The app became No. 1 on iTunes app store on F&D category. Results
  • As per the results of the social media campaign, KFC was featured by Social Baker as among the top 5 socially devoted brands.
  • The overall positive sentiment of their Facebook page grew from 6.2% to 93.8%.
  • Their engagement rate increased the sector average thrice.
  • KFC was placed among the five fastest growing social media brands in India.
Check our blog on “The Top 10 Digital Marketing Campaigns from India” to see more interesting examples of social media campaigns. Social media campaigns are a great source of inspiration for all the people, your audiences and your potential customers. They drive awareness in the most creative way as possible.