Sachin Karweer, Business Head – HGS-Interactive This is an excerpt of a new series of India’s Leaderspeak with TVNEWS4U LEADERSPEAK: Think Digital With HGS Interactive Business Head Sachin Karweer. It is reproduced here with permission. Countless Google searches are taking place every day. However, if people haven’t heard of your brand, they’ll never discover the value of your product or service. Enter social media marketing, a form of internet marketing that implements various social media networks in order to achieve marketing communication and branding goals. Social Media Marketing (SMM) covers activities like social sharing of content, videos, images, and paid social media advertising. SMM develops and sustains customer engagement, which has been found to influence buying behavior. Getting started without any insight or any previous experience can be tricky. Here’s how you can use social media marketing to grow your business:
- Carefully develop a plan aligned with your goals. To develop your plan, do a thorough analysis of existing social followers across your networks, analyze your competition, and identify areas for improvement. When allocating budget and resources to SMM, take into account whether your campaign requires any paid social efforts or if you plan to rely on organic tactics and owned media. Once you have decided on an appropriate budget and sketched your social media campaign, create your dream team and assign clear-cut roles to them. The final steps of your social media campaign strategy should be to identify the metrics you will use to measure the ROI of your campaign. In order to achieve this, you’ll need to outline and define your campaign’s goals — which are the next component of a great campaign.
- Promote your brand through cross-channels. Remember not to overwhelm your existing consumers or be a nuisance to potential ones by providing too much information at the same time. Mentions and gentle reminders to your target audience across a number of touchpoints ensures better results than a social media campaign that’s only promoted on your social network of choice.
- Conduct a thorough analysis. Studies show a higher number of social media followers tend to improve trust and credibility in your brand. As per Social Media Examiner, 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media—but 85% of participants aren’t sure what social media tools are the best to use. This shows that there is a lack of understanding of how to go about it.
Here are ways to optimize your social media marketing campaign:
- Identify the right keywords. The foundation of marketing is built on keywords. It involves ensuring that your profiles have the right keywords including your brand name, product name, and service name.
- Promote your brand on social networks. If you haven’t already, creating a Facebook Group to promote your brand or services is a great idea to improve your visibility and expand your reach. Build connection with your fans and followers. By presenting a friendly face of your business, it is more likely that you draw in more fans and potential customers than you would just by talking about your product.
- Take advantage of content curation sites. Curated and original content is what builds the SEO of your website, keeping your prospects coming back. I think it is the perfect solution to the problem of content discovery online. For example, Pinterest catalogs products, images, and photographs, where members can click and learn about things that are similar to their pre-stated interests. It can help grow audience, increase web traffic and sales figures, and improve the company’s visibility to consumers.
- Weave the three-letter word – SEO into your marketing strategy. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) makes websites or articles easier to find on online search engines, improving their search engine ranking and getting the web traffic rolling.
- Master the art of blog marketing. Blog marketing can be a highly effective way of increasing your reach and sales figures. It does not stop at just creating and writing a blog. You also need to promote your blog and the next step is to hit social networking sites right away.
- Get started with social bookmarking. Social bookmarking is also interchangeably referred to as folksonomy, social tagging collaborative tagging, social indexing and social classification. Most viral sharing begins on websites like Reddit, StumbleUpon, Mashable, Delicious and Digg. Using smart social bookmarking campaigns can lead thousands of people to visit your website.
- Pay attention to trending topics. Keeping track of trending topics on Google and Twitter can be a highly efficient way to increase your sales and visibility online. You can post something about a trending topic if your website or products are related to it.
- Stream video promotions. Streaming video promotions on websites such as YouTube can be highly effective for views and promoting business. Facebook Live video allows businesses to broadcast videos to their audiences in real time using their smartphones. You can see the number of users watching and users can comment on the video in real time. One can also comment directly while the video plays. YouTube lets you show off your products, explain the services you offer, and present a friendly face to potential customers.
- Network with other professionals. Another important element an effective social media marketing campaign involves is networking with other professionals as they can provide insight and solid knowledge. I think making connections like these can help increase your sales tremendously.
Community interaction, promotions, and marketing campaigns are the fascinating aspects of social media – the stuff that happens in the bright glare of the spotlight. The unglamorous, backstage work of operations management: solid strategy, budgets, staff and damage control makes it successful. It takes same discipline, structure, allocation of resources, and cycle of continuous improvement to make social media marketing a success. Are you up to it?