Increasingly people are spending more time on social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Hence businesses are devoting more resources to Social Media Marketing abbreviated as SMM. However, though the businesses are spending money on marketing, some find that it is not very effective, since the conversion rates are lower than expected. While in some cases, the users of the product or service may not be using social media extensively, in most cases, there are some problems with the social media strategy. Hence it is important to ensure that the best practices are implemented so that social media can be used effectively for Digital Marketing. These best practices are discussed below.
Creating a SMM strategy
One of the first steps while starting marketing with social media is to create a strategy which can be implemented easily and monitored. Depending on the product or service being marketing, the most effective social media channels should be identified. The marketing budget should be allocated to each channel, and the marketing team should estimate the number of leads and orders which are expected. The effectiveness of each channel should be reviewed periodically and changes in the marketing strategy should be made, especially if the returns do not meet the targets which are set. It is also important to identify the right tools for marketing and monitoring on the different social media websites.
Researching the audience
It is important to spend some time researching the audience who are viewing the advertisement or social media message. The business can then alter the audience profile, to increase the conversion rate. One of the methods used to get more information about the audience is by researching the questions that they are asking , and the answers which are being posted by the audience. In other cases, the business can have a dialog with the audience to find out what they are looking for. Some information, like the age, income, gender and location may already be provided by the social media website, for other information some research may be required.
The next step in Digital Marketing involves making social media users aware of the product or service being sold. For this the business will regularly update their social media website with relevant information and details of their services or products. The number of views for each social media post and the number of responses for each post will also be monitored, to check if the post is useful to the target audience. The business or its marketing agency should also try to increase the number of fans of the social media page or account, so that every post will automatically reach all the fans.
Creating a schedule
Only if the social media account is updated regularly with interesting content, will it attract new users and retain the existing fans. Hence it is advisable to create a schedule for keeping the account updated, and the fans should also be informed about it, so that they can also check the website. Some effort should be made to ensure that the updates are of high quality, so that the fans do not feel that they are wasting their time. It is also important to interact with the users who comment on the posts, or leave any kind of feedback.
Conversions and sales
For any kind of marketing the conversions can be classified in different categories based on how valuable they are to the business. While micro-conversions like newsletter or email list signup do not cost the visitor anything, they can generate leads and orders at a later date. Macro-conversions like a registration or sale are more valuable, however conversion rate is lower. In some cases, email or phone follow up may be required for an assisted conversion, to convert the lead generated into an order, since the customer may require some clarifications.
SMM is also an excellent way to interact with customers and get feedback. Many customers will contact the seller using the social media channel, to complain about a defective product or service, and in some cases to give positive feedback. Hence social media is an inexpensive and effective way for a business to remain in touch with their customers, and find out if they are satisfied. It is also a good way to inform customers about the new products or features which are being introduced, and get feedback about the new features directly from the customers.