Over the past few years, social media marketing (SMM) has become an integral part of Internet marketing, and its share is only increasing. As the audience of such resources grows, their opportunities for promotion and advertising develop, and the number of experienced SMM marketers with successful social media advertising campaigns in their portfolio grows.
Advantages and disadvantages of SMM
Using promotion on social networks can bring different results. They depend, first of all, on whether SMM promotion is appropriate for a given product or service, as well as how correctly the capabilities and features of social networks are used. SMM has its advantages and disadvantages that you need to know and consider when planning and implementing an advertising campaign.
Benefits. Among the attractive aspects of social media marketing are the following:
- higher confidence in information that does not look like a familiar advertisement;
- the opportunity to appeal to representatives of the target audience from different countries and regions, increasing coverage without reducing conversion;
- segmentation of the target audience, if necessary, according to various criteria, which gives a higher quality of reporting;
- the cost of an advertising campaign is much lower than television advertising with the same or greater coverage of target audience;
- prompt feedback allows you to flexibly change the conduct of the advertising campaign depending on the reaction of the target audience;
- fast response speeds up the collection and processing of information received during the promotion.
Disadvantages. Along with this, there are some limitations and features of marketing in social networks that should be taken into account for an objective assessment of the prospects of promotion:
- the required result is achieved for a relatively long time, because there is no direct advertising message, and the promotion is based on social connections;
- such promotion in order to achieve a stable and long-term result requires constant activity in the placement of materials for greater user engagement;
- flexibility and high complexity of the advertising campaign make preliminary budget calculation difficult;
- achievement of the desired result cannot be guaranteed;
- Search in social networks is still inferior in popularity to the use of search engines;
- the success of social media marketing is highly dependent on a reputation that is long and hard to earn, but can be destroyed by one unsuccessful publication;
- for users who spend a lot of time on the social network, it becomes easier to distinguish advertising information from the usual;
- segments such as B2B, manufactured goods or services are poorly promoted through SMM.
As you can see, promotion on social networks is significantly different from traditional online marketing. It requires the use of special tools and is highly dependent on the social network and the target audience.
The most popular social networks
Among the popular social resources that are used in Facebook, Instagram, Youtube are used for the most part. Twitter and LinkedIn are also popular.
The choice of a particular social network for an advertising campaign depends on the target audience and its reach. Effective promotion, as a rule, involves the use of several resources, since they differ in the methods used to transmit information and work differently even for the same target audience.
What tools are used to promote social networks
The choice of tools and methods that are used for SMM promotion depends on the choice of a model for building an advertising campaign, the social networks used and the tasks that a marketer faces. If we talk about the promotion model, three are used – work directly in social networks (SMM), optimization of available resources for effective integration with social networks ( SMO ), targeted advertising .
A huge number of available tools and approaches in social marketing can be divided into several main groups:
- content management is the main area of effort. The quality and relevance of the content to the objectives of the advertising campaign and the needs of the target audience determines the success of using other tools and the reality of achieving the desired result;
- community management tools are just as important as they help build strong relationships and engage the audience. A quick response to user feedback, the ability to work with questions and negativity, stimulating discussions are the actions that are necessary for effective management of communities in social networks;
- cooperation with well-known bloggers (opinion leaders) helps to increase the level of trust in the brand and increase the reach of the target audience;
- advertising in various thematic groups or pages in the form of paid publications helps to accelerate the process of expanding audience reach. For this purpose, manual search or special exchanges are used, on which you can choose the subject of the group;
- games on social networks are very popular and can be successfully used for advertising and promotion;
- Promotional offers , or offers can be placed in the tape, offering participation in promotions and discounts. When activating such an offer, the user’s friends receive a notification, which helps to inform the maximum number of users faster;
- widgets on sites do a good job of attracting new users to groups and publicities using traffic from search engines;
- the use of an already untwisted resource for the promotion of a new one is called circular advancement. It can be a group or public in the same or even in another social network;
- contests subject to transparency and an interesting organization can seriously increase page audience and increase user engagement and brand loyalty;
- joint cross-promotion can be used for brands that have the same target audience, but are not competitors. In this case, advertising costs are reduced, and users receive a comprehensive offer;
- Many social networks use hashtags extensively . With the help of a properly selected hashtag already promoted, you can attract new users and also influence the brand image in a social network;
- live broadcasts are becoming more popular and help to engage the target audience more strongly;
- website snippet optimization is performed to optimally display links to your resource in social services. A snippet may contain images, advertising, and other information that may be attractive;
- Targeted advertising is becoming more sophisticated every year, and allows users to send messages based on the data posted on their profile and pages.
SMM promotion tools, even aimed at achieving a single goal, actually help to solve a number of problems. Among them – increasing brand awareness and consumer loyalty, separation of a company or brand, detuning from competitors and, as a result – increasing sales of products or services.
What mistakes to avoid when using social networks
Even the best tool does not guarantee the absence of errors. Especially when it comes to such a complex and sometimes unpredictable form of marketing activity as SMM. Knowing the most common marketing mistakes on social networks, you can avoid failures in advertising campaigns and spend the promotion budget more profitably.
Do not expect quick results.
One of the most common misconceptions is the expectation of a quick return in the form of sales growth after the start of a promotion campaign on social networks. Unlike contextual, banner and other types of advertising, SMM influences sales of goods and services indirectly. You will have to wait a while before the result is visible. This term can be very different for each social network and market segment.
Waiting for a quick result can lead to frustration on social media and stopping the campaign ahead of time. To avoid this error, you should accurately determine the criteria by which the success of the promotion will be evaluated. It should be understood that the timing can be adjusted in any direction.
Do not chase users and “likes”
The natural desire of the owner of a page or group is a large number of participants and their active involvement. But it often happens that in the pursuit of quantity, quality is lost – most of the participants are bought fake accounts, which will not bring any benefit, but can negatively affect the brand’s reputation on the social network.
You should understand the real size of the target audience, depending on the scope of the company. It is unlikely that a small local restaurant needs a multi-thousand audience, most of which have never been and never will visit this city.
But even with a large CA, you should not rush to increase the number of likes and subscribers by any means. As a result, this will give only a short-term increase in the rating, but will not help build relationships with customers and increase their loyalty.
Say no to low-quality content
The main sign of quality content on social networks is that it is interesting to users, it is shared with friends. In many cases, on the pages of companies and brands you can see uninteresting content, texts written in dry language, copied from press releases. There is nothing surprising in the fact that there are problems with the promotion of such pages – users are not interested in reading dry texts written in “inanimate” language.
The same effect (or rather, its absence) brings the placement of content that is in no way related to the theme of the group, the activities of the brand and the interests of the target audience.
A careful study of the target audience, competent selection of materials, placement of not only unique, but also interesting information that is of interest to users will help to avoid this mistake.
Timely response to comments, questions, problem situations is very relevant for establishing relationships and increasing loyalty. The sooner a reaction to treatment appears, the better. It is not uncommon for many pages to have a number of questions and requests from users for which there is no visible reaction. This is unacceptable, because it undermines trust and loyalty to the company as a whole.
Each publication on the social network is designed for a specific audience reaction, because this is an advertisement for our brand. And it is necessary to apply various methods of collecting statistics and its analysis to it. Otherwise, it happens that money is spent on advertising, SMM specialists work, but no one knows which tools, channels and publications are effective and which are not.
Modern statistics collection tools allow you to do in-depth analysis to increase the effectiveness of the advertising campaign. Their constant use allows you to have an objective picture of the promotion process.
Balance between sales and interesting content
Here we will talk about two mistakes, which are two extremes – this is an excessive enthusiasm for direct advertising with calls to “buy” and, conversely, an emphasis on entertaining content, which does not affect the improvement of sales of goods and services.
The reason for this, and in the other case, is often that the brand or company does not imagine what it may be of interest to users of social networks. As a result, she does either what she’s used to – advertises her products, or begins to entertain them. In the first case, the target audience quickly loses interest in the page, since everyone has long developed immunity to direct advertising, or is happy to consume entertaining content that has nothing to do with the company’s product.
A competent approach to creating content and planning for its placement on social networks is a balance between entertaining interesting information and materials of an advertising nature. Only in this case, everyone gets what they expect from using a social network – visitors communication and social connections, brand – increasing loyalty and sales.