Do you need help setting up your social media marketing (SMM) strategy? Do you know what social media marketing is all about?
Since the use of social networks and its influence among users has increased dramatically, many people see them as a special advertising platform. But social media marketing is not an easy task and it has many techniques and tricks that we will discuss in this article.
In this article, we will show you what steps you need to take and what you need to implement for a successful social media marketing strategy that works well from day one. To better understand, we review each step of the process of starting social media marketing for a restaurant, so keep reading.
What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?
Before we get started on social media marketing techniques and principles, we need to define them separately. In other words, Social Media Marketing (SMM) is the use of different social networks and the content production to achieve marketing and sales goals.
But if we want to explain more comprehensibly, we must say that social media marketing means using social platforms to communicate with the audience, it means branding and increasing sales and even increasing our website’s traffic. In this system, you should create and publish the best content, listen to your followers and interac with them, analyze the results, and run the advertising campaigns you have.
The most important social media that are widely used these days are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat.
Do you need social media marketing or as we say SMM?
The cost of social media marketing is higher than other digital marketing methods; So first you need to find out if you really need an SMM. Despite the large number of audiences on various social networks, not all businesses benefit from social media marketing, but they are successful in their own businesses. You need to define your SMM expectation for your business first and then use it. In general, the following businesses need an SMM strategy:
- famous brands
- Products related to sports, health, and beauty
- Products related to children
- Luxury goods
- Large online stores
- And those who want to invest a lot in advertising.
Prerequisites for SMM implementation
Once you know that you definitely need the SMM method, you should also make sure that you can use this method. To do so, you need to consider three factors including website, budget, and analytics.
Benefits and Importance of Social Media Marketing for Online Businesses
Undoubtedly, just as you spend hours on various social networks, many users are more or less present on these social platforms. In addition, the whole purpose of these media is to communicate and interact more and more, which will increase the effectiveness of your content and marketing processes.
For this reason, the presence of businesses in social networks is very important, but each brand must choose its desired context according to their job or area of expertise, the target audience, and many other things.
Important Benefits of Social Media Marketing
As we said, presence and marketing on social media are very important. Therefore, choosing this method can have important advantages, which are mentioned below:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Producing quality leads
- Improving conversion rate
- Establishing deep, long-term, and two-way relationships with the audience
- Analyzing competitors and also learning from them
- Increasing inbound traffic for the site
- SEO effectiveness and improving search engine rankings
- Receiving information from audiences and followers
- Increasing customer loyalty
- Creating added value
- Improving brand credibility
- Good costs and effectiveness
- Market leadership and intellectual leadership
- Becoming a content source
- analyzing Customer Behavior
- Launching customer affairs and support
- Brand humanization
Types of social media advertising
There are many types of social media marketing. But in general, this is divided into four main categories, which are mentioned below:
- Social networking (Facebook and LinkedIn)
- Microblogging (Twitter and Tumblr)
- Image sharing (Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest)
- Video sharing (YouTube, Facebook Live, Periscope, and Video)
Social media marketing techniques and tricks
There are many techniques and tricks that you can use to succeed in your social media marketing program. Different people have raised various issues based on their experiences. Here are the most important points:
- Develop a presence and content strategy
- Use storytelling techniques and appropriate tools
- Pay the necessary expenses for marketing and advertising
- Consider video contents as part of a content strategy
- Observe the fundamental issues
- Use targeted advertising
- Introduce yourself as a credible source of content
- Continue content production and publication, especially video contents
- have a Special focus on communicating with followers
- Coverage of news in your area of expertise
- Turn customers into brand ambassadors
- Utilize User Generated Content (UGC)
- Address users by their name
- Establish two-way interaction
- have an Accurate knowledge of the target audience
- Work with the sales team to have a better understanding of the customer journey
- Be social
- Show the attractive aspects of business
- Express successes and failures
- Ask questions from your followers
- choose a Custom tone and style
- Create a personality for the brand
- Collaborate with influencers in related fields
- Use statistics, figures, and infographics
- run competitions and challenging programs
Marketing methods for all social networks
In general, social networks are free platforms that provide good features to users. However, some of them have special features that if you want to use these features, you have to pay a specified fee. It is also possible to take advantage of paid advertising plans. But each social network has a different marketing method depending on many items such as, the users present in them, free or paid facilities, restrictions, and the amount of their use.
In the following, we will talk about the methods of marketing in important and popular social networks.
Instagram social network
Undoubtedly, one of the most important social networks is Instagram, which has many users and small and large businesses that are trying to have a serious presence in it. To run your marketing plan, you need to consider the following:
- Professional Profile: Contrary to popular belief, having a complete professional profile that shows exactly who you are and what you do is an important part of the marketing program on this platform.
- Posting Regular Posts: Content is a big part of the marketing process on Instagram. Due to the nature of this network, attractive and practical images and videos play an important role in attracting followers and other techniques such as communicating with them, informing, creating value, and increasing trust play an important role too.
- Stories: Stories are one of the most attractive and effective free features of Instagram that should play an important role in your marketing plan and strategy. You can easily use the various and practical features of this section.
- Hashtags: Hashtags, if used in a principled and standard way, they will play an important role in categorizing content and directing your audience to you. So be careful not to fill your caption with irrelevant hashtags.
- Captioning: Many video and video posts alone cannot convey the concept, and you will need to insert a caption to complete them. For this reason, you should use this section well in line with your goals.
- Collaborating with influencers: Large and small influencers have a lot of influence on their followers and collaborating with them is very effective.
- Running Contests: Contests and challenge programs are another part of the marketing process that helps you engage your audience well and interact with them more.
- Campaign implementation: You can also use advertising campaigns or Instagram sponsorship to achieve your goals.
Twitter social network
Twitter is another social network that is used by many individuals. Twitter is increasingly known as a news, microblogging, and political platform. But you can well use its capabilities to get started, attract followers, have a better interaction, connect closely with your audience, manage crises, surf the trends and hashtags of the day, offer discounts, and more.
LinkedIn social network
LinkedIn is a social network for professionals and businesses. If your services and products are needed by other businesses and you have a B2B bussines, this platform can well help you with targeted advertising. Of course, this social network is not used seriously and professionally yet.
8 steps to start and launch social media marketing
- Identify your social media marketing goals.
Each piece of your social media marketing strategy puzzle is for your greater goals, the goals you have set. In other words, it is impossible to move forward if you do not know what to expect.
Take a closer look at your company’s overall needs and see how you want social media to help you achieve your goals. No doubt you will achieve some personal goals, but there are a few goals that all companies should consider in their strategy. For example, increasing brand awareness, retaining customers, and reducing marketing costs are all common goals of companies.
It is better to choose two primary goals and two secondary goals and focus on them. Having too many goals will distract you from your path and you will not reach any of them in the end.
Sometimes the number and types of goals also depend on the simplicity or complexity of your business. For example, for a small, newly established restaurant, the goal could be to find new customers for the restaurant, or an old restaurant is to stay in touch with existing customers and increase their purchases.
- Consider marketing achievements for yourself.
By achievements we mean the small goals that you must successfully achieve in order to achieve the greater goals. If you do not have the parameters to determine when you reached your goals, the goals will not be useful anymore. For example, if one of your primary goals is to beat competitors and sell well, how much exactly do you need to sell to make sure that you have reached your goal successfully?
Marketing achievements determine how you go from point A (unfavorable situation, unfulfilled goal) to point B (successfully achieved the goal). Social media marketing principles tell you that you can define your achievements with the SMART approach: Your achievements must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
If we use the previous example in social media marketing, we must say that if your goal is to overtake competitors and sell more, a special marketing achievement can be: overtaking 50% of competitors and then choose what you can do to measure your progress. You may need analytical tools so use them.
It is not a good idea to prepare the ground for failure. If set a goal like increasing your sales by 1000%, it is unlikely that you will be able to do it. So, set realistic achievements that you can achieve based on the resources you have.
Adding a time limit to your efforts can be very motivating. Ask yourself, when do you want to achieve this? next month? Or by the end of the year?
- Identify the ideal customers.
If a business has a problem with low engagement on social media pages, it is usually because it does not have an accurate profile of its ideal customer.
You may ask What exactly does this mean in social media marketing? This means that knowing the personality and characteristics of your customers can help you reach your goal at the right time, in the right place, and with the right messages.
It will be much easier to target them on social media when you know the age, occupation, income, interests, issues, barriers, habits, and motivations of your target community and users.
- Research your competitors.
When it comes to social media marketing, researching competitors not only informs you about their activities, but also helps you figure out what works best in the marketplace, and you can apply these successful tactics to your efforts.
Start by making a list of 3 to 5 competitors. Examine which social media they use and analyze their content production strategy. Pay attention to the number of followers and their fans and see how they post when they do post. Also pay attention to the type of content they share and their context and tone (formal, funny, etc.). Pay attention to how they respond and communicate with their fans.
The most important activity to consider in social media marketing is their participation. Although the admins of these pages are the only ones who can know the participation statistics accurately and consistently, but you can also have an estimate of these figures by following these pages.
For example, suppose you are reviewing the last 20 to 30 posts of one of your competitors’ Facebook pages. Divide the total amount of activity and participation of that particular post by the number of their total followers (collaborative activities include likes, comments, shares, and more).
Keep in mind that this calculation gives you an overview of the behavior of your competitors, and you can use this criterion to assess your position in this market.
To start marketing social media for a restaurant business, you need to identify the closest competitors, those who are more similar to your bussiness in terms of style and context. Then create a roadmap and template by examining how they work on social media, their tone, photos and the content they share, as well as how users interact with them.
There may be different ways to post and produce content on social media that would cost a lot of money and energy. One practical shortcut is to emulate successful competitors. when does this restaurant post on social media? How many of its content are videos or photos? How do they write their captions? How many lines do they write? Among their posts, was there more interaction with the videos or the photos? And other questions you can ask.
- Set tactics and policies in social media marketing.
One of the mistakes that many companies make in social media marketing is that they operate on all social media regardless of choosing the best and most appropriate option. You can use the information you get from your customers to choose which media is right for you, so you won’t waste your time.
If your current or potential customers say they spend 40 percent of their time online on Facebook and 20 percent on Twitter, it’s clear which one to focus on as the primary and which one is secondary for your social media marketing. If your customers use a particular medium, you need to be there.
Your tactics for each social media, should depend on the most appropriate method of marketing on each platform, and also your goals and achievements. For example, if your goal is to outperform your competitors and your main social media platform that you have set for your social media marketing strategy is Instagram, one of the most effective tactics you can use is investing in Instagram marketing or influencer marketing. This will be so profitable for you and your business.
In the restaurant example, knowing the personality of customers is very important. With the filtering of Facebook and the increasing popularity of Instagram, the number of Facebook users has decreased significantly. Now, if we come and put a lot of focus on Facebook for our restaurant, under the pretext that it is a social network and a place to advertise, our efforts will naturally be in vain. You should always know that you have to choose the best ones from the available media. Use your time and energy and evaluate different media. Then pick the best ones and start your journey.
Without testing, can you say that for the restaurant business, which kind of content is more appropriate for Instagram or telegram? Is it videos or texts? Which will preform better on each platform?
After advertising the restaurant’s Instagram page and Telegram channel among customers, which one will have more members? These are the things that will determine your policy.
- Create a content production strategy.
Social media and content production are closely related: without great content, social media marketing would be impossible and meaningless, and without social media, no one would know about your content. Use both together to achieve your goals and visions.
There are three basic components to any successful social media marketing strategy:
Content type, content posting or publishing time, and the number of contents posted.
The type of content you should share on any social media depends on the form and context. Its type represents the way you present that information, which can be text, image, link, video, and so on.
The context should also be consistent with your business-specific slogans and platforms. Based on this, your content can be funny, serious, detailed, educational, and so on.
Many studies have shown when is the best time to post content on social media. Although it is recommended that you use these studies only as a guide, not strict rules. Remember that your audience is unique so you need to get the best technique after examining. Finding the right number of posts, or better yet, the best posting rate can be crucial, as it can motivate more engagement or, in turn, became an obstacle. You need to make sure that your posting and your content does not offend your customers.
Also, after generating the content, pay attention to user comments. Creating an online community requires connecting and interacting with others. Whether it is a tweet, a Facebook post or an Instagram post, no matter what people write comments for them. The role of psychology in managing the health of an association and preventing the creation of negative associations, dealing with negative comments is very important, and returning the conversation to its normal form is the art of social media marketing and you have to be able to manage user comments.
Let’s go back to the restaurant example. What is the most effective content type for a restaurant social network? photos? videos? Should it be all About food? What is the best time to post? How much content should we post per day?
For the restaurant business, all of these things must be tested! Perhaps the best time to post is at 12 noon and the best content is a photo of a roasted chicken to affect your online contacts appetite right away and make a lunch for your guests.
If your customers are mostly families, how much do you focus on attracting their children? Do you have an ad suggesting that you have special dish for under-twos? So where is this ad now? Have you targeted mothers or fathers? So what time of day does your client’s check their social media? How much time do they spend on social media?
Do not be afraid to test these on social media! Test and analyze received feedback.
- Provide funding and resources for social media marketing.
To finance social media marketing, look at the tactics chosen to achieve your goals and achievements.
Make a comprehensive list of the tools you need (for example, social media analytics and management services and email marketing), the strengths of your services (for example, graphic design or video production), and all the advertising methods you will use. Next, add the annual cost of the project to each so you can get an overview of your investment and how it affects your social media marketing budget.
Many businesses set their budgets first and then choose tactics and strategies that fit the budget, but taking the opposite approach is a better option. First, determine your social media marketing strategy and then adjust your budget accordingly.
Prioritize your tactics if the cost of your strategy exceeds your budget. The fastest-paying tactics, such as direct advertising, take precedence because they generate immediate profits that can later be invested in long-term tactics (for example, increasing followers, producing quality content, or long-term engagement).
In the restaurant business, how much should we spend on social media presence and marketing? Should photos be taken by a photographer? Do we need a graphic designer for our photos? Do you need professional editing for videos?
A determining factor in these cases is your budget and financial resources.
Knowing who is responsible for what you do increases your productivity and prevents confusion and disruption in work and effort. Everything may seem crowded and cluttered at the beginning, but over time, people in the group understand their roles better and realize what they are responsible for doing daily.
When everyone knows their role well, the planning time for the project begins. You can adjust your schedule daily or weekly. It is not recommended to do monthly planning because a lot of events and changes will happen during the month and you may end up spending time adapting to these changes and you may not be able to run the program properly.
In the restaurant business, managing social media marketing can be done by dividing tasks, regularly and purposefully:
Who is responsible for producing video content?
Who is responsible for taking and managing the photos?
Who is responsible for responding to customer comments, directives, and comments?
Who is responsible for the textual content production?
Who will manage each social network?
And so on…
You need to have a schedule and division of tasks. You should Know how much work should be done by whom in the next month and what are the next steps to promote the restaurant’s social media.
You can use a variety of tools to manage and assign tasks to your team members. Software like Basecamp or ActiveCollab can help you with social media marketing. These tools will help you avoid wasting your time and go according to plan.
How to communicate with social network users
Like any other type of marketing, in social network marketing, the main goal is to attract the attention of the target audience and communicate with them. Although social media can be used to promote products directly, this type of communication with users of social networks in platforms such as Facebook and Twitter will not be very effective. In other words, a social network is a place to form real interactions with users and provide information about what sets your brand apart.
Success in social media marketing activities can only be achieved if you produce and share content that is relevant to your field of work. This content can be a photo that you share on your Instagram page or a tweet that refers readers to the latest post posted on your website and will vary depending on your needs and discretion. Social media users will come to you and your brand if they are interested in what you publish, so it is best to keep this in mind. at least at the beginning do not think about what you want from your users.
Once you provide users with information about your area of expertise and outline your brand goals and activities, then users who find your content interesting will have a reason to visit your website and learn more about your activities.
Content sharing on social networks
In addition to the direct increase in traffic of the website, the fact that many people use social media at the same time creates another advantage for businesses which is increasing the number of customers organically. In fact, when the content you provide is interesting to people, they share the content with their friends and other followers. It can even be said that the effect on their friends and family is better and even more than other types of marketing because your product is introduced to another by a friend or a family member; This introduction is far more effective than the brand itself and is more reliable than source-certified information.
Which social media platform is best for your business?
Facebook is the largest social network in the world, and its users view various content published by businesses operating on the Internet every day. With the regular publication of content containing information about the field of work, industry news, and product promotion, it will be possible to increase sales and brand loyalty.
Placing product images can have a significant impact on e-commerce performance. Instagram focuses on visual content, and this makes Instagram an important platform for better and more online businesses. By sharing images of products and lifestyle posts related to the brand’s activities, a large number of new audiences can be reached. Instagram marketing helps you to market on Instagram better.
If you can make proper plan for your presence on this platform, the results can be as effective as the results of Instagram activities. being on this social network and communicating with its users, along with the use of content-related planning programs used in Facebook, can help you be more effective in other social networking platforms and it leads to a better brand introduction.
LinkedIn is most widely used among professionals in various fields of work and provides the opportunity to connect individuals and companies that have a common vision or goals. Content related to well-known and experienced brokers is the best type of content that can be used on this platform (especially for quality brands and brands that have a high average order value). Many CEOs of various businesses operating on LinkedIn try to indirectly promote their company by publishing content related to their knowledge and work experience, as well as content related to cultural issues.
Social media management tools
As mentioned, these tools help social media marketers connect with their audience in creative ways, as well as reviewing the results of their efforts. Here are some of these tools:
Iconosquare: Using this tool, you can easily manage your Instagram and analyze the data, and optimize your Instagram using the results obtained. One of the most important benefits of this tool is providing interesting information about the activity statistics of your competitors on Instagram. Use of this tool is free for 14 days.
Buffer: This tool started in 2015 and in a short time it became one of the free tools suitable for managing social networks. this tool is very simple and so-called user-friendly so that anyone can use it without any special skills. With this tool, you can share the desired content on several social networks through a central dashboard. This tool is recommended for managing Twitter and LinkedIn. Getting started with this tool is free, and for more information on tariffs, you can visit its website.
Hootsuite: This tool is the most famous and simplest tool in the field of social network management, through this you can post the same content on several social networks at the same time at the lowest cost. This tool has attracted the attention of marketers due to its strong analysis and reporting system.
Given the widespread presence of users on a variety of social networks who spend hours watching various content, these platforms cannot be ignored as a marketing and advertising tool. Social media marketing is very important for businesses and the benefits we mentioned in this article cannot be ignored. In addition, to succeed in your marketing processes, you can use various techniques and tricks that we discussed in this article.
Your social media marketing strategy is not something that can be changed or modified. As you progress, you may find that some tactics have not been as effective as you thought. Always try to adapt quickly to the situation and add the necessary changes to your overall strategy.
In this article, by mentioning the example of the restaurant, we tried to make the story more tangible by mentioning the example for each case. But you should always keep in mind that it is not possible to wrap up a single, permanent version for businesses. With the advent of new social networks or the removal of old media, we need to always monitor the behavior of the audience and collect information from them. and at the end of each person or family meal, or when they paying the restaurant bill, we can ask them what they think of our presence on social media.
what is your opinion? Do you have a clear strategy for marketing your social media? What tools do you use? If you have any questions or comments, please share them with us.