SMM meaning and definition
SMM (social media marketing) is marketing, the purpose of which is to attract, retain customers and sell in social networks.
According to Marketing Sherpa statistics, 95% of people aged 18 to 34 are most comfortable following a brand and interacting with it through social networks. This is the reason for the great demand for SMM specialists: almost every company maintains social networks. For many brands, this is the only channel for online promotion.
SMM is suitable for everyone: B2B companies, online stores, services and media.
Why do businesses need social media?
Promote content. These can be blog articles, company news, YouTube videos, or new product announcements on Instagram*.
Respond to newsbreaks. Companies often use social networks to express their opinion about important events in their business or take part in flash mobs.
Run advertisements. To do this, you need to choose the right audience, set up advertising and calculate the budget. Sometimes a separate specialist, a targetologist, is hired for these purposes.
Super-popular social networks like Instagram* or Facebook* are not always used to promote a company. Often an SMM specialist chooses more niche sites where you are more likely to find the target audience. Here is a list of social networks where brands promote their products:
- “In contact with”.
- “My world”.
- LinkedIn. Business and professional social network.
- Pinterest. Image publishing and sharing platform.
- Discord. A platform for communication between gamers.
- Reddit. Social network with a focus on news.
- soundcloud. For musicians and DJs.
Local markets also have regional social networks. For example, in the CIS countries, these are VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, in China – QZone. Regional social networks are important to consider when working with a foreign audience.
SMM goals and objectives
The main goal of SMM (like any advertising) is to make the business bring more money.
Social media does not bring instant results. Even after going to your business account through advertising, the user will not immediately buy the product. With a high probability, he will begin to study your content. Therefore, it is important for the company to systematically and efficiently manage social networks. Only then can you get a good conversion of this communication channel.
Here are the tasks that can be solved through SMM:
Increase in traffic. With the help of publications in social networks, you can redirect users to your official website, which means increasing traffic. Publish announcements of articles, talk about promotions and attach a quick link.
Formation of a loyal attitude of the audience to the business. There are several ways to work on loyalty in social networks:
- Show off the kitchen. Show photos and videos of how super-precisely your machine cuts out details, confectioners assemble the cake in gloves, and what perfect order reigns in warehouses.
- Share feedback. A positive review from a real person with a photo or video works great.
- Publish portfolios and case studies. Photos of work, videos, before/after cases can convince potential customers to order from you.
- Talk about employees. A person buys from a person – this is the motto of business social networks. If you tell me that the waiter Anna loves pugs, and the accountant Maria studied in Europe, your business will become a little closer to real people – your customers.
Increasing the level of involvement. If your subscribers participate in contests and surveys, comment on publications, ask questions in direct, they are involved in the work of the company. For this to happen, social media content needs to be useful, interesting, and emotional.
Finding buyers and generating leads. This problem is solved with the help of targeted advertising in social networks. Here it is easy to set up by geolocation (show to those who are near your cafe), by interests (to everyone who take interest in anime) and by socio-demographic characteristics (women from 20 to 40 years old).
Image work. In social networks, it is convenient and visually to broadcast the values of the brand. For example, you encourage employee training and participate in charitable projects. Then natively tell about it: post photos of employees from a scientific conference or talk about a corporate trip to an animal shelter.
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What are the responsibilities of an SMM specialist?
An SMM manager is a person who manages the company’s social networks.
If literally 5-10 years ago few people knew about this profession, today most companies hire an SMM specialist on a full-time basis or as a freelancer. The profession is in demand, and dozens of online universities and educational centers offer to master the specialty.
What does an SMM specialist do:
- Selects posts for publications, draws up a content plan for the week/month/year.
- Manages the content creation process: writing posts, preparing visual and video content, tests. Sometimes he writes himself.
- Follows newsbreaks and responds to them on behalf of the company.
- Answers questions from subscribers, works out the comments of other people under the posts.
- Sets up paid promotion of posts in different social networks: launches ads and negotiates with bloggers
- It monitors the effectiveness of various social networks: how the subscriber base grows, what posts attract the audience, whether new customers come to the company, whether they place orders, how much money they bring.
In small companies, an SMM specialist works independently, doing everything at once. If the company’s budget is high, there are many social networks and they are active, then several specialists share the work of positioning in social networks: copywriters, designers, story makers, targetologists, community administrators.
Sometimes a professional producer is brought in to develop a strategy or launch a new project. He defines the audience, values, writes warm-ups and sets tasks for the whole team.
Often, SMM specialists become producers, who improve their knowledge in practice and professional courses.
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The main methods of promotion in SMM marketing
There are several ways to promote your community or social media account. You can use them simultaneously or choose the most suitable ones, taking into account the budget and business goals.
Targeted advertising. Ads that will be shown precisely to your potential target audience. It can be configured through the built-in advertising cabinets of social networks.
When setting up advertising, it is important to correctly determine its purpose. This could be going to a website, joining a community, filling out a form, or registering for an event.
In social networks, you can run retargeting – “catching up” advertising. It is displayed, for example, to visitors to your site who have added items to their shopping cart but have not completed an order.
Depending on the settings and the choice of social network, advertising will be shown as a side banner, post in the feed or stories.
When launching a target, much attention requires to paid to the wording of the offer (proposal) and visuals. They should catch attention among dozens of competitors’ ads and encourage the user to take action. For example, click on a button, leave contacts, subscribe to a channel, and so on.
Advertising in third-party communities. This is an ad that only members of a particular group or community will see when they visit it. It looks like a post on a community wall.
Let’s say you sell wooden toys for children. A large segment of your target audience is young mothers with children aged 6 months to 3 years. You are looking for an active community where such an audience communicates and reads the news. Let’s say these are the publics “Peter’s Moms” and “Karapuz Perinatal Center”.
You negotiate with the group administration and launch an advertisement there – a post with a photo and a promo code for a discount for the first order. In this case, the promotional code acts not only as a lead magnet, but also helps you track the conversion of ads in this community.
There are no communities on the Instagram* network, so advertising from bloggers is gaining popularity there. Bloggers with a large number of active followers talk about your product in their stories or feed posts. You pay money for it, and in return you get traffic, new users and customers.
Content marketing. This is marketing that works “for a long time”, and its main tool is content – publications, stories, photos, videos, polls.
A content strategy build around certain tasks that are relevant for business here and now. For example, for a new brand, this could be recognition and audience building. For those who have been working in the market for a long time and are active in social networks, the main task may be the formation of loyalty and involvement.
To develop a content strategy, it is necessary not only to determine the main tasks, but also to form a portrait of the audience, select social networks for promotion, create a rubricator, designate the Tone of Voice of the brand.
At the same time, content marketing does not always sell directly. Rather, it creates an impression of the brand, inspires confidence and encourages a future purchase.
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How to evaluate the effectiveness of SMM
The effectiveness of SMM is monitored in the context of each individual social network and across all channels in general. Metrics can be both general marketing and specific, which are found only in SMM.
- The number of visits to the site from social networks.
- The behavior of users from social networks on the site: the percentage of failures, the duration of the page view, transitions to other pages.
- Conversion: registration, purchase of goods, participation in events.
- Profit and average bill of customers from social networks.
SMM metrics. These are indicators that are typical only for the SMM channel:
- Growth of the subscriber base in different social networks.
- The number of views on the item.
- The number of reactions – likes, reposts, comments.
- Brand mentions. They can divide it into positive, neutral and negative.
Of course, all these metrics monitor manually. But if you manage several social networks at the same time, then it takes too much time to collect statistics. Therefore, to track specific metrics, SMM specialists use social media analytics services (Buffer Reply, Hubspot, BRAND24).
Some social networks themselves generate convenient reports about what happened over the past week or month. This is very convenient for analysts and business account holders.
The effectiveness of social networks increased significantly by linking with other channels: for example, content and email marketing.