Social media are online resources designed to share information of various formats and to create interest among the target audience in specific content and the platforms on which it is posted. How social media is used to promote business will be described in the presented article.
What is social media and SMM
The most common type of social media is social media, which can be utilized as a tool to sell various products and to attract customers.
Business promotion in social networks is called Social Media Marketing (SMM) and is carried out with the help of placement in social media thematic content and direct communication with direct and potential consumers of goods or services.
The main tasks that can be solved by using SMM for business promotion include:
- attracting additional traffic to the company’s website;
- increasing customer loyalty thanks to informal communication in social networks;
- increasing brand recognition;
- improvement of the company’s image;
- increase in direct sales.
The choice of social network for business promotion will depend on the priority of tasks to be solved by SMM, and on the preferences and nature of the target audience.
The main stages of business promotion in social media
A company’s activity to promote its business in social media includes the stages of developing an SMM strategy, creating a corporate account and forming a content strategy.
SMM-strategy development is a plan for solving business tasks of a company working in social networks. With the help of SMM-strategies it becomes possible to:
- defining the goals of the company’s presence in social networks and ways to achieve them;
- prioritization of tasks;
- forecasting the potential effect of SMM-promotion of business.
Creating an SMM strategy includes the following stages:
- assessing the current position of the brand in social networks in terms of the number and activity of subscribers, relevance and quality of content;
- conducting a competitive analysis to effectively distinguish (gain an advantage over competitors) from companies offering similar products;
- defining the target audience and creating a consumer portrait;
- forming a unique selling proposition using team brainstorming of product developers or based on the results of an audience survey;
- presence can be commercial (for the purpose of selling products), as a community of interest (to gather as many potential customers as possible and form a sales funnel), or mixed (combining these goals).
Creating a corporate account is a set of works on designing the company’s community page, branded avatars and group covers in social networks, as well as templates for posting posts that highlight the company’s publications in subscribers’ newsfeeds.
At the same time, the community must have:
- A name consisting of the name of the brand and key queries for which the company will be searched by potential customers;
- URL address of the group, corresponding to the brand name and the same for all social networks;
- a brief, clear and informative description of the group with an indication of the company’s advantages.
Also in the corporate account it is necessary to create sections for discussions, set privacy settings, think over the system of notifications and identifying marks (hashtags and geotags).
Developing a content strategy determines the type and nature of information intended for business promotion, as well as the format and style of content.
Content in this case can be:
- entertaining – to attract subscribers and increase audience reach;
- educational – to educate users or to demonstrate the company’s competence in the field of its work;
- commercial – representing promotional materials and motivating users to follow links to the company’s website;
- user-generated – in the form of customer reviews of the company or other information containing mention of the brand;
- news – telling about events related to the company’s work.
When creating content, you should take into account the specifics of your target audience, make the information easy to understand, and maintain regularity of publications.