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Social Media Marketing



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INTRODUCTION
The importance of good and creative marketing to ensure a successful business, is already commonly known, but is the importance of social media marketing (specifically) highlighted enough to show its role in businesses of the 21st cen- tury? Is it awareness fully spread of what goes into the creation of social media platforms? The marketing strategies? Or what kind of benefits social media mar- keting has in businesses? Or has it ever been mentioned that outsmarting social media algorithms is very possible? In this essay, these questions and more will be answered based on thorough research of multiple websites, blogs, articles, etc.

1. MARKETINGSTRATEGY:
When thinking about marketing a business, the first thing that automatically comes to mind is the development of an effective marketing strategy. The main objective when forming a social media marketing strategy is to produce good, functional outcomes whilst being time conscious. These following guidelines are useful to consider when setting up a marketing strategy: First, the creation of SMART goals for the business is suggested, this specific goal setting method refers to creating goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound – the SMART theory was invented partially by George T.Doran and partially by Locke and Lathams. Secondly, it is advised to create a set brand name, which the social media platform should stay with and by which it could be easily recognized by. The brand name is the one aspect that combines all the sub- components of the digital platforms, it is part of the blog and creates a specific atmos- phere for readers and interactors. When looking at already successful established brands, for e.g: Starbucks, it is clear to observe that the atmosphere in which it estab- lished in is the make or break of their success. Their atmosphere evokes certain emo- tions in their customers through various other marketing components besides the main product (the coffee) itself. Another recommendation is to use an adherent strategy, to brand the blog in social media marketing, this is how to build a name and create aware- ness of the business. [ Steph Social, 2019].
Next, there are certain important questions to ask when setting up this kind of strategy. The first one is to cover the reason for being on social media, address the why firstly. Is the platform there for product or service-related reasons or for other reasons? The next question is getting to know who the platform is aimed at. Getting to know the desired interactors will help formulate the next question, which is: what. What type of idea will the brand be putting out there? The goal is to try to see the bigger picture and to formu- late the idea of the product or service before creating the content itself. Notice how on bigger social media profiles, many of them have a few main themes. This is very suitable, because it makes it easier to create a variety of content with which the audience can interact. Figuring out where the content should be posted is the next big question to be addressed. Using all platforms does not necessarily equal success. This is where knowledge of the desired interactors come in. One should base the platform on where most interactions will take place. This will depend on the specific type of content that will be offered. Whether it will be videos, photos, blogs, etc. The last question is aimed at asking when the posts will be happening, and this will depend on the answers to all the

questions asked above. Looking at the already successful brands with the same theme or in the same line as the company’s brand and seeing what works best for them, will evoke inspiration. Chances are good that the competition has a similar target audience as the creator has, so investigating the audience’s mannerisms, will give a clear idea on when exactly the right time to post is. [Alfred Lua]

2. BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
The most obvious benefit when using social media marketing is the little to no amount of money spent while running it. Another big benefit is the flexible working hours re- volving around it, the time that is put into it is totally up to the person, which means that one can organize one’s life around it by working through freelancing programmes. Social media makes it very easy to keep an eye on competition. By thorough research and searching things like common or non-common hashtags of competitors, it is easy to get inspiring ideas from them or improve the posts in some ways. This helps when trying to find a bigger target group. [Mohan Kakarla]
Another big benefit of this type of marketing is the way it goes hand-in-hand with ad- vertising. It has been researched that 81% of customers tries to search a company on the internet before purchasing anything from the company. This is the reason why it’s recommended to keep the page updated with unique and free content, while adver- tising it. Social media marketing creates a safe space for customer’s needs, this can be proven by the following statistics: 63% of interactors assume interaction through social media, brands are 90% of the time approached directly by interactors on social media and one third of all people use social media as platform to raise their customer service issues [Andrew Hutchinson, 2019].
When shifting the focus mainly to the benefits of this marketing type on smaller busi- nesses, it is all about the amount of people it reaches. Even if the business is in rural areas of the world, social media posts can still be reached globally. More than three billion people around the world, are using social media. This marketing type is also more sustainable and much eco-friendlier, compared to old-fashioned marketing types, such as: printing out thousands of flyers on paper and spreading them around. It also increases brand loyalty, which for small businesses, could be a crucial aspect for their success. [David Wallce, 2019]

3. OUTSMARTINGSOCIALMEDIAALGORITHMS:
There are three official ways in which a user can outsmart social media. These ways are commonly known as “community management”,” signals” and “less automation”. Number one, “community management” is the oldest way of the three, but that doesn’t mean that it is being used enough. It refers to the communication between the content creator and their interactors. It also refers to uploading regular posts based on the rel- evance and quality of the content. Always reflect the insights to see what worked and what did not. Through that, changes and improvements can be made as needed. En- gaging more with the interactors and insights and focusing less on the amount of likes and followers, concludes the idea of “community management”. Next, the “signals” de- scribe the interaction between the creator and their followers, it answers questions re- lated to the follower’s engagement, the communication between the creator and their followers, etc. A good example of “signals” can be the amount of time it takes to post something onto Instagram. This can be explained by the algorithms of social media’s pre- and post-engagement of posts. Partaking more actively and avoiding the assump- tion that growing an audience is a fast process, is the mindset to have. Lastly, when looking at the “less automation” aspect, it can be concluded that it is best to use as little as possible automation settings on social media platforms. The algorithm is designed in a way that it seeks consistent engagement from the user. Trying new things con- stantly and trying to avoid falling into the same old patterns is the way to go. It is sug- gested to try and implement more content that will suit the algorithm and to avoid auto- mating the content too much [Nancy Casanova, 2019].

4. DO’S AND DON’TS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
There are a few things recommended from professional digital marketers/influencers that should be implemented or avoided when it comes to exposing the business to social media. The “do’s” are simple, first things first. Being Authentic. Even though this platform represents the business, it is good for the creator to remember to be authentic rather than presenting a fake image to the world. It is most likely that the creator will get even more admiration and respect from their followers. Another green flag, a definite “do”, is creating a more positive atmosphere online, uplifting others by posting positive com- ments. No matter what kind of account is presented, anybody would appreciate a posi- tive comment. The third (and most important in my opinion) “do” is occasionally taking a break from social media. This is commonly known as a “digital detox” and is a very effi- cient method to improve general mental health. Forgetting about the fact that it is a busi- ness account, because the true and wanted followers will understand this. Moving on to the “don’ts” of social media. First, do not get involved in negative conversations in the comment section, even if it is easy to agree with one person more than others, handle this situation by stating, in a nice way, that this is not the platform to have those type of conversation on, and if that doesn’t do the trick, simply remove the comments. The next “don’t” can easily be forgotten. It is about not forgetting to enjoy the whole process. This relates to the authenticity that was earlier mentioned. Meaning, if something is funny, share it. If there were bloopers when trying to film your content, share it. It is important for the followers to have some person-to-person interaction. Be social, at the end of the day, that is what the platform is for! [Kayla Peart, 2018]

CONCLUSION
In this essay, it is clear to see that there is a lot of research that goes behind social media marketing. It doesn’t just happen overnight. There is still so much more to learn about social media marketing. This essay is meant to simply highlight the im- portance of this type of marketing in the business world and how beneficial it could be for modern day companies. This is just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more to social media marketing when one takes the chance of diving deeper into the topic. This marketing method is the number one method to use when creating suc- cessful, innovative businesses in the 21st century.

 

REFERENCES:

Steph Social, 2019 , Read on 4 November 2021, The benefits of social media marketing for your blog or business The Benefits Of Social Media Marketing For Your Blog Or Business (stephsocial.com)

Alfred Lua, Read on 4 November 2019 How to create a social media marketing strategy Social Media Marketing Strategy: The Complete Guide for Marketers (buffer.com)
Mohan Kakarla, Read on 5 November 2019, 7 Benefits of digital market- ing Top 7 Powerful Benefits Of Digital Marketing You Must Know (mo- hannani.com)

Andrew Hutchinson, 2019, Read on 5 November 2021 Why Your brand needs to invest in social media Why Your Brand Needs to Invest in So- cial Media [Infographic] | Social Media Today

David Wallce, 2019, Read on 5 November 2021 5 social media market- ing benefits for small businesses 5 Social Media Marketing Benefits For Small Business [Infographic] (infographicjournal.com)

Nancy Casanova, 2019, Read on 7 November 20213 ways to outsmart a social media algorithm 3 Ways to Outsmart a Social Media Algorithm – NancyCasanova.com

Kayla Peart, 2018, Read on 9 November 2019 The do’s and don’ts of us- ing social media for your business The Dos and Don’ts of Using Social Media For Your Business – Wonder Forest (thewonderforest.com)

Comments
  • Kamil Wójcik

    Interesting essay! Many insights and things to consider, informative and backed by various sources.

    One part I would like to challenge a little:
    “The most obvious benefit when using social media marketing is the little to no amount of money spent while running it.”
    Indeed, the platform is free, but what about content creation?

    27.10.2022
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