Many people know of the term ‘social media marketing’, however not many people know what this process actually entails – at grassroots level. As being a social media marketing is a very lucrative career to get into these days, we thought that we’d unpack exactly what this term means.
What is marketing?
In their book entitled Marketing Management (which has now become a staple resource on marketing courses), Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane Keller define ‘marketing’ as the following:
“Marketing deals with identifying and meeting human and social needs … ‘meeting needs profitably’.”
The American Marketing Association (AMA) also has also thrown their hat into the ring when it comes to proposing a definition of ‘marketing’. The AMA states that marketing is “… an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stake holders.”
What’s key here in terms of our discussion about social media marketing is ‘communicating’. Marketing is all about communicating a company’s brand message to their audience so that these audience members will respond well to what is being said and will ultimately buy what the company is offering.
The crux of social media marketing
Given that the nucleus of marketing is all about communication, social media marketing is simply about using the medium of social media to communicate a brand, product and/or service message.
What’s crucial with respect to marketing on social media is that the correct channel needs to be chosen to broadcast your company’s message. If you end up disseminating your message on the wrong channel, you’ll waste the time, budget and effort that you’ve spent on developing your campaign because the social media audience won’t respond to what you’re putting out.
Not quite sure about what we mean? Here’s an example.
Say, for instance, that you are the owner of a content creation agency which specialises in creating articles for small-to-medium enterprises’ (SMMEs) websites. Your target audience will be made up of:
- Small Business Owners,
- Marketing Managers, and
- Financial Managers.
Although these people may indeed have Facebook accounts which they use regularly, when they are on this social media platform they’re not in work mode. They’re looking at, for example, pictures of their family or checking out the latest recipe. When on Facebook, they’re not in the headspace to make a purchase for their business.
So, to reach the SMME CEO when he or she is in work mode, you’re going to need to catch them on LinkedIn. This is the premier business-to-business (B2B) social media platform. It’s where industry big wigs go to network and find relevant information, products and services that will help them in their businesses. So, if you want to make sure that you’re reaching your target market when they are amenable to listening to your business pitch, reach out to them on LinkedIn and make activities in this arena the focal part of your social media marketing strategy and plans going forward.
What’s the first step with social media marketing?
As far as we’re concerned, the first step to building a solid social media marketing campaign is to have a plan in place. As Benjamin Franklin famously said: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” The same is true with social media. If you don’t have a strategy or plan in place to guide all of your efforts, you won’t know what the outcome that you want to achieve is. You’ll end up doing a lot of activities but won’t really know why you’re going them. At the end of the day, you’ll have spent a lot of time and money but won’t have any tangible benefits to show for it.
So the first step is to lay down a strategy of what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. The next step to succeeding in your social media marketing is to do the Digital School of Marketing’s Social Media Marketing Course. This qualification will give you the ins and outs of what it takes to succeed on social media for your business. Read more and register here.
DSM is the only college to offer accredited education in the digital arena. We are accredited by the MICT SETA. We invite you to visit our website so that you can see how we can help you supercharge your career!
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