Social networks and their importance in Internet marketing

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    Over the past few years, social media marketing (SMM) has become an integral part of online marketing, and its share is only increasing. Along with the growth of the audience of such resources, their opportunities for promotion and advertising are developing, the number of experienced SMM marketers with cases of successful advertising campaigns in social media in their portfolio is growing.

    Advantages and disadvantages of SMM

    маркетинг в социальных сетях

    The use of promotion in social networks can bring different results. They depend, first of all, on whether SMM promotion is appropriate for a given product or service, and also on how well the capabilities and features of social networks are used. SMM has its advantages and disadvantages that you need to know and take into account when planning and implementing an advertising campaign.

    Advantages. Some of the benefits of social media marketing include:

    • higher confidence in information that does not look like a familiar advertisement;
    • the ability to contact representatives of the target audience from different countries and regions, increasing coverage without reducing conversion;
    • segmentation of the target audience, if necessary, according to various criteria, which gives a higher quality of information delivery;
    • the cost of an advertising campaign is significantly lower than television advertising with the same or greater coverage of the target audience;
    • operational feedback allows you to flexibly change the conduct of an advertising campaign depending on the reaction of the target audience;
    • fast response speeds up the collection and processing of information received during the promotion.

    Flaws. Along with this, there are some limitations and features of marketing in social networks that should be taken into account for an objective assessment of promotion prospects:

    • the required result is achieved in a relatively long time, because there is no direct advertising message, and promotion is based on social connections;
    • such promotion in order to achieve a stable and long-term result requires constant activity in posting materials for greater user involvement;
    • the flexibility and high complexity of the advertising campaign make it difficult to pre-calculate the budget;
    • the achievement of the desired result cannot be guaranteed;
    • search in social networks in terms of popularity is still inferior to the use of search engines;
    • The success of social media marketing is highly dependent on reputation, which is long and hard earned, but can be destroyed by one unsuccessful publication;
    • for users who spend a lot of time on the social network, it becomes easier to distinguish advertising information from ordinary information;
    • segments such as B2B, industrial goods or services are poorly promoted through SMM.

    As you can see, promotion in social networks is significantly different from traditional Internet marketing. It requires the use of special tools and is highly dependent on the social network and target audience.

    The most popular social networks in Ukraine and russia

    Among the popular social resources used in Ukraine and Russia for promotion, Facebook, Instagram, VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Youtube are used for the most part. Twitter and LinkedIn are also popular.

    The choice of a particular social network for an advertising campaign depends on the target audience and its coverage. Effective promotion, as a rule, involves the use of several resources, since they differ in the methods used to convey information and work differently even for the same target audience.

    What tools are used for promotion in social networks

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    The choice of tools and methods that are used for SMM promotion depends on the choice of the model for building an advertising campaign, the social networks used and the tasks facing the marketer. If we talk about the promotion model, three are used – work directly in social networks (SMM), optimization of available resources for effective integration with social networks (SMO), targeted advertising.

    A huge number of available tools and approaches in social marketing can be divided into several main groups:

    • Content management is the main area of focus. The quality and compliance of the content with the objectives of the advertising campaign and the needs of the target audience determines the success of the use of other tools and the reality of achieving the desired result;
    • Community management tools are just as important as they help build strong connections and engage your audience. Quick response to feedback from users, the ability to work with questions and negatives, stimulating discussions are the actions that are necessary for the effective management of communities in social networks;
    • Cooperation with well-known bloggers (opinion leaders) helps to increase the level of trust in the brand and increase the reach of the target audience;
    • Advertising in various thematic groups or pages in the form of paid publications helps to speed up the process of expanding audience coverage. For this purpose, manual search or special exchanges are used, where you can select the subject of the group;
    • Games in social networks are very popular and can be successfully used for advertising and promotion;
    • Promotional offers, or offers can be placed in the feed, offering participation in promotions and discounts. When such an offer is activated, the user’s friends receive a notification, which helps to inform the maximum number of users faster;
    • Widgets on sites do a good job of attracting new users to groups and publics using traffic attracted from search engines;
    • The use of an already promoted resource to promote a new one is called circular promotion. It can be a group or public in the same or even in another social network;
    • Contests, provided they are transparent and interesting, can seriously increase the audience of the page and increase user engagement and loyalty to the brand;
    • Joint cross-promotion can be used for brands that have the same target audience, but are not competitors. In this case, advertising costs are reduced, and users receive a comprehensive offer;
    • Hashtags are actively used in many social networks. With the help of a well-chosen, already promoted hashtag, you can attract new users and also influence the brand image on the social network;
    • live broadcasts are becoming more popular and help to engage the target audience more strongly;
    • Site snippet optimization is performed for optimal display of links to your resource in social services. The snippet may contain images, advertising and other information that may be attractive;
    • Targeted advertising is getting better every year, and allows you to send messages to users based on the data they have in their profile and pages.

    SMM promotion tools, even aimed at achieving a single goal, actually help to solve a number of tasks. Among them – increasing brand awareness and consumer loyalty, highlighting a company or brand, detuning from competitors and, as a result, increasing sales of products or services.

    What Mistakes to Avoid When Using Social Media

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    Even the best tool does not guarantee the absence of errors. Especially when it comes to such a complex and sometimes unpredictable type of marketing activity as SMM. By knowing the most common social media marketing mistakes, you can avoid failures in advertising campaigns and spend your budget on promotion more efficiently.

    Don’t expect quick results

    One of the most common misconceptions is the expectation of a quick payback in the form of increased sales after starting a social media campaign. Unlike contextual, banner and other types of advertising, SMM indirectly affects the sales of goods and services. You will have to wait some time before you see the result. This period can be very different for each social network and market segment.

    Expecting a quick result can lead to social media frustration and a premature end to the campaign. To avoid this mistake, it is necessary to precisely define the criteria by which the success of the promotion will be evaluated. At the same time, it should be understood that it is possible to adjust the timing in any direction.

    Do not chase users and “likes”

    The natural desire of the owner of a page or group is a large number of participants and their active involvement. But it often happens that quality is lost in the pursuit of quantity – most of the participants turn out to be bought fake accounts that will not bring any benefit, but can negatively affect the brand’s reputation on the social network.

    You should understand the real size of the target audience, depending on the scope of the company. It is unlikely that a small local restaurant needs an audience of many thousands, most of which have never been and will not visit this city.

    But even with a large target audience, you should not rush to increase the number of likes and subscribers by any means. As a result, this will only give a short-term increase in the rating, but will in no way help build relationships with customers and increase their loyalty.

    Say “no” to low-quality content

    The main sign of quality content in social networks is that it is interesting to users, it is shared with friends. In many cases, on the pages of companies and brands, you can see uninteresting content, texts written in a dry language, copied from press releases. There is nothing surprising in the fact that there are problems with the promotion of such pages – users are not interested in reading dry texts written in “lifeless” language.

    The same effect (or rather, its absence) brings the placement of content that is in no way related to the theme of the group, the activities of the brand and the interests of the target audience.

    Careful study of the target audience, competent selection of materials, placement of not only unique, but also interesting information that arouses interest among users will help to avoid this mistake.

    React fast

    Timely response to comments, questions, problem situations is very relevant for establishing connections and increasing loyalty. The sooner there is a response to the appeal, the better. It is not uncommon for many pages to have a number of questions and requests from users to which there is no visible reaction. This is unacceptable, because it undermines trust and loyalty to the company as a whole.

    Study statistics

    Each publication in the social network is designed for a certain reaction of the audience, because it is an advertisement of our brand. And it is necessary to apply various methods for collecting statistics and analyzing them. Otherwise, what happens is that funds are spent on advertising, SMM specialists work, but no one knows which tools, channels and publications are effective and which are not.

    Modern tools for collecting statistics allow you to do in-depth analysis to improve the effectiveness of an advertising campaign. Their constant use allows you to have an objective picture of the promotion process.

    Balance between sales and interesting content

    Here we will talk about two mistakes that are two extremes – this is an excessive passion for direct advertising with calls to “buy” and, conversely, an emphasis on entertainment content that does not affect the improvement of sales of goods and services.

    The reason in both cases is often that the brand or company has no idea how it can be interesting to users of social networks. As a result, she either does what she is used to – advertises her products, or begins to entertain them. In the first case, the target audience quickly loses interest in the page, since everyone has long been immune to direct advertising, or they are happy to consume entertainment content that has nothing to do with the company’s product.

    A competent approach to creating content and planning its placement on social networks is a balance between entertaining interesting information and materials that are promotional in nature. Only in this case, everyone gets what they expect from using a social network – visitors communication and social connections, a brand – increasing loyalty and sales.

    Examples of successful SMM campaigns

    The correct use of social media promotion tools often brings impressive results that become known far beyond the industry. The most successful ones become models and a source of experience for other marketers, they are talked about on the Internet.

    Kate Hudson ran a successful Facebook campaign for her sportswear brand Fabletics. Attracting users was carried out with the help of advertising on a social network with an appeal to purchase their first sports equipment at a very low price – only $25. To do this, they had to subscribe to the brand’s page and take a simple test that helped determine their clothing size. At the same time, the counter encouraged visitors to make a purchase more quickly. During the campaign, more than 200 thousand likes were collected, and the company’s profit is estimated at $650 million.

    The international corporation IKEA pays a lot of attention to promotion in social networks, and in 2016 it stood out with another campaign. The buyers were offered a series of products, the names for which were taken from the search queries of people who were looking for solutions to difficult life situations. Naturally, such an unusual campaign attracted a lot of attention from social media users and received a large number of likes.

    Of the last posts I remember of them, this is the Twitt out after the Italian team lost to Sweden for entering the 2018 World Cup in Russia on football. Then they played a joke on Gianpiero Ventura, who retired after the defeat of the Italian national team like this – “Because of us, Ventura lost the bench, we will give him a new one.”

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    Instagram has already become a promising platform for promotion in many countries, as evidenced by a large number of successful cases in the field of style and fashion. For example, the famous perfume brand Chanel used branded hashtags to promote a new series of its products. The company has invited several well-known bloggers to their flower and production fields so that they can show the creation of new fragrances from the inside. Using special hashtags in their stories, they increased the number of users of the brand’s page on the social network by 40,000 people.

    The experience of the Equinox fitness club chain can serve as an excellent example for similar companies around the world. The marketing activity of the brand is to promote a healthy lifestyle in social networks. The company’s publications have the logo of the network, but are not perceived as advertising, which increases user loyalty and helps to increase their number. Subscribers are happy to share information with other members of social networks, getting involved in brand promotion.

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