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Social media marketing for SMEs: case studies, definitions, and strategies

Social media marketing for SMEs

Social media marketing for SMEs: case studies, definitions, and strategies

Customer-business interactions are as strong as ever in our more interconnected and competitive world. Businesses, on the other hand, must do more than just provide things that meet a certain need: they must communicate with customers with authenticity (one-to-one communication) and personality (the brand), and they must take care of everything even after the sale is made (customer care). 

A company's success is built on the genuine relationships it cultivates, and in order to accomplish so, it needs to be where people hang out and communicate on a daily basis: social media.

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What are the benefits of establishing a social media marketing strategy?

What are the benefits of establishing a social media marketing strategy

According to a statistic issued by We Are Social in early 2022, there are currently 4.62 billion people engaged on social networks, a rise of over 400 million from 2021. Interestingly, the most common reasons for spending more than two hours each day on social media include 'finding inspiration for things to do or buy' and 'finding products to buy.' As a result, if you want to have a strong online presence, you'll need to develop a social media marketing strategy.

What does social media marketing involve?

Let's take a step back and define what we mean when we say "social media marketing" (SMM). It's a subcategory of digital marketing that entails the expert use of social media to create qualified leads and earnings. The ultimate goal of social media marketing is to generate interactions with your target audience: points of contact where businesses can engage customers with relevant content and thereby create an exchange based on the value supplied and received.

When you consider the possible benefits of developing an SMM strategy for SMEs, it becomes evident how critical it is:

  • Brand awareness and reputation have improved.
  • A more specialized market niche, because you can contact directly with customers and maintain the relationship both before and after the sale.
  • The ability to create tailored advertising campaigns with lesser resources than traditional media (especially in terms of their effectiveness/price ratio).
  • A deeper understanding of your target market.

Creating a strategy for social media marketing

As people seek a personalized and unique interaction with businesses, social networks are also a place where SMEs may compete with major brands. These platforms can serve as a sounding board for your brand's identity and help you build a dedicated following. Let's take a look at the measures you'll need to take to attain this goal, including a to-do list to assist you in developing your SMM strategy.

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1. Set SMART goals for yourself.

Targets provide you with a set of parameters to follow both while developing your strategy and when implementing it. The SMART framework, which provides five criteria to help you create the correct goals, is one alternative.

  • Specific: When you're initially getting started with social media marketing, it's natural to have an overarching goal in mind, but you'll need to get down to business and have a clear understanding of what you're striving for at some point. For instance, you may use Instagram to raise brand recognition or Facebook to obtain qualified leads.
  • Measurable: The only way to know if you've met your goal is to keep track of your progress. This entails quantifying the goal you wish to achieve: you must identify the finish line in order to know whether you have crossed it or not. Doubling your number of followers is an example of a measurable goal.
  • Attainable: The goals you establish for yourself must be attainable. It's critical to generate projections that are as close to reality as feasible for effective planning.
  • Relevant: Is the objective you've set appropriate for your business? Your goals should be aligned with your desired level of progress; otherwise, you risk losing concentration and direction.
  • Time-bound: A target is only valuable if it has a deadline attached to it. As a result, each goal should have a time limit so that you may analyze it thoroughly.

2. Make your brand stand out from the crowd

Consider social media to be an extension of your brand: these platforms should highlight the personality and tone of voice that sets you apart from the competition. Customers may come to you for your products and services, but they will only stay loyal and return for more purchases if they like your personality.

This may appear to be an easy task, but generating something that is truly appealing to your target audience needs thought and planning. If you haven't yet figured out what your brand's personality is, you might find it beneficial to ask yourself a series of questions:

  1. What is the purpose of your company? Define your raison d'être and mission, then focus on what you want to do (your vision) and how you intend to accomplish it (your values).
  2. What would your brand be like if it were a person? To flesh out your personality, use Jean-Noel Kapferer's brand identity prism.
  3. How do you interact with others? Based on the previous questions, determine your tone of voice and allow the company's personality to come through in all of your communications.

The answers to these three questions will give you a distinct brand personality that will allow you to emphasize your personality on social media and develop a devoted customer base.

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3. Understand your target audience

Providing valuable material is the most effective strategy to grow your social media following. This does not always imply presenting life-changing ideas; a funny article, for example, might be incredibly effective and 'useful' in terms of providing others with a chuckle.

To add value,  you must have a thorough understanding of your target audience. Look at the posts your consumers are making, the profiles they are following, and the things they are sharing. You need to tap into their daily flow of information to participate in their conversations, address their wants, and develop your relationship with them. An engaged audience will also benefit your business by increasing the perception of your brand and generating more conversions, both in terms of transactions and lead creation.

4. Continue to plan.

For maintaining an SMM strategy without becoming overwhelmed by stress and posting anxiety, constant planning is essential. This is the key to balancing work on your business with social media content creation.

It's not enough to handle your online channels when you have some spare time; you need consistency to build your online brand. Planning posts ahead of time allows you to know what you'll publish when you'll publish it, and which platform you'll publish it on.

A content calendar is a must-have tool for this, as it helps you to plan out the days you'll post material from month to month. It should assist you to be constant in the amount of information you publish, whether you use a paper document or a digital file, without having to worry about having to think about making a post every day. This isn't a silver bullet, though; it still needs a tremendous degree of focus and devotion. After all, if you want to be 'on time,' you must do everything ' on-time.'

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Examples of effective social media marketing strategies

Only when you consider the advice we've given you in perspective does it make sense. In addition to the examples described below, you should always be curious, looking at the potential social networks present and taking an interest in other SMEs who successfully use social media, because every resource or piece of advice you receive may help you enhance your SMM strategy. With that in mind, consider the following examples to better understand your options:

  • Burger Revolution: In Ontario, Canada, a burger revolution is taking place on social media. The company uses a local strategy to keep clients informed about its latest inventions, inform them about limited-edition options and how many are left, and, most significantly, provide its 'comment of the day'. Customers can doodle, leave a comment, or write a humorous phrase on post-its in the restaurant, and the best ones are taken and published on social media, reaching a large audience. This is an excellent example of user-generated content, in which the audience of a brand develops organic material that the company can subsequently broadcast on its different channels to enhance word-of-mouth spreading.
  • Manifesti Abbastanza Ostili: this poster design company's page has nearly 100,000 followers less than a year after its first post. Its meteoric rise, which has resulted in Manifesti Abbastanza Ostili posters being seen in many homes, is due to an irreverent marketing strategy and "quite antagonistic" social media management. It is the brand's personality that draws you in: its demeanor echoes the things it offers, employing sarcastic and occasionally cynical language yet always managing to make you grin. The tone of voice is well-structured and spans all aspects of the business, from FAQs on the website to responses to direct messages on Instagram to projects with its followers (for example adopting a cow called Vendetta). Basically, the brand personality of Manifesti Abbastanza Ostili stands out in every way and is the key to its success: the more people regard your brand as human, familiar, and different, the deeper the bonds you will form.
  • Tails com is a London-based company that specializes in customizing dog foods and diets. Its main strength, in addition to its high-quality products, is its effective social media strategy, or, to be more exact, strategies: it has four. For starters, depending on the peculiarities of each social network, it has fashioned its online presence is drastically diverse ways. The company, for example, uses Twitter as a customer service tool, where it replies to questions quickly and connects with customers more directly. Meanwhile, the brand's Facebook and Instagram sites are mostly used to promote its items, special discounts, and images of its work. The second technique is straightforward yet highly effective: Tails posts items from its blog on social media on a regular basis, with the goal of providing clients with added value through tutorials, guides, and answers to any issues they may have. The company's third strategy is to humanise the brand. It uses its social media channels to broadcast behind-the-scenes films from the company's daily operations, fascinating facts about the crew, and tidbits about upcoming projects. All of this serves to enhance the brand's engagement with customers by making them feel like they're a part of the company's operations. The final technique entails the judicious application of hashtags. Tails frequently hold competitions and prize drawings to encourage users to post photographs and videos (user-generated content) using specific hashtags. As a result, each contest attracts hundreds of participants, as well as a similar number of impromptu marketing interactions.
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