A Concise Guide to Becoming a Social Media Marketing Master – from None Other Than Sorav Jain

guide to becoming social media marketing master

As we sit here in 2020, we can safely say that social media is here to stay. Thanks to the omnipresence of smartphones, it has become something we can’t quite live without. Be honest with yourself: how often do you scroll through your Instagram/Twitter feed in a day? Your answer should be a good indicator of the innate potential of social media in today’s day and age. Who rules the roost in social media today? Influencers and social media experts. With their weapon of choice being social media marketing, they carve a name for themselves expertly within their niche.

How do they do it? How do they reach those seemingly mind-boggling follower counts? If you must know, there’s no secret sauce or magic formula to it. Social media influencers become kings/queens of the hill with smart planning and substantial effort. They set their cards up early and rule the game later on. Naturally, the next question is, what are those cards? That’s what we’re here to tell you. This article will cover all the know-how you’ll need to become a bonafide social media marketer in the niche of your choice.

The Basics

If you’re not familiar with the term social media marketing, here’s a quick definition to get you up to speed. In simple terms, social media marketing is all about leveraging your social media presence to promote your brand or your products. The other side of the coin here is that to promote effectively; you need to nurture your social media platforms for steady growth. The core elements of any social media expert strategy are:

  • The platform: Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, so on and so forth.
  • The niche: Your area of expertise/specialization.
  • The audience: Who you want to address with your marketing.
  • The message: This includes both the nature of your communication as well as the medium. This is where diversity kicks in. Your message can be a CSR video or a promotional poll, but all of it comes under the SMM umbrella!

Anything and everything you do as a social media marketer will be centered around these concepts. Like with any marketing campaign, before you set out strategizing for a campaign, you need to do your groundwork first. The foundation of a robust social media marketing campaign is solid research.

So what bases do you have to cover to make sure your campaign has the perfect launchpad?

Let’s take a closer look.

  • Scope out your niche. Get a good feel for the pulse of what the niche is all about. Basically, figure out what works and what doesn’t.
  • Do some competitor analysis. To come out on top, you’ll need to go a notch higher than what your direct competitors are doing. As a social media expert, it is equally important to know what approach sticks with the audience. It also pays to learn from your competitor’s mistakes!
  • Work on brand image. Before posting, you need to set some ground rules about how your brand will present itself online. Set a communication tone for the brand and decide on the core aspects of focus on your page.
  • Get an idea of who you’re talking to. This is absolutely vital before you start ideating for your brand. Know your audience, what segment they occupy, and what their primary requirements are.
  • Devise a central goal for your social media presence. Why is your brand here on this platform? What target are you setting for yourself? These are some of the questions you must have answers for before you begin.

Once you have learnt the ropes of what makes your brand tick on social media, it’s time for the execution phase!

Campaign Crafting 101

The first crucial step to account for while strategizing for a campaign is the core goal. There will be myriad ways to reach this goal, but your focus should never stray from the target. In other words, the true mark of a social media expert knows how to reach your goal as efficiently as possible. With the resources at hand, your job is to make sure that you hit the bullseye, with no hiccups along the way.

Once you have a crystal-clear idea of your goal, work your strategy around that. For most people, drafting up a mind map helps a lot here. For example:

  • Let’s say you have to come up with a campaign to promote a product launch. Ergo, your core goal is to generate significant hype around the product.
  • Start from the ground up. You can come up with teaser posts initially, to create engagement and interest. Then, you can build up to the reveal by videos that are sneak peeks.
  • Ultimately, this culminates into a grand reveal that delivers the engagement payload you’ll need for your product.

The bottom line here is that every step in the campaign should contribute to the end goal in a streamlined manner. Many social media campaigns start strong, only to get derailed and lose the plot later on. You want to avoid that. Stay your course at all costs!

The Importance of Structure

Every social media expert knows that a campaign needs a proper structure to it. You need a plan of action going in so that you can manage any contingencies if and when they arise. For better clarity, let’s go over some of the classic social media campaign templates that you will usually be tasked with creating.

  • The Promotional: These campaigns religiously follow a three-step template. First, you create buzz around the product. Next, you describe the product in detail, including its USPs. Finally, you create FOMO around it, delivering a sense of urgency for everyone to avail it here and now.
  • The Audience Opinion: This type of campaign focuses more on the engagement aspect of things. Here, you want to involve your audience as much as possible, either to gain data for your brand metrics or just to build your follower base. These campaigns employ quizzes and polls to engage with the audience on a deeper level. On platforms like Instagram, even live sessions are the norm here.
  • CSR campaigns: These are when brands, both big and small, take up the mantle of a beneficial non-profit organization. These campaigns are conducted in the interest of a greater good. Therefore, they are very subtle and tactful in how they communicate about the matter at hand. Usually, these campaigns are also coupled with crowdsourced donation drives from the audience, to rally support for the cause. All content in this campaign is insightful, with the agenda to raise public awareness about a particular social issue or cause.

These three types barely scratch the surface of the social media expert’s arsenal. Every campaign brings something different to the table to test your mettle as a social media marketer. With this understanding, it’s time to delve into the deeper aspects of being a social media marketing pro.

The Professional Side

What sets an excellent social media marketer apart from a great one? There are actually quite a few factors that can act as aces up your sleeve to wow your clients with your prowess. Let’s break them down one by one.

  • An experienced social media marketer never underestimates the power of valuable contacts. They regularly strike alliances with influencers based on their clout and sway over particular platforms. Forming partnerships with core influencers can also expand your network and net your brand more followers. In the social media world, connections are currency.
  • Seasoned social media managers always have a plan B in case an aspect of their campaigns goes south. Social media backlash is a genuine threat, which can undo months of painstaking positive PR work. Of course, the ideal thing is to not make a mistake in the first place, but social media remains highly unpredictable and subjective. You should always be willing to quickly devise a damage control strategy in case your content is not well-received. Sooner your response the better, lest you lose a significant chunk of your following and get bad press.
  • Social media is one of those fields, which is easy to learn, but hard to master. Anyone can learn the ropes, but only those with real dedication can rule the seas. There are a plethora of online digital marketing certifications that you can enroll in to step up your social media game. After all, we are in the digital age! These may seem like a tedious task, but they work towards building up your reputation in the long run. Every certificate counts!
  • To a veteran social media manager, post metrics aren’t just arbitrary numbers on a screen. Each parameter gives them a short idea of what works in their content and what doesn’t. In other words, it tells them what sells with their audience. It’s the perfect embodiment of the lesson that your best teacher is your last mistake. Good social media marketers know exactly how to tweak their content to strike the right chord with their target audience.

Becoming a social media expert in marketing isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes effort, planning, and a little bit of luck to get there. If you cover the first two bases though, you’ll reach the top in no time!

About the Author

Of so many things that Sorav Jain does, he also does incredible project management for brands and inspires so many people as an influencer. Adding to his achievements, he was awarded as the top digital marketing influencer by Buzzsumo. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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