Entering the realm of Social Media Marketing – One step at a time

Social media concept on a wooden backgroundWhat is the first thing you do when you wake up? Check your mobile, I bet! From the moment we open our eyes to the time we fall asleep, we are constantly surrounded by technology in the form of mobiles, laptops, tabs etc. This has resulted in the development of a completely new avenue for marketers where every company is required to market their products (or services) to stay ahead of the competition. Social media marketing is essentially the art and science of promoting your brand/organisation on social media platforms to get more people to know about your brand and become users or customers of the same.
If you’re looking to jumpstart your career in social media marketing, you’re at the right place. Let’s take a baby’s day out into the world of social media marketing – a complete guide to land that social media marketing internship.

Types of social media platforms
If you are planning to make it as a Social Media Manager, knowing the basics of platforms used by most of your audience is important. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are three most used platforms today with each platform having different strategies. We would mainly focus on using Facebook as a platform for marketing.
A. Facebook:
1. Facebook Groups – Facebook groups are similar to discussion forums but with additional features. You can create groups related to your event or product offerings as a way to reach out to the potential audience. Groups are free and have high levels of engagement.
2. Facebook Page – Creating a page is one of the best ways to use Facebook for marketing and is a vital part of your overall digital footprint. The different ways through which one can market their product/service are:
a) Facebook Classic ads – Classic ads on Facebook are those ads which it publishes according to its own form. These ads can be seen on the side columns of the Facebook page. You can read all about Facebook ads here.
b) Posts promoted by Facebook – Use the boost post option at the bottom right-hand corner of every post on your page to promote the specific posts according to your need. You can even restrict or set audience like other ads.
c) Sponsored stories – Facebook sponsored stories are the type of Facebook ads where the interaction and activities of a person are shown to their friends.
3. Throw an event – Organising a virtual event is also a good way to involve your users and make them feel more special. It gets people and brand together and gives you a chance to know them better.
4. Measure the Engagement – To gauge the success on social media platforms, especially Facebook, you need to understand the terms like –
– Reach – It’s the measure of your effective audience. It refers to the number of unique people who see the content shared on your page.
– Engagement – The number of people interacting with your content (likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc.) is called its engagement.
– People Talking About This – People can involve with your page in different ways – by liking your page, liking and sharing your posts, engaging with the ads you run, answering a question, responding to an event, mentioning your page, or by tagging your page on their posts. “People Talking About This” is basically the number of people who are actively engaged with your page.
– CTR (Click through rate) – Click through rate is used to measure the success or effectiveness of your post, page, or advertisement. It is measured as the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who came across that link.
– CPC (Cost per Clicks) – It is the cost that you pay for each click. It indicates payment based on click-throughs, while CPC indicates the measurement of cost on a per-click basis for contracts not based on click-throughs.

To access your metrics, go to Facebook insights or click view insights in the admin panel at the top right of your page. You can read more about how you can measure engagement here.

B. Twitter:
Go through all the tweets that your target audience talk about. Learn about the kind of topics and tweets that they like. Pay attention to who you follow for having a great experience. Some useful tricks that you can use are – URL shortener, adding your Twitter account information on your website/blog, and using widgets that allow you to share a tweet timeline on your website/blog. Using a good social media sharing plugin for your website/blog results in a multifold increase in the visibility of your content.

C. Instagram:
The percentage of Instagram users who regularly engage with brands is at least double than that of Facebook. Instagram is all about pictures. Use filters, cool angles, lighting, and other photography tricks to enhance your photos. Use Photoshop, Diptic, or PhotoShake to edit your pics or for combining a number of photos into one. You can tell a visual story about your event, instantly engage with your followers wherever they are, and even get user-generated content through hashtag photo contests. A hashtag(#) contest allows your fans and followers to upload photos under a certain hashtag. Include your business name in some of your post hashtags. Also, use unique tags for particular marketing campaigns you run. For example – Wrangler’s #Live2wander, a digital campaign asking people to create a postcard sharing what #Live2Wander means to them.

What are the skills required?
Understanding the audience – Consider the type of audience you will deal with. Interact with them and figure out which platform they use the most and the type of content they like to see. For example, Twitter may be a good platform for campaigning charity as people are more likely to tweet about political topics than sharing them on Instagram.
• Empathy – 
A key part of social media campaigns is interaction with your audience. Be prepared to answer questions, complaints, compliments, and comments in a timely manner. Never ignore the consumer complaints or delete the comment – this gives a message to other followers that you have something to hide or terrible customer service.
• Have a good design sense – 
Presenting an eye-catching and attractive image with the content is sure to get you more audience and involvement. The need to know the basic design software like Adobe Photoshop and Canva will help create more creative and engaging graphics to go with your content.
• Flair for writing –
The art of using your words to put forward your idea effectively will help you grab more attention. The way you write the content changes how people engage with you. So, a good hold on the language is a crucial add-on.

Tip: You can take inspiration from pages of fests like Mood Indigo to understand how they manage everything efficiently. You can also check out Harsh Singh’s awesome presentation on how to promote your college fest on different platforms.

How to learn?
• Taking an online course can be your best bet for learning the ropes of social media marketing. To meet the increasing demand of social media marketers, there are a lot of online courses available. To get started, you can try programs on Coursera and Internshala’s digital marketing training. Piyush Goyal, a BBA student, joined Internshala VTC for digital and social media marketing training and became the media head of his college’s E-Cell. You can also pursue Coursera’s social media marketing course to get an edge over others.
• Stay updated on the latest trends – A part of being a social media marketer includes being on your toes all the time. There is a new trend emerging every day. From ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Facebook live videos to the recent hysteria for Pokemon Go, marketers need to cash in on every opportunity. Web sites such as Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, Econsultancy, and eMarketer will help you stay updated.

How you can start?
Now that you know what social media marketing is all about, what are you waiting for? Here’s how you can start:
• Start by handling social media pages for your college fest on different platforms. Post some engaging contests from time to time, create a campaign on different social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ etc. and start promoting it.
• You can start your career in social media marketing right here, right now. Sites like Upwork and Freelancer will help you land a freelance project to experiment a little.

Eager to test the waters of social media marketing? Apply for Social Media Marketing internships today and be a part of this the fascinating world.

Pic courtesy: https://media.licdn.com/

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