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what is smm for: goals and benefits for business

One of the first SMM specialists in Russia, Damir Khalilov, stood on the stage of the largest marketing conference in 2008. The hall was buzzing, but not with excitement. Damir had just loudly declared: "The future of internet marketing is in social networks."

He was up against the elite of internet marketing, and he held the gaze of each one, knowing he was right. As early as 2006, he noticed how timid attempts to socialize the Russian internet were not only changing marketing, but becoming marketing themselves.

14 years have passed. Social networks have democratized information and brought us to a level of communication that previously seemed impossible. They have also taken businesses online and provided incredible opportunities for growth.

SMM stands for Social Media Marketing. The essence of SMM is to showcase a product, service, or brand (whether commercial or personal) on a social platform such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Odnoklassniki, VKontakte, TikTok, Twitter, Pinterest, TenChat, LinkedIn, and others. In short, SMM marketing is a tool for interacting with a target audience through social networks.

What makes SMM so powerful?

According to a report from We Are Social and Hootsuite here, in January 2022, there were 106 million social media users in Russia, equivalent to 72.7% of the total population. This means that SMM specialists are able to reach the vast majority of people in our country.

There are fewer and fewer bloggers and experts who allow themselves to publish a post with sloppy visuals or ramble on for 30 stories with unclear thoughts. After all, their profit depends on it.

SMM marketing improves the quality of information. But that's not all. If you still can't distinguish signs of fate from targeted advertising, then you are a beginner in SMM. Perhaps even intelligence agencies don't know as much about us as Vkontakte or Facebook does. And we voluntarily share this information by filling out our profiles, tagging places we visit, liking things, and clicking on ads.

Who needs SMM?

In short: everyone.

There are no businesses that cannot be represented on social media for increasing sales, establishing contact with the audience, or maintaining brand reputation.

Coca-Cola does not sell through social media, but it maintains its status, reputation, communicates with users, and identifies their wishes. An asphalt plant also does not sell through social networks, but by interestingly showing its daily life and telling about cases, it stands out favorably against other manufacturers. If you need to pave a courtyard, who would you turn to - a plant from a Google search or one that yesterday talked about how it paved a children's playground in your city on VK?

Contrary to common misconceptions, SMM is useful for B2B companies too. After all, they employ the same people as you and me, who sit on social networks and are more likely to choose a supplier with individuality and presence on platforms where you can look at reviews of the product and imbue the values of a potential partner.

What goals can be achieved through SMM?

Every company has a goal. However, business goals and SMM goals are different categories. To promote on social media, a business goal must be transformed into a task for SMM. How to do it? Let's look at the goals that businesses have and which ones can be influenced by social media promotion.

There are 4 levels of strategic marketing goals:

1. Business goals - increasing sales, profits, changing market position. SMM does not work with these goals. They are usually set within the company and look like this:

  • — increase sales and profits by 15%
  • — become #3 in the segment
  • — maintain profitability at 70%

2. Marketing goals involve changing audience behavior in such a way that we achieve our business goals. They answer the question: how should the target audience change to achieve business goals? Example:

  • — increase product loyalty among consumers aged 25+ with high income
  • — attract a new audience to consume the product
  • — increase product usage frequency from weekly to daily

3. Communication goals are achieved through large coverage and creating a community around the product. They answer the question: what action should the consumer take after contacting the advertisement? In practice, such goals may look like:

  • — 30% of the target audience should visually recognize the brand
  • — every fourth representative of the target audience should consider purchasing the product after contact with the advertising message
  • — increase self-care culture: use body lotion every time after taking a shower

4. Media goals are expressed in the format of key indicators, communication channels, and other metrics. For example:

  • — ensure coverage of 80% of the entire target audience of the brand
  • — involve communication channels with high engagement

Long-term business goals serve as the basis for such a complex of goals.

From point A to point B

The goal has been set. What's next?

Take any profession associated with high risk — marketers and SMM specialists also fall into this category — and you'll see that professionals always act based on a carefully thought-out plan and never on impulse.

Builders erect buildings based on an architectural plan. Doctors follow a treatment plan. Pilots follow a flight plan on a prepared route. The same goes for SMM, in order to take a business from point A to point B through social networks, a well-thought-out plan — a strategy — is needed.

Without a strategy, you will waste time and effort on writing posts, creating stories, or shooting videos if you don't have a specific measurable plan on how to get to the endpoint. You wouldn't want to be in a plane with a pilot who hasn't studied the flight plan and is flying blindly, would you?

An SMM strategy is a plan of actions: publications, integrations, interactions, organization of activities leading to a common goal. The strategy does not accept actions "out of nowhere": each publication, every meaning embedded in stories, communication format, and even a response to a comment should bring you closer to the goal.

To do this, performance indicators (KPI) are established in accordance with the goal. Thanks to them, you can understand how things are going and whether you need to change your approach. KPI includes subscriber growth, retention, targeted actions, impressions, reach, engagement, and so on.

SMM marketing is such a business tool that can help you exceed your plan, or conversely, waste time and drain budgets if you don't have a well-thought-out strategy.

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