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    Steps To Be Taken To Become A Social Media Marketer

    Social media marketers are a business's direct connection to a consumer. Let me tell you how to become a Social Media Manager from scratch. Things discussed here will help you to become SMM, but you must be a good learner, always Look for social media opportunities everywhere. Always remember, you're being watched. Don't stop learning and adapting. Be comfortable working and learning on your own

    What is SM (Social Media)

    There are several definitions of social media. Social media refers to all online communication channels, it could be mobile devices like smartphones or large computers that are dedicated to community-based input, content-sharing, interaction, and collaboration/co-creation. These community-based arenas can either be applications and/or websites that are devoted to micro blogging, social curation, forums, social networking, wikis, and social bookmarking.

    The scope of social media is quite broad if you consider the entire Social Media Universe. For most people, a Social Media Training or certification is the best way to learn how it can all be effectively used in both personal and professional scenarios. For others, pursuing a self-learning approach is another viable option. The ability to share content effectively and efficiently (in real-time, immediately, or quickly) has transformed personal lives and how business is done throughout the world. In business, proper use of social media has been shown to produce measurable results not only to the companies bottom line but towards building a strong brand, and a stronger community. As such, in business, treating social media with the attention, care, and respect, given to other marketing efforts is paramount.

    Then, what is social media marketing? Well, it is a form of internet marketing involving the process of creating content with the primary purpose of stimulating interactions including listening, engaging, sharing, learning, collaboration, and co-creation. Since in business, it needs to be done with attention, care, and respect, the created content needs to be tailored to the specific context of each social media platform.

    Components of SM

    To be successful at social media marketing, several components need to be considered. Some of the most critical components are as follows.

    Social Media Tools

    Social media marketing is not just about liking posts or sending content to your audience. It’s about listening, engaging, sharing, learning, collaboration, and co-creation. It is also about community management, scheduling future posts, finding relevant content, and so on. Particularly for business, social media can become highly demanding and a severe productivity killer. Companies require automation for most of their processes. Here is where the social media tools come in. Below are some of the most useful tools you can use:

    Social media dashboards like Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Agorapulse. Cyfe and Falcon.io.

    Scheduling tools like Buffer,

    Trending tools like BuzzSumo

    URL shortener’s like Bitly

    Competitor analysis tools like Rival IQ

    Analytics tools like those on SocialBakers and CrowdBooster

    Automation with IFTTT

    Tools for creating visual content like Canva, or the Adobe Creative Suite

    Influencer management with Traackr

    Lead generation with Oktopost

    Brand management and social media monitoring with Mention

    Search and create memorable handles across social media platforms with tools like KnowEm or Namechk

    Content Strategy

    Integrating your social media marketing with your content marketing has been shown to increase revenue per conversion significantly. When creating your content strategy, you need to consider regular posting, visual branding, competitive research, consistency with your topics, creating a voice, connecting with influencers, and engaging with your audience. Also, a cross-platform approach will reap more benefits than tackling channels in isolation.

    Branding

    Ensuring that your business has a strong core identity that translates across all the social media platforms that you use is very important. This includes everything from creating a great handle that will be recognizable across all your social brands, to setting your brand apart and carving your niche on each social media platform. In short, you need to develop a robust social media branding strategy.

    Promotion/Advertising

    In the context of social media, promotion/advertising involves posting and uploading content with a strong marketing and branding emphasis with the intention of encouraging the sale of a specific product and service. Identifying which social media platform to use for a particular product or service and devising the best strategy to use for each respective social media platform is fundamental to success.

    Metrics

    If you do not track data in your social media marketing strategies, then you cannot reasonably determine where your success and failures are and more importantly how you can replicate success, fix the crashes, or abandon policies that just don’t work. Using analytics on each social media platform can give you useful insight about your effectiveness in social media marketing. Some of the metrics that you will want to track will include click, reach, engagement, hashtag performance, sentiment, organic and paid likes.

    Steps to take to become a Social Media Marketer

    Now that you understand the different vital components that need to be focused on for success in social media marketing, what is the next step? Research

    Start by researching anything and everything about social media. See what interests you but make sure that you build a strong foundation based on the knowledge that is useful, reputable, and trustworthy. An excellent place to start is by understanding the full context of digital marketing and the context of social media marketing within digital marketing. Here are the links to some of the useful social marketing blogs.

    * Social Media Explorer

    * Social Media Examiner

    * HubSpot Marketing Blog

    * Social Media Today

    * Trendspottr

    * KISSMetrics' Blog

    Take a course

    As mentioned earlier, there are two paths that you can follow to become a successful social media marketer. The first approach is the self-learning approach, where you acquire all the necessary information, tutorials, books, and tools and go by yourself in the learning process. The second approach involves taking up a course that has a well-defined syllabus and learning approach. You can get the benefit of learning through the guidance of a trainer who is a domain expert and provides you with the right resources.

    The clear advantage of taking a course is that you don’t have to figure out all the details by yourself. Other experts have already done this for you. Additionally, you have all the tools and resources in one place which means that you save time in going out to look for what you need; let alone deciding what is useful and what is not.

    There are several free and paid courses that you can take up, like Google’s Digital Marketing Certification course is a great course for anyone pursuing digital marketing or more specifically, social media marketing. There are several other Free social media marketing courses for beginners that you can pursue.

    The paid courses, however, often have a lot more to offer. For example, Simplilearn’s courses like Social Media Foundations Course and the Advanced Social Media Certification Training course have a strong curriculum with reputable educators/coaches.

    Other paid for social media marketing courses are as follows.

    * Virtual Mini-MBA™: Social Media Marketing at Rutgers

    * Southern New Hampshire University BS Marketing: Social Media Marketing Online Degree

    Practice

    Social media marketers gain more respect when they have a long list of clients that they have managed or worked for. The question is, how do you gain the necessary practice or experience and the resultant respect as a beginner? Well, there are four paths to follow: Volunteering, Internship, Freelancing, and Networking.

    Freelancing involves visiting freelancing sites like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, Guru, Simply Hired, and finding work that pays you. The tricky part is that people may not be willing to take chances with you unless you are proven and tested in SMM. So, the trick here is to simply offer your services for free and build a portfolio of clients, businesses, or organizations that you have worked for. In other words, volunteer your services.

    Network

    Another way to gain practice and experience is to network. Find friends, colleagues, and peers in the social media marketing world and talk to them about the career path that you want to follow. You could also join professional associations like:

    * Social Media Association

    * American Marketing Association

    * Internet Marketing Association

    Besides these professional associations, you can also join the below mentioned online communities:

    # Social Media Managers (Facebook Group)

    # Digital Marketing Questions (Facebook Group)

    # Online Geniuses slack

    # r/socialmedia reddit

    # Social Media Marketing  LinkedIn

    # Social Media Marketing Consulting  LinkedIn

    Use these networks to find placements or internships in reputable or respected organizations where you could get SMM work that will build your resume.

    Conclusion

    There are plenty of resources out there that you can use to get skilled as a Social Media Marketer. By following the steps given above, you will be able to reach your goal much faster. Best of luck!

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