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SMM Promotion — walkthrough

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What is SMM? Do you need it?


SMM (Social Media Marketing) is a tool for customers and sales from social networks.

Today, SMM is not only cats and huskies, but also real sales. Of course, you can simply create a group, publish there 5 messages a week and wait for the crowds of new customers to come. It does not work. Without a systematic approach, there will be no result. 

What does the promotion in social networks includes?

SMM strategy


Where to begin? From developing an SMM strategy - a plan for achieving the company's business goals using social networks. The strategy will help determine the goals of presence in social media, ways to achieve them, prioritize, and most importantly, predict the potential effect and not turn away from the intended route.

To make an SMM strategy, you need:

  • Assess the current position of the brand in social networks: the number and activity of subscribers, the relevance and quality of content, find all references to your brand in social networks - what and how they say about you.

  • Conduct a competitive analysis.

  • Make a portrait of the consumer.

  • To formulate a unique selling proposition is what distinguishes the company and its goods / services from competitors. Brainstorming with colleagues helps, customer survey - why they chose you. Defend from competitors can not only due to the low prices.

  • Determine the format of presence in social networks.

Formats on social networks:

  • Commercial format: you do not hide your commercial interest and openly offer users to buy your product or service. As a rule, product catalogs are placed in such groups, discussions are held with questions and feedback from customers, and the content is commercial in nature. The purpose of the commercial format is sales.

  • Interest format. Such communities build a sales funnel. The goal is to collect as many potential customers from the target audience as possible, and then gradually publish the advertisement. As a rule, subscribers first do not even realize that the community belongs to the company. Users are brought into the group through interests, publishing useful and relevant content: about music, business, fashion, cooking, etc.

  • Mixed format. The company acts as an expert - publishes useful thematic content, periodically diluting it with commercial content. If the content is useful, unique and relevant, then your reputation as experts will grow, and hence the audience loyalty. Your opinion will be trusted, advice will be listened to and, most importantly, it will be related to the brand being promoted. The level of professional competence is one of the key factors that influence the decision to purchase. For example, Alfa-Bank develops its community for b2b clients according to this principle. Community administrators understand that only commercial content will cause boredom and negativity, so they provide useful business information, mentioning the brand.

Graphic design groups

Meet on clothes. Corporate account is the face of your business in social networks. It should look professional: develop branded avatars and group covers, create a post design template that will highlight your publications in the news feed of subscribers.

Community Creation Checklist

Title. Formulate the name of the community according to the principle of “brand” + “main key request”. Consider how potential clients can search for you and check the data in

URL address of groups. Must match the brand name and be the same in all social networks. Sometimes the address you want is already taken. It is necessary to find a short memorable name that can be written on the business card, packaging, signboard.

Description of the group. Try to fit all the information briefly and immediately state your advantages. 

These items affect the position of your groups in the search results Google.

Discussions. Create the main topics and keep up-to-date information in them: reviews, the opportunity to ask a question with your problem, discounts and promotions. In Instagram, this is not possible, so you can periodically request feedback in posts. Facebook has reviews, and with ranking tricks: the reviews that caused the liveliest discussion go up. Therefore, do not forget to respond to positive reviews as actively as negative ones.

Privacy settings. Make the group open so that anyone can join. Do not disable comments to publications. Provide the ability for photo administrators to upload photos and videos to albums only. VKontakte has a great opportunity to add words to the spam filter, which helps to block obscene expressions. Track comments on your posts daily.

Alerts. To promptly respond to messages in groups, set up alerts and check the mail that receives notifications. For our clients, we use special services that instantly report new comments in all social networks.

Showcase. There are in Vkontakte and Facebook: you can add products and services as cards with prices. There are services that allow you to automatically unload goods from the catalog on the site to social networks. We recommend using them if you have a large catalog of products and prices change frequently.

Identification marks. Geotags and branded hashtags should be created and used in the official community, this will help users find your content and share it on social networks. Simply adding the hashtag to the publication is not enough. You must follow certain rules. For our customers, we create a guide to using hashtags.

Creating a content strategy

What is content marketing? This is the creation and distribution of useful information that meets the interests of your audience and helps to solve its problems.

What is content marketing for? In order to demonstrate their competence, gain the trust of the audience, increase its loyalty and eventually exchange this loyalty for money. Investment in content is strategic: brand commitment does not form overnight, so expect to get a commercial effect in 3-6 months. Content is the foundation of effective business promotion in social networks.

Content strategy should answer the following questions:

  1. What do we want to say to our audience?

  2. How often will we talk about it?

  3. What format and style of content will we use?

Content Categories

  1. Entertainment content is what users come to social networks for. This type of content gets good viral coverage, i.e. users are actively sharing them with their friends. This type of content is well represented in our case of an online store of garden products. 

  2. Educational content - helps the user to solve his problems, trains, broadens his horizons. This is a great way to demonstrate the competence of a company as an expert in its field. With the help of expert content and not only we managed to get 881 leads of 363 rubles each in the SMM cosmetology clinic

  3. Commercial content. In fact, this is advertising your products or services. Motivate the audience to follow the link, call or take another targeted action. Do not abuse this content, the user will reply with unsubscribe to endless advertising publications. This content is great for promotion, for example, advertising posts on Facebook and Instagram can sell designer furniture

  4. Custom content is the publication that your clients place on social networks. Reviews of your services, review products, photos in the restaurant and any other content that mentions a brand or company. It helps well in obtaining user-generated content, the competition. 

  5. News content. Subscribers are interested in the content that you create yourself. No beautiful picture from photobank will tell about your business better than the photo you took. Do not be afraid to talk about the internal kitchen, to acquaint with employees, to share successes and failures. Your sincerity builds your subscribers confidence. We often give products and customer services to sample small but active bloggers.

People do not buy from companies. People buy from people

What else is important to consider when creating content:

  • talk to the subscriber in his language;

  • break large text into blocks - it will be easier for the reader to perceive it;

  • observe the frequency of publication - the content should be regular.  

What to do if there is not enough content? 

Information hunger often occurs in b2b companies. If in the first month you make 50 posts, and in the second you find that there is nothing to write about - this is a bad scenario. Sensibly evaluate your strengths, determine the categories and sources of content.

Example of headings and content sources for one of our b2b clients:

  • acquaintance with employees of the company: several photos in the working environment, a short story about what the employee in the company is doing;

  • photo and video of the production process: immerse the reader in the atmosphere of the company;

  • photos of goods in the interior: clearly demonstrate the possibility of using the product;

  • repost of user publications with the company's goods;

  • Chronicles of events: refresher courses, exhibitions, seminars in which you participate;

  • graphics from the designer: branded congratulations on holidays, the presentation of a new product, etc.

Advertising in social networks

Content is not enough to publish, it needs to be promoted. For your publication to be seen by the target audience, coverage is necessary, i.e. as many views as possible. It is good when there is a large and loyal own audience that actively shares your publications. What if your own coverage is not enough?  

Targeted Advertising

Targeted advertising on social networks is text and image ads that only users who meet certain criteria see: gender, age, geography, etc.

Payment models for advertising in social networks: 

  • CPC — cost per click; 

  • CPM — cost per mille or cost per thousand; 

  • cost per interaction (comment, like, repost, viewing photos or videos) - available on facebook and instagram.

When launching targeted ads, keep in mind that CPC, display, or interaction affect:

  • matching content to a selected audience - the more relevant and useful the content, the lower the cost per click;

  • the amount of text in the image - the more text, the higher the cost per click;

  • level of competition - the more advertisers show ads of the same audience, the higher the cost per click.

What publications need to be promoted? First of all commercial. You can combine an informative post with a link to the product. In the ad links, do not forget to put UTM-tags to track the effectiveness of advertising in analytics systems - Yandex.Direct or Google Analytics. Along with commercial posts, promote entertaining, unique, interesting content. This will allow to get a large and cheap coverage, an interested audience and a media effect.

What are the targeting options?

Baseline: gender, age and geography.


Targeting Settings

Facebook, instagram


By database: ads are seen by people from your customer base e-mail addresses and / or phones

By look-a-like: users similar to your customers

By interests: business, travel, cooking, etc.

By positions: programmer, accountant, director, etc.

By geolocation: advertising is shown locally on the given latitude / longitude coordinates

By community: ads are seen by subscribers of certain groups in social networks

By income: below average, average, above average

Life events: wedding, birthday, etc.

Retargeting: Ads are seen by users who have already visited your site.

In social networks, users are grouped into targeting groups according to various criteria. For example, in VKontakte, the targeting of interests is based on the user's behavior: which groups he subscribes to, which publications he reads, comments on, and likes. In myTarget (sites included in the Group network) interests are formed based on the history of visited sites, search queries, information from an account in Odnoklassniki, etc.

It is also possible to download your own audiences. For example, you can download client databases of e-mail addresses and telephone numbers into advertising offices of all social networks. The system looks for the accounts of the owners of these contact data on the network and shows them your ads. If your own client base is not enough for you, then on social networks you can find an audience that is similar to your customers. This technology is called look-alike.

Recently, in Vkontakte there was an opportunity to keep the audience that saw your advertisements. For example, you can create an audience of users who hide your ads and no longer show ads to them.

New advertising formats and targeting appear or updated on average once a week. Therefore, to run advertising on social networks, it is better to turn to professionals. For example, to us.

Advertising in popular groups 

Advertising in communities is a tool that will help you tell about the product to the audience on popular thematic social networking sites.

Algorithm for advertising in popular groups:

  1. Make a list of groups that are suitable for placing your advertisement. When choosing a community, pay attention to the activity of its users (how many comments and likes people leave under the posts). We have repeatedly come across the fact that there are 50,000 subscribers in the group, and the average number of likes and comments of publications is 5-7. Subscribers to these pages are bots.

  2. Send a request to the administrator of the group for advertising. Ask for the cost and terms of advertising: specify the time during which your advertising publication will be in the first place and after how much the administrator will remove it. Request access to community statistics, this will allow you to better assess the involvement of the audience.

  3. After payment and publication of advertising track performance. How many clicks went to the site, has the number of subscribers increased.

The advantages of buying advertising through the Internet agency Intervolga:

  • in the process of selecting advertising platforms for our clients, we have collected a large base with direct contacts of group administrators;

  • we know which sites work and which ones will not bring results;

  • and we make good discounts.

Work with opinion leaders 

Opinion leaders are those people whose opinion influences the audience. Why? Let's answer in one word - trust. You can take advantage of this:

increase brand awareness

attract new subscribers

increase sales

Who can be the leader of opinions? This is not necessarily a famous actor, athlete or politician. Today, the opinion of hundreds of thousands of people can be influenced by a mother of a large family, a fitness trainer, a foodblogger, a car surveyor or a video game. 

Reputation management in social networks 

управление репутацией в социальных сетях

*according to a research OMI company 8 out of 10 consumers trust reviews on the Internet as well as personal recommendations

Online reviews have an impact on buying decisions. People exchange not so much technical information about goods or services, as about the feelings that they evoked in them.

Reputation management is a tool whose task is to bridge the gap between how a company or a brand positions itself and how a target audience sees it.

  • Be open to feedback and criticism.

  • Respond to all messages about your brand, respond to both positive and negative feedback.

  • Work on mistakes.

Do not remove negative reviews and do not disregard them. An angry user who has been ignored, misunderstood or banned will not stop until he complains about you wherever possible. Act on the principle of a lightning rod: send the user's energy to the place where you prefer to answer, in other places - also leave a comment that the dialogue is already underway and leave a link to the source. Assess the potential damage and estimated compensation. If you can make a discount, free delivery or a small gift - make it, but do not let us publicly blackmail.

Negative can benefit your business if it is properly processed.

Contests in social networks 

конкурсы в социальных сетях

Contests in social networks can be divided into 3 types:

  • Contests with a repost: the prize is received by a random user who has made a repost of the competitive publication.

  • Creative contests: require creativity. For example, compose a story, draw a picture, etc. These contests have less coverage than reposts, because it takes a lot of effort to participate.

  • Photo Contest: this format helps to get custom content. Under the terms of the competition, the participant must publish a photo with a corporate hashtag.

If you have a low-cost product or service, or that you can offer for free, this is the best option for a prize. But remember that the activity of the participants depends on the prize, so you should not save. 

How to choose a good prize for the competition in social networks:

  • Relevance of the season. For example, a grill for a kebab in a summer competition is good, an artificial Christmas tree is bad.

  • Value for the audience of the competition. Users do not bother to ask the price before participating. Focus on the equivalence of user effort and the status of the company, the average budget is ~ 5,000 rubles for small companies, ~ 50,000 rubles for large federal organizations, ~ 500,000 rubles for global brands.

  • The usefulness of the prize for the audience. It will show the true care and knowledge of your users, this is like a birthday present that got “to the point”. 

The prize in the competition should correspond to the subject of your business. You should not play movie tickets if your online store sells sofas. The exception may be in joint competitions when you are not direct competitors, but your audience is the same. For example, when we held a joint competition for a catering company and a board making company for serving dishes, the prize was kitchen boards and a box of chocolates. 

конкурс в инстаграм

After choosing the prize, a large and important work begins:

  • writing text and creating a banner layout that you want to share;

  • search for communities to buy advertising;

  • communication with administrators. We recommend personal communication, not the use of exchanges - you can negotiate a discount;

  • advertising purchase and placement control;

  • summing up the competition. 

With proper description of the competition, as well as an interesting prize, the cost of attracting one participant may be less than 1 ruble.

We got this result when we held a contest of reposts for the Empire Gardener's online store.

Prize: a thermo bag.

Advertising cost: 1615 rubles.

Number of participants: 1792.

The cost of one participant: 0.90 rubles.

конкурс вконтакте

Payback advertising in social networks

реклама в социальных сетях

What indicators to track in groups:

  • Subscribers increase

  • Number of replies

  • Audience reach - users who viewed community posts on the wall or in the news feed

  • The rate of engagement for the post: the average number of likes + comments + reposts divided by the number of subscribers and multiplied by 100.

  • The rate of involvement to reach: the average number of likes + comments + reposts divided by the coverage and multiplied by 100.

  • Commercial comments: asked for price, where to buy, store address, etc.

What indicators to measure on the site:

  • The number of organic and advertising transitions from social networks.

  • The quality of traffic from social networks:% of failures, time on the site, the number of pages viewed.

  • Conversions on the site for traffic from social networks: add to cart, sales, filling out forms.

  • Associated Conversions: A Google Analytics report that shows how many conversions social networks participated in.

  • Calls: in order to track what calls were from visitors from social networks, it is necessary to connect call tracking. 

All these indicators need to be analyzed only in relation to costs. Based on this, you can calculate and optimize the following KPIs:

Subscriber cost = budget for social networks / increase in subscribers for the selected period

Cost of conversion from social networks = budget for social networks / number of conversions on the site from organic (not advertising traffic) from social networks

Cost of conversion from targeted advertising = advertising budget for targeted advertising / number of conversions from advertising transitions from social networks


For the purity of the calculation, you can include the cost of the work of a specialist who leads you to the social network.

Tracing the effectiveness of click advertising from social networks is quite simple with the help of UTM tags. It is also possible to analyze the dynamics of transitions and sales from social networks in general with high accuracy.

But there are not very many tools for analyzing the effectiveness of advertising on blogs. Usually bloggers are given a special promotional code. And recently, Instagram released an update that allows you to connect a blogger as an external contractor to your page and see more detailed statistics from his promotional post. We also recommend to allocate several call-tracking numbers for various channels in social networks.

If there is an opportunity to read data from CRM, then it is not a problem to assess the return on advertising in social networks.

What you should know about SMM promotion?

  • There are no topics for which you should not use SMM. There are companies for which you can do direct sales through social networks, and there is a business for which you can create an image and communicate with customers.

  • Social networks are not only the creation of a group, filling it with pictures and inviting colleagues there, it’s your face, like the site. This is an additional sales channel.

  • There is no universal recipe “when-where-how-much”, it all depends on the business sector and the target audience.

  • There are ways to get users almost for nothing, but it's really free if you act yourself and you are very lucky, otherwise you will have to pay for the services of a specialist.

  • SMM is better to outsource. The head often does not have time to engage in social networks. Of course, you can entrust a social system administrator to a system administrator, a sales manager, or even an accountant. But since SMM is not part of their main responsibilities, the quality will be low and the result is appropriate.

  • You cannot create a group without thinking through strategies and having no plans for the future.

  • 1 post a week, a day or an hour - it does not matter, the main thing is regularity.

  • Make the content interesting and you do not have to pay for the repost.

  • Do contests and do not be afraid that the costs will not pay off.

  • Creating a community, remember - you need to respond, answer questions, comment on reviews.

  • With a small budget, do not choose only one social network: duplicate content into all popular social networks, and invest a budget and develop each in turn.

  • Creating content, including video, without which no group should go without it - the event is costly and requires tremendous internal work. Do not think that a specialist for a moderate fee will go to the production and non-stop photographing employees.

  • Social networks, like any Internet marketing pays off when the business is established in all processes. If the manager is rude to customers, couriers deliver the goods broken, competitors have the same product twice as cheap - groups in social networks will not help, but will be accumulation of negative reviews.

  • Social networks multiply touch points with brands, give cheap and high-quality coverage, participate in sales funnels, do not measure the effect only on direct sales.

Do as well as we do, do better than we do! Or order promotion in INTERVOLGARU, we know all about SMM and even more.

This article was translated automatically. We are working over improving the translation. 

Please send your questions about the article to

  • 11.07.2019