Social media marketing is the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites.
Social media are internet services that let you interact with others and share and create content through online communities.
Social media present great marketing opportunities for businesses of all sizes. You can use social media to:
o promote the name of your brand and business
o tell customers about your goods and services
o find out what customers think of your business
o attract new customers
o build stronger relationships with existing customers.
Social media is BIG and only getting bigger. If you are not marketing on it, you are likely missing a large chunk of your target consumers. According to Fast Company, 93% of marketers use social media to promote their business.
Why Social Media Marketing?
One of the main purposes in employing Social Media in marketing is as a communications tool that makes the companies accessible to those interested in their product and make them visible to those who have no knowledge of their products. These companies use social media to create buzz, learn from and target customers. It’s the only form of marketing that can finger consumers at each and every stage of the consumer decision journey. Marketing through social media has other benefits as well. Of the top 10 factors that correlate with a strong Google organic search, seven are social media dependent. This means that if brands are less or non active on social media, they tend to show up less on Google searches.
INITIAL KNOW HOWs for Social Media Marketing:
Here are some social media marketing tips to keep you on the right track across all your social media campaigns.
- Planning – As discussed previously, building a social media marketing plan is essential. Consider keyword research and brainstorm content ideas that will interest your target audience.
- Content is King — Consistent with other areas of online marketing, content reigns king when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure you are offering valuable information that your ideal customers will find interesting. Create a variety of content by implementing social media images, videos, and infographics in addition to classic text-based content.
- Consistent Brand Image — Using social media for marketing enables your business to project your brand image across a variety of different social media platforms. While each platform has its own unique environment and voice, your business’ core identity should stay consistent.
- Blog — Blogging is a great social media marketing tool that lets you share a wide array of information and content with readers. Your company blog can also serve as your social media marketing blog, in which you blog about your recent social media efforts, contests, and events.
- Links — While using social media for marketing relies primarily on your business sharing its own unique, original content to gain followers, fans, and devotees, it’s also great to link to outside articles as well. If other sources provide great, valuable information you think your target audience will enjoy, don’t be shy about linking to them. Linking to outside sources improves trust and reliability, and you may even get some links in return.
- Track Competitors — It’s always important to keep an eye on competitors—they can provide valuable data for keyword research, where to get industry-related links, and other social media marketing insight. If your competitors are using a certain social media marketing technique that seems to be working for them, do the same thing, but do it better!
- Measure Success with Analytics —You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Google Analytics can be used as a great social media marketing tool that will help you measure your triumphant social media marketing techniques, as well as determine which strategies are better off abandoned. Attach tracking tags to your social media marketing campaigns so that you can properly monitor them.
Choose your Platform effectively – How to Use Social Media for Marketing:
While platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ have a larger amount of monthly users, The visual media sharing based mobile platforms however, garner a higher interaction rate in comparison and have registered the fastest growth and have changed the ways in which consumers engage with brand content. Instagram has an interaction rate of 1.46% with an average of 130 million users monthly as opposed to Twitter which has a .03% interaction rate with an average of 210 million monthly users.
In the online world, you have got three formats to choose from, though many might do a combination: written word, audio and video.
Twitter allows companies to promote their products in short messages limited to 140 characters which appear on followers’ home pages. Messages can link to the product’s website, Facebook profile, photos, videos, etc.
Facebook pages are far more detailed than Twitter accounts. They allow a product to provide videos, photos, and longer descriptions, and testimonials as other followers can comment on the product pages for others to see. Facebook can link back to the product’s Twitter page as well as send out event reminders.
A study from 2011 attributed 84% of “engagement” or clicks to Likes that link back to Facebook advertising.
Google+, in addition to providing pages and some features of Facebook, is also able to integrate with the Google search engine. Other Google products are also integrated, such as Google Adwords and Google Maps. With the development of Google Personalized Search and other location-based search services, Google+ allows for targeted advertising methods, navigation services, and other forms of location-based marketing and promotion.
LinkedIn, a professional business-related networking site, allows companies to create professional profiles for themselves as well as their business to network and meet others. LinkedIn provides its members the opportunity to generate sales leads and business partners. Members can use “Company Pages” similar to Facebook pages to create an area that will allow business owners to promote their products or services and be able to interact with their customers. Due to spread of spam mail sent to job seeker, leading companies prefer to use LinkedIn for employee’s recruitment instead using different job portals. Additionally, companies have voiced a preference for the amount of information that can be gleaned from LinkedIn profile, versus a limited email.
In May 2014, Instagram had over 200 million users. The user engagement rate of Instagram was 15 times higher than of Facebook and 25 times higher than that of Twitter.According to Scott Galloway, the founder of L2 and a professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, latest studies estimate that 93 percent of prestige brands have an active presence on Instagram and include it in their marketing mix. When it comes to brands and businesses, Instagram’s goal is to help companies to reach their respective audiences through captivating imagery in a rich, visual environment.Moreover, Instagram provides a platform where user and company can communicate publicly and directly, making itself an ideal platform for companies to connect with their current and potential customers.
Many brands are now heavily using this mobile app to boost their visual marketing strategy. Instagram can be used to gain the necessary momentum needed to capture the attention of the market segment that has an interest in the product offering or services. As Instagram is supported by Apple and android system, it can be easily accessed by smart phone users. Moreover, it can be accessed by Internet as well. Thus, the marketers see it as a potential platform to expand their brands exposure to the public, especially the younger target group.
YouTube is another popular avenue; advertisements are done in a way to suit the target audience. The type of language used in the commercials and the ideas used to promote the product reflect the audience’s style and taste.
Also, the ads on this platform are usually in sync with the content of the video requested, this is another advantage YouTube brings for advertisers. Certain ads are presented with certain videos since the content is relevant. Promotional opportunities such as sponsoring a video is also possible on YouTube, “for example, a user who searches for a YouTube video on dog training may be presented with a sponsored video from a dog toy company in results along with other videos.”. YouTube also enable publishers to earn money through its YouTube Partner Program.
Platforms like LinkedIn create an environment for companies and clients to connect online. Companies that recognize the need for information, originality, and accessibility employ blogs to make their products popular and unique, and ultimately reach out to consumers who are privy to social media.
Blogs allow a product or company to provide longer descriptions of products or services, can include testimonials and can link to and from other social network and blog pages. Blogs can be updated frequently and are promotional techniques for keeping customers, and also for acquiring followers and subscribers who can then be directed to social network pages.
Tumblr first launched ad products on May 29, 2012. Rather than relying on simple banner ads, Tumblr requires advertisers to create a Tumblr blog so the content of those blogs can be featured through the site. In one year, four native ad formats were created on web and mobile, and had more than 100 brands advertising on Tumblr with 500 cumulative sponsored posts.