Social media is the general term used for the many social sites and platforms that can be found on the internet today. While the terms digital marketing and e-marketing are now majorly dominant in academic circles, social media marketing continues to become more popular both for researchers and practitioners. For small businesses, SMM is essential in generating interest and increasing sales through new ways to interact with customers and fellow business owners. For large corporations, SMM helps them advertise their brands in a manner that is more “human” and less likely to annoy or even offend people who do not frequent their brand or service, while also increasing their brand’s reach by building ties with potential consumers and other important decision makers. For companies big and small, SMM is one way of generating buzz about your product or service, as well as increasing your presence and brand awareness in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
But it isn’t just small organizations that should be concerned about social media. Large corporations, like those with a major presence online such as Google or Facebook, are seeing how effective SMM marketing can be, and are investing heavily in the practice. SMM techniques help companies such as these build connections with consumers, generate feedback, and share valuable content with each other, all the while improving brand recognition. SMM-driven marketing also helps smaller businesses improve their bottom line by improving the quality of their service and providing value to users.
Social media is best implemented by a company that has a strong social marketing program. It doesn’t have to be part of your regular web marketing strategy. Social media is not a new idea; however, using it to market your brand is. SMM first began to gain traction around five years ago, when Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were introduced. The success of these social media sites paved the way for similar applications to be created across a variety of other platforms.
Social media is now an integral part of businesses’ marketing strategies. Consumers regularly use sites such as Facebook and Twitter to engage with their peers and companies. These services provide a platform where consumers can communicate with their friends and loved ones, as well as businesses that they do business with regularly. Many people turn to these services to stay up to date on news, entertainment, and personal interests. These social media outlets provide a unique opportunity to connect with a captive audience that shares common interests.
In order to benefit from these social marketing outlets, a brand must first establish a presence on one or more of the sites. Popular social networking sites, such as Facebook, provide millions of users with the ability to create and manage profiles. If your company has not already created a profile, you should start one immediately. Begin building a fan base by posting posts and pictures on a regular basis. This will demonstrate to users that you, and your brand, are viable.
After you have established your brand, it is important to maintain a consistent social media presence. Monitoring and responding to social media posts are crucial for maintaining your company’s reputation. A company that engages in deceptive marketing practices is quickly labeled as “dishonest”. By providing consumers information that is correct and useful, you will build trust in your brand’s authenticity. Users will begin to associate your media content with your voice, which can lead to increased sales and an overall positive impact on your social media marketing campaign.
Once you have established a presence on one or more social media outlets, your next step is to enhance your social networking presence on other websites. LinkedIn, for example, is an excellent place to share industry information and connect with influential industry players. Twitter, too, is an exceptional way to interact with customers, post links to your company website, and engage your fans in conversation. A company’s Facebook page is another excellent way to gain exposure and connect with potential customers. Regardless of which social marketing outlet you choose to utilize, it is important to remember that your brand’s social presence should never come off as spam.
As a recap, it takes more than just posting links to your company’s website in order to effectively promote your business. The most effective social marketing efforts utilize multiple platforms, including social media outlets, to reach a broader audience. If you don’t have an interest in monitoring social media yourself, it may be in your best interest to outsource this task to a social media marketing firm. However, if you feel you and your company would benefit from monitoring social media yourself, it is important to utilize the guidance of a social media marketing company to ensure your social marketing efforts are taking place in the appropriate manner.