The phrase social media marketing (SMMM) simply refers to the application of social media networks to promote a business s services and products. Social media marketing offers businesses a very cost effective means to connect with existing customers and attract new ones at nearly no additional cost to the business. In most cases, SMM does not require the services of a professional marketing manager or an outside sales force; however, SMM does call for the engagement of the service provider’s marketing department. This is because SMM is the backbone of many popular marketing strategies utilized by many of today s major corporations.
Social media, also known as the Web 2.0, networking, blogging, or social networking, allows people and organizations to interact on a one-on-one basis. Social media networks include such popular sites as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, and YouTube. SMM uses this interaction to generate interest and conversation about brands and products. It is essentially a more interactive form of television where current and potential customers can “watch them play” and decide if they want to engage or not. Many brands who have been traditionally marketing through newspapers and other media have found social media marketing to be a lucrative and economical alternative.
SMM is particularly popular with younger consumers who are already heavily engaged in online and social media browsing habits. Additionally, SMM is ideal for younger, male brands which may be underrepresented in media. Additionally, SMM allows marketers to make their brands more accessible to their target audiences. Brands who have not been able to fully tap into their target demographic or are simply new to the marketing scene can greatly benefit from the engagement and participation that social media allows.
By utilizing social media marketing services, businesses can tap into the advertising opportunities and visibility of social networks. However, SMM is often used to engage the customer directly. Brand messages can be promoted through social network sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and twitter. Engaged consumers can provide feedback which directly impacts the company’s production and development efforts.
The key to engaging a consumer through social media marketing is to reach out and connect with them on a personal level. Brand messaging should be constructed around real life experiences, which allows the consumer to relate to the brand. For example, a food product brand could distribute coupons for a trip to a resort where they will enjoy the services of an onsite consultant. The brand could also ask for feedback from consumers via Instagram or facebook and then use the responses to tailor and improve their offerings.
With so many social media marketing platforms to choose from, it is important to consider a number of factors to determine a productive SMM strategy. Marketers should determine what types of campaigns are necessary for their target audience. The most effective strategies incorporate:
The SMM strategy engages the customer, providing immediate feedback and ensuring potential new customers or subscribers to existing ones are informed. The goal of most social media management is to create long-term relationships and exposure, ensuring a consistent ROI. This type of strategy helps brands create lasting customer value and engage in conversations that will provide long-term ROI.
Social media marketing tools include things like news blogging and LinkedIn. Blogs allow news related blogs to be published, along with tweets being sent out throughout the day to followers. LinkedIn connections can be made between businesses and clients. News is published online and links are shared via social media marketing tool.
Brands using social platforms should develop a strategy for engaging users. One popular way to do this is to organize events. Brands can connect with their target audiences and provide updates on current events and trends. News related to their industry can also be shared at these events, giving them more exposure. These platforms are an ideal place to learn about new trends, gain new customers and increase visibility of their brands.
Instagram is currently the third most popular social media platform, reaching more than one million users. More than fifty brands have accounts on Instagram alone. Many brands use Instagram to post daily tips and tricks, build hype around upcoming events and promote upcoming sales and offers. Brand account holders can use Instagram as a viral marketing tool to boost followers and increase brand awareness.
A successful strategy incorporates elements from all three SMM tools. They all play important roles in creating a strong overall marketing campaign, but a cohesive strategy that engages customers and potential clients is key to the success of a campaign. It is important for brands to create a strategy for each area of their business. This will ensure they do not focus on one aspect too much and risk being unfocused.