All of us have heard of Social Media Marketing but many are still looking for an answer about what it is and how it helps. We do know that a number of social media networks exist like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and we have accounts in most. We post updates on social media networks which are seen by our friends and followers and are often replied to, liked and shared. But, we still need to get an understanding of what it is really about.
So, back to our question – What is Social Media Marketing?
Simply put, Social Media Marketing is a viral marketing strategy. It takes advantage of the extreme popularity of social media to market products or services. This is usually done by acquiring traffic to websites that showcase their products on social media. You can reach a target market through impressions, clicks, likes, sharing & other forms of engagement. If you hit upon the right post that goes viral, your reach will multiply resulting in brand building and a huge volume of traffic.
Why should we use Social Media Marketing?
The fact that social media has such a vast reach and almost unlimited potential, makes it one of the most attractive mediums to market on. For example, Facebook had 864 million active daily users as on September 2014. This means social media can be a goldmine if made use of effectively.
Some of what we currently know about Social Media:
- We follow people on social media like Facebook and Twitter and view updates from them
- We can post updates and images of ourselves
- We send messages to people and communicate through social media
- I was able to reconnect and stay in touch with old friends using social media
- Entertaining, humorous posts, creative pictures & videos get more likes, comments and shares
Time to think: Why did Social Media gain prominence?
Social media gained prominence because social networking sites evolved to be an excellent means of keeping in touch with all people we want to. The interactive features make communication & content sharing simple. We can also collaborate with several people having similar interests by forming communities and groups.
What are the benefits of Social Media Marketing?
- Low cost media. In most cases, the only cost is the time involved in making posts, updating profiles and communicating with contacts.
- Simple to use – You don’t require specialized skills. Someone with basic internet experience can easily get a hang of it.
- Unlimited access – Social media can be accessed by all and has an easy global reach. Traditional media like print, outdoor advertising and TV have a great deal of costs involved.
- Build a fan base – Owing to its interactive nature, you have two way communication with your friends and followers and this helps in building more contacts and customers.
- Flexible - For an ad on Facebook, creatives can be altered, target market can be altered, information updated and the ad republished. Thus you can make sure your information is always up to date which isn’t easy in case of traditional media.
- Measurable - Statistics are easily measurable. You can obtain reports on reach achieved, unique impressions, clicks to website and other actions. This feedback is helpful in taking steps to tweak the ad campaigns for better results.
How can we market on Social Media?
You can directly use social media posts to showcase & advertise your products, provide information and a call to action. Social media marketing campaigns can help gain traffic from your relevant target market to your website, obtaining more leads and consequently, more customers.
What Social Media can be used to market?
- Facebook by far is the world leader and you need to be on Facebook no matter which business you have.
- Twitter is great for following news and updates and most twitter users are people who want to stay updated, follow news & sports details and keep in touch with trends.
- Instagram and Pinterest are fast catching up and all image friendly businesses like costumes, jewelry, art should be on these.
- Google+ is great for sharing and owing to its compatibility with YouTube and Google hangouts, it is a must have for tech and marketing companies. Moreover, Google +1′s and shares have a great impact on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) making this social media platform just unmissable.
- LinkedIn is a great professional sharing platform and is #2 after Facebook. LinkedIn advertising offers quality targeting to specific companies and designations making it highly relevant.
- Youtube, Vimeo, Tumblr, Delicious, Digg & StumbleUpon are some other popular social media.
We hope this post helped you get an idea about what Social Media Marketing can do for you.
If you have any inputs and questions, please enter them in the comments box below.
Go for Social Media Marketing, you have a lot of gains to make!