Since 2002, social media has played a significant role in the development of our society – from bringing about political change to revolutionizing entire business fields. Marketing has shifted from traditional means such as television, print and billboards to the now popular social medias – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Although marketing efforts have become increasingly more complex, many of them have also become easier to perform (not to mention more affordable) and able to generate a much higher reach in comparison to traditional methods. SMM, or Social Media Marketing is one of the new realities of the new digital world. Online is where everyone is, at all times, no matter where they are located.
Let’s look at the social media marketing definition – it is simply utilizing social media platforms as a means of creating and disseminating content in order to gain exposure and increase a customer/fan base. Companies now dedicate a great amount of time and budgets to creating engaging and informative content that draws in users to follow them, like their page or their photos. SMM is also used to increase website traffic, build customer relationships, and promote the company’s products and services.
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To make sure you make the most out of your social media marketing efforts, here are a few quick elements that you should be aware of.
1. Exposure: SMM is a powerful way to generate massive exposure a basic example is using hashtags. It is also crucial to create valuable content that is interesting, engaging and extremely relevant to your target audience in order to encourage your fans to read and share it. For example, one such tactic can be a tweet about a contest where followers can enter by simply retweeting or sharing a defined hashtag.
2. Endorsing: This tactic can either be extremely rewarding or can have troubling consequences. As an example, most Youtubers who receive free products from companies choose whether or not to speak positively about it. If they describe your product as their “holy grail”, rest assured that your sales will be through the roof. A major risk would be if the Youtuber does not enjoy the product and instead of endorsing it, they do the exact opposite and publish negative feedback. Depending on the exposure that he or she has, this can have extremely negative consequences for future sales and brand perception.
3. Traffic: Using SMM to drive traffic to your website is one of the main perks of using such method. Encourage your audience to “read more” by clicking a link found in either a Twitter or Facebook post. Bringing people to your website will not only generate sales, but it will also increase your ranking in search engines.
4. Customer Relationships: Social media is one of the fastest and most cost effective way to reach your customers and maintain contact with them. As an example, if a customer mentions you in one of their tweets to thank you for having soy milk while most coffee shops do not – understand that an answer is expected. A response within the next hour is much valued to the customer, even if it is a simple “You’re welcome”. In the case where you get a negative comment, you need to see it as a way to improve your company (after immediately addressing it!).
5. Promotions: Social media platforms are also an easy way to promote your products – using visuals is definitely a must as they were shown to have a much more profound response than text with no accompanying imagery. Create contests that engage fans and customers – either by encouraging them to retweet, mention, or post a picture of your company or your company’s brand assets. Word of mouth still remains one of the most influential forms of marketing.