Social media marketing, sometimes referred to as SMM, is the contemporary use of various social media networks and sites to advertise a product or service. Although the traditional terms such as digital marketing and e-marketing are still widely dominate in academia, social media marketing has become more prominent for researchers and practitioners alike. As business world undergoes radical changes, firms that rely on outdated or untested methods risk being left behind by their rivals. This is why, SMM is more than just a fad; it is also a real and practical strategy that can boost a business in many different ways.
Unlike traditional forms of marketing such as TV/mail circulars, newspaper ads and fliers, social media marketing enables you to reach out to prospective consumers in a more personal way. Unlike other forms of marketing, such as television advertisements, radio spots and print ads, SMM is designed with the consumer in mind. It allows you to build a strong relationship with your target audience. You not only get to interact with them and meet their needs, you also get to know them and gain their trust.
Beyond strengthening your business’ ties with your consumers, social media marketing helps build your brand far beyond the simple exchange of business information. Today, consumers have a number of ways to get information about your firm. For example, they can go through blogs, search engines, Facebook fan pages, and Twitter accounts. They can even post reviews of your products – and if your business is featured on a blog, the writer might even invite you for an interview! Far beyond mere review copies, these social media sites allow people to get to know your business far beyond its website and beyond the business itself.
SMM also enables you to reach out to your audience far beyond traditional channels of communication. For example, consider how you can use social media marketing to counter negative stories and rumors surrounding your firm. In essence, such outlets provide a forum where you can counter negative stories by giving details of how your firm stands behind its products and services. While it may not be possible for each business to handle every issue that arises, using SMM as a means to counter negative stories provides a way to strengthen your brand and gain the trust of your consumers. In a world where social media platforms are used by millions of people, doing this kind of PR consistently is a tremendous benefit.
In addition to strengthening your business brand, your social media marketing efforts can also help you make connections with your target audience. You may not think of Facebook or Twitter as having the capacity to connect with your target audience, but in fact, there are countless ways you can use these platforms to connect with your target audience. In fact, by using Facebook and Twitter as a way to connect with your target audience, you can actually begin a conversation with them and actually build a relationship with these people. As you do so, you will find that these types of strategies are an invaluable part of your overall social media strategy.
The power of using social media marketing can also be harnessed for brand awareness. Consider how you can capitalize on your efforts through Facebook and Twitter to gain brand awareness for your firm. First, you can start by posting status updates on a regular basis, such as sharing information about your recent projects or discussing your upcoming events. Next, you can take this a step further by posting images or short videos regarding your business. These kinds of social media marketing efforts can become viral in a sense, meaning they can spread quickly across the network. If done properly, you can easily create brand awareness for your firm.
The final benefit of social media management is a more passive one: increasing your ability to listen. While social media marketing allows you to interact with your audience, it also gives you the ability to “listen” to them. You can use this ability to foster communication between your organization and your audience. In doing so, you not only increase engagement but you will also discover that your audience trusts you and will engage with your brand accordingly.
While social media management is beneficial for all companies in terms of visibility and traffic, it also serves as a powerful tool for building brand trust and engagement. Because of this, most firms should consider using this strategic marketing practice for their business. By considering the benefits of its uses and integrating it into your overall marketing strategy, you will find that the benefits of using social media marketing far outweigh any negative impacts.