What Is Social Media Marketing?

What Is Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

In the past, you get online catalogs in your email, or get to see them on the vendor website.  Then you buy, and that’s it.  Now, there are a whole lot of interactions and ‘conversations’ going on.  People can all too easily share views about your products, get in touch with each other and get in touch with your company (if they can be bothered) even when they haven’t even made a purchase yet.  These ‘conversations’ and ‘interactions’ are actually the driving force behind social media marketing.

As a matter of fact, social media marketing is now recognized as a powerful tool.  Starting an online marketing gig without knowing some key points about social marketing is considered a netprenurial suicide of sorts.

Here are 7 things you should know about social media marketing:

1. Social marketing provides a platform for conversations.

The buyer to buyer conversation, that is.  The social media makes it possible for existing buyers and potential buyers to ‘talk’ to each other; either promoting your product or doing its opposite.  If you have a good product, which you should have anyway, you should capitalize on it.  Establish a social networking page where your customers can talk about it.  Maybe establish a sub-forum in a niche forum or establish an altogether new one, if you have that big a business already.

Allow your customers to answer questions like “who is this product for” and “who is this not for”.  You get to observe what others have to say about your product in a more or less unfiltered setting.  All in all, this makes for a good target marketing tool.

2. Social media marketing can be a feedback page of sorts.

Your social networking page can be a way for your customers or clients to tell you what they think about you and your product.  The social media gives them someplace to vent.  You should be careful though. Note that people usually speak up only when they have something to complain about, and just sit back in bliss when they are satisfied.  It is human nature; but there are instances when something is just too juicy to keep silent about, which bring us to the next must-know.

3. Social media marketing is viral.

If you can funnel some energy and creativity to a link-inducing output, say a viral video, a free widget or an insanely interesting article, you can spark more than just interest.  You can have people passing on the said content to a friend or at least, passing the word around that your website has this awesome stuff in it, and get people talking about it.

Once the viral marketing seed is planted, the social media can take care of making sure that the buzz is on, and the message, passed on.  Just keep in mind that for this to work, your social media viral marketing content should have value.

4. Social media marketing campaigns should not be unscrupulous.

Never try to engage in false advertising.  Remember that the very reason why social media rocks is that it allows for word of mouth advertising.  Bad publicity, or at least, too much of it, can harm your product.  Your business should be credible, so build loyalty and credibility, even in the social marketing front.  Offer value but do not overvalue what you are trying to offer.

5. Social media marketing should be focused.

While it would be nice to be able to reach the users of multiple social marketing websites, trying to do so might just burn you out.  Find one or two that can work for you and focus on it.  You can only try to be visible across all platforms when you can afford to, in all the senses of the word.  It is better to have a great performance in one social network spot than have several mediocre spots that no one wants to check out.

6. Social media marketing is free for all.

Yes, that’s true. Everyone can join.  That’s why a good number of people use these sites.  You don’t have to be an IT expert nor an advertising guru.  You also do not need to have a large budget for advertising.  You will need to be able to generate content though.  You can either do it yourself (create videos, write articles) or hire someone to do it for you, which is where the expense figures come in.

7. Social media marketing campaigns should be assessed.

How do you know whether your social media marketing campaigns are working or whether it’s time to put in more effort?  You need to install Google analytics or some other tool that can help you find out if you actually got more hits since the campaign started.  You’ll also need Click-through information in case you want to make sure its your social marketing campaign that is generating the traffic surge for the main website, especially if you are running an all-fronts marketing campaign.

For some online marketers, social media marketing is the last frontier, and one that presents potential exponential profits at that.  You see, most successful internet marketing campaigns are multi-faceted, with social media marketing just a fragment there of.  Indeed, social media has changed the landscape of online marketing.

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