Understanding the Basics of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing
basically refers to marketing efforts that are carried out through social networking sites. Understanding any such marketing technique requires first understanding what these sites are for and how they work. At these sites, individuals interested in developing groups of like-minded people, get their own web page or a similar medium.
The website provides various tools that allow the person or an entity to disseminate information about their product, service or a cause. Using these tools and techniques, like-minded people come together and share their opinions as well as other useful information. This way anyone can share personal, professional or commercial information.
Companies interested in advertising their products or services can use these platforms to their advantage if they are actually looking at Social Media from a strategy perspective and have a clear idea of WHY they are engaging in Social Media in the first place.
Social networking sites
are similar to groups and organizations where people with the same interest come together to share information to effectively help each other. Companies can use social media marketing to advertise and promote their products and services to these groups of people. In this case, there is no direct advertising to the consumers. Rather, individuals interested in the product or service become part of the group. In turn, they also start spreading the word to the people in their other groups.
This is why Social Media marketing has to be approached in a specific manner.
You need to engage with those people in your group/business page in a manner that
a) excites them
b) resonates with the personal nature of Social Media.
You have to bear in mind that these platforms are not sales platforms and should only be used as traffic watering holes to locate and engage with people that are interested in your product or service and then bring them from the watering hole to your shop window (website) Here, the mindset of visitors is different, but you still have to engage with them and tell them what you want them to do. It’s integral to keep in mind that people listen far more closely to their friends talking on social media than they do to companies telling them they are the best at what they do.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Companies that are able to understand the mechanics of social networking sites can benefit greatly if they implement the right kind of strategy. Most of the things associated with social media marketing are easy to understand but take time to implement. Companies that want to approach such marketing for business purpose need to evaluate how much time they can afford to spend learning these knew strategies and implementing them versus using the services of professionals who have existing expertise in this field. These professionals are aware of all the techniques, tools, tips and tricks that help a company achieve better results and will be able to implement them in a lot less time than someone that is trying to learn the ropes at the same time.
Companies that want to connect with their existing customers as well as get new customers must use as many online marketing techniques as are available and appropriate to their market. For such companies, social media marketing presents a very good opportunity to advertise and promote their products to a large number of people. This type of marketing helps create better awareness about the brand.
People get to know the advantages of using the company’s products or services and more importantly they hear it from existing customers and advocates, rather than from just the company itself. The interesting part social media marketing is the potential viral nature.
Social Media networks by their very definition mean that people are usually part of one or more networks. If they come across a product or service that stands out, they are quite likely to talk about it to other parts of their network to whom it may be applicable. The viral nature of social media is what organisations should be trying to make best use of, it truly is World of mouth advertising, which takes Word of mouth advertising global with the internet as the vehicle.
Things to consider
It is important to understand that social media forms one piece of a much bigger jigsaw puzzle. It is most definitely an important piece of the online marketing jigsaw, but it is to be used in conjunction with the other pieces in order to maximize its effectiveness.
A company may not have customers for its products or services in the location from where it operates. However, there are people all over the world who may be interested in its products/services, the internet represents a great opportunity to sell the product or service to all these people. A solid online marketing strategy will enable this to happen and Social Media will form an integral piece of that strategy.