TalkingDesi – No marketing and promotional strategy is now complete without a sizeable budget and room for social media marketing. But, what is Social Media Marketing as one of digital marketing strategy and what is the benefits?
Social media marketing (SMM) has become a buzzword in today’s world. With the usage of social media at an all-time high, successful businesses have shifted quite a chunk of their promotional load to online platforms that are visited by thousands of users on a daily basis.
What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?
Social media marketing is a type on online marketing that is geared towards social websites and forums. Such marketing efforts are made to achieve communication and branding goals because each of these is at the heart of a promotional campaign.
In other words, when a business has set up a page on social websites with all its details and products, it wants to attract attention and traffic to it. SMM is the method employed to do so.
Social media marketing has many similarities with search marketing. The defining factor about search marketing is the discovery and realization of new stories, ideas and news. With SMM in full swing, the same can be achieved when businesses put up new and interesting stories, catchy images and content that is full of needed information.
Hence, SMM is only another form of search marketing that has been introduced ever since social media appeared. With a refreshing take on the latter, SMM has developed new ways to market the same products, using channels of communication that are visited by the audience more than any search engine website.
Therefore, content creation is at the heart of every SMM campaign. Companies looking to market themselves on social media create interesting content that they hope users will like and share, generating a stream of communication. This results in, what experts call, the electronic
word of mouth (eWoM). The eWoM includes any statement, perception, comment or like and dislike generated for the content posted on social forums. This is taken to be a signal of approval and recommendation, or disapproval in case the reaction to the product or service is negative.
Social media enabled this comments to be widely accessible to social media users, which is why this can be both an advantage or a disadvantage for a business struggling to create its reputation.
Once the stream of communication has spread far and wide, a result that is imminent when using social media, the marketing efforts of the business are trusted by the audience because they seem to be coming from independent third parties instead of the business itself.
Hence, such marketing becomes ‘earned’ and not ‘paid’, something that resonates very well with the ever-so-suspicious customer of today.
Benefits Of Social Media Marketing
There are many perceptions and schools of thought regarding social media marketing. For some it is a fad that they hope will ‘die’ down soon, while others feel it is a learning curve, of which you should be taking advantage. Nonetheless, it is unanimously agreed that social media marketing is in the spotlight, and it has become a part of modern business. Hence, it makes sense to benefit from it.
Compared to traditional marketing, SMM yields many benefits that should be cashed in on because marketing is a constant, no matter which industry, field or business you belong to.
Extensive surveys and studies carried out by experts in SMM, like Hubspot and Social Media Examiner, reveal some convincing statistics about online marketing in general and social media marketing in particular. One set of results showed that a significant 90% of marketers said that social media is important to their businesses. 63% of marketers are using social media for 6 hours or more and 39% for 11 or more hours weekly.
Therefore, social media marketing is an effort that will result in multiple benefits for your business, and some of those benefits include the following:
- Increase brand recognition and loyalty
When marketers pitch their ideas and products on social media websites, they expose their business to an audience that they would have otherwise missed. From the young to the old, every age group is now on social websites and prefers to do product searches on these platforms.
Hence, when this audience sees your services and marketing efforts, it starts to recognize you. Eventually, by interacting with your social followers, you establish a relationship of recognition and loyalty, and this will have a positive influence on your branding and promotion.
- Make use of the reach of the internet
There is no other marketplace as resourceful and expansive as the internet. Moreover, there are hardly any websites, that are more visited than social ones, which is why you will benefit from such exposure.
- Increase conversion
With every post, picture and update, you increase the chance of converting more passive viewers to active customers. In the physical world, getting in touch with your market every few minutes is not only costly, it is literally impossible.
- Reach more people
Without SMM, the people visiting your website are either those who have repeatedly purchased from you before or those who manage to find your website in the search engine result pages. On social media, however, every new update is liked or shared, which increases the chances of attracting those who had never even heard about your business and who would not be able to find your business on their own.
- Reduced cost of marketing
SMM is cheaper compared to traditional means of promotion. Where it takes more than a few hundred dollars to erect a billboard with your products on it, it only takes $10-$15 for a small business to create an advertisement on Facebook and no charge at all for creating a business page.
- Take advantage of different formats
Social networks allow the usage of different formats of content, which allow you to create different and unique strategies to promote your company. You can share text posts, images, videos, you can organize online promotions, competitions, you can ask questions or get feedback, etc. There are lots of different opportunities to shape your approach to get the most out of your social media activity.
- Available to everyone
Social networks are available to every business, regardless the size and the industry. Social networks are also free to use, to create profiles or pages and all you need is time to invest into managing social media accounts and implementing social media marketing strategy you have planned.
Social media marketing is definitely a creative and out-of-the box alternative to physical and traditional marketing of a business. Be it an infant business, or one that has been around for decades, an efficient and effective SMM strategy can do wonders to increase fan following and the conversion rate for your website.
Therefore, if your business has still not taken the social leap, it is high time that it did. Keeping in mind the rules and determinants of this marketing tactic, your business can be given a new and refreshed feel, an opportunity to explore the benefits of social interaction and communication for your business promotion.