What is Social Media Marketing ?
Social Media and Marketing stands out as the two most complex subjects from business viewpoint. The situation gets more complex when social media shakes hand with marketing to emerge as Social Media Marketing, the buzz word clouding today’s global economy constituting of a large number of digital inhabitants.
Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram are only some of the premier social media marketing platforms used in personal space as well as business environment. Think of a brand and check it on social media platforms.
Today it is tough to find even a single big brand whose success story is not written on the canvas of SMM. Their strong social media management policies hold the key behind increasing their brand value. It also brings referral traffic to the website.
Social Media Marketing Evolution
Social media has been in existence from the beginning of the web but during the last decade it’s outreach has grown exponentially. Thanks to the evolving PC hardware technology, reducing size and increasing power of our computing devices (laptops, tablets and smartphones) and also the rapid growth of various Internet technologies. Technology and Internet constitutes the backbone behind this rapid outbreak of social media marketing.
Statistic reveals that around 72% of total adult Internet users are active on some or other social networking sites directly. This huge presence of masses is what makes social media marketing a popular marketing channel. No company or brand can afford to ignore its impact on their existence, irrespective of however big or small the brand tends to be in size.
Reasons Behind the Success of Social Media Marketing Campaigns
Whether it be your brand, you or your brand’s representatives who are available on these social media networks, a large number of customers are active on various social media networks. They are not only active but are also actively talking about your brand. These talks include positive vibes as well as negative vibes. The irony is that you cannot control it. It is something out of your hands and most of the time third parties are responsible for it.
Customers rule the business world today, rather than the brands or companies. Consumers have the real power to build companies as well as destroy companies and Social Media offers an open platform to empower consumers of our modern digital world.
You can not stop people from spreading negative thoughts about your brand, but with the right attitude and right strategy, you can always help them resolve their issues in order to earn their brand loyalty and also to spread positive word-of-mouth publicity. Even a single dissatisfied customer may cause big harm to your brand image, far beyond your expectations.
Defend Your Brand Against Your Competitors
Your competitors may be smart enough to gain from the negative vibes created against your brand on these social media networks. If you can’t defend your own brand then don’t expect someone else to come and act as your saviour. It is a great business opportunity for your competitors. Likewise, if your competitors have neglected their customers on social media platforms then you have a golden business opportunity waiting for you.
Your competitors are going to direct your already aggrieved customers to their brands by promising them better solutions, better products or better services. It is a great opportunity for many brands equipped with the right social media marketing strategies. The golden rule of accounting also applies to social media marketing – Someone’s loss is always someone else’s gain. It all depends on who is smarter – You or Your Competitor !
Social Media Marketing Does Not Mean Direct Sales
Social Media Marketing is not directly related to selling or pushing your products or services to masses. Rather it is more like a long term brand building exercise. Social Media Marketing is not about annoying your customers with your pushy advertisements, but rather about engaging your audience in healthy conversations.
It is more about building a positive brand and online reputation management. Positivity of your brand has to win over any negativity developing in the market against your brand. Many big brands have diminished to ashes when they tried to neglect even a single consumer. Google Authorship setup could be your first step behind building a good reputation as a trusted author.
Social media networks are viral because the thoughts in social media networks spread like fire in a forest. Even a small matchstick flame is capable of becoming an inferno burning the entire forest down to ashes. Building a positive brand may take years of hard work but losing your brand image may not take more than a couple of minutes.
Social Media Marketing Builds Relations
Big Brands have social media managers and social media managers are applying innovative means to engage people without pushing flashy advertisements to them. They are building relations, spreading awareness, talking to people, listening to their problems and giving them some of the most feasible solutions. It also brings in some great SEO advantage to your website.
Win a customer’s heart once and you have won a loyal brand ambassador to create word-of-mouth publicity for your brand. Today, most of the consumers’ buying decisions are based on other customers’ opinions, reviews, feedback, trust and a customer centric approach of brands. All of them are exchanging thoughts with each other at various social media networks. Do remember that having your face shown against your name brings great Google Authorship SEO value to your identity.
Interactivity Makes Social Media Marketing Exciting
Those days were different when one way communication channels influenced consumers’ buying decisions. Current communication channels are operating in an interactive many-to-many mode. Social media marketing is one of those innovative modes of content marketing where content consumers and content creators are almost the same.
When you post something on Facebook then you are in the role of content creator, but when you read someone else’s post and comments then you switch your role as a content consumer. Statistics reveals that Facebook posts and pages attracts almost 4.5 billion likes per day. I believe that this is more than enough of a proof to understand the hidden potential behind the effective implementation of social media marketing campaigns.
Why Social Media Marketing is the Toughest ?
Although social media marketing is so important, it is also the toughest to handle. Social media marketing means you have to understand human behavior, rather than consumer behavior and it is entirely different from the age old traditional marketing approach.
It may sound strange but effective social media marketing campaigns are not selling anything to anyone, but are rather building relationships with people. Brands are solving consumers’ problems by suggesting some of the best advices and solutions. It is all about helping consumers to gain their trust by establishing yourself as an authority in your niche market.
What is the Right Social Media Marketing Strategy ?
All of us keep repeating “Content is the King” as it has become an anthem for the digital world but do you know how content becomes the king ? You may not believe it but social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to build this king known as content. Try pushing inferior content on any social media network and experience the bitterness of the market when it retaliates.
It is true that the right content and right social media marketing strategy can help build brands but wrong content and wrong social media marketing strategy can get down a brand into the ruins of forgotten history. Wrong social media marketing strategies may turn your brand into a case study, further to be analysed by others so that they can avoid following the same footsteps leading to failure.
How to Start Effective Social Media Marketing Campaigns
Social media marketing is an effective tool in the right hands but a suicidal instrument in the wrong hands. Go slow and remember that simple story of a slow tortoise winning the race against the fast rabbit. Social media marketing is also a slow tortoise that can help you reap great rewards with a consistent long term strategic approach.
Search Engine Indexing is the beginning. Do not miss setting up Google Authorship, Google Places and Google Business to improve your site SEO. It is also advisable to check if Google Authorship has been setup successfully and you have been recognized as a validated author for publishing content to your site. Importance of Google Authorship cannot be ignored anymore.
Create social media accounts for yourself as well as for your brand and start building connections. Build relations, engage your audience, develop your authority in your own niche, offer your customers real solutions and build positive online reputation for your brand.
Let me know of any questions you have about setting up your own social media marketing campaigns. I would be happy to help you succeed in setting up as well as managing social media marketing campaigns for the grand success of all your future endeavours.