What is Social Media Marketing and how should this fast growing area of Marketing influence your company’s Marketing Strategy?
Social Media is defined by ‘Big Mouth Media’ as ‘The online technology and methods through which people can share content, personal opinions, swap different perspectives and insights into world issues, and generally discuss the evolution of media in itself.’*
Most types are internet based or use some form of broadcast media:
- Facebook, which is more commonly used for consumer marketing – more consumers spend time on Facebook between 9am and 5pm than watching TV. (Source: Natalie Wood, Ph.D., assistant director ofSaint Joseph’s University’s Center for Consumer Research)
- Linked In and Blogs tend towards b2b markets.
- Video sharing i.e. YouTube
- Wikis – wikis are websites that allow you to create, edit and share information about a subject or topic. Wikipedia, for instance, is one of the world’s most popular wikis.
- News aggregation – news aggregators provide a list of the latest news stories published by users from a range of different websites. Digg, for instance, is one of the web’s largest news aggregators with one of the most dedicated communities.
- Social bookmarking – social bookmarking sites allow users to publicly bookmark web pages they find valuable in order to share them with other internet users.
- Online gaming – online gaming is often based around communities. World of Warcraft is prime example of online gaming
- Presence apps – these websites allow you to post micro blog-like posts to announce what you are currently doing. Twitter is a good example of a presence app. A recent study revealed that high-level Twitter users, who logged in more than 100 times a month, saw more than 1,000 ads during that time, and 20.40% of those users interacted with at least one ad a month. (Source: Natalie Wood, Ph.D., assistant director of Saint Joseph’s University’s Center for Consumer Research) was initially seen as very small, and a fad, but now it has fast become recognised as one of the key methods for businesses to interact with their markets and customers.
It’s vital that Social Media it is planned properly and integrated seamlessly into overall marketing strategy
Recent research has found that 91% of businesses surveyed were using social media as a form of marketing (Source: April 2010 by Michael A. Stelzner in the USA.) Whether a global multi-national company or a sole trader, Social Media has something to offer a business.
Most of the benefits of Social Media Marketing are indirect, in that they influence customers into making a purchase, or create a discussion point, rather than generate an immediate sale.
The key advantage for a business from social media marketing is to gain increased exposure to its target consumers.
It should also be improving consumer traffic and clicks to the website, and can help with building new business partnerships.
A rise in search engine rankings is a medium to long term benefit of Social Media Marketing. As search engine rankings improve, so will business exposure and lead generation which can then have the effect of a reduction in overall marketing expenses. The generation of qualified leads and helping to close a business transaction are benefits that directly impact sales.
These alone are pretty powerful benefits for using Social Media Marketing.
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