How Social Media Marketing Works
Social media and its function as a marketing tool is becoming increasing popular and if the trend continues, it could end up being the top online marketing tool, even surpassing tools such as Google AdWords. But there are still some business owners and managers who have not yet been totally sold on the benefits of social media marketing. To help show why it is to popular as a marketing tool, let’s take a look at the top seven benefits of social media marketing.
The first benefit of social media marketing is simple. It gets your company or organization in front of people’s faces in a very unobtrusive, soft sell sort of way. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bring results. Used correctly, it would drive your campaigns through the roof and make it a very effective method of social media marketing. And it is very affordable; in some cases you can do it for free. Social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook don’t charge you anything to set up an account. The only cost you would ever incur would be if you chose to pay for ad space on their sites-and even then that’s voluntary. So if you’re just starting out in business or just don’t have much of a marketing budget, this is one of the seven benefits of social media marketing you really should take advantage of.
The Ability to Focus in On What Your Customers Want
Once you have some social media accounts set up and you’ve got your presence established, there’s never any reason why you shouldn’t be able to always be aware and focused on the wants and needs of your customers. Because social media is a two-way street and it’s not just
you doing the communicating, your customers can easily let you know what they like, what they don’t like, and why they feel the way they do about your products or services. For example: Facebook gives you the opportunity to create a fan page (which is not the same as your personal Facebook page) and you can create message forums. This is a great idea because you don’t have to find out that there is some sort of disconnect between your organization and your clients or customers. The forum idea will allow you to be proactive and find out if something is not working right with your customers-before they get mad and walk away from your business.
Some social media sites such as Twitter don’t allow a lot of space for you to go into great detail about what you want to tell your clients, but that’s not a problem. There are free survey tools on the internet, such as Zoomerang and Survey Monkey where you can set up surveys and questionnaires. Then in your Twitter feed, you can simply place a link to your external survey or questionnaire and get a lot of detailed information.
If you want to know what’s going on in the marketplace in terms of what your competitors are doing, the seven benefits of social media marketing offer a bonus. Because social media is so easy to use and follow, you can look into your competitors feeds and posts and see if they’re doing something you’re not-but should be!
Can You Hear Them Now?
The third in the list of seven benefits of social media marketing is that you can easily keep track of what your clients (and maybe your competitors) are saying about your business. Yelp is one of several websites that let customers post reviews of businesses that they have dealt with. As a business owner or manager, you can use Yelp and other sites like it to find out what people are saying about you – and you have the option of responding to comments others have made about your brand. Some business people use Twitter as a sort of online customer support department because it’s so easy to use. Updates from you and your clients get posted in real-time. And of course you can use that same platform to monitor what people are saying about your competitors
Your Online Exposure Increases
Number four on the list of the seven benefits of social media marketing is your increased overall exposure on the internet. Search engines like Bing and Google capture Facebook and Twitter feeds and will include them in the results of a search engine query. For example: If you have a Facebook page and your website link is listed on the page, people who find your Facebook page in search engine results will be able to click on the link in the results and go directly to your website.
Target the Traffic You Want
A very simple yet effective benefit of social media marketing is that your business or organization can drive traffic to your website or blog just by posting relevant content and links right in your Facebook and Twitter posts. One word of caution: Be careful to not overdo this; if every one of your Twitter posts is self promotion, your followers will tire of this and before you know it you won’t have any followers at all. But after you’ve been on a social media site for a while and haven’t acted like a bull in a china shop, you’ll be well-respected and you’ll find this is a great way to tell people about your business or organization.
Generate Qualified Leads
There are third-party internet sites like TweetGrader, and Localtweeps that have tools which allow you to find people by location, or personal interests and you can follow them and then connect with them on Twitter. Then while you’re there, check their Twitter accounts to see what social media websites they frequently visit and look for opportunities to connect with them on those sites as well.
Don’t Go It Alone
Take the time to use face to face networking to connect with new partners, vendors, and other business connections while at the same time staying in touch with your current connections.
When used properly, social media marketing provides a lot of benefits that will not only drive customers to you, but will also help you to better understand their wants and needs, and possibly even develop long-lasting relationships-which will mean profitability and growth for your business.