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Social media refers to websites which provide users with social interactivity. Twitter for instance is designed to allow users to post short messages or ‘updates’, so the user is ‘sharing’ their life experiences with their online community. Facebook, in-contrast is a full-featured social networking website which allows users to share longer messages, photos, videos, organize and join events, create community groups and pages etc. Then there are the professional social networks such as Linkedin, where people share more professional messages.
Social Media Marketing is the act of using social media websites as a channel to publish marketing information, interact with customers and sometimes even to the extent of selling. Strategic and intelligent use of social media can lead to gaining traffic and attention as well as building a relationship with prospects and customers.
Social Media Marketing does more than just drive traffic to your website. If done properly, it can increase your overall business recognition and greatly expose your brand to an even wider audience. As of 2018, Hootsuite reported there are over 3.2 billion active social media users worldwide. Imagine the immense exposure your business could gain from social media exposure. In a study on social media trends by Hootsuite, 78% of respondents have either invested in social advertising or plan to do so in the next 12 months. If you’re still not doing it, your competitors most certainly are, let’s go through some of the proven benefits you stand to gain from implementing Social Media Marketing in your business.
We all have a brand, personal or business, and the hard truth is nobody cares about your brand. Yet we need our brand to be visible to wider audiences in order to grow it. Advertising might work, if you have deep pockets to compete with the big brands out there. Unfortunately, most small businesses don’t have deep pockets, some don’t even have marketing budgets.
All is not lost though, as we are lucky to be living in the era of the Internet and Social Media. Leveraging Social Media, small medium enterprises (SMEs) can expand their brand visibility not only to local markets, but to international markets as well. In fact, if executed correctly, Social Media Marketing can give you an edge over competitors big or small.
Using social media, you can get your brand in front of people much more easily and quickly, also it’s mostly FREE. Compared to traditional media, where prospects would have to either buy a magazine, or newspaper before they’re able to see your paid print ad.
With social Media, your audience is looking at your brand even when they aren’t thinking about your brand. This can be achieved if you have a proper content marketing strategy in place, as it blends your marketing messages into cleverly written content.
The McDonald’s Facebook Fan Page has prominent logo placements in the profile photo as well as on the header. You can even use a video as your header currently, you not only save costs on hefty TV commercial spots, but the reach is even higher. Try reaching an international audience with an Astro Ad, you get the picture.
People like conversations, they talk about brands, products, services at the water cooler. People are social creatures and love to have conversations with likeminded people, by using Social Media, you can generate conversations about your brand, products and services.
Let’s take a look at a post from PlayStation. It’s a simple post which engages with its audience, by asking a question “What was your favorite quote from 2018?”, it got the fans into a conversation of like-minded people. Generating over 970 messages and 1094 shares, who knows how many more shares and messages will be generated on the second or third tier?
The difference between Social Media Marketing and Advertising is that with engaging posts like this, you are able to generate genuine conversation and collect authentic feedback about your products and services. It also gives you the chance to interact with your customers and prospects on a more personal level.