Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing, or SMM, is a form of internet marketing that implements various social media networks in order to achieve marketing communication and branding goals. Social media marketing primarily covers activities involving social sharing of content, videos, and images for marketing purposes, as well as paid social media advertising.
Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of Internet marketing that utilizes social networking websites as a marketing tool. The goal of SMM is to produce content that users will share with their social network to help a company increase brand exposure and broaden customer reach.
SMM helps a company get direct feedback from customers (and potential customers) while making the company seem more personable. The interactive parts of social media give customers the opportunity to ask questions or voice complaints and feel they are being heard. This aspect of SMM is called social customer relationship management (social CRM).
SMM became more common with the increased popularity of websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, and YouTube. In response, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has updated its rules to include SMM. If a company or its advertising agency provides a blogger or other online commenter with free products or other incentives to generate positive buzz for a product, the online comments will be treated legally as endorsements. Both the blogger and the company will be held responsible for ensuring that the incentives are clearly and conspicuously disclosed, and that the blogger’s posts contain no misleading or unsubstantiated statements and otherwise complies with the FTC’s rules concerning unfair or deceptive advertising.
Using social media for marketing can enable small business looking to further their reach to more customers. Your customers are interacting with brands through social media, therefore, having a strong social media marketing plan and presence on the web is the key to tap into their interest. If implemented correctly, marketing with social media can bring remarkable success to your business.
Social Media and Marketing: Start With a Plan
Before you begin creating social media marketing campaigns, consider your business’ goals. Starting a social media marketing campaign without a social strategy in mind is like wandering through a forest without a map—you’ll only end up lost.
Create a social media marketing plan and brainstorm about your goals: what are you hoping to achieve through social media marketing? Who is your target audience? Where would your target audience hang out and how would they use social media? What message do you want to send to your audience with social media marketing?
Social Media for Marketing: Developing Your Goals
Social media marketing can help with a number of goals, such as:
- Increasing website traffic
- Building conversions
- Raising brand awareness
- Creating a brand identity and positive brand association
- Improving communication and interaction with key audiences
Only by establishing your goals can you measure your social media ROI.
Best Social Media Marketing Tips: Learn Marketing with Social Media
Here are some social media marketing tips to keep you on the right track across all your social media campaigns.
- Planning – As discussed previously, building a social media marketing plan is essential. Consider keyword research and brainstorm content ideas that will interest your target audience.
- Content is King — Consistent with other areas of online marketing, content reigns king when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure you are offering valuable information that your ideal customers will find interesting. Create a variety of content by implementing social media images, videos, and infographics in addition to classic text-based content.
- Consistent Brand Image — Using social media for marketing enables your business to project your brand image across a variety of different social media platforms. While each platform has its own unique environment and voice, your business’ core identity should stay consistent.
- Blog — Blogging is a great social media marketing tool that lets you share a wide array of information and content with readers. Your company blog can also serve as your social media marketing blog, in which you blog about your recent social media efforts, contests, and events.
- Links — While using social media for marketing relies primarily on your business sharing its own unique, original content to gain followers, fans, and devotees, it’s also great to link to outside articles as well. If other sources provide great, valuable information you think your target audience will enjoy, don’t be shy about linking to them. Linking to outside sources improves trust and reliability, and you may even get some links in return.
- Track Competitors — It’s always important to keep an eye on competitors—they can provide valuable data for keyword research, where to get industry-related links, and other social media marketing insight. If your competitors are using a certain social media marketing technique that seems to be working for them, do the same thing, but do it better!
- Measure Success with Analytics —You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Google Analytics can be used as a great social media marketing tool that will help you measure your triumphant social media marketing techniques, as well as determine which strategies are better off abandoned. Attach tracking tags to your social media marketing campaigns so that you can properly monitor them.
How to Use Social Media for Marketing: Know Your Platform
We’ve put together a brief overview about how to use social media for marketing according to each platform’s unique environment. Various social media marketing sites will require different techniques, so develop a unique strategy tailored for each platform.
Facebook’s casual, friendly environment requires an active social media marketing strategy that begins with creating a Facebook Business Fan Page. You will want to pay careful attention to layout, as the visual component is a key aspect of the Facebook experience. Social media marketing for business pages revolves around furthering your conversation with audiences by posting industry-related articles, images, videos, etc.
Facebook is a place people go to relax and chat with friends, so keep your tone light and friendly.
Google+ is the new Facebook competitor, and it promotes the same fun, casual atmosphere. On Google+ you can upload and share photos, videos, links, and view all your +1s. Also take advantage of Google+ circles, which allow you to segment your followers into smaller groups, enabling you to share information with some followers while barring others. For example, you might try creating a “super-fan” circle, and share special discounts and exclusive offers only with that group.
You can also try hosting video conferences with Hangouts and experiment using the Hangout feature in some fun, creative ways. Some social media marketing ideas: if you’re a salon, host a how-to session on how to braid your hair. If you own a local bookstore, try offering author video chats. If you’re feeling adventurous, invite your +1s to your Google+ Community. Google+ Communities will allow you to listen into your fan’s feedback and input, truly putting the social back into social media.
Pinterest allows small businesses to showcase their own product offerings while also developing their own brand’s personality with some unique pinboards.
Twitter is the social media marketing tool that lets you broadcast your updates across the web. Follow tweeters in your industry or related fields, and you should gain a steady stream of followers in return.
Mix up your official-related tweets about specials, discounts, and news updates with some fun and quirky tweets interspersed. Be sure to retweet when a customer has something nice to say about you, and don’t forget answer people’s questions when possible. Using Twitter as a social media marketing tool revolves around dialog and communication, so be sure to interact as much as possible
LinkedIn is one of the more professional social media marketing sites. LinkedIn Groups is a great venue for entering into a professional dialog with people in similar industries and provides a place to share content with like-minded individuals.
Encourage customers or clients to give your business a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. Recommendations makes your business appear more credible and reliable for new customers. Also browse the Questions section of LinkedIn; providing answers helps you get established and earns trust.
YouTube is the number one place for creating video content, with can be an incredibly powerful social media marketing tool. Many businesses try to create video content with the aim of having their video “go viral,” but in reality those chances are pretty slim. Instead, focus on creating useful, instructive “how-to” videos. These how-to videos also have the added benefit of ranking on the video search results of Google, so don’t under-estimate the power of video content!
Using social media in marketing does more than improve site traffic and help businesses reach more customers; it provides a valuable venue for better understanding and learning from your target audiences. Hopefully this guide has helped you better understand how using social media for marketing can improve your business.
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Paid Social Media Marketing Tips
We love paid social advertising because it’s a highly cost-effective way to expand your reach. If you play your cards right, you can get your content and offers in front of a huge audience at a very low cost. Most social media platforms offer incredibly granular targeting capabilities, allowing you to focus your budget on exactly the types of people that are most likely to be interested in your business. Below are some tips and resources for getting started with paid social media marketing:
Social Media Advertising for All Businesses
Learn the ins and outs of social media advertising on four major networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.
Creating Effective Facebook Ads
If you know how to use it properly, Facebook can be one of the most powerful advertising platforms for driving your business forward. And it’s not just for raising brand awareness. In this training, you’ll learn how to create effective Facebook ads that generate real leads.
If you’re already advertising on Facebook and are looking to save time AND money, check out WordStream Social Ads, our new offering that makes Facebook advertising easier and more effective.
Many businesses aren’t quite sure how to tackle marketing on Twitter from a paid perspective. It’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, and if you don’t quite know what you’re doing, you could wind up wasting a ton of money. Learn how to master Twitter advertising in this training.
1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Big Brands and Social Media
Small Business and Social Media
Social Media and You
2. Blogging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Building an Audience
3. Twitter and Microblogging . . . . . . . . .
4. Social Networking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5. Media Sharing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6. Social News and Bookmarking . . . .
7. Ratings and Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8. Forums. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9. Virtual Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10. Strategy, Tactics, and Practice . . . .
Campaigns Versus Ongoing Strategy
Calls to Action
11. Measurement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .