What is Social Media Marketing?
Most people know what social media is, and even belong to many social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, to name just a few. But how can you use these sites to help your business? What exactly is social media marketing?
The term social media marketing, also known as SMM, can sometimes be misleading and confusing because it contains the word “marketing” in it, which generally means actively and aggressively advertising your small business. While you should be both active and aggressive in your SMM campaigns, the focus is not directly on selling your product or your service.
Instead, it’s about selling your brand and the concept and idea of your company. It’s about being a friend to people on Facebook, giving them tips and tricks; regularly tweeting helpful information and thanks to your followers; and uploading and sharing content around sites like YouTube, Digg, and Stumble. While you are promoting your business, you’re doing so in a casual way and starting conversations with the customer, rather than blasting advertising at them.
So what does your business have to benefit from just giving information and help away for free? It all translates into how many people visit your website, which in turn translates into sales and profit for your business. SMM is done 100% online, meaning that all advertising is done through marketing on the social media networks and is directly translated into visitors on your website. That being said, SSM can also work alongside and be integrated with conventional forms of advertising (such as encouraging people in your radio ad to visit your Facebook page.)
Social media marketing can build backlinks to your website that will help with every part of your SEO campaign, and it can bring in a large amount of traffic to your site. People who use social networks (which is just about everyone these days,) are now performing searches for things they need through those networks more and more. So if you have a flooring company, people might find you after looking for through different Facebook pages and groups for a company in their area.
In addition to adding to your SEO efforts and getting your name out there on the Internet, social media marketing also has many other benefits.
• Immediate results. When you get onto the front page of a social networking site like YouTube, the number of visitors to your site goes up exponentially, and in a very short amount of time. It doesn’t mean that every hit you get on the social networking site will convert into a hit on your own website, but one definitely has an effect on the other.
• Affordable. Compared to conventional methods of advertising, using social media marketing is by far one of the cheapest ways to promote your business, cutting your advertising budget drastically.
• The power of reviews. Every time someone mentions on Facebook what a great time they had at your restaurant, or talks about how much they love the new stove they bought from your store, that’s one positive online review about you and your company – and that’s gold in today’s advertising world!
Much more powerful than other online advertising. SMM doesn’t encompass all, or even nearly all, types of online advertising. In fact, it’s just one small area of online advertising – but it is one of the most effective! People are becoming so used to pay-per-click ads and banner ads that they almost don’t even see them anymore. SMM though, is so direct, so interactive, and so unique that people can’t help but notice it – and then get involved in what you’re selling!