Social media marketing is kind of like word of mouth for the internet age. By positioning your company well on social media, you can inspire conversations, learn about your customers, and make it easier for customers to talk to one another about your business. That being said, social media marketing needs a practiced hand. Just being active on social media like Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ isn’t enough. You need to have quality content, clear goals, and metrics for measuring your progress towards your goals in order to really reap the benefits of social media marketing, which typically include:
Getting Exposure for Your Brand
Since people use social media to share information, not to shop, it’s important to remember that you don’t necessarily want to always be “selling” to your social network. Instead, position yourself as an authority in your industry or niche. By posting relevant and interesting content from your company account, you can gain exposure for your brand.
The real magic comes into play when this content is shared. Sharing makes your content reach further, expanding the reach of your brand exponentially. You can even let your customers do the hard work of promoting your brand for you, by simply adding social media buttons to your website, so that visitors can effortlessly “like” your site on Facebook, tweet about it, “pin” a photo to Pinterest, or connect with your company on LinkedIn.
Increasing Traffic with Social Media Marketing
One common way of using social media for marketing purposes is to run special promotional campaigns. This could begin with something as basic as getting someone to “like” your company page one time on Facebook to get a free coupon. In addition to making a sale, you just might be building the foundation of a long-term business relationship.
In order to make sure the person who has “liked” you sticks around, be sure to offer creative, engaging content on a regular basis. This might mean sharing links to your blog or providing tips that are useful to your target audience.
When you become an authoritative voice on a social media platform, this strengthens your brand and people will want to connect with you more. Research has shown that your loyal Facebook “fans” typically visit your website 30 percent more often than they visited before clicking “like.”
Gaining Marketplace Insight
Another important role of social media in your marketing campaign is to gain insight into the marketplace. You can use the tools on Facebook to refine your target audience, for example, and then investigate the behavior of these consumers. You can also search for your competition and see what kinds of promotions they are running. The impending release of Facebook Graph Search is going to make conducting market research on Facebook even more valuable. With Graph Search, you will be able to search all accessible Facebook content using extremely specific criteria, to identify potential customers or sales opportunities.