Social media is a general term that describes the new methods of interacting with others through online means. The internet, email, blogs, message boards, video sites and social networking websites are some examples of social media. Although the terms internet marketing and e-marketing are dominant in academic circles, social media marketing is fast becoming more prominent for researchers and practitioners alike.
In the past, internet marketing was thought of as primarily a business tool that promoting brand awareness by increasing website traffic and search engine rankings. As an advertiser, you would need to pay for in-bound links to your site, which would result in increased search engine rankings, and therefore, higher website traffic. Today, with social media marketing, this traditional method of marketing has been reduced to a piece of what used to be an entertainment tool – a means of marketing one’s brand by sharing personal stories, articles, videos and photos with friends, followers and acquaintances. This approach has proven to be effective in increasing customer loyalty and attracting new customers as well.
There are a few important elements that must be present in any effective social media marketing strategy. These include a compelling call to action; providing relevant and useful information to the target audience; providing a solution to a problem or enhance the experience; and engaging in conversation with the audience. These elements are imperative in delivering a successful advertising campaign. In addition, some advertisers have used this strategy to test the reactions of their target audiences to their product placement and timing, and thus have gained invaluable insights into how to optimize their next ad campaign.
While traditional forms of marketing may have been very expensive, as a brand it makes more sense to embrace the medium in all its forms. For example, one could advertise on social media marketing platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and also have the brand name and website URL featured within the content. Both platforms allow for the posting of content and are free for users to use. They are also powerful in enticing prospective customers to view and take part in a brand’s promotional offers. For example, a well-placed tweet can draw the attention of hundreds of thousands or even millions of users, who in turn can share the tweet with their social network friends.
In order to reach the masses, a social media marketing strategy should be more than just tweeting, sharing and engaging in conversations. It should be a comprehensive plan that incorporates every aspect of brand marketing. It must focus on the brand’s website, blogs, social profiles and other websites and engage the audience in a way that will create interest. The key is to make the brand’s offerings interesting and relevant to the target audience.
When it comes to brands, a social media marketing campaign is a valuable way of interacting with customers. It allows brands to create a sense of belonging and creates a bridge between them and the audience. This can ultimately increase the audience to a level where they can start to form a bond and form a relationship with the business. With this in mind, it’s clear that brands should embrace this opportunity, as it could prove to be an extremely lucrative venture for them.