The main aim of the traditional method of marketing was to get as many eyeballs on your services and products as was possible and then hope for a certain percentage of people to purchase. Television commercials, radio advertising, yellow pages, magazine ads, direct mail, etc…are all examples of traditional advertising methods.
These methods are now no longer effective, as several customers now dislike “one way” messaging. People now no longer trust advertisers. A recent survey done in the US indicated that only 16 percent of people now trust ads whereas 79 percent of people prefer consumer recommendations. Therefore, today marketers are seeking alternative ways to connect directly with their potential customers.
Internet marketing originally became popular by using websites and optimizing those sites using various SEO (search engine optimization) techniques. Though it is still a worthwhile strategy, now SEO has been updated by the Web 2.0 strategies, such as social media marketing.
In social media marketing, companies use various Web 2.0 platforms, such as social networking sites(Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Foursquare), blogs and various other emerging Internet marketing tools. The main benefit of Web 2.0 platform is that it encourages two-way communication, where users can generate content and businesses can gain by communicating directly with their qualified customers. Use the platforms so you can get close and personal with your customers! See also this post about Affiliate Marketing.
The significance of Social Bookmarking Sites in Social Media Marketing
Social bookmarking websites can play a significant role in guiding your social media marketing strategy. You can easily leverage these websites for helping your target audience to bookmark, share, and vote for your site, and help it in reaching out to a much larger audience on the Internet. With the proper strategy in place, you can generate a huge response from such sites. The biggest advantage of these sites is that you get highly targeted traffic towards your site but you’ve got to know when to show your ads!
The significance of Twitter in your Social Media Marketing Strategy
You can plan an effective social media marketing strategy with micro-blogging sites like Twitter, as it is an effective communication channel for connecting with your prospects and to further improve their overall social media experience. In fact, you can use Twitter for offering high-quality content for building a relationship with your followers. Establishment of the brand is vital to the success of any company and importance of Twitter in cementing the position of your brand cannot be underestimated. Traffic Means You’re Going to Make Money if you’re smart about it!
The Influence of Social Media Marketing
The old days of broadcasting your services or product message to the masses and then hoping for their response are long gone. People are no more interested in buying from faceless, and nameless companies. Today consumers are not only paying attention to all those who are behind the products or services but also want to know the opinion of others on your products or services.
A recent study has concluded that more than 74 percent of the “US Internet using moms” get influenced by word-of-mouth from family and friends mainly when making any buying decision. There is no other media platform that allows small and medium businesses to benefit from the customer’s word of mouth advertising like the social media marketing.
The Benefits of Social Media Marketing
1. Increased Customer Acquisitions – The biggest benefit of social media marketing is that you get a chance to connect with networks that are buzzing with potential customers that you may otherwise never come across by using traditional marketing methods, or even search engine optimization.
2. Powerful Word of Mouth Marketing- Everybody knows that word of mouth advertising is the most effective way to increase sales. With the help of social media marketing, you can create raving fans that can voluntarily promote your services and products within their network of friends. It’s all about the logic of selling, isn’t it?
3. Increased Brand Awareness – It is much easy and less expensive to brand your business using social media marketing. Many companies even use social media networks for raising awareness about their products and services. They sometimes arrange freebies, contests and special promotions for specific networks such as Facebook or YouTube. These social networks help businesses in increasing their brand loyalty and reach new areas that are still untapped.
4. Customer Retention – Social media sites are perfect for communicating with your customers and understanding their questions and concerns. With regular discussion, you can keep your company in front of millions of people, which not only results in wide exposure but referrals and repeat business. So stick to your goals!
5. Market research-People freely express their opinion on social media sites. This can help you in getting first hand and fast feedback. You can use this for an effective and powerful market research. With a direct data from customers, it is much easier for you to correct your shortcomings and cater to your customers in a much better way.
6. Keep an eye on your competition-It is very important for you to know about the performance of your competitors in the market as this can help you in coming up with something better. With social media sites, you can easily follow each and every move of your competitor and benefit by making changes in your approach. Stand out from the crowd!
7. Fast Results – The successful and effective implementation of social media marketing strategy can create fast results for your company. This results in increased lead acquisition, increased site traffic and increased sales. Unlike TV and radio ads, where your target audience disappears once these ads go off the air, these social media networks continue to provide long-term benefits to you provided you maintain a robust social media presence.
There is no denying that social media marketing is important for anybody who is interested in creating a highly successful and long-term online presence. Though it is still a new type of marketing, its amazing results speak volumes about its reach and power to take your online business to the next level within days. If you are planning to build a powerful online business, then this is the biggest opportunity that you cannot afford to miss out on.