It seems like social media marketing is all the craze. Everybody seems to be talking about it. Every business is either hiring a social media marketing expert or a social media intern. But what is social media marketing? Do people really understand it?
Social media marketing is an additional element to marketing/PR that leverages the popularity and rise in social networking sites. The first thing business owners and marketers must understand is why people use social networking sites. In short, people use social networking sites to share and receive updates and news from people they know. This includes everything from their personal life, such as what they’re doing, photos, or what they’re thinking, to updates about what’s going on in the world, such as interesting links, news stories, or funny videos. Social media marketing allows businesses to leverage these daily interactions that happen online and get their customers to promote their brand at little or no cost.
Social media marketing starts by creating and sharing interesting and entertaining content through the business’s social media outlets. Since the purpose is to get your customers and friends to share your content, marketers must make sure that the content they’re posting is likely to be shared. The term for this is social media optimization. This begins by reading and understanding the type and format of content that is most commonly shared, liked, and commented on. It’s not important that the content directly relates to your product or service, more so that it’s relevant to the interests of your target market and customers.
Businesses have two options when posting sharable content. One is to create the content themselves. This includes everything from starting a blog, creating videos, answering questions on Q&A websites, and sharing photos. The other is to find content that already exists. This includes finding blog posts, news articles, images, and videos that relate to your product, your service, or the culture that your company will thrive in.
The best way for businesses to start implementing social media marketing is to set up their social media outlets, to start posting content they believe is relevant, and to study the response of their fans, followers, and friends. Don’t expect to implement a successful social media marketing strategy over night. For all businesses, it’s important to treat social media marketing as a learning experience as much as it is a marketing strategy.