Social media users search out content and share that content with their network, boosting your message through electronic word of mouth and help drive more traffic to your social profiles. Social media channels also allow for direct, immediate business to consumer interaction and sharing.
Many customers prefer this over traditional marketing methods and actively choose to engage with brands on social channels. Social media marketing also pairs naturally with contests, giveaways and promotions: It’s easy for consumers to enter your promotion from your social media page, and it’s simple for them to share the promotion and increase your reach.
Social media boosts your company’s visibility and your SEO. Earning links from social media networks builds your website’s credibility. Over time, this has a direct, positive effect on your search engine placement. For small, local businesses in particular, social media allows for the type of direct outreach that helps promote top of mind awareness. As an added bonus, social media is one marketing channel where you can get started and realize success on a relatively small budget.
Each social network has its own purpose, audience and focus, and some may lend themselves to your business model more readily than others. If your business thrives on information, platforms like Reddit, Delicious, and Digg are an obvious match. If you work in entertainment, travel, food, retail or another area where visuals can be a primary call to action, networks like Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram are a perfect match for your social media marketing campaigns. Most businesses mix and match social media channels to put together a complementary portfolio of messaging sites.
To be effective at social media, you must commit to regularly posting content, monitoring your social feeds for customer feedback and interacting with customers who do reach out to you via social channels. If you are going to have a social profile, you must groom it through regular outreach, content generation and updating or you’ll risk looking out of date. Launching a strong social media marketing campaign takes time, effort and diligence. If you have a limited amount of time, social media scheduling tools can help you schedule content and monitor your feeds with less effort. Still, you may consider hiring a social media marketer who can fully engage your customers and understands how to best navigate the social media networks for maximum returns.
Social Media Marketing Plans