Social media refers to a number of websites and programs that allow users to interact on a social media platform. The word ‘social’ was first used in the Oxford Dictionary in 2004 and now refers to any web-based interaction between people. In its most general form, social media refers to interpersonal communication on a website or program. Some of the leading social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr, YouTube, and Foursquare. Though the terms online marketing and e-marketing are now majorly dominant in academic circles, social media marketing has been growing in popularity for researchers and practitioners alike.
Social media allows users to create and share content with others via comments, posts, and other interactions on a website or blog. These interactions can be based on anything from a simple message board to a highly engaging video. Businesses have seen great benefits in utilizing this medium for customer engagement. Below are a few key components that businesses can utilize for successful social media marketing:
SMM tools include social media marketing tools such as RSS feed readers, apps for Firefox and Chrome, and Google Analytics. An RSS feed reader allows a business to receive updates regarding the most relevant content for their website. Firefox and Chrome apps for users of the social networks offer a number of useful features including integration with Google Analytics. This integration provides a convenient way to track user activity across the networks.
SMM analytics tools are vital for determining your overall SMM strategy. A comprehensive analytics program will provide detailed information regarding where your traffic is coming from, where your most active customers are coming from, what keywords are being used to locate your brand, and the behavior of your most important customers. These insights can prove to be invaluable to your company as it is planning future campaigns. Additionally, these analytics programs make it easier to understand which ads are working and which ones aren’t. This can help marketers make the most of their media spend and help them develop a more effective social media marketing strategy.
Editor is a popular SEO and SMM tool that allow marketers to find “redditors” or individuals who post to reddits (online discussion forums). The advantage to using a user’s insights about a brand, product, or service is that they are likely to share their experience if they have had a positive or negative experience. The editor also has the option to use a one password code to access their account completely. One password is an essential component of any social media marketing campaign, because it protects the user’s account from being hacked.
Another helpful metric for a social media marketing plan is “link shares.” Link shares are the number of people who have linked to a user’s profile page on a social media website. Marketers need to determine how many people have endorsed a page for their brand and use this data to establish the amount of influence that their page has. Links from authoritative sites such as the New York Times increase the value of a brand’s link-share, while links from less-well-known websites decrease that brand’s influence. These figures should always be taken with a grain of salt, however, because some sites, such as Wikipedia, are not strictly en masse linked to by most users.
Content is a fantastic marketing tool, especially for social media marketing platforms that give users control over what they want to see and what they do not. This is one area in which the platform is really lacking, but there are great solutions for this issue. By providing good content, especially content that is targeted towards your audience, you can dramatically increase your website traffic. This traffic will convert much better than organic traffic, which makes the investment in content priceless. Marketers must remember that content does not have to be hard copy written by a professional. In fact, the best content is simply engaging, unique, and well written – something that can easily be done by anyone who is passionate about their topic or business.
Social media marketing has definitely been proven to be an effective method of brand promotion, and it can be used by anyone regardless of their expertise in marketing. Marketers should not let this aspect of their marketing strategy to pass by, though, as the return on investment is undeniable. A social media marketer who fails to optimize their websites for search engines results in poor search engine optimization results and a loss of credibility, both of which are sure fire ways to lose money in the long run. A social media marketing campaign is just as important as any other marketing technique, and a savvy marketer will always use their platform as an advantage and not as an obstacle.