The Importance of Social Media Marketing
In many industries, referrals are cherished since they are sales leads that cost nothing and result in more paying customers than non-referral sales leads. Referrals work because they are based on established trust. Social Media Marketing is a technique used to create trust between a business and its customers. In addition, powerful social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have created a new space for your customers to have discussions about product and services that you and your competitors provide. It is of paramount importance to establish a presence in those spaces to ensure that your company remains engaged in those discussions.
Social Media Marketing Explained
The first step in developing a Social Media Marketing strategy is to consider which social networking outlets are most important for your business and industry. There are a wealth of well-established online social networks and sites dedicated to rating products and services and more are coming online everyday. Factors such as whether your business provides products or services and whether it is B2C or B2B are important. It’s also important to understand where your targeted audience is spending its online time.
After developing a comprehensive strategy, it is usually necessary to establish a foothold on the social networks of choice. This involves designing webpages on those applications that convey your company-specific messages for the chosen network.
The third step is to become part of the dialog by regularly posting to your network and building a following. This establishes a dialog between you and interested potential customers. The credibility of your relationship can be shared with others on the network and with visitors to your traditional website or mobile websites.
A fourth, and very important, step is to monitor the reputation that develops as a result of your online activities. You will want to know what the rating sites are saying about your product or service and you will want to know what the sentiment is about your business in the prominent social networks. This is known as Online Reputation Management.
Choosing a Social Media / Blog Marketing Provider
A competent Social Media Marketing provider will work with you to make the goals of the engagement absolutely clear and measurable. And then, they will develop concrete marketing strategies designed to address these goals. These strategies will include which social networks to address and how and in what order. The provider will give estimates of how long the strategies will take to make an impact.
Be wary of providers that promise immediate results. Developing a trusting online relationship with your prospective customers cannot be done overnight and, unfortunately, there are far too many providers that will promise just that.
It’s absolutely important to establish a marketing plan upfront. Many providers will offer so many posts per week but without an established plan, these may be seen by no one and, worst yet, not trusted by those who do see them.
Our Digital Marketing Specialists at NetEdge Marketing have a solid marketing background necessary to make a social media marketing campaign successful.