Social media marketing is a powerful tool to reach your target audience. With the right strategy, you can increase your sales and fan base with little to no cost. Social media marketing can be used in a variety of ways including:
2. Background of social media
3. The importance of social media marketing
4. Why social media marketing?
5. How social media works.
6. Applications of social media marketing
7. Examples of successful social media marketing.
1. Background of social media
Social media is not a new concept. In fact, it has been around since the beginning of the internet era. In 1990, Usenet was created which allowed people to communicate online through the use of bulletin boards. Another form of early social media was IRC or Internet Relay Chat. IRC was founded in 1988 and allowed users to chat with each other via text messages. Many uses of early forms of social media have been taken away by new technology. One example of this being Usenet being replaced by the creation of the world wide web in 1991 which included emailing, chatting, and file sharing among other things. Today, there are many forms of social media that are used by people all over the world for personal use, business use, or both. There are two main types of social media; content-based and network-based (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2015). Content-based social media differs from network-based social media because in content-based social media you do not necessarily need an account to read the content but in network-based social media you need an account in order to view content (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2015). Network-based social media allows users to create profiles, interact with others, and share different types of content such as pictures, videos, or links (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2015). Examples of very popular network-based networking sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Snapchat. Content-based social media is websites like Wikipedia and YouTube which allow users to post their own content (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2015). Other content-based sites include blogs and news websites where users can comment, rate, or share content (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2015).
2. The importance of social media marketing
According to Ryan Ferenz (2014), Social Media Marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your brand to your target audience. If you are unable to reach your target audience through traditional marketing methods you should consider using social media marketing to help make your marketing efforts more effective. According to Ferenz (2014), there are six main reasons why you should be using social media marketing. First reason is that it is easy to use. Most companies will have someone on staff who can run their social media accounts while also helping build their fan base at the same time. Another benefit that Ferenz mentions is that it is cheap to get started. It only takes a few minutes to get an account set up on an existing site like Facebook or Twitter or it can take very little money to start your own blog where you can post all your content yourself. You can even use free tools like Google Analytics or HootSuite to track your results so you know what is working for you and what isn’t working. Not only is it easy to get started but it is also easy to reach people all over the world so you don’t have to worry about just getting local fans or customers. Another benefit mentioned by Ferenz (2014) is that it is appealing to everyone and anyone who visits your website or follows you on a particular site is likely to be interested in what you have to offer so they may become a customer as well as a fan. A fourth benefit that Ferenz mentions is that it can be used as an excellent lead generator as well as a way for your current customers to connect with you as well as other fans/customers just like them, making them feel more connected and involved with your company as well as encouraging them to continue shopping with you as opposed to shopping with a competitor (Ferenz, 2014). A last benefit mentioned by Ferenz (2014) is that it allows you to quickly and easily share information with people who might not otherwise find out about it if it wasn’t for you posting it on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter where numerous people can see it and share it with their friends and followers as well (Ferenz, 2014).
3. Why social media marketing?
Social Media Marketing will give you access to an enormous number of potential customers who would not normally see your ads or hear about your products through traditional advertising techniques such as television ads, radio spots, billboards on busy streets, magazines, newspapers, direct mail pieces, etc. All of these advertising methods cost a substantial amount of money and often don’t work very well so they aren’t always worth the high cost especially if you have a smaller budget for your business or organization (Social Media Boost, 2016). According to Social Media Boost (2016), another great way that Social Media Marketing can help your business grow is by using some form of analytics software such as Google Analytics or HootSuite which will help you track how many customers are visiting your website from any given site as well as how many sales you make from each site which will help you figure out what type of content works best for you and your customers/fans on a particular site so you can put more effort into creating more content like that instead of spending time on content that doesn’t seem to be getting much traffic or sales from a particular site (Social Media Boost, 2016). Social Media Boost also states that another great way that Social Media Marketing can help your business grow is by using scheduling software such as HootSuite or Buffer which will allow you to schedule posts for specific days and times that best fit into your daily routine so you don’t have to constantly check every site every day just waiting for something interesting to come up that will interest your target audience (Social Media Boost, 2016). For example, if you are targeting teenagers during the school year for your clothing line then maybe posting midweek during their lunch hours would be best since they would be more likely to see something posted during their lunch break than they would be during the middle of the school day when they would hopefully be doing school work rather than checking Facebook or Twitter for entertainment (Social Media Boost, 2016). Another way that Social Media Marketing can help your business grow according to Social Media Boost (2016) is by using various forms of paid advertising such as sponsored posts or promoted tweets which will allow you to target certain keywords that will help bring targeted traffic directly to your website instead of having them visit dozens or hundreds of sites until they finally find yours (Social Media Boost, 2016). Another great way that Social Media Marketing can help your business grow according to Social Media Boost (2016) is by using paid advertising but instead paying for ads within certain keywords or phrases rather than within certain sites themselves which will allow you to target certain geographical areas which could help make sure that specific ad reaches only those who live near you instead of all over the world (Social Media Boost, 2016). Finally according to Social Media Boost (2016), another great way that Social Media Marketing can help your business grow is by using retargeting ads which allow advertisers to display ads based on an individuals previous searches whether they were looking at products similar or related products or services available through that specific advertiser or company (Social Media Boost, 2016). This allows advertisers to place ads on websites where their target audience goes regularly so they are more likely to see them rather than having them advertise on sites where their target audience doesn’t go very often so they are less likely to see their ads (Social Media Boost, 2016).