Social media marketing is the process of leveraging social media networks to interact with prospects and increase traffic to a website.
Social media marketing centres on getting the attention of your target audience and forging a meaningful connection.
While social media can be used to directly promote products and discounts, it is not an effective means to connect with new users on networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Social media is a place to genuinely interact with users and tell them what makes your brand unique — not barrage them with direct marketing.
Content & Social Sharing
In addition to directing traffic to your website, the communal nature of social networks provides an extra benefit that other platforms may not – organic customer acquisition. If you provide content that users find relevant to their interests, they will share it with their friends and contacts.
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Essentially, your potential customers will actually be marketing for you. Even better, since the content is being referred from a friend or family member, rather than directly from a business, it is seen less like an advertisement and more as valued information from a verified source.
Many customers become acquainted with a brand via informational content, then come to find out about their products or services.
The Art of Customer Engagement
Customer engagement, interaction and integrated conversations driving various possible business goals are exactly what social media marketing is about.
Rather than looking at people as passive receivers and ‘consumers’ of content, modern marketers understand that customers should be actively involved in the production and co-creation of marketing programs. That is customer engagement in the true sense.
Marketing tactics that overlap with social media marketing, such as content marketing, also seek to engage the customer. It’s all about providing the right touchpoints, content and social interactions, while being responsive and proactive. Customer engagement revolves around the customer and the customer experience. The connected customer is at the center of social media and integrated marketing.
For businesses, social media presents vast opportunities to promote their products or services. Popular social media websites allow users to connect with friends and family from all over the world, they are also powerful ways for marketers to create a dialogue with potential consumers.
Users now expect to interact with brands and businesses, which means that marketers have great opportunities to create ways to drive demand and expand the reach of what they are selling.
Through social media, marketers can:
- Engage with their audience. Engagement is a great way to establish trust with consumers and build relationships that can develop over time.
- Create new leads. Marketers can raise awareness and generate traffic among general users, and some of that buzz can develop into tangible leads.
- Integrate with other channels. Social media integrates so well with other channels that it gives marketers the ability to boost campaigns in ways that were not possible in the past.
Social media marketing can be wildly beneficial for all kinds of brands and businesses, but it can also be quite complex.
There are plenty of social media platforms to choose from, and you must optimize your content for each one accordingly for the best results.
Understanding how the different platforms are used by users at different stages of the funnel, how they’re interacting with it, what content they like to see, and what devices they’re accessing that content on are all important pieces of the puzzle to help you better optimize your campaigns moving forward.