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In the last few years’ social media has turned the web upside down and has been shown to have the power to literally make or break your online marketing campaign.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media essentially is a category of online media where people are talkingparticipatingsharingnetworking, and bookmarking online. Most social media services encourage discussion, feedback, voting, comments, and sharing of information from all interested parties.

It’s more of a two-way conversation, rather than a one-way broadcast like traditional media. Another unique aspect of social media is the idea of staying connected or linked to other sites, resources, and people.

Kinds of Social Media

Many social media sites come in the form of a blogmicroblogpodcastvideocastforumwiki, or some kind of content community. To help you understand social media better, let’s break them down into basic forms or groups.

  • Social news: Sites like Reddit, Digg, Propeller, Fark, and Slashdot let you read about news topics and then vote and/or comment on the articles. Articles with more votes get promoted to a more prominent position.
  • Social sharing: Sites like Flickr, Snapfish, YouTube, and TikTok let you create, upload, and share videos or photos with others.
  • Social networks: Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to find and link to other people. Once linked or connected, you can keep up to date with that person’s contact info, interests, posts, etc. Many people are connecting to friends and business associates with whom they had fallen out of touch. It’s bringing the world together like nothing else has.
  • Social bookmarking: Sites like Delicious, Faves, StumbleUpon, BlogMarks and Diigo allow you to find and bookmark sites and information of interest. You can save your bookmarks online and access them from anywhere or share them with others.

This is just a sampling of social media sites. More are added daily. Breaking them down into these categories or groups will help you understand their focus and to consider which avenue is right for your approach to social media marketing.

Social Media Marketing Benefits

Let’s look at the general scope of social media universe. Did you know:

  1. Increased Brand Awareness:
    Social media platforms provide a vast audience reach, enabling businesses to connect with a wider pool of potential customers. By consistently posting engaging content, businesses can establish their brand identity, showcase their products or services, and position themselves as industry experts. This increased brand awareness fosters familiarity and trust among potential customers, driving brand recognition and consideration.
  2. Enhanced Customer Engagement:
    Social media fosters direct communication between businesses and their audience. Businesses can respond to customer queries, address concerns, and gather feedback, building meaningful relationships and strengthening customer loyalty. Active engagement encourages customers to share their experiences, creating a sense of community and reinforcing brand loyalty.
  3. Cost-Effective Marketing:
    Social media marketing offers an incredibly cost-effective way to reach a large audience compared to traditional marketing channels like print, television, or radio. Businesses can allocate their marketing budgets more efficiently, maximising their return on investment (ROI). Social media advertising options provide targeted campaigns, ensuring that marketing efforts are directed to the most relevant audience.
  4. Higher Website Traffic:
    Social media platforms serve as powerful traffic generators, directing users to businesses’ websites. By incorporating website links in social media posts, businesses can drive organic traffic and attract new customers. Shared content, such as blog posts, videos, or infographics, can pique user interest and encourage them to explore the business’s website for more information.
  5. Improved Search Engine Rankings:
    Social media activity can positively impact a business’s search engine rankings. Social media shares and engagement generate backlinks to the business’s website, which signals to search engines that the website is relevant and trustworthy. This, in turn, can improve the website’s ranking in search results, making it more visible to potential customers seeking related information.

So do you think it would benefit you to tap into this ever-growing universe of social media? Absolutely! Many companies are trying to figure out how to get involved. They’re shifting money from traditional marketing budgets tosocial media marketing because it:

  • Helps manage your company or brand’s reputation.
  • Builds brand awareness and helps improve how people view your brand.
  • Gets you closer to your customers. Learn about their needs then respond. Discuss converse, debate.
  • Offers creative and effective ways to learn insights not previously available.
  • Features new and inexpensive ways to support your clients.
  • Is typically less expensive than traditional advertising.
  • Offers various ways to measure and track performance.

Source: Ron Jones – Search Engine Watch. Feb 16, 2009

If done well, a Social Media Marketing Campaign can result in increased brand exposure, thousands of new website visitors and natural links to improve your important search engine rankings.

Your company may have started a blog. That’s great! But how are you driving traffic and how are you turning readers into sales or leads?

Your company may be on Twitter. But are you building a meaningful following of product or brand evangelists that will trade with and promote your company?

Emotional and Viral Blogs

well-written blog is essential top drive traffic to your website, establishing the authority of the author and adding value to the community. But a blog is not a press release or a rant! It should reach out relevantly to a specific audience, teaching them something new, stimulating debate or entertaining them.

Writing emotionally richviral blogs will capture the attention and imagination of your social media audience, creating those evangelists to promote your product, brand or company.

Some of the different types of content that may work include:

  • Breaking news.
  • Guides/tutorials.
  • Interesting stories.
  • Pictures.
  • Videos.
  • Statistics.

Make full use of the titles/subject lines of your articles – the more they entice an audience, the more you will succeed in your social media marketing objectives.

Other social media marketing platforms are discussed in more detail on their dedicated pages.

Sustainable and Growing Web Traffic Generation

When used effectively, Social Bookmarking and Social Network sites are great tools to spread a message and distribute articles.

The first step is to write a high-quality entry or article; then you should use sites like Stumble, Digg, and Facebook to spread the message.

You can’t guarantee that a message or article will be virally appealing, but we can help you stack the odds in your favour.

Analysis and Measurement

The only way you know whether a campaign has been a success is by monitoring it. We can help you set up an analytical programme to measure the success and reach of your efforts.

If you are thinking of exploding the reach of your marketing with Social Media Marketing, then why not contact Jack Marketing Solutions™ today, and let us help you realise your potential.

Glossary: AddThis, Awareness, Blog, Blogger, Bookmarking, Campaign, Circles, Digg, Facebook, Facebook Engagement, Flickr, Friend of Brand, Gamification, Instagram, Like, LinkedIn, Microblog, MySpace, Networking, Pinterest, Podcast, Public Relations, Reddit, Scribd, SlideShare, Social Bookmarking, Social Footprint, Social Graph, Social Media, SMROI, Social Marketing, StumbledUpon, Technorati, Testimonial, TikTok, Trust, Tweet, Twitter, Twitter Marketing, Video Marketing, Viral Marketing, Webinar, WebLog, White Paper, Wiki, Wikipedia, XML Trusted Feeds, YouTube

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