You may have heard a lot of buzz about social media marketing lately, but do you know what it is? Many companies are now using it to promote their products and services, and therefore are building a stronger and larger business. With the popularity of any social media site today, real-time conversations are happening every day that define your market and brand – whether you choose to participate or not.
Don’t get left behind: those real-time conversations can be harnessed, monitored and measured to drive highly relevant conversations across multiple channels. Creating a social media marketing strategy is more than just creating a Facebook page or a Twitter page. You want return on your investment. You decide the engagement strategy needed which results in sales.
The engagement strategies generating the most return are marketing engagement and servicing engagement. Marketing engagement relies on brand management and awareness while connecting with customers. Servicing engagement places the focus on troubleshooting problems.
Having said that, there are lots of reasons as to why small businesses should be using social media for marketing and business engagement purposes. Here are six compelling reasons:
Social Media Marketing can create a recognisable identity for your product or service. This is extremely
important for a small business. Social Media tools can get the word out about
your brand in a way that promotes online conversation and creates buzz.
2. Word of mouth marketing
Exposure is a key to growing your small business. Word of mouth may not generate business but with social media, you can create buzz around your business and brand. More than 80% of online marketing firms agree social media engagement is based upon social interaction between the customer and the business.
3. Reputation management
Social Media tools let you keep an eye on what other people and sites are saying about your name, company, or brand online. You can then use the insights to fix any problems, if need be. You could use forums and message boards to answer questions professionally, honestly, and correctly, which will earn you respect as an expert in your niche. People will look to you for answers.
4. Find out what works and what doesn't
Your business does not move forward unless you understand your prior faults. Social media gives you a chance to look at your prior engagement year over year, to find out what worked and what did not work. By doing so, you can review your social media metric tools and engagement score.
5. Helps with search engine rankings
Social media also helps you move up in the search engine rankings because of links. Many social news sites and social networking sites have “follow” links in their profile pages. These “follow” links can provide your online properties with a higher ranking on search engines such as Bing.
6. Cost-effective marketing and advertising alternative
Social media marketing shouldn’t cost a small business nearly as much as traditional advertising. And, if you do it yourself, it might not cost a dime. However, it will cost you time. Depending how much your time is worth, it might be worthwhile to hire someone to help with the social media marketing. But, all in all, social media marketing is just a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing and advertising.
Social media is becoming more and more of a necessity each day for businesses ranging from big corporations down to your average corner shop. Along with a clearly defined identity and already proven to work marketing tricks, social media is a great way of boosting your business both economically and brand wise.
If you've used social media to support your business, feel free to share your experience in the comments section.