The advertising and promoting of products via social media sites on the Internet. This branch of internet marketing can be thought of as word of mouth marketing via the World Wide Web. Also known as e-marketing or digital marketing, there are specific tools that have been built to help marketers learn how effective their social media marketing methods are, and what improvements they might want to make to increase that effectiveness.
Whereas in the past people relied on word of mouth to find out where the best place would be to find a product or service, people now use social media sites to tell their “friends” about services and products. Business owners can set up social media pages free of charge, hitting a world wide audience without the overheads of other methods of advertising. In addition to finding new customers, social media channels are also used to keep in touch with existing customers, and to provide support.
All of the social media websites, and there are dozens, if not hundreds, give digital markets a means to easily promote their content and have other people engage with and share it. Many of the social networks will provide marketers with extensive information, from geographical and demographic information, to personal information. This allows a digital marketer to tailor their message to specific groups or people, hopefully increasing their reach and conversions. Social media segmentation ensures that the comany’s message reaches the right audience.
Marketing campaigns done on social media have an additional advantage of appealing to a broad audience. A single campaign might appeal to both prospective and current customers, the media, individual bloggers, employees, and the general public. Social media sites will often provide their own metrics for analyzing the effectiveness of a campaign, but there are also many third-party applications that can analyze the reach, customer response, return-on-investment, and many other metrics.
Social Media Marketing Strategy
One heavily utilized social media marketing strategy is to create viral content. This is content that has been developed specifically so that users will share it with their family, friends and co-workers. This is a word-of-mouth strategy for the digital age, and it can be quite effective when done properly. In addition to spreading the message widely, this type of viral campaign also provides an implicit endorsement when shared by someone known and trusted by the recipient.
The viral nature begins with content that is called “sticky” by digital marketers. Sticky content is something that captures the user’s attention, and gets them to take an action, usually sharing the content with others. Social media marketing can also encourage users to create and share their own content in the form of reviews or comments.
Social media can have great benefits, but if it is used to share information that could harm a company it can be a double-edged sword. Even if a negative testimony is immediately addressed, and even if it proves to be false, it can still have long term negative consequences. In this case a social media campaign to restore faith can be a good marketing strategy.