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Social Media Marketing: Harnessing the Power of the Web to Lift your Business to Fresh Heights Social media marketing has also brought a timely leveler to the global industry. Smaller business that were initially unable to afford the high cost of advertising through the traditional print and visual media options, can today match - and sometimes beat - the online marketing attempts of larger companies.

The right social marketing approach can be used to widen the exposure of a product or service, ultimately leading to the increased inflow of cash.


At the turn of the century, Mark Zuckerberg, together with his roommates, launched an online social platform that would be used to connect college students. It grew very quickly after that. At the end of 2004, the year of its launch, there were a million Facebook users. By 2011, the figure had grown to 800 million. Today, social media marketing has becoming an integral part of most marketing practices and is used to directly and indirectly reach out to billions of potential customers.

There is little doubt that the marketing world has changed. Instead of traditional business practices involving the use of business cards or brochures, business leaders now rely on tweets and profile updates. These modern tools offer faster and more convenient solutions that allow companies to optimize their marketing approach using attractive cost effective options. With social media marketing, companies are able transcend many of the common pitfalls linked with traditional marketing, ensuring even more rapid productivity and growth. With the advent of technologies, companies could buy facebook fans to increase their social credibility overnight.

The key advantage of social media marketing is its ability to connect to thousands of prospective clients within their homes with a matter of seconds. The robust network offered by social media can be used to increase the awareness and good will of brand as well as promote word of mouth advertising. To this end, Facebook marketing ideas often involve the use of creative and engaging content that is designed to appeal and encourage different readers.

What is Social Media Marketing

A successful social media marketing campaign does not come easily. Contrary to what some might suggest, it involves a lot more than just registering with a social media site such as Facebook or Twitter. In other for a social media marketing campaign to be successful, businesses will need to be active contributors. The more dynamic (and appealing) the content is; the higher the chance of success. Simply put, social media marketing is centered at forging a bond with customers through the use of engaging and consistent communication.

Interacting with customers will increase their appreciation of the businesses efforts. Social media interaction also gives companies the unique opportunity to gain some insight into the mindset of their customers. Customers reveal what they like about a product and what they donít like. The informal nature of social media sites also means that businesses can use this in evaluating the performance of their competitors.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Enhanced Search Ranking
Search engines (especially Google), give a lot of regard to content originating from such sources. That's because of the credibility associated with social media sites. Websites that are connected to Facebook or Twitter accounts tend to experience enhanced SERP rankings. Why is the search engine important? It's no secret that most people rarely look beyond the displayed results of a search found on the first page. Companies that are listed among the first four options witness are able to direct as much as 40% of the keyword related traffic. Improving your search engine ranking will increase the amount of traffic that your site generates as well as your way as well as your online presence.

Cost Effective Marketing
Compared to traditional marketing, a successful social media marketing campaign can be done for only a fraction of the cost. The initial investment is minimal. Most of the popular social networks such as Facebook and Twitter offer free sign up and services. There is also no need to pay for expensive print or video ads. The bulk of the company's effort will be focused on providing engaging solid content. Building a large presence online will require time and dedication but little in the way of immediate cost.

Instant Exposure
The walls of a social media site are the perfect vehicle for launching a new product. It is estimated that over 170 million people log on to Facebook and 25 million on to Twitter each day. The opportunity provided by social media sites is impressive. Imagine the immediate impact of reaching out to thousands of prospective clients within a second. With the right approach, Facebook marketing can be used to reach out to millions of customers within a very short period. Advertising on social media sites is also a good way of increasing the positive 'word of mouth' advertising that your product or service receives. Success is closely tied to sales; the more people that know about your services, the more successful you stand to be.

Grow a Core Customer Base
Never underestimate the importance of having loyal customers. In the retail industry, loyal customers account for over 50 percent of the sales generated by businesses. Having 'bankable' customers will give you a firm footing that you can build on. More importantly, the size of your customer base will affect the speed at which you grow. A company with a 100,000 loyal customers will benefit from more word of mouth advertising than another company with half this figure. There are several social media tools that you can use to build your customer base. A popular option is to use blogs.

Unlike the cold rhetoric of editorials, the personalized, semi-formal approach of a blog makes it easier for consumers to relate to it. Businesses can stay connected to their customers using subscription offers and RSS feeds. Adding a comment section will enhance the personal feel of a blog, increasing the interaction between customers and the company.

Make New Business Partnerships
Social media marketing isn't limited to only customers. It can also be used to build important partnerships with other business. Professional social networks such as LinkedIn are great places to meet professionals with important skills that a business might need. Social media sites can also be used to build cooperative relationships with other businesses. Different sites require different styles of approach. Learn what these are before proceeding. Understanding your target audience will help you in making the best impact. Strong impressions matter. Without them, your visitors may not be encouraged to read your other articles, press releases or visit your site.

Be Patient
The best marketing campaigns are those that are built gradually using organic marketing techniques. This gives you the opportunity to form a lasting relationship with your customers. Taking the time to build a successful social media marketing campaign will increase the strength of your brand, boosting the amount of word of mouth that you get while increasing the social appreciation for your products or services. Here are a few Facebook myths that you should know about.

Conclusion

In the years ahead, social media marketing is bound to become even more important. Today, a successful SMM campaign offers invaluable benefits such as:

  • Elevated SERP rankings (Which will result in increased web traffic and consequently sales)
  • Increased consumer base (Enhances a companyís credibility)
  • Cost effective advertising options
  • Improved sales
  • Broader exposure and online visibility.

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