Social Media Marketing
Due to its hasty arrival, Social Media has gained the reputation by some for being a fleeting marketing interest therefore not representing a viable long-term marketing option. However, current statistical figures illustrate a contrary view. A global digital snapshot reports that there are just over 3 billion internet users worldwide, a 21% increase on just a year ago. Of those users Wearesocial claim that nearly a third of those users have an active social media account. Perhaps this is why Hubspot asserts that 92% of marketers in 2014 believe social media marketing was important for their business.
Suffice to say, social media is ablaze with tweets, shares and likes. No longer does the social media user fit the stereotype of the youthful waste with too much time on their hands. Indeed, anyone who thinks these online activities are for the teens, think again. According to the Pew Research Centre, 49% of people aged 65+ years used a social networking site.
The global phenomenon is embedded in every virtual nook and cranny, with mobile phone users, tablets and desktop computers all accessing social media. Users of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are on an ever upward trajectory.
So, which social media tools are best to take advantage of this huge potential to drive sales? Here is a look at some of the ways social marketing media can improve business for you.
Building your Brand
Developing brand awareness is a process which can take time but is an extremely valuable enterprise crucial to the success of your business and dependent on the quantity and quality of your online visibility. Social media networks are an integral channel for the voice of your brand. Use these opportunities to create content that supports the vision for your company and increase recognition with your brand. It is through this platform that your business is not only more accessible for new customers but develops further familiarity with existing customers. Taking advantage of the tools that social media provides is a fundamental step in connecting with your audience, developing loyalty and building brand awareness.
Each tweet, comment, share, blog, video or image you post in the social media sphere creates an opportunity for the audience to become a customer. Building a following opens access to new, recent and existing customers with a means to engage with all of them. While not every interaction with your brand results in a site visit or conversion, the enhanced recognition with your brand increases the likelihood of an eventual conversion.
Improving Trust and Credibility
People prefer to do business with people, rather than companies. This is why interacting in social media channels is important for brands as social engagement with potential customers acts to humanise a brand. The informal social media platform helps to develop rapport with online users and presents the brand as sociable and affable.
Furthermore, having a higher number of social media followers on your profile increases trust and credibility in your brand due to the social proof that existing followers provide in supporting your brand. Regular interaction with customers is a display of good faith. People often turn to social media as a forum for complimenting a product or service. When your name is mentioned, new audience members will follow for updates. The more people that are talking about you on social media, the more authoritative your brand will appear adding value to your business and improve conversion rates on existing traffic. Additionally, if you are interacting with influencers on social networks your reach and visibility will increase dramatically.
Increasing Inbound Traffic
Without social media, any inbound traffic is restricted to existing customers, people already aware of your brand and those searching for keywords you presently rank for. Each connection you make with a profile on social media is another route leading back to your website, and with every piece content you syndicate on those profiles is the chance for a new visitor. Frequently posting quality content on social media generates higher amounts of inbound traffic which in turn drives up leads and sales.
Ranking higher on Search Engines
Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO is the top way to capture applicable traffic from search engines, however the requirements to achieve a prominent rank are fluid and ambiguous. SEO technicians have a number of ideas that are thought to support a high ranking (read more about SEO here) but Google calculates ranks of its own accord so there are never any fixed guarantees. Common techniques include regularly updating your blog, optimising title tags and meta descriptions while establishing external links that direct back to your site. Strong brands almost always use social media so there is a good chance that having a presence in social media is an indicator for Google of the legitimacy of your brand. Therefore, being active on social media could well act as a signal to search engines that your brand is credible and trustworthy. Ranking for a given set of keywords could therefore depend on the strength of your social media presence.
Enhancing the User Experience
Fundamentally, social media is a means of communication and thus every interaction you have on social media is an occasion to publicly exhibit your customer service skills and develop your client relationship. The social media forum is an extension of your business that allows for a personal experience and an opportunity to show customers you appreciate their interest in your brand.
Social Media Tools
Learning the features that many social media platforms provide can be an opportunity to locate information about the interests of your customers and their behaviour. Monitor user comments to understand how your audience views your business. Arrange your content syndication lists according to topic to see which types produces the highest engagement level and custom your future content that fits best with your previous highlights. You can also measure conversions based on promotions on various social media to discover the most successful combination for your business.
The sooner you get involved the sooner you reap the benefits. Social media is about building relationships, creating a brand and developing a social presence. Growing your followers and increasing visibility can only be accomplished by engaging with your audience through your quality content who will in turn spread the word.