What Is Social Media Marketing?

what is Social media marketingSocial media marketing is a way of using social media sites to communicate your message to people who matter.

The value social media marketing offers over traditional marketing methods are many.

For one, social media marketing can in and of itself attract attention of readers. There is no other media required to disseminate your message. That is because this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth. From person to person. As more and more of your readers share your message with their social networks, your marketing message spreads.

And since your message appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to you delivering the message direct, your message is much more likely to resonate with recipients.

The Story of Two Men And A Lady

To understand SMM’s value think of SMM like this:

Imagine two people enter into a pub. The first is a man. As he walks in the man proceeds to beat on his chest and scream out to everyone why he thinks himself so wonderful, so interesting, so amazing. So awesome.

He is ignored.

The second person is a woman. She goes in and sits next to another pretty girl. Starts up a conversation about the first woman’s clothes and beauty ideas and accessories. Just some casual ‘lady talk’.

As they continue to interact with one another they find they have similar backgrounds, interests, likes and dislikes. The conversation gradually moves towards dating.

The second lady mentions her plans to arrange a double date involving herself and her man and her brother, who needs a date. As she begins describing her brother, he walks in. Dashing good looks. Confident. Yet very respectful of others in the pub. Just as described.

The first lady is intrigued.

Which of those two scenarios is most likely to result in a possible date for either man? If you say the first, you are probably a typical arrogant guy. A clueless one at that. In all likelihood the second situation, the “wingman” situation, is more likely to result in a date. Why? Because the dude is not praising himself. Someone else is. Someone who has gained a measure of trust.

Despite the glaringly obvious possibility of sibling bias here, a third party recommendation is more trusted than self-praise.

The same is true of SMM…

Instant Internet Attention

Social media attention is an earned form of media attention rather than paid attention. Rather than self praise others are promoting you.

Earned trust is just one advantage of Social media marketing.

Oh. Word-of-mouth social media marketing can be a two-edge sword. Campaigns must be tracked and managed. That’s because just as people can share, tweet, and retweet your message, they can just as easily hammer your product, services, company, principals, or other aspects of your company or practices.

That is why SMM must be monitored and tracked. To insure the company is presented in the best light possible. And if there are problems in your ‘tribe’, tracking insures those problems are handled in a way that presents the company as proactive and reactive to the needs of its market.

Start Cutting Marketing Costs Right Now

Another advantage of social media is that it offers a relatively inexpensive platform for companies to implement marketing campaigns.

The greatest SMM expenses are planning and implementation. In other words, time. The actual monetary expense is negligible compared to most other forms of marketing and advertising. This is because the burden of delivery falls on followers who “retweet” or “repost” comments about the product being promoted.

Not only are costs reduced, but the time to get your message to your market has been reduced too.

In the past, social marketing activities were managed solely on the web. A computer was a requirement. But in the past few years there has been an explosion of ‘smart phones’ entering the scene. Newer cell phones have social networking capabilities. Constant connection to social networking sites through handheld devices and smart phones means it is now possible to constantly remind and update followers in real-time.

Improve Customer Relationships Without Effort

Probably the most attractive appeal of social media sites is that they allow customers to feel like active participants rather than passive viewers.

Social media allows anyone to share an opinion or idea along the business’s path to market. Each participating customer becomes part of the marketing department, as other customers read their comments or reviews. This engagement process is fundamental to successful social media marketing.

Clearly, social media marketing involves more than simply opening and posting to a YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, or any of the other myriad of social media accounts. Campaigns must be properly planned, thought out, tracked and managed. That all takes effort. Time obviously is an expense. To you and to whoever you might hire to handle everything for you.

To keep costs as low as possible and to improve online success, mapping out a game plan in advance is wise. A step-by-step blueprint for implementing a Social media marketing campaign.

Do you need help creating a social media marketing campaign or game plan? Perhaps I can help. Contact me through my ‘spam free’ web form.