What is Social Marketing?
– it’s not just having a Facebook Page
What is Social Marketing? If you think having a Facebook page will keep you young and trendy, and bring you in some sales, think again.
Social media has exploded onto the scene like a runaway train over the last few years and its influence and impact upon public and commercial life is huge.
What many marketing people fail to realise though, is that social media is borne not from business, but people’s desire to communicate. Social media is all about being social, so on the face of it, it’s not the perfect match for commerce.
Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others likes Pinterest and Polyvore, are platforms for social interaction, so the difficulty for businesses is how to harness the potential of having their audience right in front of them. LinkedIn is different because it has built a commercial network of contacts, but it still interacts in a social way – people in business communicating with each other.
Fundamentally, each of these social platforms ask the user to put themselves out there. You don’t just sign up and get an instant following. The modern world of social media is not about being ‘Billie no Mates.’ Social media relies on having contacts and spreading the word.
Which means that you have to put the work in. We’ve met so many companies who think that social media is creating a Facebook page and getting the intern to do the occasional post. If that’s your idea of social media marketing, you’re in for an unwelcome surprise. Like every other part of the digital marketing mix, it has to work for you.
Social media harnesses a great potential for companies, but it has to be planned and executed properly. Firstly, it is a great way to communicate with existing customers. Many companies have discovered that if they run their customer relations department through their Facebook page for example, it not only builds a following, but helps customers get instant service. From there, it is not a far leap to move on from customers, to secondly, a sales channel.
Indeed, social planning is a way to let the customer see your products, understand your company philosophy and create dialogue. Thus, the big word in social media is engagement. If you can engage your customers, you will reap the benefits.
Take a look at YouTube. It started out as a platform for people showing off their personal movies, now it’s used the world over people selling their goods and services.
Twitter is the ideal medium to keep people informed about product launches, sales information and corporate updates. The trick is to keep the Tweets informative, precise and welcomed by the customer.
Google+ may be the new kid on the block, but it is catching up fast. Creating circles and communicating with people on a global scale allows companies to penetrate markets and sectors that would have been impossible a decade ago.
For companies with highly visual products, platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Polyvore explore the more visual route and allow items to be shown off at their best.
Tumblr is another platform which is carving a niche for itself in featuring strong pictures, but also allows people to happily blog alongside the images.
Whatever your company and whatever your requirements, you will find a social platform that suits your needs.
You also need to see social media as presenting two routes to your customer: paid-for (in terms of Facebook advertisements etc) and organic (traffic generated via your content).
The trick is to see social media as a new marketing discipline that needs planning and constant management.
Need to know more about What is Social Marketing?
If you are looking at developing a social media campaign why not contact us or call 0203 326 5639