SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself. Hence, this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth, meaning it results in earned media rather than paid media.
Social media is a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access. Increased communication for organizations fosters brand awareness and often, improved customer service. Additionally, social media serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for organizations to implement marketing campaigns.
Social networking websites and blogs
Social networking websites allow individuals to interact with one another and build relationships. When companies join the social channels, consumers can interact with them. That interaction feels personal to users because of their previous experiences with social networking site interactions.
Social networking sites and blogs allow individual followers to “retweet” or “repost” comments made by the product being promoted. By repeating the message, all of the users connections are able to see the message, therefore reaching more people. Social networking sites act as word of mouth. Because the information about the product is being put out there and is getting repeated, more traffic is brought to the product/company.
In 2009, bloggers had an enormous impact on fashion, affecting everything from print publishing to how brands market themselves online. There are thousands of style-related blogs on the web these days, and those dedicated to their craft have earned industry recognition. A number of unknowns earned recognition from Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Alexander McQueen and leading publications such as Vogue. They participated in fashion design collection collaborations and received front-row, international Fashion Week seats next to some of the most notable figures in the couture world. A recent Financial Times article notes that being a style blogger is a perfectly respectable career for someone in the fashion industry. The social web has removed the gatekeepers of an industry that was notoriously hard to penetrate and build a name in. These sites have succeeded because of the quality of their content. While each is unique, they’ve built a cult following around their areas of expertise and passion.
Through social networking sites, companies can interact with individual followers. This personal interaction can instill a feeling of loyalty into followers and potential customers. Also, by choosing whom to follow on these sites, products can reach a very narrow target audience.
Social networking sites also include a vast amount of information about what products and services prospective clients might be interested in. Through the use of new Semantic Analysis technologies, marketers can detect buying signals, such as content shared by people and questions posted online. Understanding of buying signals can help sales people target relevant prospects and marketers run micro-targeted campaigns.
Twitter allows companies to promote their products on an individual level. The use of a product can be explained in short messages that followers are more likely to read. These messages appear on followers’ home pages. Messages can link to the product’s website, Facebook profile, photos, videos, etc. This link provides followers the opportunity to spend more time interacting with the product online. This interaction can create a loyal connection between product and individual and can also lead to larger advertising opportunities. Twitter promotes a product in real-time and brings customers in.
Facebook profiles are far more detailed than Twitter accounts. They allow a product to provide videos, photos, and longer descriptions. Videos can show when a product can be used as well as how to use it. These also can include testimonials as other followers can comment on the product pages for others to see. Facebook can link back to the product’s Twitter page as well as send out event reminders. Facebook promotes a product in real-time and brings customers in.
As marketers see more value in social media marketing, advertisers continue to increase sequential ad spend in social by 25%. Strategies to extend the reach with Sponsored Stories and acquire new fans with Facebook ads contribute to an uptick in spending across the site. The study attributes 84% of "engagement" or clicks to Likes that link back to Facebook advertising. Today, brands increase fan counts on average of 9% monthly, increasing their fan base by two-times the amount annually.
Foursquare is a location based social networking website, where users can check into locations via their smartphones. Foursquare allows businesses to create a page or create a new/claim an existing venue. A good marketing strategy for businesses to increase footfall or retain loyal customers includes offering incentives such as discounts or free food/beverages for people checking into their location or special privileges for the mayor of that location.
Google+, in addition to providing the profiles and features of Facebook, is also able to integrate with the Google search engine. Other Google products are also integrated, such as Google Adwords and Google Maps. With the development of Google Personalized Searchand other location-based search services, Google+ allows for targeted advertising methods, navigation services, and other forms of location-based marketing and promotion.
Instagram is a free photo and video-sharing program and social network that was launched in October 2010. The service enables users to take a photo or video, apply a digital filter to it, and then share it with other Instagram users they are connected to on the social network as well as on a variety of social networking services. Instagram debuted as a photo sharing network but implemented support for video on June 2013. As of June 2013, Instagram had 130 million monthly active users.
Everyday there are more reasons for companies to use blogging platforms for their social media repertoire. Platforms like LinkedIn creates an environment for companies and clients to connect online. Companies that recognize the need for information, originality, and accessibility employ blogs to make their products popular and unique, and ultimately reach out to consumers who are privy to social media.
Blogs allow a product or company to provide longer descriptions of products or services. The longer description can include reasoning and uses. It can also include testimonials and can link to and from Facebook, Twitter and many social network and blog pages. Blogs can be updated frequently and are promotional techniques for keeping customers. Other promotional uses are acquiring followers and subscribers and direct them to your social network pages.
In a similar fashion, online communities benefit businesses because the online communities enable the businesses to reach the clients of other businesses using the platform. These online environments can be accessed by virtually anyone; therefore consumers are invited to be a part of the creative process. To allow firms to measure their standing in the corporate world, Glassdoor is a site where employees can place evaluations of their companies.
Some businesses opt out of integrating social media platforms into their traditional marketing regimen because their employees dislike such isolated online environments. There are also specific corporate standards that apply when interacting online. Other corporations fear that the general public have too much power over how their marketing is perceived, due to the accessibility of Internet-retrieved information. To ensure having the advantage in a business-consumer relationship, businesses have to be aware of four key assets that consumers maintain: information, involvement, community, and control
LinkedIn, a professional business-related networking site, allows companies to create professional profiles for themselves as well as their business to network and meet others.Through the use of widgets, members can promote their various social networking activities, such as Twitter stream or blog entries of their product pages, onto their LinkedIn profile page. LinkedIn provides its members the opportunity to generate sales leads and business partners. Members can use “Company Pages” similar to Facebook pages to create an area that will allow business owners to promote their products or services and be able to interact with their customers. Due to spread of spam mail sent to job seeker, leading companies prefer to use LinkedIn for employee's recruitment instead using different job portals. Additionally, companies have voiced a preference for the amount of information that can be gleaned from LinkedIn profile, versus a limited email.
Yelp consists of a comprehensive online index of business profiles. Businesses are searchable by location, similar to Yellow Pages. The website is operational in seven different countries, including the United States and Canada. Business account holders are allowed to create, share, and edit business profiles. They may post information such as the business location, contact information, pictures, and service information. The website further allows individuals to write, post reviews about businesses and rate them on a five-point scale. Messaging and talk features are further made available for general members of the website, serving to guide thoughts and opinions.
YouTube is another popular avenue; advertisements are done in a way to suit the target audience. The type of language used in the commercials and the ideas used to promote the product reflect the audience's style and taste.
Also, the ads on this platform are usually in sync with the content of the video requested, this is another advantage YouTube brings for advertisers. Certain ads are presented with certain videos since the content is relevant. Promotional opportunities such as sponsoring a video is also possible on YouTube, “for example, a user who searches for a YouTube video on dog training may be presented with a sponsored video from a dog toy company in results along with other videos. Youtube also enable publishers to earn money through Youtube Partner Program.
Delicious & Digg
Delicious and Digg are also popular social marketing sites used insocial media promotion. They are heavily used by the social media marketers to promote their websites due to their ability to share links.
Digital Marketing corresponds to promotions on interactive platforms or digital media such as the internet or mobile. The term digital marketing is coined around interactive media agencies working to promote businesses through digital channels targeting specific audiences across the globe. Digital marketing and internet marketing usually go hand in hand since they have similar service subsets; however digital marketing extends its presence to the mobile world as well. A digital marketing agency may use the following tools for promoting any business:
- Banner advertising on internet
- Paid promotions through pay per click campaigns
- Email marketing campaigns
- Product centric promotion through micro sites
- Podcasts/ Video Marketing
- Social Media Promotions
- SMS/ MMS Marketing etc.
Digital Marketing agencies generalize the use of the new media/ digital media for 2 specific objectives; Pull marketing & Push Marketing.
In the world of digital marketing pull initiatives refer to utilizing content, videos etc to be stored and displayed to the world where users themselves reach out and grab the information they are looking for and respond back. As an example, a blog or a video posted on a community website and marketed through community building measures, and comments invited. Herein, there is a transmission of information (generally for marketing or brand building purposes) to the users who are looking for related information over the internet. The presence of pull marketing can be expanded using viral marketing or other means of promotions.
Push Marketing on the other hand refers to activities like sending out electronic direct mailers, newsletters, SMS, RSS feeds promotions etc. herein, the digital media agency reaches out to the audiences to promote their business or brand. A digital marketing agency can in fact use push activities to a very specific and targeted level. As an example, if an organization wants to promote a product only catering to working class of people, then a genre specific marketing campaign targeting the user mail box, mobile phones or websites viewed by the TG can be accomplished.
How we can help you as a digital marketing agency?
As a digital marketing agency we take up both push and pull marketing aspects of any organization’s digital initiative. We undertake campaigns with uniquely strategising, implementing and executing specifically targeted segments. Our area of services extend from internet marketing activities like paid promotions, social media optimization and rich media services to SMS marketing, email marketing etc. We emphasise on understanding your business in depth and then suggesting some of the best solutions for digital marketing to an organization.
Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites.