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Social media marketing – why bother?

Written by Brett Sidaway, February 23, 2011

Social media marketing – why bother?

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Why should businesses consider social media marketing?

Ask any teenager what Facebook is and you will get an immediate response and detailed description as well as other social media platforms thrown into the discussion including Twitter and You Tube.

All of these and more included are prime examples of the different types of social networks that have become an internet phenomenon over the past few years. Once you understand what social media actually is, you will realise how important social media marketing is. Ask yourself the question, why is social media important? The answer is because social media marketing allows you to spread news about who you are and what you do to a wide and global audience, in a matter of seconds. The difference between updating elements of your website and updating social media is that you are participating in social networks and sharing your content in real-time with potentially global connections throughout those networks. Websites are fairly static in comparison and your content is less likely to reach the same audience, and when it does it may well be out of date. Other benefits of social media marketing are:

  • the simplicity of adding and updating information (anybody can use the tools)
  • the tools are usually free and will cost you no more than the use of your time
  • the new a creative ways you can communicate using digital media
  • the speed at which you can build your connections and network
  • the additional traffic it will bring your website

Social media marketing vs. viral marketing

Beneath the social media activity what you are actually doing is creating a viral marketing strategy. Viruses are something that everyone knows of – the bug that spreads and multiplies exponentially. Viral marketing is neat and works in a similar but smarter way. When you carry out viral marketing, word of your brand spreads like a virus – it moves faster and faster as the ‘buzz’ increases, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to stop it. And that’s good news for your internet marketing. If your marketing message has become viral, you can expect to see some serious growth in the number of visitors to your website. With some social media optimisation and a bit of creative thinking, you can almost guarantee that your marketing will soon have that viral quality that you’re looking for.

So why is social media marketing different?

Almost everything is different for social media marketing as you are not directly carrying out website optimisation. Instead of adding keywords in the right places, tweaking your meta tags, and building the right balance of links, you’re doing something very different – creating relationships, generating content and engaging with people in real-time. The value of social media has already been proven by many organisations on the Web.

What makes social media marketing a success?

One thing to keep in mind when you’re considering social media marketing is that you can’t throw a few crumbs at a social network and wait for people to come along and share those crumbs with their friends as they won’t. Using automated tools to achieve a quick win often looks robotic and people see straight through it. Approaching social media with that attitude will not get you very far. You will end up wasting your own time, losing potential customers and damaging your reputation. Social media marketing is first about joining communities and creating relationships. And it’s only by going through the process of becoming part of the community that your brand will begin to be recognised by other community members. That’s when your efforts will begin to pay off. When you’re optimising for social media, you won’t be focused on adding keywords to your content or tweaking your meta tags. Instead, you’ll be focused on providing something that the members of your chosen social network and community need. It may be an article, it may be tagging news stories that are especially relevant to your industry, it may even be adding your knowledge to a forum or group related to your area of expertise. In summary the key to making your social media marketing a success is in building strong relationships, regular participation and a bit of creativity. And don’t forget to show your personality – people buy from people not computers!

Getting support with social media

For those just getting started with social media, developing the right strategy can be very difficult.  It is essential to look for reliable social media consultants who can help you to develop the right strategy for your business. You may even consider using a social media marketing company to help integrate social media into your wider marketing strategy. Opace Technology Solutions are a successful Birmingham web design company who specialise in delivering internet marketing services to clients, helping them on their journey to success. Over the next few weeks we will be covering a series of SEO topics in more depth. Please follow us @opaceweb on Twitter and Opacewebdesign on Facebook for information on blog updates, please feel free to subscribe to our feed.

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