These days everyone seems to be addicted to social networking websites like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Youtube etc., spending more hours on these social platforms than probably watching TV or reading newspapers. In order to stay in touch with family and friends, people are not only sharing more than enough information online but also have provided a rich market for today’s marketing professionals to promote a plethora of products and services to an already screened set of target market.
This has given birth to Social Media Marketing which, according to Wikipedia is engagement with online communities to generate exposure, opportunity and sales. The number one advantage of this is generating exposure for businesses, followed by increasing traffic and building new business partnerships. Forrester Research predicts that SMM will grow from $455 million dollars to more than $3 billion by 2014. Due to its low cost-high & impact nature, many small scale businesses are integrating Social Media Marketing campaigns into their marketing mix. According to a recent study, more than 84% of small businesses (2 to 100 employees) reported better exposure using this medium with 81% saying that SMM generated more business for them.
A few benefits of Social Media Marketing Campaign are:
Generates more online conversation
You can generate more talk about your brand online with a successful Social Media marketing campaign. When your message works with your users, they will spread your message more effectively than tradition methods.
Hitting a front page of major social video, news and bookmark sites will send you huge amounts traffic almost instantly. This doesn’t mean the traffic will equate to conversions, but it should generate momentum in the right direction.
A comprehensive SMM strategy may provide a partial or full replacement of traditional advertising and marketing at a fraction of the cost.
Impact on search engine rankings
SMM campaigns bring you large amounts of back-links that benefit your ranking in search engines.
Compatible with traditional marketing
No one says you have to approach and embrace SMM full on. SMM campaigns can be run along side traditional marketing and advertising.
The power of recommendation
Would you rather buy from a faceless company or from a company that people recommend? We know that influencers play an important role in the buying process and you can reach these people with SMM.
Sidestepping ad blindness
Traditional online advertising methods, such as, banner ads are seeing drops in the level of effectiveness. As ad blindness increases, social media marketing has the potential to send visitors to your website without traditional advertising methods.
By: Syed Gilani
Syed Gilani – In the News