Social media marketing is a fairly new tactic used by marketing gurus and is quickly becoming a staple in every marketing campaign. Everyday our world becomes more and more technologically advanced, interactive and fast-paced.
Using social media as a primary way of communicating is now a societal norm and many people, from various age groups, spend most of their time tweeting or on Facebook. Learning to use these free channels of communication in a smart and effective way, incorporating your business’s marketing initiatives into these tactics and increasing your return on investment (ROI).
Why you need social media marketing
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to build relationships with customers and drive repeat business. These techniques eventually lead to the transformation of users to advocates, driving new business through sharing content with page fan friends.
The reasons for incorporating social media marketing tools into your campaign are plenty. Here are a few:
- In this modern age of smart phones and tablets, social media is where consumers spend most of their time
- Word-of-mouth and brand advocacy through social media tools are extremely popular
- Sharing content and building off of the trust consumers have with their network of friends and following can be useful in increasing your brand’s exposure
- Looking at the numbers can be extremely beneficial in learning about social media marketing’s power; Facebook has 5.3 billion page fans, Youtube gets 1 billion video views per day and Twitter has 1.9 billion monthly visits
- 75% of people are somewhat or highly likely to share content they like online with friends, co-workers or family—49% do this at least weekly
- 69% of marketing professionals will amp up their efforts on YouTube, making it a top area for investment this year
- 26% of marketing professionals say they’re able to accurately measure their social activities
- Social media produces nearly double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail or PPC
- 80% of people prefer to get coupons, promos, and discounts from brands in social media
- 74% of marketers say facebook is important to their lead generation strategies
The trust factor in social media marketing
Consumer behaviour is quickly changing. Marketing managers need to keep this in mind and integrate social media marketing into their marketing mix. According to the Nielson Global Consumer Study 90% of consumers trust social recommendations, and only 14% of consumers trust advertising. These numbers prove social media act as useful tools in marketing campaigns.
Social media can help, but how?
Much like every other tool used in marketing, social media tools need to be used strategically. According to the B2B magazine, 60% of businesses use social media platforms for thought leadership, generating ideas. 46% of businesses focus on gathering customer feedback and 35% use social media as a way to advertise their business. 
When creating social media marketing techniques, keep these points in mind:
- Develop content that is both useful and informative
- Use the AIDA formula in all your content. AIDA stands for Action, Interest, Desire and Action. Make sure your campaign has attention grabbing content that is both interesting and desirable to your consumers and place a direct call to action in your messages.
- Know where your consumers spend more time and target those venues. Some businesses may find their target audience on Twitter, while others’ consumers will be on Facebook, Flickr or Tumblr. Know your clients and target them where they spend most of their time. This will ensure your campaign will have the highest ROI.
- Always engage and listen. Make sure to use platforms such as HootSuite, listen to what your consumers are discussing and take their feedback into consideration. Conversation is the key to your social media marketing success. Creating an account will not guarantee success unless you spend time.
In a competitive business world, staying relevant and up-to-date is critical to the survival of any new venture. Investing in social media marketing can be cost-effective and if done strategically, efficient in assisting to achieve your overall business objectives.
How do you incorporate social media in your marketing basket?