Social media marketing, commonly known as SMM, is a marvelous marketing tool – one that can really turn your business around. Those who do ignore it are failing to make use of one of the most powerful online marketing tools there is.
A Quick Note About SMM
Do all things in moderation.
It’s no different in social media marketing, either. You simply can’t post 100 tweets a day on Twitter and expect to grow a huge following and drive traffic. More likely than not, the tweeps (and that’s the official word for a Twitter user) who were already following you will unfollow your account, post-haste.
Same with Facebook – especially with Facebook. Because of its ‘sharing’ nature, Facebook is actually largely personal. Twitter doesn’t carry this same personal feeling because the only real interaction happens in 140 characters or less rendering it close to impossible to develop a close relationship over Twitter. Most Facebook users don’t ‘like’ 2,000 pages just to get noticed. The same rule doesn’t apply on Twitter.
Due to its personal nature, people are especially picky over what they share and what pages they like on Facebook. If your page is the first thing they see in their news feed every single time they log on, you might as well say bye-bye to any organic likes you had.
On a related note, don’t let social media marketing become your sole business strategy either. True, it’s an amazing way to drive traffic and build your brand (as demonstrated by the below reasons), but it should not take over as your main strategy. If 90% of your traffic is coming from social networks, you’re doing something wrong.
SMM works excellently in conjunction with search engine optimization, especially since Google looks for social media signs indicating that your content is popular around the web. Think of it as a side Internet marketing strategy, alongside SEO, PPC, linking, and the like.
Social Media Marketing Stats
Before we delve into a few specific reasons why you should use SMM, here’s a few mind-blowing stats about social networks and their users. (The following statistics are adapted from FastCompany.com)
YouTube’s audience in the 18-34 age bracket is larger than that of any other cable network. That means that 18-34 year olds spend more time on YouTube than they do sitting in front of the idiot box (television set).
LinkedIn grows by 172,800 new users every single day. Especially since the whole LinkedIn scheme revolves largely around employers and job-seekers, it’s clear that LinkedIn is the place to market your professionals-centered content. However, also keep in mind LinkedIn’s number of active users (ones who login at least once every 30 days) is less than that of any other social network.
Only 7% of marketers ignore social media marketing. That means that 93% of marketers are turning to SMM as one of their business strategies. Granted, just because a lot of people do something doesn’t mean that you should to, but…
One fourth of all Facebook users login 5 times a day. In and of itself, Facebook is a huge, huge demographic. No wonder why it reaches #2 on the Alexa traffic rankings, second only to Google.com.
Even though there are considerably more crazy stats about SMM you never knew, these are the main ones, and should convince you to turn to social media marketing regardless of the following 5 reasons.
1. Drive Website Traffic
Of all the reasons to turn to SMM, this has to be the most obvious and important one. Regardless of what many inexperienced marketers believe, it is not hard to drive traffic with social media marketing, even if you don’t have a following that reaches into the tens of thousands. Twitter and Google Plus, especially, has become a network where website links are shared very often – more so than Facebook.
However, we also have to consider that all traffic was not created equal. Meaning, you won’t get the same conversions and sales you would with all traffic types.
In order to maximize conversion rates, one must drive quality, targeted traffic. If you’re selling skateboards, it makes sense to get teenage boys to come to your website – not elderly grandparents. If you advertise walking canes, then target elderly grandparents – not teenage boys. The demographic you target has a lot of influence over your sales, conversions, and ultimately, your revenue.
Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to drive relevant, targeted traffic from social networks – particularly Twitter & Facebook. On Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, and LinkedIn, it’s considerably tougher to know whether the people who visit your site are a member of your target demographic.
To drive targeted traffic from Facebook, you can join specific groups centered around your primary keywords, and share your links. On Twitter, you can create a dedicated business profile, follow, and twee to the relevant accounts in your niche.
If you’re willing to spend money Facebook advertisements, then that’s when you can get even more targeted. You can pick & choose everything about the accounts who view your ads – age, location, marital status, even interests & hobbies.
Bottom line: The right social networks can drive targeted traffic when used in the right way.
2. Brand Building
Especially recently, Google’s beginning to make it clear that branding is important. That’s why most searches for reviews of physical products will have Amazon customer reviews right on top of the SERP’s, regardless of the fact that their are probably more detailed, dedicated reviews on the web.
The more you can do to turn your domain name (or even your own name) into a brand, the better. An example of a brand in the health and fitness niche is LiveStrong. Internet marketing niche – JohnChow.com. Blogging niche – CopyBlogger Media (which started as a blog about copywriting, and now attracts millions of visitors per month with four highly popular blogging-related products and services.
All of these brands – which have literally millions of followers – are Internet based. They started on the World Wide Web, they became popular on it, and they built a brand on it. And one of the ways the did that was by using social media marketing.
Bottom line: Social media is an incredibly tool to build a large, Internet-based brand.
3. Develop Reputation
Reaching out via social media, especially if there happens to be negative opinions surrounding your brand, is an excellent way to develop your reputation. You can show your users/viewers that you care about them. And THAT only serves to build a strong reputation.
At the same time, keep in mind that social media can also be a dangerous game to play – particularly if you engage in dishonest tactics to grow your following.
For example, it was recently discovered that U.S. President Barack Obama has over 19.5 million fake followers on Twitter. Nearly 50% of his 40 million strong Twitter follow are fake/bought (source: Daily Mail UK). Needless to say, that kind of move is one that severely damages his reputation, particularly when you consider that his wife has 4 million more fake followers than he does.
Bottom line: Stick to honest, upright social media marketing tactics.
4. Lead Generation
Quite a few people – Internet marketers especially – connect on social media, especially since they have to correspond remotely. As a result, social media marketing can be a powerful tool to generate leads for your business.
Especially since you can drive targeted traffic who want your product/service, social networks is something you cannot avoid when searching for new leads.
Engage people and building a relationship is essential to ‘pre-selling’ a product or service. Once you have established a relationship, you can inform them of the product/service you offer – which could result in the next entry into your sales funnel.
5. It’s (Almost) Free
If nothing else convinces you, this should. It’s no added expense or investment to your business (excepting a time commitment). To run a successful social media marketing campaign, there’s no monetary investment needed.
Creating a social profile – free. Connecting with relevant profiles – free. Joining relevant groups and lists – free. Promoting your links, services, and producs – free.
Of course, there are specific products you can use to speed up the process and reach more people, primarily advertising. Even though most of these return a positive ROI when used to maximum effect, a few marketers are hesitant about investing money in advertising, just yet.
That’s completely fine – you can still do (almost) all the things you set out to do on social media, for zero monetary cost.
Social media marketing, any way that you look at it, is a very powerful marketing tool. It can be used to reach a wide, targeted demographic, drive hefty amounts of traffic, build your brand, generate leads, and develop your reputation – for absolutely free.