The power of social media marketing (SMM) is driven by the unparalleled capacity of social media in three core marketing areas: connection, interaction, and customer data
What Is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?
Social media marketing (SMM) (also known as digital marketing and e-marketing) is the use of social media—the platforms on which users build social networks and share information—to build a company’s brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. In addition to providing companies with a way to engage with existing customers and reach new ones, social media marketing (SMM) has purpose-built data analytics that allow marketers to track the success of their efforts and identify even more ways to engage.
Connection: Not only does social media enable businesses to connect with customers in ways that were previously impossible, but there is also an extraordinary range of avenues to connect with target audiences—from content platforms (like YouTube) and social sites (like Facebook) to microblogging services (like Twitter).
Interaction: The dynamic nature of the interaction on social media—whether direct communication or passive “liking”—enables businesses to leverage free advertising opportunities from eWOM (electronic word-of-mouth) recommendations between existing and potential customers. Not only is the positive contagion effect from eWOM a valuable driver of consumer decisions, but the fact that these interactions happen on the social network makes them measurable. For example, businesses can measure their “social equity”—a term for the return on investment (ROI) from their social media marketing (SMM) campaigns.
Customer Data: A well-designed social media marketing (SMM) plan delivers another invaluable resource to boost marketing outcomes: customer data. Rather than being overwhelmed by the 3Vs of big data(volume, variety, and velocity), SMM tools have the capacity not only to extract customer data but also to turn this gold into actionable market analysis—or even to use the data to crowdsource new strategies.
Real time marketing
Companies need to pick up the pace when reacting to large scale events and occasions – an obvious example being the World Cup. Brands need to be planning for these global happenings and integrating them into their campaigns. Seize the moment’ and monitor trending keywords. If you want to increase engagement, be engaged.
Social media stories have become the best storytelling tool. The possibilities are endless from GIFs to polls, merchandise links, there are so many ways of engaging with your audience. There are 450M daily active users on Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and WhatsApp Status combined.
influencer marketing is quite simply a tactic of leveraging the followers of a social media influencer to sell your products. Influencers are usually part of a niche and spend considerable time and effort in winning the trust of their followers. This results in their followers trusting in their recommendations and advice.
Social media marketing is crucial
No longer is it optional or ‘nice to have’, social media should hold a central role in any marketing strategy, for both brand awareness and customer service. Quality time needs to be spent nurturing the brand across these channels. 51% of small business owners said they rely on social media to grow their business – more than email marketing, display ads, and direct mail, and PR combined.