Is Social Media Marketing still as Relevant?
11 Jan 2016
Social Media Marketing's relevancy is entirely up to you, how you perceive relevant, and how social media marketing equates to your organisation.
We need to take the importance off what is measurable, and start making what is important the measurable component. But as with everything, we need to learn what works and what doesn't, and respond with appropriate action to continually optimise your approach.
Why should you be using Social Media Marketing (SMM)?
What is it doing for you?
1. Brand Awareness
Brand awareness has become an important aspect for many businesses. People may not be buying from you, or reading what you have to say, but they are seeing your brand associated with each tweet or update. It's hard not to. Anything done repetitively eventually gets noticed by reinforcing and reminding them of your existence. In addition, each social networking site has a search engine, which makes it easy to find conversations about your industry, products and services. Getting your content noticed among the noise of social media also requires eye-catching visuals. No matter what platform, you can grab the attention of your target audience easier when you attach visuals to your updates.
Social media has led to paradigm shifts in the ways people interact and socialize, work and do business, learn and acquire knowledge. Trust is a concept that everyone likes to use, but often without a high degree of validation. Individual & business trust is a matter of reputation and built over long periods of time. As an individual and as a business, you should aim to develop trust so your personal name and brand override whatever concerns your audience might have about other practitioners in your space and how you compare to them. Other issues are credibility, either in terms of the content/message and source, and the quality of the knowledge that is shared.
3. Customer Confidence
Trust takes a long time to acquire, but only a matter of seconds to lose. Social media is a dynamic avenue for increasing customer confidence. Social networks can provide individuals & business with control over content, ease of communication over a wide geographical area and the possibility of engaging with a diverse group of people with minimal cost, effort and risks. A study surveyed over 7,000 consumers and found that 64% of those who had a strong relationship with the brand, their number one reason was 'shared values' (Harvard Business Review). These customers share updates not only about your products or services, but also posts that exemplify the core values of yourself or your business.
4. Driving Content
Creating good content isn't enough. SEO best practices can help drive traffic to your content, however, SEO shouldn't be the only tool you use. Once they find your content, they read it, and in most cases leave without sharing it.
Examples of how to drive your content...
- Optimise your content so it will rank well in search engines such as Google, push it through various news aggregators, or engage PPC & marketing campaigns.
- Invest in social media to drive it further with paid advertising, where the cost is still very reasonable compared to other internet marketing strategies.
- Social media is, for the most part, a free source of driving your content. New promotions, new landing pages, additions to your website, new product additions, company news, blogs or any kind of content can be driven through social media.
If your business is editorial by nature or has a strong editorial background, then it should be almost second nature to use customers as a basis for strategies.
An increased prevalence of the Knowledge Graph, a growing support for semantic language, and the predicted introduction of tweets being embedded in SERPs (search engine results pages), are also opportunities to enhance your content distribution.
5. Community Engagement (Locality Awareness)
With the increase in users relying on mobile devices and their geolocation technology, businesses today are finding the need to think locally. Google updates have also been improving the ranking of local search results. Using Google+, businesses have been able to create local brand awareness like never before. Because Google+ is integrated with Google Maps, your business location is displayed in Google search, which guides potential customers directly to your store. It also lets your community know your location when they search for other businesses in your vicinity. The added advantage of SEO with Google Search makes Google+ an important social media platform for marketing.
6. Search Engine Ranking
Social networks directly improve your website's SEO. Social networks are the most visited websites on the internet, and their high position in the SERPs (search engine results pages) help your business social media page rise to the top of search as well.
It's hard to imagine that any of the above isn't worth its return on investment. So it stands to reason that social networks do work, and are an important avenue to drive your content into for maximum exposure with limited costs.
Web Producer, Creative Director, Content Creator & Distributor at clearFusion Digital, & specializes in helping businesses plan & grow their website.