SMM: Social Media Marketing
What is SMM? Interesting question, huh? It is an interesting question and we can get to answering it right away: SMM is social media marketing. However, it is better that we go over a few concepts before we start digging in social media marketing and how it could be of great value to your business, shall we?
Social media according to WEBOPEDIA is “a term used to describe a variety of Web-based platforms, applications and technologies that enable people to socially interact with one another online” and we add to that “by allowing users to create, publish and share information via texts, photos, audios, and videos”.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Remember when we discussed SEO: search engine optimization and how it is important to your business? Well what if - for the sake of argument – there is a great deal of internet users who don’t use search engines to find the products or services they need? Instead those users rely heavily on “word of the mouth” of their trusted friends, relatives and acquaintances. How will you draw them to your products and/or services? You won’t not unless you consider social media marketing.
A social media website is a world where every user is linked one way or another to other users. And given that people usually ask for recommendations from family and friends when searching for a service or a product, social media marketing aims at gaining maximum leverage from the power of “word-of-the-mouth”. The good thing about this method is that the product or the service is promoted by a trusted third-party: relative, friend, acquaintance and sometimes a stranger. Social media encourages people to interact by creating, publishing, and sharing content. It is a two-way communication flow where “word-of-the-mouth” has transformed to a click of a button: one simple click – of Follow, Tweet, and Retweet, Like, Share or Post – makes wonders. Hence, social media networks are the perfect place where you can promote your product or service since the interaction feels personal to users. Moreover, actions users make via networking buttons i.e. comment, like, follow, and retweet make your product or service more visible as more traffic is brought you as your product / service is reposted over and over again.
Social media is a broad term that acts as a big umbrella for several branches; therefore, I will keep it simple and discuss only what would be of value to your small or medium business.
Social Networking Sites
Social networks are the online social communities that enable its users to create web pages showing information about themselves and their interests in order to communicate and interact with other users: friends, relatives, business acquaintances or even strangers who own accounts in the same community i.e. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Active users until Sept. 2012 1.01 billion.
Account creation is not complicated and fan page creation is for free.
Good for a product or a service image: you have the tools to add content, video and images to your fan page.
Facebook offers advertising service via which you can gain more visibility at affordable prices.
Active users until July, 2012: 517 million.
It is for free.
It is a good tool to inform your customers about service / product updates or offers.
Via a simple text message you can use it to redirect traffic to your website.
Active users until June, 2012: 175 million.
Company’s profile creation is for free.
Good for business since it is the hub where professionals and businesses connect and interact in the same industry or line of services.
Video Sharing Websites
Online sharing websites that host user-generated content uploaded by users with the intent of sharing them online i.e. YouTube which is a video-sharing website. YouTube is a world of multimedia interaction. By creating a channel for your business you can upload videos show casing your products / services and give detail description about them. The website gives you tools to show remarks while playing the video i.e. showing a link to other videos or to your website. The website offers comments, reply, like and dislike button (which can work as product / service review tool) .
Blog is an online journal of entries created and updated regularly by user(s). A typical blog would have links to other websites, and comments section i.e. WORDPRESS.
You can make your blog effective in redirecting traffic to your main website by create internal links, and responding to viewers’ comments as they become your loyal readers.
In a Nutshell
Social media has become an indispensable interaction platform for online users. It is also a realistically inexpensive platform for small and medium businesses to draw prospects to their products and services. If applied correctly an effective and a successful social media marketing strategy will make a dazzling online presence for your business on popular media social sites.