Marketing is a way of communication between a business and potential customers for presentation and promoting values of a certain product or services. The main goal of marketing is to sell. Social media marketing is to take advantage of the benefit of the social network to realize some of the marketing goals such as promotion and establishing a relationship with customers etc.
Social media marketing is used to present business through social media and use this as a way to communicate a message to potential customers. Social media refers to different websites that allow interaction among users and the exchange of information through a variety of channels. Content can come in the form of blog articles, presentation, videos, e-books etc
Below are some of the most important websites
- Facebook- it is seen as the most popular social network and also a network with the largest amount of potential customers. Facebook pages are for celebrities, businesses and institutions. A page can have several administrators/managers. Facebook groups are for users who share the same interests. It is also for college students etc. it can be closed/open or secret.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is regarded as the largest business professional network. It allows sharing of posts and profiles.
- Twitter: it is differentiated by its microblogging from sending short messages called tweets. It uses hashtags.
- YouTube, Vimeo: these websites host video files. Videos can be promotional, instructional or you can start a video blog. You can promote a video by sharing the link on other social channels.
- Google+: It uses Google+ profiles for individuals, Google+ pages are for companies and institutions.
- Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr: these 3 websites are visual-content sharing platform. It allows images and short videos for online stores, decorators, clothes manufacturers etc.
- Foursquare, Yelp: Most times, tourists make use of these social networks for reviews on places visited.
Blogging is a form of social marketing which uses blogs to create and publish content while establishing a relationship with the readers. Blogging is an interactive form of publishing content on the web. The act dates back to 1990s till around 2000s. It comes from the word “weblog” and publishes content which is useful, practical and engaging.
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform. Others are Tumblr, Blogger. For a successful blogging activity, choose a suitable design, be consistent, interact with the readers and analyse your performance.
Tips in using social media for marketing include
- Customization: you need a profile image, description of the business, cover image, business urls, and lastly your business location.
- Social Media Optimization: it entails that if a visitor inputs your business name on a search engine, it should be easy to find within seconds.
- Follow social media guidelines: guidelines on text and URL in the cover photo, conditions when organizing online process and limitations should be adhered to strictly to avoid a ban.
- Evaluation: It requires monitoring and analysis to evaluate your performance and determine if results are satisfactory. If results are not satisfactory, the approach and methods should be changed.
When you intend to use social media for promotion, there are 2 major divisions of promotion for social media. This is the paid and free adverts.
Paid adverts allow direct promotion with paid ads. It also can track conversion and flow of a paid campaign. A free version, on the other hand, allows you to create and manage a social account and online promotion through a social media account.
Tools for managing Social Media.
- Tools for planning include Google calendar, post planner.
- For managing your social channel- Hootsuite, Tweetdeck
- For monitoring- Google Alerts, Google Analytics and Social Insights.