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To Do or Not to Do Social Media Marketing – That is the Question!

By John Siebert | Small Business

To Do or Not to Do Social Media Marketing   That is the Question! image 02 600x238To Do or Not to Do Social Media Marketing That is the Question!

Businesses are waking up to a nightmare. Just when they thought they had got their online marketing activities covered, they have to cope with the new guy in town – Social Media Marketing.

To put it in very simple terms, social media marketing is the process of gaining attention for a business or its online presence through social media sites.  This attention can take the form of improved brand awareness and credibility, increased traffic to the website and enhanced brand reputation and authority.

As can be imagined, this presents an opportunity for businesses as well as a challenge. It’s an opportunity, quite obviously, as it helps market a business, and it’s a challenge because one needs to be able to leverage its immense potential in order to experience its benefits. Also your social media marketing efforts will be fed by the production of new content. Do you have it in you to develop useful and engaging content regularly? Content is the bedrock of any and every social media marketing strategy. It doesn’t work without content.

Importance of Social Media Marketing

A survey conducted by the people at Social Media Examiner has come up with an interest finding; 86% of the marketers surveyed say social media marketing was important to their business. So, it must be doing something right! Here’s why marketers think it’s important:

  •  Lead generation: Pushing content to your target audience helps push this audience to your website.
  • Improving business growth: Tapping into the immense reach of social media allows you to reach out to a wider audience, thus increasing your business footprint.
  • Brand exposure: Enhanced brand awareness amongst the target audience; with social media takes your brand directly to an audience that is most likely to become your customers.
  • Improved website ranking: Search engines like Google are considering plenty of social signals in their ranking algorithm.
  • Increased website traffic: A well-planned social media campaign ensures improved traffic to the site, resulting in more conversions.
  • Decreasing marketing costs: If you can make social media marketing work for you, investments in other marketing avenues can be brought down.

But more than anything else, its importance, especially in a post Penguin world stems from the fact that it helps build natural links through relationship building.

  • Earning Links through Social Media

One reason why social media marketing is becoming big these days is because it helps you earn good links. Yes, link building has been transformed into ‘link earning’. And to earn links, you first have to build brand trust and credibility, which is possible using social media. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are majorly trusted sites and profile links on these sites, as well as, sharing links to your content through your profile will become a sustainable source for earning natural links. The idea is to leverage the credibility generated through your social media presence to build natural links and improve the visibility of your brand’s online presence.

To Do or Not to Do

To Do or Not to Do Social Media Marketing   That is the Question! image 01To Do or Not to Do Social Media Marketing That is the Question!

The every coin has two sides argument doesn’t hold in the case of social media marketing. It just has one side and it is the good side. There are downsides to using social media but that only happens if you aren’t able to do social media well, but more on that later.

So, why must a business have a social media marketing strategy in place? We have already gone through a few reasons why it’s important, so let’s dig a little deeper into its benefits:

  • Social Proof

Why would prospective shoppers buy a product from your site and not from another site? They will only do so, if they trust your site. And how will they trust your site? They will do so, if it’s backed by social proof. This proof takes the form of showing social engagement numbers on your websites. This includes the number of followers, fans, likes, tweets and other social shares earned by your site. And if you want to earn this social proof, you can only do so if you use social media marketing.

  • Reputation Management

Your social media presence is a listening post for your brand. You can listen to all the chatter about your brand and track its mentions across the social sphere. Marketing your brand on social media allows you to build and manage your reputation. By knowing how you are perceived online, you can use social media to change any negative perceptions about your brand. Social media is also a communication channel that can be used to initiate dialogue with your target customers and mend broken reputations.

  • Brand Engagement

A mix of sincere interaction and sustained reputation building helps you earn brand loyalty. This is the reason why your brand must engage directly with its customers and social media offers a fantastic outlet. The various social media networks like Facebook facilitate the grouping of fans and followers based on their common interests and preferences. This gives you an opportunity to create a marketing message focused on individuals groups. This ensures direct engagement with your customers and that too at an extremely personal level. This in turn creates an environment that increases recommendations and sales. Engagement is a huge part of social media marketing and allows your brand to build the right kind of momentum.

Marketing on social media depends on inter personal relationships that are established by sharing real time business information, improving customer connect, and showing target customers that you care about their needs and requirements. That’s why, it delivers such good returns.

Is there a case for ‘Not to do?’

No, I mean really! After all the benefits listed through the article, is there are any reason why you mustn’t use social media to market your business? There is and it’s a very good reason. If you are just using social media marketing for the heck of it, don’t do it. You will end up making all the wrong decisions that will see your marketing strategy go to the dogs. Also, such strategies have the potential to bring down your reputation if done wrong. You might end up giving the reigns of your social media marketing campaign to people who don’t really know their job well. Something else that can go wrong is your expectations from such a marketing campaign. If you have ‘great expectations’ and put all your eggs in one basket, you might come up a cropper if the campaign is planned wrong. After that, you aren’t really left with anything else.

So make sure you are well aware of the ins and outs of social media marketing and its benefits before you implement a campaign. There is no doubt that it’s a good bet for your business, but knowing how to make it a good bet is crucial. If you don’t know how to make it work, learn to make it work and only then implement it.

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