The term social media marketing or social media marketing (SMM) refers to all the activities and measures used in social networks to generate business opportunities, increasing the reach and loyalty of customers. Social media marketing can be viewed as public relations and customer service. The first goal is to increase factors such as traffic, CTR, and reach. The next step is to build long term loyalty Customers, Influencers, and Viral Marketing. SMM can be part of the Customer Relations Administration and also includes commercial promotion on social networks.
When social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or LinkedIn were created, it was not clear that they were also offered as public relations and marketing tools. Social media was deemed unprofitable. Despite everything, with the increase in the number of users, the importance of direct contact with the customer and the increasing reach has become more evident. The networks became more sophisticated and increased in number - in addition, it is expected that the Spending for social media marketing marketing will increase. At the moment, very different social platforms are used in both the B2C and B2B sectors to achieve corporate objectives.
Suitability for any size of company
Social media marketing is an alternative for many companies and institutions. The target group is very likely to use social media in some way, whether it's with a mobile device or at home on a desktop or laptop. Portals such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, Instagram or Linkedin are among the most visited websites in the world. Regardless, whoever wants to use social media marketing must first define the objectives of the company and choose a strategy. This includes appropriate platforms and networks, a content creation plan, and workers who can use social media as a customer service and communication channel.
Types of SMM
In social media marketing, two basic strategies can be distinguished, in which the passive variant is frequently considered as a necessary component of every marketing:
- Proactive Marketing on Social Media: Own content and user-generated content are created and distributed here to achieve the company's objectives. Active marketing in social networks not only requires the use of resources and budget, but, with a multichannel approach, it also includes the organization of different channels to increase the reach of ...
- Passive social media marketing: External content is used to achieve the objectives. The activities of users and market facilitators are recorded and evaluated through monitoring. This data is additional information that can be used for strategic and operational decision making.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
The basic strategies mentioned above result in individual concepts that can also be combined. In practice, it is mainly about increase awareness, improve customer loyalty, improve access to the target group and communication.
- Direct contact with the client: Social media can be used as a means of customer service. Customers contact companies through messages, rating or posting of a status. If the company reacts immediately or relatively quickly, there is a proximity to the customer that cannot be achieved by other means.
- Construction of interest groups: Groups, blogs and forums can be used to create networks of common interests. Even though this is only feasible for certain products and services, such a meeting of users with a real interest in the product and the opportunity for exchange is almost only conceivable on social networks.
- Events (edit): Concerts and events are a popular means of reaching customers, especially in the restaurant sector.
- Interactive campaigns: Giveaways, vouchers, game apps, and surveys are all ways to attract potential customers.
- Sales and distribution: Reduced product sales and other sales concepts can be made here.
- Status, image and authority: Experience can be gained by providing solid information. The image and the advertising campaigns serve to create a good reputation.
- Viral Marketing: Certain content encourages users to share. This content is virally processed as it is distributed by many users. This can also be done by so-called "influencers".
- SEO: With a presence on social networks, so-called social signals can be sent to search engines. Profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and Co. are generally indexed by search engines and show up relatively high in the SERPs. High engagement rates (likes, comments, shares) are additional positive signals that let search engines know that users find the offer interesting.
- Social Media Monitoring: Companies have many possibilities in the fields of information and control. This data can be used in many ways. For example, to better understand customers and increase customer loyalty, or to track the brand.
- Traffic: Social media is a great way to attract visitors to blogs or websites. A prerequisite for this is decidedly good content.
Importance for online marketing
Social media marketing is now an integral part of business life for many online retailers and businesses - in some cases even as a stakeholder strategy in the realm of business plans. Mainly in the consumer goods sector, almost all companies have at least one social profile. The number of potential networks has also increased rapidly in recent years. In this way, companies must find relevant platforms and fill them with interesting content. A multichannel strategy is advisable. However, this does not mean that all available channels should be used. Rather, it is the target groups and their usage patterns that are decisive in choosing a platform. Methods such as targeting, segmentation and tracking help you reach the relevant target groups and avoid losses.
Companies usually have specific experiences of public relations (offline). This know-how must be used, since the principles of successful corporate communication remain constant, at least in the beginning - only technology and the environment have changed. Aspects such as corporate design, branding or corporate publication should not be neglected when the brand message must be received by users. There are to find a balance between commercial promotion and transparent and authentic communication or content marketing. Too much commercial promotion puts users off relatively quickly. Engaging users at the right touch points with the right content and determining a culture of feedback is essential. The principles of success in social media marketing are very complex, but a little experimentation is definitely appropriate. The first successes are often achieved within a few months.
Influencers also play an important role in social media marketing. These are well-known people with a larger community who work for companies and recommend their products or reinforce brand awareness online. Influencers use their own social media channels like Instagram, Snapchat, or blogs.
Social media marketing can include or combine other forms of marketing. For example, content marketing or referral marketing is not feasible without social media.