Social Media Marketing at a Glance

Popularity of social media marketing is increasing like an epidemic and so is the need to use it to your advantage. You need to be acquainted with social marketing concept for surviving in the highly competitive ecommerce world. It is crucial to understand this fact as it offers building blocks required for getting desired ROIs and client base.

To start with, the term social networking can be derived from both the terms. Social refers to interaction of individual with community or group and media refers to advertising and communication of information, ideas through different channels. Taken together, it refers to communication platforms that are sustained and developed by interpersonal interaction through specific medium.

Community medium is democratization of the information, transformation of people from content readers to publishers. This public platform makes use of wisdom of crowds for connecting information in collaborative manner. It can take various forms like internet forums, podcasts, message boards, video, and weblogs. It is made of user driven sites centered and focused like Digg focuses on news, Myspace and Facebook on networking.

Different people come together on community channels for various reasons. Based on choice of communities, interests, and use of social tools, they are segmented. Editorial links, peer recommendations and paid advertisements on the social networking websites can help you rope in potential clients and interested individuals.

Consider the societal medium as pipes, funnels with wide mouth with narrow stem. Purpose of funnel is very simple, enabling the substances and liquid to flow in the containers with small opening. They help in movement and access. Your site is just like a container. Most of the visitors enter through wide lens of social networking channels and exit them for reaching the narrow focus site of yours. For instance of someone searches YouTube for the Yoga Videos and finds original video uploaded along with URL of your site, he/she will be directed to your website.

All the public platforms are boosted by your bait, your proposition, attention magnet and other things that can pull visitors to your website. So use methodical and strategic process for establishing your reputation, brand, and influence through SMO.

How To Leverage Social Media For Your Business

As you have probably already observed, most people, customers, and businesses are using the Internet for finding solutions to their problems. Shopping has even become a regular occurrence to interact with others on the Internet. This just shows that social media is becoming a need for everyone. Social media is used by people for sharing ideas, making friends, uploading and sharing pictures or videos, exchanging views, etc.

Social media can be found via web-based or through mobile technologies that are used to turn communication into an interactive dialogue. It is defined as a group of Internet-based applications that are built on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content. It is considered as a source for social interaction, which has significantly modified the way organizations and communities interact. Eventually, social media comes in many different forms, which includes Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, micro-blogging, magazines, podcasts, wikis, social bookmarking, rating, photographs and pictures or videos.

Furthermore, there are many social media sites that can help you and your employees to increase productivity. In fact, one of the best tools for public relations are the interactive social media websites. As we all know, public relations is one of the best techniques used for marketing communications when building up a good reputation amongst other business partners and stakeholders. It even promotes business better and enhances recognition through annual reports, press releases and brochures. However, this is a very old technique. Today, the real deal for public relations is the world of social media. Even if you just stay at home, you can easily get the desired information through the Internet. This is where businesses and organizations provide online marketing facilities and develop e-commerce websites.

When it comes down to researching, networking can be of great assistance. Most employees in the workplace today are using social networking to relieve stress. A study conducted revealed that social media increased the productivity of workers by nine percent. It may sound crazy, but the truth is that networking helps people to keep their eyes open. Not only they are able to receive value information from their circle of friends o family but also they are able to share stuff from themselves and receive comments on it.

Nowadays, everyone knows how important is social media. It has become one of the fastest growing phenomenons within the past decade.

Social Media Within A B2B Strategy

Many are those who believe that social media does not fit within any B2B online marketing strategy. In a recent presentation I’ve given, there was quite a debate amongst the audience. The sales cycle in B2B is longer and more complex than that of B2C. Before I go any further in this subject let me show you some recent figures related to social media.

Twitter has 7 million accounts and has 27 million tweets every day.
LinkedIn has over a 100 million users
Facebook exceeds 640 million users
Flikr hosts over 4 billion images
Wikipedia hosts over 14 million articles from 85,000 different contributors.

The above figures will get any CEO think twice before discarding social media. Through social networking the company can bring forward its visions, products and services. Content marketing will be the right tools to do so where the company creates and shares content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer base.

One of the first steps that a company must make is to assess its market. In this assessment one will identify the demographics of its customers and then match the social media platform that will fit best its customers. It may be the case that LinkedIn will be more proper than Facebook as it is more B2B oriented. This way the company will draft the strategy around LinkedIn format. It is recommended that such assessment takes place every six months or every year as the social media landscape is continuously changing and what is good today may not be good in six months time.

The company must then set its objectives clear. The platform selected must fit in the corporate communication strategy where it will act as an additional communication tool of its company objectives. Unlike other media, social media gives the customers to communicate directly with the company.

A fault that I see happening frequently in the B2B sector is that companies set up their page, they maintain it for a couple of weeks and then forget all about it. If a potential customer visits a page that was not updated for the recent months, it is most likely that this customer will not return back to this page and will get a negative notion about the company. Before embarking into social media a company must ensure that it has the right resources in hand to maintain it and keep a dynamic communication. It may be time-consuming however if properly planned it should no be so. Make a lost of all engagement work you need to be doing and all the content that you need to be developing and then assign it on a daily calendar over the course of the month. This way time will be managed better and the strategy will be implemented smoothly.

In due course of the social media strategy the company must always measure its efforts. It must evaluate the type of interaction it is getting and how it is impacting the online traffic. As highlighted in previous article, always direct social media followers to a central online presence being it a website or a weblog. As the online marketing world is always changing, B2B strategies must also reflect this change. One cannot keep doing the same thing for a long time. The B2B online marketing strategy must be based on four main pillars that are content, connection, communication and conversion.

In my opinion, every B2B entity must have a social media presence in the format that fits best its corporate and online marketing strategy. I understand that many still believe that social media is not for B2B, however I will be pleased to receive constructive comments in this respect.

I wish you a great day – you deserve it.
Joseph Cale