What is Social Media Marketing and How Can you Make the Most of it?

The burning question of ‘What is Social Media Marketing?’ will probably be hot on your lips as a business person trying to figure out your way in the realms of the online world.

Getting people to advertise and promote your business products or services for free because they think it’s fun or engaging would be a dream come true, wouldn’t it? Imagine your target market group talking about what you have to offer, just because it’s cool, in front of loads of their mates. And then all those mates start doing that too. Then suddenly, the marketing magic happens, news about what you do or sell has gone global, or, in social media marketing terms, viral. Everybody wants some.

Normally, you’d think of a virus as a bad thing: something contagious, spreading like wildfire. But for social media marketing, that is just what you are after: news about you and your business to travel fast, through all the online jungle drums and grapevines. So what are some of these online jungle drums and grapevines? You know them all too well: FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google Plus… Can you think of any more? The list goes on. Having had the question ‘What is Social Media Marketing?’ partially answered here, you may be starting to realise how time consuming it will be for you to manage and deliver on yourself. You’re right, and this is where we can help you.

 

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But the answer to the question, ‘What is Social Media Marketing?’ doesn’t stop there. Social networks provide the online tools for people to connect with each other, chat, and pass stuff on, including anything funny, of note or interest. Think of them like coffee morning opportunities for people on the go. FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and all the other social media sites allow people to build relationships, and allow you to take advantage of those relationships at the same time to build your brand awareness and deliver marketing campaigns. Picture the coffee morning where your customers regularly get together and chat and you go in with your business card, flyers, promotional spiel and freebies, special offers and anything else you might do to get their interest and start buying in to what you have to offer. In social media marketing you are doing just that by delivering your marketing campaigns over the social networks with the most interactive followers.

In the real world you wouldn’t pay to advertise using a billboard on a street where no one walked down, or where no one passed by in a car, on a bike, or on a bus or train, would you? You’d want to have your advert up on the busiest street, where the world and his dog would pass by and see it. If you could then get the people who saw it to start talking about it and passing the news on to their friends then even better! It’s the same in the world of social media sites. You need a social media marketing plan to target the social networks with the highest levels of website traffic. You then need to develop a content plan that will regularly churn out the type of stuff that followers of social networks will be interested in, like and share. The content with the most ‘likes’ is simply the most popular. So what are some examples of the type of content that gets shared among people and their friends on social media sites? We’ve done our homework and we know, and this is another way we can help you by saving you the time you would need to spend doing the research. One of the many services we offer at SEO CoPilot is putting the know-how into action for you:

We’ve provided a tip of the iceberg response to your ‘What is Social Media Marketing?’ question here, and there is of course a lot more to it that we can help you with. Here are a few social media marketing success stories listed on Wikipedia that you may already be familiar with:

 

Local businesses

Small businesses use social networking sites as a promotional technique. Businesses can follow individuals social networking site uses in the local area and advertise specials and deals. These can be exclusive and in the form of “get a free drink with a copy of this tweet”. This type of message encourages other locals to follow the business on the sites in order to obtain the promotional deal. In the process, the business is getting seen and promoting itself (brand visibility).

 

Nike #MakeItCount

In early 2012, Nike introduced its Make It Count social media campaign. The campaign kickoff began YouTubers Casey Neistat and Max Joseph launching a YouTube video, where they traveled 34,000 miles to visit 16 cities in 13 countries. They promoted the #makeitcount hashtag, which millions of consumers shared via Twitter and Instagram by uploading photos and sending tweets.[23] The #MakeItCount YouTube video went viral and Nike saw an 18% increase in profit in 2012, the year this product was released.

 

Lay’s-Do Us a Flavor

In 2012, Lays created a social media campaign that allowed fans to create their own flavor for a $1 million prize for whatever flavor was voted the best. After 3.8 million submissions from fans who participated, the top three choices were Cheesy Garlic Bread, Chicken & Waffles, and Sriracha. The fans were now able to purchase the three flavors in stores then cast their vote on Facebook or Twitter for the best flavor. Lays gained a 12% increase in sales during the contest. Garlic Cheesy Bread was eventually named the winner of the contest.[24] Your needs for your business will vary depending on your products, services and market. Let us answer your ‘What is Social Media Marketing?’ for you personally by getting in touch today.