Social media marketing has changed the world of advertising and marketing substantially over the past decade.
Billboards, newspapers and phone-book ads are no longer the best methods of getting noticed. Digital video recording (DVR) has even made televised ads far less efficient.
A large amount of marketing is now done online, and any business that doesn’t take advantage of this is likely doomed to failure. What most people don’t know is that they can actually use their company’s social media pages to attain free advertising.
Setting up Accounts – The first step to using a social media marketing plan for advertising is obviously to set up the accounts.
This should be done across several social media sites which should include Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Having several social media sites is ideal due to the fact that every potential customer doesn’t have a page on every social media site.
Link to Website – It is now important to link all social media sites directly to an entity’s main website.
This provides quite a few benefits. The most obvious advantage is the fact that ‘fans’ on the social media sites will be able to easily navigate to the main website; which will obviously have far more information for potential customers to look over.
These links are also great for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. When search engine ‘spiders’, or web crawlers, scour the Internet for sites that best meet a searchers criteria, they consider how many web pages have direct links to a website.
If a company has four social media sites that link to their main website, this will fare well for the company.
Create Content – Every Internet and social media marketing strategy must include content creation.
This content can be provided on the main website and can include blogs, videos, photos and articles. Links to these pages should then be posted on the profile pages of the social media sites. This will not only allow potential customers to view the content; it will also direct them to the main website.
Content shouldn’t always be strictly promotional. In fact, some of the most successful online marketers don’t use promotional content at all.
It is sometimes simply enough to post links to knowledgeable industry related external articles or content. This will show the fans of a page that the company is up to date and well-informed in their industry. This will set them up as a trusted industry thought leader, and people that trust a company are far more likely to frequent it.
Bring in Fans – Simply creating a social media site isn’t going to make local customers instinctively flock to it; there must be incentive. Many companies sponsor giveaways to bring in additional fans.
A company, for instance, could give out a twenty percent coupon for all of their fans who ‘share’ their page. This is easily traceable, and each fan that shares a page could singlehandedly make the page visible to hundreds, or even thousands, of other potential customers.
Interact – Once fans have come to a social media site, it is important to interact with them.
Sharing a fan’s post that relates to the company’s specific industry is one way of doing this.
Leaving comments on fans’ updates or replying to comments from fans is another way of accomplishing this.
This will give customers and potential customers the feeling that the company appreciates them and doesn’t think they’re too good to interact with fans.
The world of Internet marketing is a constantly evolving environment. Many companies simply choose to purchase social media marketing ads that will display to local citizens in their area, and this isn’t a terrible idea.
It is important to remember, however, that social media can be used to market a company, band, group or any other entity for absolutely free. An individual that knows how to use these websites to their benefit will definitely have an advantage over their competitors.
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