What Makes Social Media Different?

To understand what makes Social Media Marketing different when considering the all-encompassing world of Online Marketing, it is important first of all to cover what exactly it is.What is Social Media?Social Media, by its very nature, is very socially driven and built on communication, interaction and relationships. It involves, but is not limited to, marketing via means of user-driven content. Social Media Marketing can therefore involve blogging, forums, social networking and social bookmarking sites to promote a product, service or even person.If someone finds something of interest to them the natural reaction is to want to forward it on to friends who may then send it on to their friends and so on and so forth. If you are being forwarded a personal recommendation for a product or service by a friend, you are more likely to be open minded about accepting and trying it yourself. There is immediately a level of trust involved in recommendations of this kind and marketing of this type is generally thought to have more success than traditional marketing as it comes with an endorsement.Social Media Marketing as part of your Online Marketing StrategyCompared to traditional marketing and media, SMM grows from the interactions and communication you create around yourself. If you are able to communicate with your clients or customers via online networks, you can build trust and relationships to improve the chances of people remembering you and recommending you to others.Traditional marketing is less about communicating with others and concentrates on getting a message out. In this way it can be quite one-sided whereas Social Media Marketing is fun and natural.Search Engine Optimisation focuses on ensuring the right content and information gets out to the right audience and Social Media Marketing concentrates on building on your online presence to ensure that your information is found by those who may not have been looking for you but who are within the reach of your social circles online.Social Media Marketing Can Help To Reduce Your Marketing CostsIf you have happy customers, they will want to share reviews of your products or services with others and the more happy customers you have, the wider the net of potential new customers you could get. If you have a product or service that lends itself well to Social Media, for example, one that is easy enough for people to convey and explain simply enough on social networking sites then doing this can be more effective and targeted than relying on the hit and miss nature of traditional marketing and advertising. You could spend less money on Social Media Marketing than traditional marketing and find it to be more successful.Social media can get your content out to a huge number of people through what is essentially word-of-mouth marketing. SMM can also increase your “linkability”, i.e. the chances that your website will be linked to from other websites and will drive traffic to your site through a community that you may not have been able to reach via traditional marketing methods.Search Engine Optimisation and Social Media MarketingThere are obvious benefits for your SEO strategy if you are combining it with SMM. If your content is being shared online the chances are that there will be a link back to your website. A link is akin to a virtual thumbs up and online endorsement and the number of inbound links to your site is a way in which Google assesses the authority and relevance of your site. If you have a good number of high quality links to your website, you could see improvements on your rankings in the search engine results pages.Your Social Media StrategySocial Media Marketing does not need complex technical knowledge, neither does it require knowledge of how a website is set up. It is true that an understanding of HTML and search engines will definitely help you but if you do not have this information you can still build a successful campaign without it.You can always take your strategy to the next level and use the services of an Online Marketing consultancy for a certain amount of guidance and direction when you feel comfortable knowing what to ask for but a successful Digital Marketing consultant will also be able to explain any area of Online Marketing to you to ensure you understand the value of the work being done.Social Media Marketing should form an essential part of your Online Marketing strategy and is highly recommended for any website owner looking to take their business to the next level.

How to Create Your Social Media Strategy

A Social Media Strategy is an essential component of a broader marketing plan for any business in today’s world. We accept that Social Media is a powerful medium to connect with prospects and customers but because Social Media is so new, we’re just not sure how to effectively market our business using Social Media.If you were applying for a business loan the first thing your bank manager would ask is, Do you have a business plan?If you’re venturing into Social Media for your business the first thing you need to ask yourself is, What’s my Social Media Strategy?Having one or more Social Marketing Strategies in place before you enter the big wide world of Social Media will help you gain clarity and direction for your business.Do you think the World’s top athletes begin a race without a strategy? No way, anyone serious about achieving results in any field knows they need to have one or more effective strategies in place PRIOR to beginning their venture, event etc.While marketing principles remain the same, the manner in which those principles are applied within the Social space will vary depending on the platform you’re using to market your business.The four most known Social sites are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. Each represents an opportunity for businesses to target prospects in a different way.For example, are you a B2B business wanting to market your products or services to other business owners? Use LinkedIn.Would you like to educate prospects and customers in a short, quick and easy to understand way, use YouTube.Would you like to create a community of enthusiastic fans and engage with them in a personal way? Use Facebook.We know that a strategy is simply a method or series of steps we must take to achieve a certain outcome. Creating a Social Strategy requires a detailed analysis of who you’d like to target and how you’re going to target them in the most effective way.Some initial questions you might like to ask yourself to formulate your Social Media Strategy are:
Who is my target customer?
Who REALLY is my target customer?
What are their buying motivators?
What are the 6 primary thoughts or questions they would think prior to buying my product/service?
What is the best way to target my prospects?
What is my outcome? Do I want to: Receive more new business leads, Build closer relationships with customers, Receive more referrals from existing customers, Create a community of people passionate about my product/service/topic, Build my database…?
Who else has the same customers as me?
How will my marketing funnel look like?
How can I hold my prospect’s attention span?
And when creating your Social Marketing Campaign…
What can I give them that no one else can?
Will they purchase instantly or will this campaign simply initiate the buying process?
How can I present my offer in a way they’re not accustomed to in order to deliver massive value to them?
If I were my customer, what would motivate me to take action to purchase?
When they read this (headline, copywriting), what will they think and/or how would they feel in response to this?
If this doesn’t work, what else could work?
Who most often buys from me, male or female? Are they single, married or in a relationship? How old are they?
Will they buy from me once, or will they purchase regularly?
What are the steps to take my customer through to purchase?
What marketing principles will work most effectively in this campaign? (Scarcity, Social Proof, Authority, Liking, Reciprocity)
What testimonials will be most effective for my target market? Will they respond better to written or video testimonials?
In developing your Social Media Strategy it’s essential that you answer these questions not immediately, but throughout the formulation of your Strategy.If you miss your mark the first time, keep trying until you get the formula right. With every campaign you’ll come closer to cracking the code that is your customer’s mind.If you can get inside their head, you’re on your way to a sale. The majority of your prospects will have the same questions, queries, concerns and turn offs. If you can figure out what these are you’ll create a compelling Social Media Strategy and you’ll enjoy amazing results that most others can only hope to attain with their Social Marketing.

SEO, Social Media and Online Reputation Management – The Trinity of Internet Marketing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media and Online Reputation Management (ORM) are sometimes confused, with the great number of people think that these three are same. Moreover, there is some obvious cross-over, the three have entirely different focuses and follow very different outcomes. Here, in this article, we are about to discuss a little more about their importance and uses.It is said search engine optimization, online reputation management and social media are the trinity of internet marketing. Let us discuss a little about SEO, Social Media and ORM first.Why Search Engine Optimization?SEO is generally concerned about getting a website rank in search engines or to rank better for products and/or services related search terms. It is nothing but a process of increasing the chances of your website to be listed in the first page or first in the search results of popular search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and so forth.

Importance of SEO: It is a viable marketing outlet that can bring your business more qualified leads as well as customers. It can have better return on investment than traditional forms of marketing, for example television and/or print advertisement. It is good for business visibility and branding. SEO can bring traffic to business and give unmatched insight into customers.

Why Social Media Marketing?Social media marketing is a bunch of techniques and strategies for promoting awareness of a brand, publication, product, etc. (the brand, publication or product can be personal or for business), on social media, particularly by encouraging the sharing of content that help attracts the end number of people to a specific website.

Importance Of Social Media: Social media sometimes used for marketing, especially for online marketing, then social media transformed its name as social media marketing. It can increase your brand awareness. Social media can help online marketing to validate the brands. When your company’s social media presence executed correctly, it tells customers that your company’s brand is active and focused on thriving communication with the customers. It provides a targeted way to promote your brand to your potential customers. It can boost traffic to your individual or business website, grow a huge community of fans and followers and can quickly generate new business. It can help your search ranking as well.

Why Online Reputation Management?Online reputation management is about improving your personal or business name or good standing of your brand. This is by countering or eliminating the negative feedback found in the internet – defeating them with more positive feedback, comments or reviews to improve your credibility and customers’ trust on your name or brand.

Importance of ORM: Online reputation is your image on internet. In these days, online reputation has become imperative for business of all types for monitoring, identifying and influencing the digital reputation of brands. It is important and not just about protecting what you already have, but using your online reputation as a part of your marketing campaign to drive new business and increase sales.

The technology around us is developing at an exponential rate. At no point in human history have we had the real capability as both organizations as well as individuals to reach, engage, interact and connect with end number of people, locally and globally, and certainly in real time. Digital media has out and out transformed the concept of modern marketing, making it more condemnatory than ever for business organization and institutions both small and large to have a voice within the online realm.Digital media and marketing, for instance, search engine optimization, social media marketing and online reputation management have proven its value to businesses of all sizes and types by offering the following powerful features.

Instant communication – Digital media and marketing allows real-time conversions between business and organizations and their customers and members.

Feedback – Businesses can get qualitative and quantitative information about the things going on the targeted market by engaging and requesting for feedback.

Advertising – Digital media provides a targeted way to promote your brand name to potential customers.

Benefits of Using SEO, Social Media and ORMWhen it comes to increasing search ranking, promoting business and building positive awareness, they take lot of time and effort to build as well as maintain company’s online reputation. SEO, Social Media and ORM can give that. The benefits are:

Help increase traffic, i.e. visitors to the targeted website and exposure.

Encourage followers and fans.

Improve search ranking.

Build online reputation, build name and brand value.

Expand business and improve sales.

Give marketplace insight.

Build trust and credibility.

SEO and Social Media is not online reputation management. No doubt, reputation management services include SEO and social media component. But, when it comes to comprehensive online reputation management campaigns, SEO is far from the whole story. Let us take a look at the key differences of SEO, Social Media and Online Reputation Management.To understand the basic differences of SEO, Social Media and ORM, we need to understand the buyers’ journey. The buyers’ journey consists of three important stages:

Awareness: The buyers can easily articulate a need or a problem, but not even aware of any possible solution. He or she likes to go to southeast Asia but may or may not have ideas where to stay or what to do there, so he or she can search for “destination in Southeast Asia,” “things to do in Southeast Asia,” etc.

Consideration: He or she now knows to have a week to spend and a specific budget in mind, but does need to create an itinerary, like the place to visit, thins to do, food to eat, things to buy etc. He or she searches for “things to do in Hong Kong” and “motels or restaurants in Shanghai”.

Decision: The buyer has an itinerary and needs to find particular providers in his or her destinations, like “Hyatt in Hong Kong,” “cable car in Hong Kong,” “CCTV Tower in Shanghai,” etc.

Last, but certainly not the least, online reputation management often uses what might be considered or something hardball tactics that fall outside the purview of conventional SEO and Social Media. Whether your business lives and dies by reviews on impactful online publications, then you need to optimize such sites properly and address those negative entries, like defamatory remarks, copied content, improper material etc. that you do not control.