Social media is one of the fastest growing industries, offering users the ability to network, share and access information at a much faster pace than ever before. The increasing number of users accessing the internet via their mobile devices is also having an impact on how consumers perceive online media. The concept of social media marketing was primarily designed to allow companies to engage with consumers on a more intimate basis, but it is now being used for a range of business functions. It is being used to attract new customers, to develop a brand image, and to advertise existing products and services. The benefits of using social media marketing for your business can be profound, resulting in increased sales, loyal customers and a loyal client base.
Social media marketing encompasses a wide variety of practices, including the creation and maintenance of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, as well as the use of third party apps. It does not take an expert to master these networks, though some form of training is necessary for most networks to effectively integrate the various practices. The use of specific content within the network, such as blog posts, comments, questions and answers, enables marketers to instantly reach a large audience, as well as quickly establish and maintain relationships with these users. This allows users to react and interact with brands, helping them to develop an emotional connection with the company.
However, it is important to note that this type of marketing does not mean that businesses must abandon the practices of other forms of advertising. The key to successful social media marketing lies in developing a long term relationship with the users of the network. Providing the user with useful and relevant content, for example, can draw them into using the company’s products and services in the future. In addition, by providing a social experience, users will be more likely to share personal stories about their experiences with others, forming a community around brands and generating further buzz about upcoming products and services.