When it comes to promoting a new product or service, businesses have always been keen to try as many avenues as possible. However, in recent years many have been wary of social media marketing, believing that social media and social networks were for more personal than business use.
There was a time when social media was seen as a place for individuals to share their thoughts or information about what they were doing with friends and family. However, as each platform has proved its staying power, businesses have slowly began to see social media as a tool which can help them stand out from the crowd
Over the last couple of years, along with being a place where individuals can get themselves noticed, businesses have also seen social media marketing prove its worth against traditional forms of marketing; and as a result businesses are slowly beginning to see how it can benefit them and 2012, 2012, despite being only a couple of weeks old, already looks set to be the year when social media marketing really takes off.
A recent study finding that 97% of marketers who were questioned saying they believe social media marketing benefits their business – and 75% planning to increase their social media spend during the next twelve months.
The study which was carried out by Wildfire found that of those who took part:
- 83% believe that social media marketing helps to grow brand awareness
- 85% believe it helps them to engage in dialogue with their customers
- 57% said it helped increase sales and partnerships
- 41% said it helped reduce costs
And it wasn’t just the one platform which businesses turned to. Instead each social media marketing platform appeared popular with those questioned, with the top three being Facebook (97%), Twitter (74%) and the company blog being utilised by 41%.
Time To Jump on the Bandwagon:
With more businesses throughout the UK noticing the power in which social media marketing can have, and also the benefits it offers for free, real-time advertising and as a tool for communicating with clients and customers, if you’re not already using a form of social media marketing, now is the time to do so.
Failure to engage in social media marketing is likely to see your business fall further behind, especially with various social media platforms acquiring more tools and businesses which can assist with a successful marketing campaign which costs a little but returns a lot.
Each social media platform can offer a business a different angle and benefit when it comes to marketing their brand, product and service; and finding the best one for your business will depend on what you’re looking to achieve from your social media marketing campaign.
Below, we look at three platforms and briefly explain how they can assist your marketing campaign:
WORDPRESS – Are you looking to describe in detail the benefits your business, product or service can offer your client? If so, then a WordPress blog is a social media marketing platform you should consider.
Integrated into your company website, a WordPress blog will help increase traffic, improve link-building and allow you to wax lyrical about any aspect of your business you desire.
YOUTUBE– Not everyone is happy to use text to promote their products / services; and some products are better promoted via video. This is where Youtube can assist.
Creating a Youtube channel using your business name and keywords is the first step to a successful Youtube campaign; once this has been done you can upload short video clips which show your products working to their best ability, whilst allowing feedback from your clients.
TWITTER – Real-time communication between businesses and clients can make all the difference between a product and service being successful and it not. Twitter is the ultimate platform for real-time communication and with the advantage of being able to include links and images, there is no reason why a Twitter campaign cannot work for your business.
Along with offering businesses real-time communication with their clients, Twitter is also the ultimate platform for bitesize pieces of information to be shared. This has two benefits: 1) You can entice your customers with a titbit of information and draw them to your site
2) Consumers don’t want to be bombarded with lots of information in one go and with the 140 character limit, Twitter ensure this cannot happen.
As with all forms of marketing, finding the right social media marketing platform for you to engage in your audience will depend on where your audience are and how you wish to communicate.
Our advice is don’t limit yourself to only one or two platforms, instead regularly invest time in blogging, social networking (i.e. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) and Youtube – this way you’re more likely to see social media marketing benefit your business over the next twelve months and beyond.