frequently asked questions
Social Media Marketing allows brands to harness the relationship building power of the Internet to connect with customers online. Social Media Marketing can be confusing. Many of Social Media Houston Marketing's clients have questions about SMM, and we do our best to explain. Look through our list of Social Media Marketing Frequently Asked Questions and learn from our experience.
Why Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing has two main functions; connecting with users and generating links. Social Media Websites allow users to promote and share content in ways that just weren't feasible before the Internet. Understanding these technologies and figuring out how to best utilize these services for your brand can take you far with customers online.
Social Media Marketing should not be used solely to gain traffic to a Website. Instead, Social Media Marketing should be used to network with your audience and to build relationships with potential customers. Use Social Media Websites correctly, and you will have the chance to build name recognition, increase the reach and awareness of your brand, and connect with a large audience.
Search Engines reward Websites that have quality links pointing to them. When a user saves a link from your Website to a Social Media service, search engines take note. When users deem your Website valuable, search engines will too.
What is the difference between Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Marketing?
Social Media Marketing is one facet of Search Engine Marketing. Social Media Marketing focuses on interacting with your market and sharing content with your customers. Search Engine Marketing is a broader term, encompassing many aspects of Internet Marketing, such as Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click advertising, Blog marketing, Local search marketing, and so forth. Your Search Engine Marketing campaign should include Social Media Marketing, as it is an important step in succeeding online.
What is Social Media?
The term Social Media refers to Websites that allow Internet users to connect, share and network online. Social Media Websites have coupled the innate need for connections and communications, with modern technology. Social Media Websites allow users to discover information, read and share content, view videos and learn about news quickly and efficiently. Social Media Websites allow users to not only consume information, but to publish it as well.
Social Media Houston Marketing believes that Social Media Websites have grown in popularity primarily because they allow people to form relationships over shared interests. It allows people to connect in the online world to form relationships for personal, political and business use. They connect people in ways that simply weren't possible before.
Social Media encompasses many different services and Websites. Websites pop up everyday offering users the opportunity to connect and share with others. Some Social Media Websites are dedicated to large audiences, spanning many interests and activities. Other Social Media Websites are tailored to niche audiences.
It is not always easy Identifying and understanding the most useful Social Media Websites for a brand. Having a general comprehension of the major types of Social Media Websites will help you decide which areas to focus your Social Media Marketing efforts on.
Social Media Marketing categories:
- Social Networking (Facebook, Instagram)
- Business Networking (LinkedIn, Google+)
- Video Sharing (YouTube)
- Micro-blogging Websites (Twitter)
What is Social Media Marketing (or SMM)?
Social Media Marketing is using Social Media Websites as a method to publicize and promote a brand, product or service. Although Social Media Marketing has many of the same goals as traditional advertising and marketing, the rules and best practices for Social Media are very different.
Social Media Marketing allows brands to harness the power and reach of Social Media Websites, thereby reaching countless potential customers every single day. There have been several studies that found the number of people using the various social media services have passed 1 billion. In a report released by data giants Nielsen, they found that of the world's Internet users, two-thirds use a social network or blogging Website. With these staggering numbers, Social Media attracts an accessible audience much larger than most other media outlets offer.
Not only are those users looking for information and connections through Social Media Websites, they are also expecting to see brands. According to a 2008 Cone Business Social Media Study, 93% of Social Media users believe a company should have a presence in Social Media. And that study was done over 8 years ago, the numbers have increased exponentially since then. An overwhelming 85% of Social Media users believe a company should interact with its consumers via Social Media Websites. And 56% of Social Media users feel both a stronger connection with and better served by companies when they can interact with them in a Social Media environment.
When used correctly, Social Media Marketing is a direct connection to potential and existing customers. Brands can promote, gather feedback, connect, persuade and educate the Social Media users easily and effectively.
Though the potential for success with Social Media Marketing is huge, there is an even bigger chance for disaster. Social Media users want information, not sales pitches. Social Media Marketing, when done correctly, doesn't slam users with advertisements and offers. You must always remember the "social" part of Social Media, look to make those connections to your target audience and consumers.
Social Media Marketing informs users about brands, connects companies with their audience, so that when purchasing decisions are made, users will have positive associations with your brand, they will understand your company better, and feel a connection with your brand.
Social Media Marketing on Twitter
Twitter is a Micro-blogging Website. Micro-blogging Websites such as Twitter are Websites where users are able to publish short posts, up to 140 characters, that can be viewed by others. These posts can contain links, product or service information, news, sales pitches and more. Brands utilizing these Websites successfully also use these posts to establish themselves as industry leaders, offering educational, non-marketing information to others.
Recently, Twitter has exploded in terms of popularity. Celebrities, sports stars, brands, even pets have all taken to the Twitterverse and gotten in on the action. Twitter is a great place to build a following, connect with the public, and more. Twitter can and should be used as a means to establish yourself as an industry leader. Tweet about things going on in the industry. Tweet about events, news, gossip, seminars, etc. Post a new Blog article? Tweet! Hire a new exec? Tweet! Have a company picnic? Tweet! You get the idea. Post tweets with value, not just marketing information. Show the public different sides of you and your brand.
Why is Blog Marketing beneficial?
An active Blog can create many opportunities for brands. Creating and maintaining a company Blog is important for branding as well as building search visibility. Once you've committed to a company Blog, it is important to optimize it. From the layout itself to individual blog posts, optimization for search engines is an important step. We work with our clients in a multitude of ways to make sure that their Blogs are up to par and working hard.
Once you've established an active, optimized Blog, it needs to be promoted. This can be done in several ways. Social Media Marketing outlets allow you to share your Blog content. Blog directories and aggregators are one way of doing this. When a well written Blog Post is informative, and not sales driven, submit the URL to relevant Social Media Websites as well.
Connecting with other Bloggers is another way of promoting your Blog. Our Social Media Marketing team has experience finding relevant Bloggers for our clients. We network with these Bloggers, making them aware of your Blog, developing relationships with them and generating linking opportunities.
You can also promote yourself, your expertise, and in turn, your brand, on other Blogs. Online, you will find Blogs written by and for others in your field of work. You can establish yourself as an industry resource by posting relevant, non-spam comments on popular Blogs that relate to the topic of the post. By becoming active on industry Blogs, you will be doing great public relations for your brand, connecting with potential customers, and learning from others in your field.
Social Networking Websites - Facebook
Facebook is a Website that you've heard of before. Do you really understand it though?
Social Networking sites are online communities. People use Social Networking Websites in order to connect with friends, old and new. Most Social Networks offer both public and private messaging capabilities. Social Networks also allow users to share links, videos, images and more.
Social Networks such as Facebook appeal to users on a universal level. With users flocking to Social Networking sites, it's important to build your brand's presence on them. The statistics show that people expect brands to be represented on Social Networking Websites. Social Media Marketing utilizes these Social Networks for the benefit of both brands and the public.
The New Business Networking – LinkedIn
Just as Social Networking Websites connect people on a social level, there are also networking Websites that connect people on a professional level. Business Networking Websites, such as LinkedIn, allow users to focus on their professional accomplishments and goals. Users can network with co-workers, clients, others in their field and more. Members are able to have discussions, post jobs, refer other users and more. These networking sites focus on business credentials and goals, rather than on shared hobbies or common interests.
These Websites can be important resources for brands. Utilizing Social Media Marketing techniques on these Business Networking Websites allow brands to connect with like minded professionals. Even if you don't offer a service or product tailored to the business groups already established there, these Websites allow you to increase your online reach. You can even start your own business group.
Why utilize Video Sharing Websites for SMM?
YouTube is the most popular Video Sharing Website out there. YouTube and all Video Sharing Websites give users access to media on demand. Countless videos are uploaded to YouTube, where people from all over the world have access to them. Video Sharing services give brands a way to share their video media with users like never before.
Does your company have commercials, demo videos, TV appearances, or other visual media? Do you see opportunities to create new videos? If so, you should be utilizing Video Sharing Websites to promote your video content. These Websites let you upload, share, and market your company's name and information. Utilizing video sharing Websites can bring your company higher rankings and more targeted traffic.
What can Social Media Houston's Social Media Marketing team do for me?
Social Media Houston's Marketing team has experience on a broad range of Social Media Websites. We spend the time researching and being active on important Social Media Websites to benefit our clients. From Social Networking sites to Wikis and forums, our team works to understand ever-changing Social Media technologies.
We believe in Social Media Marketing and work hard to stay up to date with industry advancements and changes. We work with our clients to identify and create the content that will do well on Social Media Websites. We can make recommendations because we do the work.