Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing is the current big thing, but like many things on the Internet, you need to be careful who you listen to.
From our offices in Shrewsbury, Shropshire in the West Midlands, being a Social Media Marketing Agency, we can work with you on producing effective social media campaigns across the UK and beyond.
Marketing via Social Media
Marketing with Social Media offers you an extremely cost-effective solution to steal a march on your competitors by engaging in meaningful dialogue with the modern consumer. It is called “Social Media” but it is not. Media suggests an element of measurability in the traditional sense of television or radio advertising. People’s conversations are not media; they do not talk when advertisers want them to.
Traditional media does not allow companies to target a specific individual or set of individuals and the ad is over once it is aired. It provides no more information that the ad itself. In order to get more reach and frequency, the advertiser must pay for more media.
“Social Media” offers you the only opportunity to engage meaningfully with the modern consumer. Consumers now have control over what they see, where they see it, and this situation will not reverse back to the old way any time soon.
Modern consumers will tend to go online and do their own research to inform their own purchase decisions, rather than rely on what a paid ad claims. Finding objective information from an advertiser or simply knowing what information is official, standard, or true, is far more useful than the superficial claims made in very brief ads.
14% of people trust advertising; 74% of people trust reviews or recommendations from peers.
Source: Nielson Media Research
These consumers typically view recommendations from friends and peers as more credible. It’s about risk reduction in their purchase decision. If one person likes something, their recommendations can impact many other people, especially if that person is an “Influencer” or has many “Followers”. This leads to the wide spreading of a message at no extra cost to the advertiser.
To attract and retain customers, it is essential you participate in the social media arena and engage in dialogue with your target customers.
The stronger the dialogue, the stronger your brand
Companies must now evolve to become information providers. It is no longer effective to advertise atthe customer; you must talk with them. To achieve success through social media, you must appreciate that this is a long-term strategy centred on building relationships with your target customers.
You must provide compelling, rich content, which is continually updated; as well as engage actively in the public arena to build long-term two-way relationships with your target audience.
Achieving success through social media – The Process
Phase 1: Focus and Observe
- Focus specifically on marketing goals. Time needs to be used effectively. Clearly identify your target audience and ascertain where they are talking. Use a wide variety of relevant social media tools to engage with people effectively; such as blogs, e-communities and forums.
- Pay attention to the details of successful submissions, content and influential users.
Phase 2: Communication
- When networking with people, take notice of their interests and the sites they frequent as well.
- Be prepared to receive communication as well as carry out conversations with new people.
- Be creative. Work hard at creating your own unique voice in the community and in understanding what works (and doesn’t work) for your specific situation.
- Provide compelling, rich content continually to keep your audience engaged.
- Ask questions to stimulate more conversations or at least to get new ideas on improving your products and services.
Phase 3: Commitment
- Be clear that this is a slow build and not a quick transaction.
- If you give your time and energy consistently over time, you’ll get back the desired results.
- Remember that pound for pound, this is much more valuable than traditional advertising; so persistence is the key.
Return on Investment (ROI) through Social Media
Social media can bring better results than traditional advertising because:
- Some social actions generate new revenue at no cost to the advertiser.
- No media costs are required to blast the ad at people who don’t want it in the first place.
- Social actions archived online provide lasting and ongoing value to future seekers of information at no extra cost to advertisers.
- Users listen to the opinions and recommendations of their friends and peers. This means that your dialogue will have a much longer lasting and positive effect upon your target audience.
How can we help you?
- We can help you formulate your strategy
- We can set up your initial social media platforms
- We can train you how to use the platforms and manage your campaigns
- We can manage your campaigns for you
- We can manage your reputation and brand online for you, known as Reputation Management
- We can act as an ad hoc consultant or work on a regular retainer basis
Exactly how we help you will depend on your particular circumstances. This area is not a one size fits all market! Setting up a Facebook page and a Twitter feed and sending out all types of spurious nonsense is not going to produce any ROI other than a negative ROI – remember that this stuff takes time, so your/our efforts need to be focused on achievable objectives.
Social Media is really important!
We can’t emphasise enough how important this area is! It will not only generate it’s own traffic to your site, but will also increase your site’s overall “authority” online – this in turn will help your Search Engine Rankings too.
Search is not going away anytime soon, but we are already seeing shifts in how people interact with sites. A particular example is the hotel industry where we see very highly ranked, previously high demand phrases, sending ever less traffic to the site whereas visits via Facebook for instance increase continually …
Why might that occur? If you think about it, the person who has “liked” your page is by definition interested in your proposition – when you list a special offer or late deal, you are sending that message to people who are interested in the offer. Assuming they use their Facebook account (they do or else they wouldn’t have “liked” you!) they will see your offer because it is on their wall – this is even better than email marketing because they don’t even have to click to see the offer – it is right there in front of them … and they can easily share it with their friends – all within the same page environment – there is no typing email addresses or looking up contacts like there is with forwarding an email …
Because it is all still quite new, there aren’t any defined rules – other than making sure your/our efforts are aimed at achieving an objective! You could quite easily do a lot of this stuff yourself, but we would advise that you have a plan and stay very focused or you can easily spend hours tweeting and messaging for no real return!