Social Media Marketing
Social Media for Small Business
Social Media has been a buzzword ever since Facebook and Twitter took off. Like anything that has meteoric growth, there will always be lots of people trying to work out how to take advantage of this growth. Unfortunately, true to human nature, whilst some of these people have been genuine in what they are trying to do, many have been more underhanded. For this reason, I think Social Media Marketing is even more misunderstood and avoided by Small Business Owners than even SEO and SEM.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media is the term coined for an online platform that is designed primarily for people to interact with each other on. The most recognised examples of these are:
- Google Plus
Of course, these are just some of them and there are new ones popping up all the time; often aimed at specific interest groups (eg. Houzz, YELP etc).
Social Media Marketing is, therefore, developing strategies to promote your products and services on these social media platforms.
Does Social Marketing work?
This is a lot harder question to answer than for any other digital marketing service we offer. Whilst we can honestly say that SEO, SEM and Website Optimisation will have a huge impact on your business, we can't always say the same for social media marketing. Now don't get us wrong, we're not saying social marketing never works, it works very well for certain businesses in certain industries. As a general rule, if you sell a product or service to a market that is passionate about it, then it will work very well. For example, a sports uniform manufacturer who can tap into the sports crowd; or a 4X4 equipment supplier selling to 4x4 enthusiasts. The people in these markets will happily talk about your products and services if they are any good. On the flip side, it's hard to get people talking about you if you're a Plumber, Locksmith, Pool Cleaner etc.
So where does Social Media Marketing fit in?
We believe that social marketing should be a part of your overall digital marketing strategy. If you can generate excitement around your products and services, then by all means, push it harder, but if not, then at the very least you can use it for social proof.
What do we mean by social proof? Social proof is where you can prove to potential customers that your product or service is worth buying. This is done through positive comments and reviews from existing customers on your social networks. A positive comment on Facebook will be a lot more powerful than a testimonial on your website. So you should definitely be promoting this to your current and potential customers.
Of course, the reverse of a positive comment or review is a negative one. The unfortunate consequence of human nature is that we are more likely to post something negative than something positive. So even if you decide to not take part in social media, there is no guarantee that people won't post negative comments about you anyway. So by actively participating in social marketing, you are at the very least able to offset these with some positive ones.
So don't get fooled by so-called "Social Media Gurus" who try and tell you that Social Marketing is the only way to go. It will always be just a part of an overall online marketing strategy.