Speaking of Internet marketing strategy, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Optimization (SMO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) go hand in hand.
A website without proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO), no matter how attractive, it will never be visited. If you want your firm’s website to be visited, it must first be found. For potential client or customer to find your site, it must be located by search engines.
There are many strategies and tactic can help your achieve that, social media or network marketing, just one of the many powerful online marketing strategies in which you should use as part of your overall marketing mix, especial for the SMEs and SMBs (Small Medium Business).
A recent study report from eMarketer notes that, the social media marketing bandwagon is filling up. According to Equation Research – “2009 Marketing Industry Trends Report”, the survey of US brand marketers found the majority already using social media.
Based on the respondents report, among brand marketers, 37% did not know enough about social media to begin, and another 37% said there was no good way to measure its effectiveness.
The most popular social media channels for brand and agency marketers were Facebook, Twitter, online videos and blogs. eMarketer highlights the concept of “one-to-many” marketing tactics and their ability to provide real results.
In a earlier study dug up by eMarketer in Jan 2009 said: lots of small businesses plan to increase their spending on social network marketing in 2009. In fact, 25% of the small businesses surveyed by Ad-ology Research indicated that they would increase spending on the medium this year, a higher percentage than any other marketing format.
From above statistics and study results you can see, social media is moving up a gear and becoming more mainstream as a business tool. Today, any entity used to mediating and controlling its publics will have to face this paradigm shift and engage in online conversations if it is to stay relevant to its audiences.
However, in order to use social media marketing strategy effectively, there is still a learning curve business needs to overcome. If your firm wants to join the conversations, here are some basic things to help you get right.
The barriers to entering into the social media are zero, except your time, it costs nothing to set up and manage a Twitter or Facebook page. This is especially a great marketing strategy to use in a recession time, because social media has readily-available metrics, you can start from learning what works and what doesn’t, together work on the monitoring process toward your return in investment.
Empower Your Employees and Engage them with Purpose
Use your internal resources, find people who are passionate about social media within your organization, put your trust in and assign the job to them, let your social media-savvy employees take the responsibility and do their job on your behalf, but as themselves.
However, if you don’t have capable employee for carrying out the duty, or if you think it is a waste of time to let your own staff do the work, or the cost is higher compare with outsource the job to the virtual assistance or marketing agency, and then you should outsource it and let the third party handle the tasks for you.
Getting Closer to Your Customers
Due to the fast pace of technology development, together with the impact and influence of economic, political and social culture changes etc, the market today move fast, consumer purchasing behavior change faster than ever, they prefer to read and listen to opinions about products and services from fellow consumers, their peers and friends more.
Social media is about understanding the nature of customers and nurturing it. So when your company plans to implementing the social media marketing strategy, remember – don’t interrupt their natural conversations with corporate spin and one-way marketing messages. You need to foster a valued, trusted, authentic voice to get heard in the babble.
Get Prepared, Be Read to Listen, Customers are Speak the Truths
On the social media platform, customers do speak up and speak the truths, they tell things to you straight way, and they will not go around. So you have to prepare yourself, be ready to listen and accept what they said, no matter they criticize or praise your product or services.
For example, Dell discovered from its Twitter presence that people thought its customer support centre was abysmal. They took measures to improve the service based on the customer gripes that they picked up on Facebook comments.
Finally, when your company on the social media, you need to conversation wisely, and you should think before you post or tweet because social media is about immediacy.
And see your customers as your allies; make relationship with them first, not just as people to sell to. They are your real brand value, so value their online conversations about you and with you.