Although some old-fashioned company bosses still aren’t completely aware of the fact that we live in the year 2015, more and more businessmen are finally starting to understand that the world is not what it used to be a couple of decades ago, nor will it ever be anything like that again.
They may not get all this buzz around social media, Facebook friends, hashtag frenzies and ubiquitous likes. They may have a nagging feeling that they are nothing but toys for children. Yet it begins to dawn, even to the most conservative managers, that you can’t do business without Social Media Marketing (SMM) in times when humanity seems to spend most of their time liking posts on Facebook, tweeting about their latest exploits in getting out of bed and taking photos of their food for Instagram.
You want more definite reasons to hire an SMM specialist? Here they are:
#1. SMM Improves Brand Recognition
The more visible your company is, the more opportunities clients, both existing and potential, have to stumble upon any information about it; the better for you. In this respect social media is not that different from all other advertising methods – it makes it easier for new clients to find you, simultaneously reminding current customers about your existence.
#2. SMM Works through Social Proof
For good or for bad, though people tend to follow the majority, they are inclined to believe that if a lot of their fellow human beings like something, chances are this something is actually pretty good. This phenomenon is called ‘social proof’ and gets actively used in modern marketing – especially SMM.
Surveys on the topic are unanimous – traditional advertising media, like TV and print ads, get more and more hackneyed, with customers learning to filter through the information received in this fashion. Recommendations from people they know get the most trust – and in the age of social media, everyone knows everyone, which bring word-of-mouth marketing to a whole new level.
#3. SMM Is both Inexpensive and Effective
In addition to slowly but steadily losing their effectiveness, traditional marketing methods are growing in price. A typical 30-second TV-ad may cost thousands of dollars, only to be completely ignored by the target audience and doing nothing for the success of your product. Whereas Social Media Marketing is easily available for any small business and the results depend only on the professionalism and dedication of your SMM specialist. About 75% of all social media users express readiness to share content they like with their friends and acquaintances – which means that they effectively become the motivating power behind your promotion campaign. Instead of forcing your ads upon them, you get them interested and harness this interest to get even more exposure.
#4. SMM Increases Brand Authority
Every time you directly interact with your customer via social media, it is a sign for all other users that you acknowledge their existence, are ready to answer their questions and solve their problems if the need arises. In addition to that, you may interact with industry influencers via guest posting, the importance of which can hardly be overestimated – when people see that you are on speaking terms with individuals who shape the industry you are working in, the authority of your brand will skyrocket.
#5. SMM Allows You to Respond Immediately
People like to complain – and they do it a lot on social networks. If you keep track of how your brand is mentioned, you can immediately react to any of these complaints, either with a comment or with an offer to solve a problem. Here is the trick – people who have a problem in their interactions with a company and get this problem solved are much more likely to share this information further than those whose interactions go smoothly. It doesn’t mean you should create problems artificially – good SMM opens unlimited possibilities for creative promotion of your brand, like in the famous story about Peter Shankman and Morton’s Steakhouse. Morton’s noticed the mention of their name, made a decision and started implementing it in a matter of minutes – and created a veritable legend of outstanding customer support.
#6. SMM Provides a Goldmine of Information
Properly organized SMM gives you access to almost infinite amounts of information about what your customers think of your business, what they expect from it, what they want to change, what they like and dislike. You can measure conversions based on different methods of promotion via different social networks. You can adapt your content by keeping track of which content attracts the most interest.
#7. SMM Should Be Taken Seriously
‘It is all very well’, you may say, ‘but why exactly it is necessary to have an SMM specialist on my payroll? Isn’t this a sphere of activity that is a bit too intuitive to be a specialist in it?’ And you won’t be the only one who shares such an opinion; evidence, however, says otherwise.
Social media marketing isn’t just a fancy name for telling about your product on your Facebook page. Those who say that SMM is a sham not worthy of attention have probably never tried to use it properly, or tried their hand at it in a haphazard manner, or hired one of those self-proclaimed specialists who don’t know a thing about marketing but have very high opinions of themselves.
Truth is, if you are trying to employ SMM on your own, chances are you do something else entirely. You may think you understand how it works after reading half a dozen articles on the Net, but you don’t. It’s the same as with cooking: you don’t expect random ingredients you throw together to magically transform into something edible just because you thumb through a cookbook once in a while, do you?
Social media marketing has long ago turned from ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have’. You cannot ignore it. Your competitors are already actively using it, and the only way to get better results is to get better at SMM – by hiring those who know its ins and outs.
Images: ”social media marketing word cloud on a vintage blackboard with a cup of coffee/Shutterstock.com“
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