What is social media marketing? And, why is it important?

Marketing is one of the most important elements of doing business. This activity is constantly changing, but it seems that the fast advance of technology has brought radical changes in the last 15 years. Social media marketing is a relatively new type of marketing that is used by thousands of companies in different industries. There are many ways in which we can define this type of marketing, but the most suitable one is that social media marketing represents a set of activities focused on boosting traffic to a certain website or getting attention on the Internet with the help of social media platforms.

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Social media platforms, networks or sites are virtual places on the Internet where people gather to share some kind of information. Some of the most popular social media websites today are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. Even though they have many things in common, they also have some differences in the way they work. For instance, Facebook allows users to post multiple videos, images and long statuses while Twitter is focused on short content. But, why social media marketing is important?

To start with, social media marketing are used by millions of people. For instance, Facebook has more than 1.5 billion active users. (1) Twitter has more than 310 million active users. So, by being present on social media and using a marketing strategy specially designed for these media you are increasing the chances of getting noticed. Even though search engines are still the number one source of organic traffic, the fact is that more and more people visit websites through social media. In addition, search engines can’t make a link viral while social media platforms can. Whenever someone likes or shares your update, their friends and followers can see that.

So, as we have already said, every platform offers different opportunities for social media marketing. According to many users, Facebook is the simplest and most convenient platform of this kind. Small businesses and large corporations use Facebook to promote their products and services. They usually use a combination of photos, textual content and videos to achieve this. Some of them are also investing in paid Facebook ads. Today, almost every social media website allows paid marketing and the best part about it is that advertisers can select the audience that will see their message. In other words, social media marketing allows marketers to target the audience. In addition, they can also choose the daily or monthly budget they will use for this purpose.

Twitter requires more work because you must build a solid base of followers to get noticed. In case you believe that your business message can be best shared through videos, you should consider using YouTube for social media marketing. LinkedIn is a network used by professionals. It is used more for personal promotion even though many businesses use it to attract employees. (2)

Finally, don’t forget that every individual can get involved in social media marketing, but if you are looking for quick results you will have to hire a social media marketing professional.

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Goals for social media marketing – how to increase number of followers and engagement?

There is no doubt that social media presence is important for any serious business today. Most businesses have profiles on at least one of the most popular social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. However, many business owners and managers make the same mistake – they create profiles for their companies, but they are not active. This is completely wrong because in order to feel the benefits of social media presence you must grow a significant base and try to increase follower engagement. According to many experts, these two things should be your main goals when it comes to social media marketing. Increasing the number of followers is different than increasing engagement, so we will have to analyze these two elements separately.

There are many cases where businesses with a large fan base on their social media profiles witness low engagement. On the other hand, those that have a very small amount of followers usually can’t expect some significant engagement. So, your first goal should be to grow your audience. Luckily, there are few ways in which you can achieve this.

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To start with, you can try to buy followers. We must say that this is usually not a good option. It may give you boost in the beginning, but you will eventually feel the negative consequences.(1) The best idea is to increase the number in a natural way. Start by updating your status on a regular basis. Some experts think that updating the status twice a day is sufficient. People must see that you are active. In this way, you will make them come back to your page and your page will appear higher in the search engines of social media networks. Furthermore, you can also start following other users. This doesn’t mean that you have to follow and share your rival’s statuses, but you can follow ordinary people and businesses related to your industry. As we have already mentioned, posting regularly is a must, but the content you share must be valuable. It must be associated with what you are doing which will make it more shareable.

Next, you will need to focus on increasing engagement. For starters, you can ask your followers or fans to share your update. Of course, you will need to explain why they need to share your updates (because it contains useful information that can help their friends and family etc.). (2) If you want better engagement, you should respond to the questions quickly. It doesn’t really matter if the questions are public or private, you must answer them as soon as possible. Some networks like Facebook, list pages that respond quickly higher than the others and the response rate is visible to all visitors. In order to improve engagement, it is crucial to share other comments and content from time to time. Finally, you should occasionally credit and tag sharers and commenters that are active and helpful.

Increasing the number of followers and engagement is crucial for your social media marketing strategy because without a significant number of active users you can’t expect success.

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