Creating engagement is key to success with social media marketing

Using social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to build brand awareness and engage with existing and potential customers is the key to success with social media marketing.

The need to market online goes hand in hand with the explosion in the use of the internet for research prior to making a buying decision. If you’ve ever bought goods from Amazon or eBay then it’s likely you checked out the rating of the seller before you purchased? In the same way, people check out people on social media platforms such as LinkedIn to see what other people have said about them. Like it or not, being seen to be ‘social’ matters these days with success being built through establishing a good reputation, along with advocacy by others.

Social media marketing isn’t about selling

The Salesman no longer holds sway in the buying process, opinions of others increasingly having a greater influence. Success with social media marketing requires less emphasis on sales and more on creating ‘engagement’ with users before embarking on any sales route.

Social media marketing ROI

Thinking social media marketing is a short cut, low-cost way to broadcast a product or service is likely to lead to disappointment, unless a product or service has mass audience appeal. A main focus on gaining large numbers of ‘followers’, ‘fans’ or ‘connections’ will be unlikely to deliver the ROI hoped for if sales rather than engagement underpins action.

Social media marketing strategy

Generally, it takes time and a good strategy to build an online community that’s likely to respond positively  to buy-in further when the opportunity is presented. To be successful with social media marketing requires a medium/long-term expectation underpinning activity.

Best networks for social media marketing

There isn’t a definitive list for the best social networks for social media marketing and exactly which channels to use should be chosen with care, as part of an initial strategy plan. There are actually hundreds of social media networks out there and it may be that the most appropriate ones to utilize may not be the most obvious.

For example, although Facebook is perhaps one of the most popular in the main-stream of networks for social media marketing, some people have a reluctance to establish a presence there, believing it to be too public for their liking. It may be there are other networks, within a more ‘protected’ environment, providing good places for connecting and engaging. For example, online forums which are often membership based with ‘moderators’ to filter out inappropriate use.

People buy from people they know

In time, confidence with using social media marketing tools may overcome reluctance to be ‘out there’! Social media marketing is not something that should be feared as too public and too time-consuming. “People buy from people they know” is a common phrase used by business coaches up and down the land.

Being social face-to-face is an aspect many embrace as a necessity for business success. Being social online is arguably the essence of what social media marketing is all about.

Want to learn skills for social media marketing?

If you want to develop skills for social media marketing  visit the sister of Website Wings, Wings Academy, for more information of packages available.

Check out the workshops on ‘Developing and website strategy’ and ‘Creating effective web content’. There’s several running in the East Midlands over the next few months.

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Other blog posts that might be of interest

Social media in business

How to engage with social media communities

Social media predictions 2013

Being on Facebook is not enough

Are you a social media butterfly?

 

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