To understand what makes Social Media Marketing different when considering the all-encompassing world of Online Marketing, it is important first of all to cover what exactly it is.
What is Social Media?
Social Media, by its very nature, is very socially driven and built on communication, interaction and relationships. It involves, but is not limited to, marketing via means of user-driven content. Social Media Marketing can therefore involve blogging, forums, social networking and social bookmarking sites to promote a product, service or even person.
If someone finds something of interest to them the natural reaction is to want to forward it on to friends who may then send it on to their friends and so on and so forth. If you are being forwarded a personal recommendation for a product or service by a friend, you are more likely to be open minded about accepting and trying it yourself. There is immediately a level of trust involved in recommendations of this kind and marketing of this type is generally thought to have more success than traditional marketing as it comes with an endorsement.
Social Media Marketing as part of your Online Marketing Strategy
Compared to traditional marketing and media, SMM grows from the interactions and communication you create around yourself. If you are able to communicate with your clients or customers via online networks, you can build trust and relationships to improve the chances of people remembering you and recommending you to others.
Traditional marketing is less about communicating with others and concentrates on getting a message out. In this way it can be quite one-sided whereas Social Media Marketing is fun and natural.
Search Engine Optimisation focuses on ensuring the right content and information gets out to the right audience and Social Media Marketing concentrates on building on your online presence to ensure that your information is found by those who may not have been looking for you but who are within the reach of your social circles online.
Social Media Marketing Can Help To Reduce Your Marketing Costs
If you have happy customers, they will want to share reviews of your products or services with others and the more happy customers you have, the wider the net of potential new customers you could get. If you have a product or service that lends itself well to Social Media, for example, one that is easy enough for people to convey and explain simply enough on social networking sites then doing this can be more effective and targeted than relying on the hit and miss nature of traditional marketing and advertising. You could spend less money on Social Media Marketing than traditional marketing and find it to be more successful.
Social media can get your content out to a huge number of people through what is essentially word-of-mouth marketing. SMM can also increase your “linkability”, i.e. the chances that your website will be linked to from other websites and will drive traffic to your site through a community that you may not have been able to reach via traditional marketing methods.
Search Engine Optimisation and Social Media Marketing
There are obvious benefits for your SEO strategy if you are combining it with SMM. If your content is being shared online the chances are that there will be a link back to your website. A link is akin to a virtual thumbs up and online endorsement and the number of inbound links to your site is a way in which Google assesses the authority and relevance of your site. If you have a good number of high quality links to your website, you could see improvements on your rankings in the search engine results pages.
Your Social Media Strategy
Social Media Marketing does not need complex technical knowledge, neither does it require knowledge of how a website is set up. It is true that an understanding of HTML and search engines will definitely help you but if you do not have this information you can still build a successful campaign without it.
You can always take your strategy to the next level and use the services of an Online Marketing consultancy for a certain amount of guidance and direction when you feel comfortable knowing what to ask for but a successful Digital Marketing consultant will also be able to explain any area of Online Marketing to you to ensure you understand the value of the work being done.
Social Media Marketing should form an essential part of your Online Marketing strategy and is highly recommended for any website owner looking to take their business to the next level.
Alana Burton, SEO Virgin
SEO Virgin is a boutique SEO Consultancy specialising in Search Engine Optimisation and general online marketing for small to medium businesses or new businesses in Spain and in London. Services include Costa del Sol online marketing for locally based businesses, SEO website builds, Blog Development, Social Media Marketing, SEO Copywriting and related areas.