Social Media Marketing Guide for Beginners
Social Media Marketing is the process of gaining attention and web traffic through the social media sites. During this process, usually creative content to reach the masses through publicity coming from a third-party trusted source needs to be created in order for people to share the content of their interest with others and create a vicious chain that would make business cover and go beyond the market audience intended. Every online marketer needs to have a goal, a product, a service and a cause to promote through the vast and overwhelming World Wide Web. If you already have those things defined in your mind, then congratulations! That could be probably the hardest part of entering into the social media challenge, and from now on, every single effort will contribute to reach those goals efficiently and flawlessly until you put your feet on the Social Media Guru status.
The Social Media world is wide and more extensive than ever. It is a very strategic marketing platform that reaches different cultures, ages, religion, sexes, locations, interests and such, therefore it makes it the perfect vehicle to reach and target the right audience and achieve total success. The whole world won’t care about video games, for example, but only the people that video games is part of their interests. If you target male audience with ads of high heels on sale, maybe some of them would go and buy a pair or 2 for their wives, but a pair or 2 is not exactly the kind of impact you want to have. Therefore, you focus on certain group ages and certain other factors that cause some services and products, videos and news to go “viral”
First, we need to know the basic social media sites
Holding more than 900 million users, if you’re already a Facebook user this might not be really new to you, but there are lots of features worth mentioning. You can create a dedicated business page and interact directly, and free, with your customers uploading free pictures, products and videos of the service you intend to provide or the product you are trying to sell. That way, you can build a data base of people that will share your posts to their friends and therefore create the never ending chain. Most of these social media sites have seamlessly mobile integration so people whether it is a portable PC, a desktop, tablet or mobile phone get always connected with media in a way that you should take advantage of. People log in to Facebook, in any situation, while commuting, in the park, at home, at school, at work. Then you’re there, promoting your business for it to be displayed in the news feeds, and you would be there, constantly doing the mind trick game to the point that people will find something attractive and worth checking according to their interests. Many big corporations like Starbucks, Microsoft, Apple, Rockstar, Pepsi etc. are doing the same, and it works perfectly!
Blogs are an easy way for people to communicate in a semi-professional way when it comes to quality of content. Quality content is always the key to a good writing and therefore, a good blogging. There are many blogger CMS (content management service) where you can get yours up and running for free in less than 5 minutes, some of these are Blogger, WordPress and probably the most user friendly one, Tumblr. One of the tricks here is knowing your audience, your market, who you are targeting and what you want to accomplish with that. Now this has to do with some SEO or Search Engine Optimization knowledge, which is in other words, using the right keywords to rank as high as possible in a search engine i.e. Google, Bing. It has to be related to your posts and at the same time, you have to make sure you use a keyword search tool to check the competition and number of search this given keyword has. The lowest the competition and highest number of searches it gets in a month, the more convenient for you. If you were to advertise your website holding a service of technical support chat, you would have to make the keywords very specific so people that are looking for your service would find you first. It is, for example technical support for Windows, then you’ll have to include specific words, as going a little more straight to the point. Since the competition would be really high and Windows technical support is a wide content, you would focus and go further the specific services your product offers, therefore, adding additional keywords to go straight to the point would be the most successful way to do it and you would rank higher in a search engine and people would find your product easily. From “Technical Support Chat” to “Technical Support Chat for Windows 7 and XP” you can see how we are narrowing the concept of the service you offer making it more specific, detailed and then competition of support for mobile operating systems, cellphones, Mac, iPhone, Windows Vista, Windows 8 and such, are left behind and those sites offering the services you’re not related to won’t steal your chances to be found for people that are merely looking for chat support for Windows 7 and XP. Once understood the keyword concept you can proceed and create content on a blog that would be easy to find on a search engine by including the right tags.
Then we have the Social Media integration again in the blog space. There are many options to share the content of your blog. Many Content Manager Services like Tumblr have the social media buttons to share and like or dislike. You need to look for the options to enable them (in the rare case they are not enabled by default) so every post of yours would have the buttons for share on Tweeter, Google+, Facebook etc. and Reblog within the blogging network you are affiliated to. With great quality and eye catching content you are encouraging people to share your stories on other media sites like the ones mentioned above plus you sharing them and there you have outstanding chances to reach a wider audience.
A fast growing, very popular social media site. With over 340,000,000 tweets a day and around 140,00,000 users worldwide, this platform is pretty appealing to business and companies as well as for celebrities, musicians, actors, everybody! A tweet is a message of 140 characters maximum that one can write and post and followers can read and see any time in their news feeds. Talk about it, interact directly and start new conversations is one of the things that make this platform extremely successful. The way they follow Kim Kardashian and read and talk about everything she tweets in a day, the same way they can do with advertising and marketing campaigns about brands and products of their interest.
140,000,000 users to target the right audience might sound like a difficult task, but seen it from the other side of the coin, that means more potential customers for a business. Once you get into the already mentioned vicious chain of any social media site, things just keep coming along by themselves and first thing you’ll notice is hundreds of hundreds of people engaged in your brand, talking about it, reviewing it and telling others about events, broadcast and such.
Possibly a not so popular platform making it boring for some people, but a very professional and strategic one for the rest. Some people won’t spend long hours chatting or talking to other about silly, trivial things, instead, this social network goes straight to the point. People on Facebook and Twitter for example, follow anyone of their interest for the sake of simply socialize as well as businesses and companies, but Linkedin is intended to filter and leave the fun behind to focus deeper in professionalism in social media.
In Linkedin, you can be part of the people looking for a job/ service, or part of a company offering a job/ service. You can create either a personal profile with your professional information about yourself, studies, contact information, interests, certifications, identifications etc. or, create a business or company page, same way as you do it on Facebook or Twitter sufficing the same purpose: share information about your brand, service, product and keep your audience and followers up to date with the latest information about your company.
YouTube is a very interesting platform. People go watch videos of any kind or gets redirected by any website that has a backlink to it or search engines. Once people is there on a given there you have some more “Related Videos” on a column on the right side of the screen. Clicking from video to video makes you find things you never thought you would find, interesting topics, funny videos, how-to kind of videos, publicity etc. Your chances to be seen are overwhelming and you can also get people subscribe to your Channel, which is in other terms, your own YouTube space where you upload your videos. Some people find it way more interesting and easier to just watch a video rather than reading a whole article. You have the resource of visuals. If you were to promote fashion clothes and that is the purpose of your whole social media marketing, you can, along with other options, upload a video with people modeling your clothes, redirect people to your main business site, recommend people to share your video, to subscribe for future video updates, to visit your “fashion blog”, like your page on Facebook, follow you on Tweeter, Google+, Linkedin, etc. Close your eyes and try to visualize the Tree Diagram of the whole Social Media marketing strategy and how it gets to potentially reach every single corner of the World Wide Web. Ambitious, isn’t it?
A fairly new comer on the social media site battle, Google+ offers integration of a variety of services including Gmail, Google+ Basics, Google+ Circles that let you share information or “statuses” in a way Facebook does, but has less popularity so far. You have the “Stream” feature similar to Facebook’s News Feed that would let you see what others are up to, an option for following very similar as well to Tweeter.
The service is very appealing to professionals and business networks because of the exclusivity and integration of services. You create a Gmail account for example, and unless you disable it, by default you have access to all these service and a profile ready to be edited with a picture, contact information, etc. You have access to the whole Google+ network including already mention Gmail, YouTube, You+, Circles, Basics and even the well-known search engine saving and displaying results to the most relevant things to you. It is convenient to have a spare Google+ account for any Social Media Marketer because it’s potential functionality and because no source is too little or too much in marketing. Might not have the same impact, a 30 seconds ad on TV than a small billboard on a bus, but the more you get the message sent the better results you will accomplish.
Social Media Stats
According the new 87 studies perform on social media marketing up to 2012, this approach from companies to customers called B2C or Business to Community has grown and reached 16% of customer engagement but has potential to grow to 57% in the next 5 years. More than 30% of the worldwide population is now online permanently or have some sort of eventual access to the web. More than 1/5 of consumer’s free time is being spent on the social media sites, reaching an approximate of 250 million tweets and 800 million Facebook statuses updated every single day. Only in the United States, more than 80% of online active users spend their on social media sites or blogs. 60% of people uses 3 or more digital forms of research product comparison, prices and information about intended purchases, being 40% of those done via social media sites like Facebook or simply redirected from one of these sites leading to even direct interactions with retailers about offers posted. Around 56% Americans have one to three profiles in a social media site being 55% of them aged between 45-55 and having at least one profile
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) facts
70% of the links search users click on are organic. 46% of all searches are for information about products or services. Half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices. 66% of new customers use search and online research to find local businesses. There are 863 million websites globally that mention “SEO.” There are 9.1 million searchs conducted including the acronym each month, with the top two phrases being “SEO services” and “SEO company.” More than 60,000 Twitter users include “SEO” in their bios, there have been 13 million blog posts published that include “SEO” in the title, and Amazon.com carries almost 2,700 different books about SEO 75% of searchers never scroll past the first page of results. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. B2B companies that maintain active content like blogging and SEO programs increased their total website traffic, on average, by 25% in the past year, while those who neglected SEO experienced an average 15% decline in overall visits. 21% of all time spent online is spent on web searches. The big three search engines Google, Bing and Yahoo! are among the five most-visited sites on the Internet. Considering that AOL is #7 and Ask is #10; five of the top 10 most-visited sites on the web are search engines.
In conclusion, Social Media Marketing is a field where professionals and amateurs in advertising can come across and put their own ideas and plans implementing their own techniques. There is no Social Media Marketer university or college degree, this knowledge that should be acquired by extensive research, it needs to be constantly employed and tested in the desired field. It is a revolutionary strategy that has taken down the old TV advertising tactics shifting it to the online market. The percentage of people that prefer to go online on a computer or capable device versus people that watches TV grows steadily every single day. Statistics show Social Media Marketing in a lower impact percentage compared to the legacy ways for advertising, but the potential it has and room for growth is in no doubt overwhelming and could be much more improved and interactive than TV has been for the past decades.