The current buzz word in online marketing is social media marketing, but what exactly is social media marketing? I like how Search Engine Land puts it: social media marketing is the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites. For an extensive definition, go to http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-social-media-marketing
How do you track the success of a social media marketing campaign? There are numerous ways to determine success. In June 2011, Forrester Consulting and Dell studied how marketers measured the success of their social media marketing campaigns; particularly, these metrics were called key performance indicators (KPIs). Interestingly enough, many companies from different industries measure success in similar ways. Take a look at the chart below.
As you can see, the top three KPIS included 1) number of impressions/reach, 2) number of social network fan "likes," and 3) customer satisfaction scores.
So why should you take the time to listen and engage with consumers online? Because your overall marketing knowledge intensifies when you interact with these digital consumers and its a great way to truly find out how consumers feel about your brand and your competitors. How else can you benefit? Depending on the structure of your company other areas of your business may improve, such as market strategy, public relations, and market research. On a side note, what is the best thing about social media sites? They are entirely free to join!
Not convinced yet? Within the same study by Forrester Consulting and Dell, U.S. companies noted they had seen positive impact from their social media marketing efforts. See the percentages below.
Perhaps you are still a little hazy on the importance of social media marketing but you realize that time is of the essence in being part of the social talk. Of course you want a great online reputation, but you do not have the time to post new content to Facebook and Twitter throughout the week and then reply back to interested consumers, too. This is understandable, which is why ReachLocal offers a product called ReachCast. ReachCast focuses on social media marketing, search discovery (continuous new content ranks your website higher on the search engines) and reputation management (we monitor the web for mentions about your business, whether it is positive or negative). ReachCast helps achieve web presence optimization (WPO) for your business. What is web presence optimization? Web presence optimization is the process of ensuring your business is found all over the web--not just the search engines. This is the ideal state for your company because consumers may not hear about you through Google; they may find out about your business through a blog post or even a YouTube video. The possibilities are endless online.
In 2010, ReachCast received the Mashable award for Best Social Media Service for Small Business. Mashable is one of the largest independent news sources devoted to digital media.
Yes, it takes time to implement social media marketing but can you afford NOT to be there? Marketing is about creating value, so people will buy your products/services. If you do not actively interact with potential customers, how do you know what “value” is to them?
Do you have a social media marketing plan in place? If so, how do you measure ROI? Share your comments below!
About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $1,000,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a free consultation.
For more web presence optimization tips, check out our ReachCast blog at http://blog.getreachcast.com/whats-new
For more facts from eMarketer, go to http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008533