By definition, social media refers to the online tools such as blogs, discussion forums, micro blogs, bookmarks, networks, communities, wikis and podcasts, that people use to share content, opinions and experiences in form of text, images, audio, and video.
A few prominent social media websites are Wordpress and Blogger (blogging), Twitter (micro-blogging), YouTube(video sharing), Flickr (photo sharing), Orkut and Facebook(social networking), Digg and del.icio.us (bookmarking), and Wikipedia (reference).
Why is social media important for marketers?
To comprehend the significance of social media as a marketing vehicle, we need to first understand how influential is the user generated content today.
Recent studies indicate that social media is becoming a more important part of the global media consumption for internet users than some of the traditional media channels. Further, Gen Y, the future consumer for most businesses, eats, drinks and sleeps social media. To tap into this potential consumer base, marketers need to make inroads into the channels they thrive on, now.
So here is the verdict — social media is here to stay and grow. Why not use it to your advantage? After all, we all know that:
- Dollars always follow the eyeballs - Act now or you will miss out
- Pull advertising works better than push advertising –No point blowing your own trumpet. Let others talk about you.
- Customer participation is the route to customer loyalty – Build a relationship today and win a customer tomorrow
Benefits of social media marketing
Now that we know social media is a critical element of the new age marketing, let us look at the benefits this medium offers.
- Customer engagement– Unlike the traditional marketing mediums, social media generates high level of user participation and engagement.
- Positive PR for the company – The interactive social media platforms offer a higher credibility because these are open, transparent, and carry third party opinions. A good word here goes a long way in building your company’s reputation
- Higher search engine rankings / presence — Social media has the power to expose your website / brand to large groups of people through active syndication. This results in higher visibility and multiple search entries.
- Higher traffic to the site – Social communities can be leveraged as a great source of web traffic through intelligent content seeding.
- Assistance in brand building – Gives a boost to your online brand building exercise by offering high visibility and an ability to tap the target audience.
- Low cost high returns medium –Using social media is more cost effective than any of the traditional marketing methods. Moreover, the benefits in store far exceed the cost involved in setting up and executing a social media campaign.
- Complements other marketing activities – social media marketing can work in synergy with your other offline and online advertising activities. In fact, it actually complements your marketing programme by offering additional channels.
We, at iStrat, specialise in offering social media marketing services that can make a quantifiable difference to your business — target audience engagement, higher online visibility and positive PR. Do get in touch with us to find out how social media marketing can add value to your business.