Social media marketing Basics

Everyone is doing it!

Social media websites have grown so pervasive that the names of many of them have also become verbs. For example, it is common these days to hear somebody say that they want to “Facebook” a photo or news item. These social networking sites help people connect with each other, invite conversations, and encourage users to share content. Because of this, they have become some of the most commonly visited websites on the entire Internet.

Social media has also become critical for businesses. A HubSpot report on a survey of the ROI of social media marketing highlights benefits that many marketers enjoy by using social sites. For example, these were results reported from marketers who spent at least six hours each week on their social media marketing efforts:

  • Marketers reporting increased traffic: 84 percent
  • Marketers reporting lower overall marketing budgets: Almost half
  • Marketers reporting increased exposure: 95 percent
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Principles of Social Media Marketing

Relevant, Engaging, Shareable

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What’s Behind the Importance of Social Media Marketing?

Increasing exposure and gaining brand recognition remain  the major focus of using social networking websites to promote companies. First, these sites allow user-generated content. Thus, they provide one more place to syndicate and promote website content. They also help businesses speak to customers in their own unique voice. Even more, social sites can invite the kinds of conversations that build trust and attract attention.

Instead of just talking at potential and current customers, companies have a chance to engage their audience in two-way conversations. This is just not something that happens easily with traditional advertising. Traditional advertising includes print, TV, radio, or even online banner ads.

Besides brand exposure, actually taking the time to engage on social sites may help companies earn more loyal customers. Forbes Magazine reported on a Texas Tech study that concluded companies should use these tools to connect with their current customers, as well as try to court new ones. This helps most companies increase ROI because it’s usually cheaper to keep an old customer than develop a new one. Another study cited in the same article found that over half of Americans who take the time to follow their favorite brands on social media stay loyal to that company.

Brand exposure and loyalty are two great benefits of using social media. Of course, marketers want to know if they can actually sell anything on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. The HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing survey reported a 100 percent increase in lead-to-close ratios with social marketing over traditional advertising.

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Done Right, Social Media Helps Companies

These survey results underline the fact that consumers and businesses do purchase products or order services that they find through social networks:

  • Out of business-to-consumer companies, 77 percent said that they found new customers via social media.
  • Out of business-to-business companies, 43 percent reported finding new customers via social media.


The most obvious benefit might be the potential to increase website traffic. With no pages on Facebook, Twitter, and similar social websites, most people who will visit a site will be those who are already familiar with it or those who happen to find it through searches. On social media, magic can happen when current followers and fans like and share content. Now, the network of those fans and followers may also be exposed to a company’s content and messages. The right campaigns can go viral and send floods direct visitors right to a website. Companies have a chance to introduce new products and services that consumers may have never thought to search for.

Of course, social media posts for website content might also provide ranking signals for major search engines. At the very least, search engine bots will crawl unprotected social media pages just like any Internet page. Social sharing helps increase the authority of these pages and can boost linked pages more.

Companies have a chance to make more people aware of their brand and hold onto their customers by using social media. It’s very likely that businesses that ignore social media will lose customers to those who do build an effective platform.


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