The way of doing business has and is changing. The dynamics of business and the preferences of customers are changing the way business must be conducted, and so social media marketing was born. Today, the ways in which businesses and customers find each other are no longer limited to the regular marketplace. Even the all-important consumer insights are no longer gained through regular marketing research. Innovative approaches to almost everything are in demand today.
Social Media Marketing (SMM), simply understood as letting people know about your business in a way that is meant for socialization. People, or prospects in business parlance, want to do their business with more than just companies. Nowadays, customers demand personalization in almost all areas, which leads to the need to create a business environment that is suitable to satisfy their needs. Banks, for example, have a special staff dedicated to the task of personalizing their customers. The same is true for different businesses these days. People are resorting to different channels to find something new and innovative in their business.
Social media marketing is one such way that creates a win-win situation for their clientele. In SMM, the business opens innovative channels for their potential customers to reach them. Usually, they use various social networks on the internet for this purpose. The common hot spots for SMM are:
Social networking sites – Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Orkut. Nowadays, companies focus on personalized services, and the better the service personnel get along with potential customers, the more beneficial it is for the company.
Multimedia content has led the center to attract the youth segment of prospects. Dedicated web areas for posts on art, photography, audio-video sharing and presentations have made it an exclusive arena to hang out in and benefit from.
Interaction platforms: Blogger, Expression Engine, forum creations, are some of the hip spaces for interaction. These interaction platforms are a great help for businesses, just because of the human behavior that people tend to open up or share more in a friendly and informal interaction environment. Their hidden needs and changing preferences can be uncovered in the smallest of friendly conversations, which can have a positive impact on the business.
Collaborative tools are also becoming more common to connect with potential customers. The process of coming together online has been made excessively easy with the advent and ease of technology. Social bookmarking and wikis have made this activity many times easier and in business terms, a much cheaper and efficient source to reach the target audience.
Evaluation and Outlook: Since the active customer focus, web spaces that provide analytical and inferential content for products and services are of great importance to consumers. Customers have become smarter over time and will look forward to many resources to evaluate the product in the pre-purchase phase.
Reading and knowing how much can help SMM; the next task for a beginning marketer is to have a clear understanding of what needs to be done. This is about accuracy of understanding and being creative.
But here would be a good time to make it known that all over the world, companies of all kinds are trying to tighten their grip on people, and so mass advertising and marketing hammering is already being done. Often, companies over-optimize in their drive to optimize, which can be detrimental to their brand in itself, and are subsequently labeled as complainers!
So the key to SMM program success is to use this double-edged sword after doing plenty of homework to ensure the overall program gets an A grade.