What is Social Media Marketing?

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Social Media

Social media describes the online technologies & practices used to share content, insights, experiences, perspectives, opinions, and media.

Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. The social media sites typically use tools like message boards, forums, podcasts, bookmarks, communities, wikis, weblogs etc. (Wikipedia - Social Media)

Social Media encompasses so many different things, and that's got a lot of people confused.  When used properly, it can become a vital part of your marketing plan. First, let's clear up a few myths:

Social media is not a trend, it's technology's ability to connect people with products and services.

Social networking sites are not just for teenagers, they can help you reach more business prospects.

You can work smarter than harder to maintain inbound marketing initiatives - and it can be fun!

Social media includes networks like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram along with other niche online communities and social bookmarking applications. Businesses can use the wide popularity of these networking sites to connect with potential customers, employment prospects, vendors and partners – at no cost. In today's economy, leads and referrals can come from virtually anywhere. So, why not be virtually everywhere? Creating professional profiles on social media sites and sharing your exclusive content online only serves to increase the reach of your brand, and demonstrates to a wide audience that your company is agile and on the cutting edge of new technology.

5 Ways in which Social Media is changing Lead Management and Marketing Automation.

1. Lead Generation

Where do your potential clients “hang out” when they browse the web? Are they on LinkedIn, do they Tweet or are they part of an online community? After some initial research, start interacting on the preferred Social Networks and measure the results: add tags to your social media interactions, so you see if it drives new people to your site. Use your Marketing Automation and CRM systems to see if this traffic converts to qualified leads and sales opportunities.

2. Lead Nurturing

It could take a while before potential clients are ready to buy or even want to talk to a sales person.  At first, they may not even register on your website, so they are still anonymous. With Social Media you can offer prospects multiple ways to stay in touch: if they’re not yet ready for your email newsletter, maybe they want to “fan” your company on Facebook, or simply subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed. If you incorporate Social Media interaction in your lead score, you can measure the effectiveness of these Social Media activities.

3. Lead Intelligence

Sales & marketing alignment is finally being seen as needing more attention.  Marketing ihas always seen the sales process as a customer who requires high-quality leads. With the right technology you can incorporate information from various online sources, and give the sales people better information to prepare them when they make the first call. It will not just be status information like the employment history from LinkedIn, but real-time info from sites like Twitter.

4. Intra-company Collaboration

Social Media does not just transform how you interact with external parties, but also how you run your marketing operation. If multiple people work together on campaigns, it’s extremely useful if you can collaborate in the application itself. This is already commonplace in office applications like Microsoft Office and Google Docs, where you can add notes in the documents themselves, rather than putting those in an email. In the marketing space, the most well-known example is Google Analytics which lets you add annotations below each graph (click on the small triangle to show the annotation pane).

5. Customer Support

Most of the time, Customer Support is in a separate department, and it’s seen as a cost center , especially for subscription-based businesses. Marketing should be closely involved in providing customers with the best possible experience: retaining customers is a lot cheaper than acquiring new ones. Companies like Zendesk, Helpstream and Get Satisfaction provide social support platforms, where existing customers can help each other, rather than channeling all questions to a support technician. You can also use Social Networks to keep customers informed of new products and services, and giving them the opportunity to provide feedback.

Social Media Marketing(SMM)

Social Media Marketing (SMM) combines the goals of internet marketing with social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Digg, Del.icio.us, Flickr, Wikipedia, Reddit, Newsvine, YouTube, Technorati, Yahoo! Answers, Ma.gnolia, Yahoo!360, LinkedIn, Squidoo, Wikihow, and others. Social Media Marketing goals are different for every organization, however most will involve some form of viral marketing to build idea or brand awareness, increase visibility, or sell a product. (Wikipedia - Social Media Marketing)

Social Media Marketing is powerful because it puts your company into a dialogue with people that are talking about what you do, who need what you have, and who want to know more.

Social CRM

The following video from Ogilvy s an excellent overview of where CRM is headed as it relates to Social Media. By combining your web presence with CRM and adding the social media mix to it, you can become quite active in the segments of the market you have targeted.  This is actually low cost but does require attention and consistency.  Anyone who is in business with almost any product or service should look at Social CRM to help them gain increased sales and awareness.

STRATEGIC SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN CREATION

Not all social media tools are right for every company. Creative Inceptions™ can research your particular needs, your industry, and the tools and resources available to find the ones that are best for you. We assemble the right tools and show you how to win new customers through a strategic social media plan and then help you deploy.

Social Media Plan creation includes:

  • Goals, types of prospective clients and realistic ideas about social networking.
  • Review the requirements of each industry specific site – strategically place you where your social networking investment will have the most impact.
  • Assess maintenance needs and what aspects you will need additional assistance to perform (if any).
  • Contact us to discuss how we can help you.
  • Contact us today for your customized Social Medai Plan!

Tags: Social Media, New Website, New Mobile, Blog

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