Marketing used to mean placing advertisements in newspapers and magazines or making recordings for broadcast on radio and television, plus distributing leaflets or brochures and using posters at point of sale. Today, however, marketing also has to embrace technological advances, including the rise of social media as a means to get people’s attention and make an impact. Social media marketing has therefore gained prominence among businesses of all kinds and the need to create quality content that people are willing to share with their social networks has continued to grow in importance.
Strategies for success
Using social media gives businesses an opportunity to ‘personalize’ their offer. They can interact with customers and deal with specific queries or issues in such a way as to connect in a more meaningful manner. Social media also offers an opportunity to increase the profile of a business and to get a mention in a variety of places, which means that the company name and what it represents is highlighted on a regular basis.
Businesses that use a reward system of some kind, perhaps through a fun competition or other promotion, will often benefit from a larger number of online users and a lot of new leads. As this network builds, it needs to be maintained in order to ensure a positive follow up relationship. This is where active listening becomes important – if a customer has a problem and that is expressed using social media then the business needs to be proactive about being seen to resolve it.
As search engines become more focused on the quality of content and move away from ranking sites due to the repeated use of keywords, it has become more important than ever to make sure text and visuals on a website or in a social media marketing campaign are as good as possible. It is possible to achieve this by using a combination of good writing that communicates the message clearly and free stock photos that reflect the desired impression.
Thanks to the availability of online resources such as Dreamstime, it is possible to select high-resolution images from a wide variety of photographs, illustrations, clipart and animations that are royalty free. As more and more people access social media networks on a laptop, tablet or cell phone, so images are an increasingly important part of the impression a business creates. Professional photographers and artists that are keen to gain greater exposure for their portfolio of work will often offer one or two items free of charge so the quality of what is available online is maintained.
A blend of clever words and high impact images has the capacity to turn a good social media marketing campaign into a great one, with the potential to go viral. Global research and advisory firm Forrester Research have estimated that 90% of decisions about purchasing begin online. Undoubtedly, that is a very powerful business incentive to make sure a company’s social media marketing campaigns are memorable and impactful.