Perhaps you’ve read the articles from social media marketing naysayers turning up in the news lately. They tell us social media marketing is pointless, is dead and makes little difference to a company’s bottom line.
Well, we beg to differ and so does the vast majority of the data out there. Social media has tremendous clout with your target audience. It is where they connect with family, where they scope out the latest trends, and where they make their buying preferences known to others.
Using social media marketing to your advantage furthers all your marketing goals. First, it helps you create an audience and a community. Secondly, it provides immeasurable data about your target audience. Finally, social media provides a key entry point for your sales funnel.
Social Media Marketing – Building a Community
The advent of social media marketing brought about a shift in how consumers interacted with the brands they love and the services they use. No longer was this a passive relationship. Social media means you can have an ongoing relationship with clients seeking to engage with you as part of their broader community.
Social media is like an extension of our social sphere. Brands and companies become friends and customers and clients look for you in their daily news feed. When they see something they like, they can instantly share it with their friends, bringing them into your community as well.
The social media marketing conversation is two-sided. You provide one side of the conversation with useful content and posts to engage your clients. They respond with their comments, their “likes” and the way they share your content.
For example, comments provide a chance for you to hear what your customers think of your products and services. They also provide a forum for you to “talk” with your clients and respond to their questions, ideas or criticisms. Posts that receive a lot of comments and shares can reveal the issues your clients most respond to, which in turn, can drive your business decisions as you look for solutions to meet those needs.
You can learn quite a bit from all this social media sharing and social media channels are making it easier for businesses to analyze this data with their own analytic tools.
The Sales Funnel
As we outlined previously, the sales funnel starts with awareness and social media marketing can help create awareness, the first level of the funnel. It can also create interest and continue to help you move prospects through the sales funnel.
For example, let’s say a current client shares a blog post you promoted through social media marketing. Your client’s colleague sees the post, enjoys it and has now become aware of your brand. The prospect begins following you on social media, building awareness. Soon enough, they become interested and follow a link through to a landing page where the prospect provides contact information and requests a demonstration.
As the prospect continues to follow you, they see a post about a new service that will meet an exact need, which creates desire. Finally, the prospect moves to action and begins the cycle again.
Dismissing social media marketing might be popular right now, but it’s certainly not profitable to dismiss one of the most powerful innovations of the 21st century.
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