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Social media refers to websites and applications that are designed to allow people to share content quickly, efficiently, and in real-time. The ability to share photos, opinions, events, in real-time has transformed the way we live and, also, how we do business. Retailers who use social media as a part of their marketing strategy usually see real results. The key to successful social media is to not treat it as an extra appendage but to treat it with the same care, respect, and attention you do all of your marketing efforts.

‘‘Social networks are one of the fastest growing industries in the world’’. 

This statement does seem to be thrown around quite frequently with anything internet marketing related these days. However, with a projected 25.0% annual growth over the next 5 years, it is definitely time to start investing in social media if you haven’t already.

 

Social Media and Social Networking Sites

Like with content marketing, due to the continuously developing internet marketing industry, there are countless digital media and social networking sites, all of which have a unique characteristic and purpose.

Facebook is the biggest and most powerful social network tool in the world with 1.55 billion active monthly users. Regardless if you are a startup or fortune 500 company, you need to be on Facebook and start engaging with your consumers.

Twitter is known as the ‘‘in the moment’’ platform and boasts a respectable 255 million active monthly users. Twitter is a perfect online marketing tool for businesses that want to reach out to people.

Instagram is a visual platform designed for customers to post, share, comment and engage through digital media.

LinkedIn is regarded as a professional social networking site. LinkedIn largely focuses on b2b marketing rather than b2c.

Google +, Youtube, Foursquare and Pinterest are other social network sites  And then there’s Snapchat, the new kid on the block, who recently recorded six billion daily views.

Social Media Marketing Strategy

Having a social media presence without a strategy and plan can be just as damaging for your business as no plan at all.  You should have a social media marketing strategy checklist:

  • Set Goals
  • Know your target audience
  • Social Media – Decide on which digital media will help you connect with your audience.
  • Social Network Strategy – Focus on a social network that adds value.
  • Measurement and Testing –You need to constantly your social media strategy to understand how effective it is. Find out what is working and what’s not.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Investing in a social media marketing service may have been identified as the missing link connecting you with your consumers. However, for the others, who are still contemplating diving into the social marketing end, look no further than the facts.

Social media marketing increases your brand’s awareness.  78 % of small businesses use social media to attract new customers. Furthermore, 33% of customers have identified social media as how they identify new brands products and services.

Social media marketing also helps to validate your brand.  A company’s social media presence, when done correctly, tells consumers that their brand is active and focused on thriving communication with consumers.

Social media marketing has the power to increase customer loyalty. 71% of consumers who received a quick response on social media would recommend the brand to others.

Decreased Marketing Costs. According to Hubspot, 84% of marketers found as little as six hours of effort per week was enough to generate increased traffic. Start small and you’ll never have to worry about going over budget—once you get a better feel for what to expect, you can increase your budget and increase your conversions correspondingly.