Social Media Marketing: a 2-Minute Introduction

Social media marketing is the process of increasing traffic to your website (and therefore potential sales) through social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and the like. Why do you need this? It’s because your audience (aka potential customers) are all online. They’re there to communicate and interact with their friends and family, and so should you.

Another, perhaps more compelling, reason that you should be on social media is because your competitors already are. If you’re not around to chat with your customers and build relationships with them, your rivals are more than ready and willing to be there and take their business away from you.

Social media is a huge gold mine of opportunity for brands. Let’s say for example that you sell baking tools — here’s what social media can do for you.

Direct communication. As mentioned above, social media sites are built for engagement. You can post shout-outs on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and your audience will have the ability to directly respond to you through comments. Even better, you can immediately respond to questions or concerns through comments yourself!

If you announce that a new batch of pans has been delivered to your store, and someone asks in a comment if you have something that’s 17 x 14 inches big, you can immediately answer that. As customers, there’s nothing we like better than having our concerns promptly addressed — which leads us to…

Building relationships with your audience. Beyond a platform for pushing your brand out to people, your social media should be a place where people can feel taken care of. If you consistently engage in a sincere manner, share quality content, and generally create a good personal experience, over time, you’ll find yourself with a loyal audience who does not only engage, but is more than happy to reward you with their business.

Building relationships with influencers. You know how they say that if you want to be a millionaire, you need to be friends with a billionaire? It’s the same thing on social media.

Somewhere out there, someone has already gathered a strong following of baking enthusiasts. It could be an amateur baker that consistently produces the most adorable or funny baking videos on YouTube, or it could be a megawatt celebrity along the ranks of Martha Stewart. Just think of what it would do to your brand if you could get in front of that audience, complete with a stamp of approval from that influencer.

So what do you do? You reach out and engage that person and build a relationship with them. And what better way to do that than on social media?

Increased traffic to your website. This will happen in two ways. First is through direct referral, which means you’ll post a link that leads to your website. This could be an announcement of your latest blog post, a promo, or something similar. This is important because without social media, your traffic is limited people already familiar with your brand or the keywords you rank for.

Second is through better search engine rankings. Lots of activity on social media, and, more importantly, lots of quality engagement from your audience, could signal to search engines that your brand is trustworthy and legitimate.

Advocacy. Imagine making your customers so happy that they talk about you on social media. Imagine seeing post after post to the effect of “Hey, check out this awesome pan/ cake stand/ muffin tray that I bought from (Your Brand)! Isn’t it great?”

Word of mouth marketing is extremely valuable — after all, wouldn’t you trust your friend’s recommendation over a business that’s trying to sell you something?

With social media, you give your audience (and hopefully customers) a venue where they can be brand advocates, which they’ll be happy to do if they like and trust you enough. Don’t forget to say thanks.

You can also check out our handy infographic below.

Introduction to social media marketing, Indigo Media Labs

Indigo Media Labs is a content-focused and data-driven digital marketing agency. Our strategies revolve around the lifeblood of your business: the customer. We create extremely high-quality content that builds trust, authority, and likeability for your brand. Ask us how we can help your business. We’d love to chat.

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