Social media is not a fad or a trend but it is must have for every organization's customer engagement strategy. Sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Blogger and YouTube are like never before. Social media marketing is a time tested approach and several organizations reaped in higher returns and benefits by adapting to them seamlessly. Here are some of the key benefits and how organization can deploy social media marketing for their success.
Social network tools offer facility to create business pages for your organization. There is no learning curve for creating and maintaining the pages. A normal user with a social networking account can create the business page. Your customers can become your fans over online by clicking 'Like' in Facebook or 'Follow' in Twitter or "+1" in Google+. The fans will receive your updates as "News feed". You can leverage this channel for talking directly to a group of customers, offer them rewards, discounts and freebies for online. Organizations conduct events and make them popular via Facebook or create a buzz by asking questions, polls. This is one of the effective way of building a loyal fan following without any additional cost. The opportunity to attract more customers from friend of friend network creates a compelling proposition to maintain the social page up to date and value every customer as a "fan". Fans are your assets of social media marketing.
You can upload photos of your products and its features, update status to create buzz around your products. You can upload product videos like demos, training and how to's on your product. Social media marketing thrives on viral marketing or word of mouth. You can reduce conventional marketing costs with a clearly outlined social media strategy. The outreach to the social community is extensive and products become popular within a day or two if there are right methods used on Social media.
Social tools are pervasive on mobile devices. There are innovations like SoLoMo for attracting your customers who are walking near stores through deals, discounts and even a free parking service (Ex: Foursquare). Customers can choose your offers and services based on their friends advise, their proximity to your store and getting the alerts on the fly as they are near to your stores. Companies like Groupon offer online paper less coupons that can be used for discounts and deal of the day offerings. Key services like customer feedback and complaint management, proactively updating customers on your service levels are done through microblogging sites like Twitter. For example, retailers like BestBuy married twitter and their online help to create a service called "Twelp".
Social media marketing enhances your brand image significantly. You can also address concerns from customers and be the first one to know any negative publicity online. You can manage your reputations by tracking and responding to the communication as part of your corporate communication strategy. The turnaround time to build the brands and reputations has come down drastically from few years to just months, thanks to the viral marketing and penetration of social media.
In a nutshell, social media marketing is at the cusp of marketing, brand management and innovation for any organization. It is imperative that they embrace social media to reduce costs and generate more revenues for their products and offerings online.
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