What is Social Network Marketing
and Why Should You Use it?
Social Network Marketing, is "a term that describes the act of using social networks, online communities, blogs, wikis or any other collaborative Internet form of media for marketing, sales, public relations and customer service. Common social media marketing tools include Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube," according to Wikipedia.
Social Network Marketing is synonymous with "Social Media Networking", and "Web 2.0 Marketing".
It is an advertising method that makes use of the Social Networks to promote your website, or business. Uses range from simple advertising, banners, etc. to leveraging the viral aspect of the social networks.
There are a few important aspects that Social Media encompasses:
- It is social, conversational, and controlled by the user community, and not a company. Thus, your marketing efforts must engage the user and consider them in every aspect of your campaign.
- Your goal is to create a "buzz" about your topic, website, etc. It is this "buzz" that feeds the viral aspect and the necessary piece that makes social network marketing so valuable.
- Users or fans are enabled to promote, collaborate and spread their favorite sites, companies or products across the network - this can be seen on Fan pages of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.
Why Use Social Media Marketing?
There are many reasons you should be marketing to at least some part of the social mediasphere. One of the most important is the fact that there are so many millions of users who have Social Media profiles already, and that number is growing at astounding rates each month.
If you are not using the advertising piece, but instead, you are creating "buzz" through Fan pages, postings, Tweets, etc., then this marketing effort is FREE! Your ROI is infinite for any marketing channel that has no cost. What a great opportunity.
Viral marketing would be another aspect of Social Network Marketing that makes it attractive. While most will never achieve a true viral campaign that explodes exponentially, and reaches millions, many will achieve it to a lesser degree. Creating a video, or story that the Social Fanbase adopts, and forwards in large numbers is a marketer's dream. The Social Networks at least provide this opportunity.
With minimal effort to keep one or a couple of your social sites updated, you have the potential to reach many "eyeballs". In some cases, this number of potential viewers is greater than any other marketing campaigns.
The Social Community is very tightly knit, and each smaller Social unit supports itself. In other words, if a unit really likes a site, or product, everyone in that unit will know about it. This can give you amazing exposure and instant credibility - two things which are often very hard to earn or come by. Be careful, however, the opposite can happen as well. ALWAYS be aware of your comments, posts, etc. You don't want to offend someone, or turn them off as this can have just as amazing negative effects for you.
To learn more about specific marketing tactics for some of the Social Media platforms, click on the links below.