About Social Media Marketing

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About Social Media Marketing

Social Media Purposes and Tactics

One of the main purposes in employing Social Media in marketing is as a communications tool that makes the companies accessible to those interested in their product and make them visible to those who have no knowledge of their products. These companies use social media to create buzz, learn from and target customers. It's the only form of marketing that can finger consumers at each and every stage of the consumer decision journey. Marketing through social media has other benefits as well. Of the top 10 factors that correlate with a strong Google organic search, seven are social media dependent. This means that if brands are less or non active on social media, they tend to show up less on Google searches. While platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ have a larger amount of monthly users, The visual media sharing based mobile platforms however, garner a higher interaction rate in comparison and have registered the fastest growth and have changed the ways in which consumers engage with brand content. Instagram has an interaction rate of 1.46% with an average of 130 million users monthly as opposed to Twitter which has a .03% interaction rate with an average of 210 million monthly users. Unlike traditional media that are often cost-prohibitive to many companies, a social media strategy does not require astronomical budgeting. To this end, companies make use of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram in order to reach audiences much wider than through the use of traditional print/TV/radio advertisements alone at a fraction of the cost, as most social networking sites can be used at no cost. This has changed the ways that companies approach interact with customers, as a substantial percentage of consumer interactions are now being carried out over online platforms with much higher visibility. Customers can now post reviews of products and services, rate customer service and ask questions or voice concerns directly to companies through social media platforms. Thus social media marketing is also used by businesses in order to build relationships of trust with consumers. To this aim, companies may also hire personnel to specifically handle these social media interactions, who usually report under the title of Online community managers. Handling these interactions in a satisfactory manner can result in an increase of consumer trust. To both this aim and to fix the public's perception of a company, 3 steps are taken in order to address consumer concerns, identifying the extent of the social chatter, engaging the influencers to help, and developing a proportional response.

What is Twitter Social Media?
It is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called "tweets".

Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. Users access Twitter through the website interface, SMS, or mobile device app. Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco and has more than 25 offices around the world.

Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass and by July 2006 the site was launched. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with more than 100 million users who in 2012 posted 340 million tweets per day. The service also handled 1.6 billion search queries per day. In 2013 Twitter was one of the ten most-visited websites, and has been described as "the SMS of the Internet." As of December 2014, Twitter has more than 500 million users, out of which more than 284 million are active users.

What is Facebook (formerly [thefacebook])?
It is an online social networking service headquartered in Menlo Park, California. Its website was launched on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The founders had initially limited the website's membership to Harvard students, but later expanded it to colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities and later to high-school students. Facebook now allows anyone who claims to be at least 13 years old to become a registered user of the website. Its name comes from a colloquialism for the directory given to it by American universities students.

After registering to use the site, users can create a user profile, add other users as "friends", exchange messages, post status updates and photos, share videos and receive notifications when others update their profiles. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as "People From Work" or "Close Friends". Facebook had over 1.3 billion active users as of June 2014. Due to the large volume of data collected about users, the service's privacy policies have faced scrutiny, among other criticisms. Facebook, Inc. held its initial public offering in February 2012 and began selling stock to the public three months later, reaching a peak market capitalization of $104 billion.

What is Google+ (or Google Plus) ?
It is a social networking and identity service that is owned and operated by Google Inc. Google has described Google+ as a "social layer" that enhances many of its online properties, and that it is not simply a social networking website, but also an authorship tool that associates web-content directly with its owner/author.

It is the fifth-largest social networking site. 540 million monthly active users are part of the Identity service site, by interacting socially with Google+'s enhanced properties, like Gmail, +1 button, and YouTube comments.

In October 2013, Google counted 540 million active users who used at least one Google+ service, of which 300 million users are active in "the stream".

In a 2013 survey, 30% of surveyed smartphone users used the Google Plus app at least once a month

What is LinkedIn?
It is a business-oriented social networking service. Founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. In 2006, LinkedIn increased to 20 million members. As of June 2013, LinkedIn reports more than 259 million acquired users in more than 200 countries and territories.

The site is available in 20 languages, including Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Romanian, Russian, Turkish, Japanese, Czech, Polish, Korean, Indonesian, Malay, and Tagalog. As of 2 July 2013, Quantcast reports LinkedIn has 65.6 million monthly unique U.S. visitors and 178.4 million globally, a number that as of 29 October 2013 has increased to 184 million. In June 2011, LinkedIn had 33.9 million unique visitors, up 63 percent from a year earlier and surpassing MySpace.[14] LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering in January 2011 and traded its first shares on May 19, 2011, under the NYSE symbol "LNKD".

What is Instagram?
It is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 4:3 aspect ratio typically used by mobile device cameras. Users can also apply digital filters to their images. The maximum duration for Instagram videos is 15 seconds.

Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and launched in October 2010. The service rapidly gained popularity, with over 100 million active users as of April 2012 and over 300 million as of December 2014. Instagram is distributed through the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Windows Phone Store. Support for the app is available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android handsets, while third-party Instagram apps are available for Blackberry 10 and Nokia-Symbian Devices.

The service was acquired by Facebook in April 2012 for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock. In 2013, Instagram grew by 23%, while Facebook, as the parent company, only grew by 3%.

What is YouTube?
It is a video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. The service was created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005. In November 2006, it was bought by Google for US$1.65 billion. YouTube now operates as a Google subsidiary. The site allows users to upload, view, and share videos, and it makes use of Adobe Flash Video and HTML5 technology to display a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media video. Available content includes video clips, TV clips, music videos, and other content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos.

Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Vevo, Hulu, and other organizations offer some of their material via YouTube, as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users can watch videos, and registered users can upload videos to their channels. Videos considered to contain potentially offensive content are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old.

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What is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing is the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites.

Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it across their social networks. The resulting electronic word of mouth (eWoM) refers to any statement consumers share via the Internet (e.g., web sites, social networks, instant messages, news feeds) about an event, product, service, brand or company. When the underlying message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself, this form of marketing results in earned media rather than paid media

The Social Media Optimization (SMO) is the use of a number of social media outlets and communities to generate publicity to increase the awareness of a product, brand or event. Types of social media involved include RSS feeds, social news and bookmarking sites, as well as social networking sites, such as Twitter, and video and blogging sites. SMO is similar to search engine optimization in that the goal is to generate traffic and awareness for a website. In general, social media optimization refers to optimizing a website and its content in terms of sharing across social media and networking sites.

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