SOCIAL MEDIA

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WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA?

Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a type of internet marketing which uses the benefits of social networking sites as a tool of promoting websites, thus increasing traffic towards them and learning from users’ direct reactions.


SMM is based on the principle of organic search, which basically means that when the website or its connected social network page is more active, the website’s position on search engines rises, i.e. it will be in seen the first few results.


Considering the fact that 90% of users searching the internet do not look any further than the first page of the search engine, and that 70% clicks on the first three results only, it is obvious that the position on the first page of the search engine is the only goal to strive for when optimizing a website.


One of the key components of SMM is social media optimization (SMO). Like search engine optimization (SEO), SMO is a strategy for drawing new and unique visitors to a website. SMO can be done two ways: adding social media links to content, such as RSS feeds and sharing buttons -- or promoting activity through social media by updating statuses or tweets, or blog posts.


SMM helps a company get direct feedback from customers (and potential customers) while making the company seem more personable. The interactive parts of social media give customers the opportunity to ask questions or voice complaints and feel they are being heard. This aspect of SMM is called social customer relationship management (social CRM).


SMM became more common with the increased popularity of websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, and YouTube. In response, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has updated its rules to include SMM. If a company or its advertising agency provides a blogger or other online commenter with free products or other incentives to generate positive buzz for a product, the online comments will be treated legally as endorsements. Both the blogger and the company will be held responsible for ensuring that the incentives are clearly and conspicuously disclosed, and that the blogger's posts contain no misleading or unsubstantiated statements and otherwise complies with the FTC's rules concerning unfair or deceptive advertising.


WHAT IS SMM USED FOR?


The main goal of SMM is to improve communication with users, increase brand visibility and reach more (potential) customers.


SMM is being done by creating quality content that the users of social networks share with their friends (via transmitting information electronically, i.e. Electronic Word of Mouth, or eWoM).


The point of SMM is to obtain direct feedback from users (or potential customers), so that the company gets a personal stamp at the same time, i.e. it appears more human-like.


By means of interactive options on social networks, the customers get the chance to be heard, either by asking questions or by making complaints.


This type of SMM is called Social Customer Relation Management (Social CRM), which can further lead to enhancing credibility and return on investment (ROI), of course, if the users are satisfied with content, relationship with the company and the service provided.


HOW TO USE SMM?


Social Media Marketing functions on the principle of Social Media Optimization (SMO), i.e. the improvement of company image on social networks.


Similarly to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), SMO attracts new, unique visitors to the targeted website.


Why would search engines care for social networks? Simply because many people use their social media to search for things, share links and thereby participate in building a strong network of links (link building campaign).

SMM, that is SMO, can be done in two ways:


  • Active SMM promotion
  • Passive SMM promotion


ACTIVE SMM PROMOTION


Active promotion means adding links (applications) which lead from the content on the website towards social networks (similarly to RSS and social media share buttons). Social networks which can be used as a means of SMM are the following:


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest


Each social network has its own Terms of Use, which i different for natural persons and legal entities, i.e. companies.


What only companies get is the option of launching a paid ad campaign so as to reach wider audiences, thus improving traffic towards a website or a targeted web page.


PASSIVE SMM PROMOTION


Passive promotion means promoting activities on social networks by updating statuses, publishing images, tweets or articles on blogs.


Users’ reactions can be further analyzed in order to solve problems and remove dissatisfaction, and improve their brand experience.


What is useful especially is that that information is obtained in real time, which speeds up the entire process and opens the door to a new dimension of cooperation.

LEARNING SOCIAL MEDIA

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