Social marketing uses marketing strategies, tools and techniques with the purpose of bringing a target audience together in its own interest, a group’s interest, or in the interest of society,as a whole.
Now, social marketing is based on the principle that the target audience has the capacity to make decisions by itself and choose among different options. It is not a body of students that need to be educated or a recalcitrant who needs to be corrected. It therefore rejects the paternalistic concept that experts know what is best and believe they can tell people how to behave.
Social marketing leans towards an approach centered on the target audience. It aims to identify each target audience’s profile – its needs, expectations, perceptions, obstacles when adopting certain behaviors, style, environment, and media habits), in order to understand what the target audience desires and therefore be able to supply the necessary support to acquire it.
Individuals do not all behave the same way when facing a social issue and do not all react the same way when facing a given strategy. By separating the population according to certain variables – the importance that people attach to a given behavior or its advantages, their abilities, their environment and lifestyle – it is possible to adapt the strategies accordingly. What follows is an increase of the programs’ effectiveness which aims for a change in behavior. Segments most likely to produce the desired behavior are privileged – including with hard-to-reach publics – or the most important ones for the organism’s objectives. The change in behavior of the chosen segment must benefit society as a whole.
Behavior is defined as an observable action or lack of action by an individual. Social marketing is interested in the voluntary adoption of behaviors that are beneficial to society. The success of social marketing is measured by the acceptance or non-acceptance of the desired behavior, and not only by a change of the degree of awareness, the knowledge, or the behavioral intentions of the people.
The evaluation of a social marketing initiative is founded on the current results – rate of change in the target audience’s behavior – and on the expected results of the benefits for society. Social marketing is a continuous process in which the evaluation and the follow-up supply data on the target audience’s preferences and on the environmental changes needed in order to maintain and increase the effects of the programs.
Growing a Primary and Secondary Target Audience
Efforts aimed at influencing downstream individuals are usually reinforced by an upstream intervention, especially with politicians and corporate decision-makers, as well as their immediate surrounding, i.e. friends, family and other influential people.
This is the basis of social marketing. It is an interesting technique to use for your business or organization.
Bringing SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing Together
SEO, social media, and content marketing each have specific strengths. To gain maximum profit, they must be used together, effortlessly. When these elements work together, they complement each other while reaping the benefits of their built-in potentials. Companies realize that they must use SEO tools, social media, and content marketing to attain their objectives. Unfortunately, they often approach them separately without understanding that the success of each marketing strategy depends on the combined use of all three. Here are some tips that will help you in bringing these elements together to develop an effective marketing strategy.
Identify Your Objectives
Many companies may face difficulties in achieving a target since they often still have to identify it. The most important thing is to identify what you want to achieve with your SEO tools, social media, and content marketing strategy. Different companies have different goals. For instance, some may focus on increasing sales while others focus on promoting their brand. Once you identify your objectives, you can then start working on your marketing strategy.
Develop Good Content
Social media is essential to any successful marketing campaign. A successful social media campaign is only possible however when you have a substantial quality of good content. Customers will only follow you on Facebook or Twitter if you provide them with interesting, relevant, and informative content. Before even thinking about a marketing campaign, you have to focus on developing strong content.
For a successful marketing campaign, avoid promotional content. Customers seem indifferent to content that promotes a company’s deals and offers. Instead, develop such content that provides helpful tips, resources, and guides. Many companies are reluctant to provide such information for free as they are not sure that the consumers will then pay for their services. Remember, the ultimate goal is to grab your customer’s attention so that they start following you regularly. You can provide some informative content but you don’t have to give them everything.
Plan a Social Media Strategy Based on Your Content
Once you are ready with a strong content and its marketing strategy, you can begin working on social media marketing strategy. You need to find a platform that helps to promote your content. Social media provides you with a large number of options that include Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and others. In order to decide which platform best suits publishing your content, you have to consider certain factors such as the type of content and the type of audience that you want to target.
Evaluate, Rinse, and Repeat
Once your content is published on social media, you can enjoy innumerable benefits of SEO tools. Social media tools such as SumAll or Socialight will help you understand which type of content was engaging to your intended audience. Examine the comments and assess the number of likes and shares as it can also provide a lot of information that can prove helpful in making future marketing decisions. This type of analysis will allow you to revise and optimize your content so that it attracts more audiences and provides better results in the future. Get a Free SEO Site Audit Report today and be on your way!
Marketing Your Small Business Through Social Media
In today’s business environment, it’s crucial for every small business to create and grow a local or global social media presence if they wish to really engage with their customers. Despite this, only 61% of small businesses have an effective social media presence and there are still many misconceptions to be overcome. Some companies mistakenly think that too much time will be required to maintain multiple social media accounts and that there will be no return seen on this investment; others just don’t feel it is the right route for them to take.
So, how do you kick start your business’s social media presence?
Know your Target Audience
In order to maximize impact, you must know who you are targeting and which social media sites they frequent. Each social media site has a different ambiance and consequently a different demographic, and researching this thoroughly is a worthwhile investment in time.
Social Media Goals
It’s important to be clear from the outset about exactly what you hope to gain for your business through the use of social media sites. Do you want to raise brand awareness, open a communication channel for your customers or try to generate sales through interactive advertising?
Three Popular Starting Points
Google+ and Google Hangouts: Both of these sites feature video chats and that makes them ideal if you want to give presentations or interviews aimed at potential and existing customers. As an added bonus, Hangouts automatically connects with your YouTube channel, extending your target audience even further.
Twitter: Twitter is a valuable promotional tool if used correctly. Choose hashtags which are relevant to your business as this will send your tweets further than if you didn’t use a hashtag. Keep a close eye on what’s trending on relevant topics, and add your own contributions with the hashtag.
A great way to gather Twitter followers is to join in one of the Twitter chats. These have thousands of contributors and last anywhere up to an hour. If you get engaged in just one of these conversations, you can amass a huge following in no time at all.
Facebook: Facebook can be a challenge for the small business to target effectively as there is such a variation in audience demographic. An effective strategy is to ask for ‘likes’ on the other social media sites, commenting regularly on applicable content, and making sure you keep your own page busy with fresh content.
Final Thoughts on Social Marketing
Like it or loathe it, social media is definitely the way to go if you really want to get your small business out there, and although the exercise may seem rather bewildering and time consuming at first, the returns will far outweigh the investment in the long run. We will leave 5 Tips for Social Media Marketing to get your local SEO strategy aligned and on it’s way to Ranking Keywords on the first Page of Google.
5 Social Media Marketing Planning Steps to Take for Your Marketing Campaign
Any business must start with a plan, and the audience must also be defined elaborately if it is to succeed. Social media marketing is now becoming an integral channel of marketing for brands. Once you know your business objective and the audience, you can use the social media feedback cycle to identify demands, needs and trends and offer solutions.
If you are to succeed in this, you must bear in mind the fact that all your efforts and expenses must have a good return on investment. In order for that to be achievable, follow the following steps.
1. Choose Your Path
Just imagine that the world we live in is already so full of information that any information you need about anything is already readily available; it is a world in which there is information overload. However, being readily available is not the same as easily accessible.
The whole idea about advertising has always been to avail information to those who need it at the right time. Therefore, any successful social media marketing campaign starts with the end in mind, and this entails choosing the path you must trudge on. That is to say: what information do you want to give? What line of business are you doing? Once this is defined, you should decide how you want to deliver your message to the audience.
At the end of the day, he who delivers the most simple, useful, timely, and short message carries the day in the marketing world. This is where you should let your creative juices to guide you. But remember to stay focused on the goals and never be carried away.
2. Define the Opportunity and the Audience
A message should have an audience, but if you don’t know who exactly your audience is, then you are in for a big trouble. A social media marketing campaign is not effective if it is not targeted. It is pointless trying to sell a Christian prayer book while most of your Facebook fans or Twitter followers are non-Christians. It doesn’t matter how interesting, timely or useful your campaign message is. If it is not targeted to the right people, you are chasing after the wind.
Defining the audience also means that you have identified their concerns, worries, and what they love. You’ve got to reach them and let them understand that you are there for them. As you do that, it would be more prudent to under promise and over deliver. In most cases, it is very tempting to over promise and end up under delivering. Remember, the customers will judge your performance based on your promises.
3. Select Your Channels
Not all social media companion messages can fit any business brand awareness campaign. A lot of care should be taken to determine the best channel to use for your social media marketing plan depending on your brand or the type of products you are selling. The type of channel you chose will also determine the tools and apps you’ll use.
Don’t forget to measure your results once you have gone through all these steps. You’ll want to select the metrics for measuring the results so that you can respond to the feedback accordingly. For instance, you can use polls, forums, surveys, or comments to get feedback.
Sometimes how you respond to market feedback can make or break your business. Customers should be made to feel that their comments, views, suggestions or complaints are being treated seriously. Your response can involve replying to comments, solving a certain complain, explain stuff, listening to them, or engaging them in a discussion.