What is Social Media Marketing?

For most people, the phrase “social media marketing” conjures up images of Facebook likes and retweets. However, social media marketing is about more than just how popular you are on social media sites. Anyone who tells you otherwise probably doesn’t have a background in marketing, and may set you up for failure if you don’t keep the following points in mind.

It’s All About the Likes!

Up until Summer 2012, buying Facebook likes (or Twitter followers, or YouTube views, or Google+ Circles) was a relatively common practice that supposed “social media marketers” utilized in order to justify the fees they charged. Specifically, it was often preached that social media success was measured by how high you could get your follower count, and not based on the quality of the followers you were obtaining. While there may be a sliver of truth to that belief (only in the sense that a higher follower count increases exposure to some varying degree), it was, and still is, much better to focus on building a fan base that will further serve you as brand advocates. A brand advocate will not only preach your brand’s message, but it will greatly increase the chance that others are converted to believers in your product.

So ultimately, it’s never been about the sheer number of likes you have. Instead, it’s always been about the quality of fans you obtain (and for any brand starting out, friends and family should always be the FIRST group of likes to go after).

If You’re Not Making Sales Via Social Media, You’re Doing it Wrong!

When approaching a new social media marketing campaign, it’s important to remember that sales do not equate to how many likes or shares you have, at least not directly. Social media marketing is about branding, not selling. It’s about establishing your brand as an authority in its respective field, which will enable your fans and followers to look to your brand as a trusted source of information.

For example, let’s say you like Facebook fan pages for two local gyms. One of the pages is constantly posting about signing up for a membership, while the other one is constantly posting workout tips, healthy eating recipes, and other valuable information that people looking to get into better shape might enjoy. The second page is building its brand, while the first page is not. The second is establishing itself as the go-to page about all things fitness and health -related. As a result, the second page may actually get an increase in memberships, thus indirectly increasing sales via social media. However, even without these additional sales, the value of building its brand image on the Internet as a leader in the field of fitness is what, in this case, social media marketing is all about.

While you might be discouraged when you’re first starting out with a social media marketing campaign, there’s no need to worry. Establishing your brand’s credibility takes just as much time to build on the Internet as it does in real life, and social media is a great way to do so.

For more information about how social media marketing can be utilized in your current advertising campaign, don’t hesitate to contact SLS Consulting. Or, just like us on Facebook!

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