This is the summary of an article by Nick Hafele. You can download the word document of the behavioral targeting article here: Social Media Marketing: Interactions, Trends and Analytics.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social networking applications take many forms, but the most recognizable ones are social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google Plus. In principle, these sites allow you to connect with people that you already know or share the same interests as you do, and you create online social webs.
There are several ways to market in social networking sites, including the Facebook model. In this model, you can create pages of products that users can “like”. The Twitter model sends out small ads and updates from product sellers. You can follow companies and then receive constant “tweets” regarding commercial offerings, newsfeeds, etc.
Blogs are also a good social media marketing strategy. It promotes brand awareness, and even allow customers to leave comments and questions to promote idea exchanges between companies and individuals.
Current Social Media Trends
Brand recognition is even more important in online marketing than in offline marketing. For social media, it’s not enough for a consumer to just know about the products of a certain brand. Social media gives firms the opportunity to learn about the brand awareness of their consumers.
Using blogs, social networking sites, and even wikis, consumers can share what they like or dislike about brands, and word-of-mouth allows for exponential growth in awareness. On Facebook alone, the average user has one hundred thirty friends. A bad review from just one person can spread to thousands others, so companies should constantly check out what information they are sharing.
Companies should not reveal too much information as that increases the possibility of revealing negative information about a company. On the other hand, companies should not give too little information because that is seen by consumers as an effort of censorship and dishonesty.
Consumers are more engaging when it comes to the marketing efforts of a particular brand if they trust that brand. With regards to trust, the main issue is privacy invasion, especially in the use of social media marketing analytic tools. There have been two major tactics to overcome privacy concerns. Some companies choose to settle on transparency, telling consumers what they want to track and what they want to get from the tracking. Another strategy is user engagement and “employment”.
Engaging the User
When users get brand recommendations from their friends, they are more likely to trust and spend time on the particular commercial website of that brand. That’s exactly what Facebook’s Like, Google+’s Plus 1 and Twitter’s re-tweet is all about. Companies initially engage with consumers on a friendly conversational basis, and then let these consumers interact with their friends. Exposure to the brand is maximized and the brand obtains a good reputation.
Relationship-based word-of-mouth communication is really very effective, and in fact it has been shown to increase sales by more than fifty percent as compared to more traditional marketing forms.
There are four metrics that define social media campaign success: new consumers and fans, revenue and conversions, increased brand awareness, and actionable customer insights. In the Analytics tool of Google Plus, there are three new metrics to consider, namely, conversation, applause, and amplification. Conversation is direct brand mentions, applause is user brand identification, and amplification is how well conversation and applause is reproduced among users.
What’s important is not only to measure user interaction in social media, but also to identify the content and nature of the interactions. Therefore, it is important to collect and inspect data related to actionable customer insights. The best way to collect these data is through social networking platforms. For example, Facebook has announced new marketing and analytics tools to help businesses know what their consumers are talking about regarding their brand. Google Plus also has several application programming interfaces that help businesses get access to conversational and post trends.