How Social Media Marketing is Used in Corporate America
Social media has transformed the manner in which we relate to the world around us. Social networks have not only enjoyed a groundswell of momentum among the public, but have also bridged the gap between corporations and consumers. A few years ago, many companies had just begun to explore the potential of social media marketing. Today, those companies have taken advantage of video marketing, business blogging services, and other social media strategies that expand their reach into the respective markets.
Below, we'll describe the many ways in which Corporate America is harnessing the power of social media marketing. You'll discover that this online marketing strategy complements, rather than replaces, your current advertising efforts.
Building And Supporting Brand Awareness
Consumers are aware of brands on a subconscious level. Through repetitive association, they slowly begin to recognize them. This is one of the reasons many companies are hesitant to allocate their budgets toward building those brands. The impact of branding efforts can be difficult to measure and seldom yield quick results.
Having said that, brand awareness works differently online, especially when promoted through social media marketing. Brands are recognizable to consumers on a more instinctual level. Plus, their impact is more easily measured. A stronger brand attracts a measurable audience through the search engines (via higher rankings) as well as through the social networks.
Injecting A Professional Voice
Companies once maintained an "official" corporate presence through which all forms of communication flowed. Press releases were used to push information to the market. An official spokesperson was appointed and tasked with controlling the message. The goal was to prevent customers from peering behind the public facade.
That "strategy" is less viable today. Corporate America is beginning to realize that customers are more likely to become fans if they can interact with a company's professional voice. When fans promote company brands, word-of-mouth marketing is unleashed.
Interacting With Customers
When a company interacts with its customers on a human level, it builds a following. The results might include an explosive growth of followers on Twitter, dedicated fan groups on Facebook, and an assortment of user generated content on other social networks. This leads to increased brand exposure and deepening customer loyalty.
Many companies are using social media marketing and business blogging services to tap directly into their markets. In doing so, they are building platforms from which to engage their customers. They are establishing conversations that raise their top of mind awareness within their market. This level of dialogue influences their market's perception and encourages customers to promote their brand.
Encouraging Customer Participation
Word-of-mouth advertising is potent like no other marketing strategy. It is often far more effective than print advertising, television and radio spots, and other conventional marketing channels. One of the core strengths of a social media marketing campaign is its ability to encourage customers to spread the word about your company. By maintaining a sincere dialogue, you can convert prospects to customers, and customers to raving fans.
Every social network has influences. When those influencers participate in promoting your brand, they are able to influence their peers' perception of your company. What's more, through their efforts, they subconsciously solidify their own loyalty to your brand. Not only does this strengthen your brand and increase your sales, but it also complements a search engine optimization campaign by means of on-site and off-site fresh content.
Expanding An Inbound Link Profile
Social media marketing plays a key role in lifting your corporate website in the search engines' organic rankings. The reasons are due to your inbound link profile and the brand's overall participation in relevant communities; a.k.a. "trust".
Google, Yahoo!, Bing and other search engines, rely heavily upon the links pointing to your company's site in order to determine its relevance to a user's query. The greater the breadth and authority of those links within your inbound link profile, the greater influence they will have upon your rankings.
Social media marketing and business blogging services can generate links across a wide swath of websites. Not only do many social networks allow outbound links, but your company's customers and fans will generate content on their own sites and blogs. Their blog posts and site pages will often include links that point to your website, which further expands your inbound link profile. Additionally, when the content in or around those links relates to themes and topics in your industry, the relevance of that link becomes stronger.
It's worth noting that blogs, in particular, tend to rank quickly. When they do, they gain exposure, which leads to even more people generating content with links pointing to your site. If approached properly, social media marketing and business blogging services can generate a snowball effect for your site in the search engines. They build momentum as your exposure increases.
Social Media Marketing Strategies
While social media marketing is effective for any company that wants to build their brand, strengthen customer loyalty, and establish a dialogue with their market, objectives vary. Some strategies may be more appropriate for your company than others.
For example, if you serve a consumer market, business blogging services, product reviews, and video marketing will encourage customers to participate in promoting your brand. Some of them will be influencers within their respective networks. When given an opportunity to interact with your company, many of those influencers will become fans. Fans often become content creators, generating links that point to your corporate website. That lifts your site in the search engines' organic rankings, further increasing your visibility to your market.
Corporate America shows no signs of slowing in its use of social media marketing to generate buzz, build secondary promotions, and establish an ongoing dialogue with customers. Social media represents a marketing theater in which your company can compete with the titans in your market.