Are You Keeping Up With Social Media Marketing?

By Sandy Cosser.

Have businesses finally cottoned on to how social media marketing works? You wouldn’t think so judging by the number of how-to articles that are still doing the rounds – this one included. But it seems that they are making headway and are adapting their strategies to suit a medium that is ever-changing.

There are, however, some areas where strategies are still lacking, where uncertainty reigns and where new trends are emerging.

The right audience

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again, you need to know how people use social media, so you can properly tailor your strategies to target the right audience.

Lenna Garibian (MarketingProfs) cites a survey by Forrester Research, which found that Gen-Z (18 – 23-year-olds) is almost entirely dependent on online media for all their information, including the information that drives purchasing decisions.

What this means is that if you want to start attracting younger customers, you need to have a significant presence online. According to the survey, 22% of the generation trust brands on social networks, which means that you need to have profiles on every single social network that is suitable for your business. Half of the respondents trust the natural search results in search engines, which means that SEO is still vitally important.

Thirty-six per cent trust information on company websites. But the area where brands really need to focus their attention is professionally written online reviews. The trust value goes up to 59% if you can get a favourable review on sites like CNET.

The next generation of social media

In addition to considering the next generation of social media users, businesses also need to consider the next generation of social media itself. David Amerland (Social Media Today) has started referring to social media 2.0. New considerations for social media 2.0 include:

  • The fact that there is no such thing as a Facebook user anymore. Facebook users now also have Pinterest profiles, G+ profiles, Instagram profiles, and Tumblr blogs. Businesses need to be present on all of these to fully benefit from social media marketing.
  • Mobile marketing is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s essential. Gen-Z is not the only generation spending more time on smartphones and placing more trust in smartphone content. If you want to reach your entire target market, you have to be mobile.

Interaction is also increasingly important. It’s not enough to get passive likes or retweets or repins; you need actual social engagement. The new watchword is shares. You want to get people so excited about your brand that they simply have to share it with everyone they know. Shares are becoming the all-new powerful social media metric, so start working towards them.

Yes, brands are slowly starting to come round to the idea that social media is vital to their success; they’re even starting to get the hang of using social media as a marketing strategy. But they need to remember that the landscape changes almost continually, so they need to keep abreast of developments and constantly adapt.

One Response to Are You Keeping Up With Social Media Marketing?

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