Social media marketing or SMM is a form of internet marketing which relies on social networking websites for its marketing activities. The primary objective of social media marketing is to develop content which can be shared by users in their various social networks. This is done in order to assist companies to improve the exposure of their brands as well as widening their customer reach.
Social media optimization or SMO is one of the primary components of social media marketing. SMO has similar functions like SEO; however, it focuses on drawing new and specific visitors to a website. Social media optimization can be done in two ways:
- Including social media links like sharing buttons and RSS fees to content, and
- Using social media to promote particular activities. This is mostly done through updating blog posts, tweets or statuses.
Companies can easily get direct feedback from customers through social media marketing, and this makes the company look more personable. SMM has interactive features which assist clients to ask questions or air complains. This is done through an important aspect of social media marketing known as social customer relationship or social CRM.
Websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and MySpace have increased the popularity of social media marketing. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has revised its rules to include SMM because of its growing popularity.
The Commission has dictated that if an organization or its advertising agency provides an online commenter or a blogger with incentives or free products to develop a positive buzz for the product, the comments will be treated legally as ratifications.
The company and the blogger are held responsible for ensuring that the online information doesn’t have any misleading, unsubstantiated statement. These rules ensure that the company and the blogger comply with FTC’s rules concerning advertising.
Two essential elements of SSM strategy:
- Identify business goals – the goals you set determine the social media strategies you have put in place. These goals assist you to move forward towards achieving them.
- Set marketing objectives – the marketing objectives you set to determine how to achieve the business goals. These goals can be accomplished through the S-M-A-R-T approach. That is, they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.