Social media marketing has been a viable business strategy for some time now. However, I feel that just recently it has become validated as a true advertising powerhouse and possibly the dominating force in marketing. Once dismissed or ridiculed years ago, social media marketing has become an invaluable tool for businesses of all sizes. Social media and internet marketing provide invaluable insight into the market and allows laser-like accuracy targeting the demographics. Global corporations as well as mom-and-pop stores are sold on social media marketing. The result for businesses of all sizes: improved accuracy, efficiency, and profit margins.
The most important aspect of social media market is obviously leveraging its power for increased revenue. It doesn’t matter if you have 50,000 Facebook likes on your page if you aren’t making a buck off of it. There are a wide variety of ways to monetize your social media marketing influence. The biggest monetization tool for established or traditional companies is the overall improvement in product sales and company image it can provide with affordable and highly targeted advertising campaigns. A large company can now also capitalize on getting feedback and personalized interaction that wasn't previously possible. One of the other biggest options is earning advertising revenue from your traffic from networks such as Google AdSense, Federated Media, Blogher, and many others. Another method is affiliate marketing where you gain a percentage of sales that your websites refer. Paid promotions or sponsorship from other companies looking to utilize your traffic, influence, and credentials are very common. Selling merchandise such as clothing, books, ebooks, or other self-branded items are also proven options. The possibilities are endless for a company or personality with enough online influence or know-how.
Analytics may be one of the most important aspects of social media marketing. You can get exact numbers on everything on your websites, videos, and advertising from demographics, inbound traffic, outbound traffic, time on site, geographical location, operating system, browser, shoe size...ok that last one was a joke (although it could probably be ascertained from an online shoe store purchase you just made). You get the point, everything is measurable and information is power. You can analyze all of this data to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing campaign while minimizing time and cost.
And finally, social media marketing allows for extraordinary flexibility and adaptation to a rapidly changing technological and business environment. You can modify your sites, profiles, and ads as needed based on new features, trends, or company changes. Instead of spending exorbitant amounts of time changing traditional marketing pieces, only a few clicks may be needed to get the job done online. You can very easily be proactive or reactive to any changes in the market with social media marketing.
Most people use social media to grow their own existing businesses whether it is a product or service. A regional business may now be able to become a global entity. A flailing business might be rejuvenated with the power of an innovative social media marketing strategy. Other social media powerhouses may not have a business initially but end up creating a business or career due to their traffic and influence (plenty of YouTuber and blogger examples come to mind here in comedy, music, gaming, fitness, fashion, celebrity coverage, and more).
And the proof is in the pudding as well. Investors are betting big on social media with the enormous IPO’s and valuations for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Also keep in mind Facebook purchasing Instagram for 1 billion dollars and its 2 billion dollar rejection from Snapchat. While some of these valuations seem a bit ridiculous even to me, it does prove that Wall Street and businesses worldwide are putting their faith in social media to grow business. Time will tell if social media marketing becomes even more dominant, but it looks like it's here to stay and it's future is bright!
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