When radio stations first went on the air, people were introduced to a new media for their entertainment, such as movies, magazines, television and the Internet. It did not take long for companies to realize the potential of what is now called “traditional media marketing” to generate brand exposure. For at least half of the past decade, people have been using social networking sites and reading blogs for entertainment. Recently, companies started realizing the unique potential of advertising in social media. In fact, not too long ago, “social media marketing” became a coined phrase according to Google Trends. In 2009, the phrase’s popularity has already grown 4 times faster than it did all of last year.
There is something different about social media marketing though; communicating through social media is extremely cost-efficient and the process involves far fewer steps than other forms of advertising. Both a commercial on television and a blog written by your company have the potential to reach audiences globally at the same time. At the speed that social media marketing is becoming a social norm for companies, in the near future, it will be common for most companies to be involved in some sort of social media. Today, if a company is operating without an e-mail address or a Web site, they seem out of touch. Soon we can expect the same for companies who choose not to participate in social media. There are many pros and cons to social media. The following is a list of pros and cons to help your company determine if social media is right for you. The pros
- Social media marketing helps improve the relevancy and organic search engine results of your company’s brand.
- Your company can reach target audiences that traditional marketing cannot.
- Social media marketing has become one of the simplest ways to humanize your company, while at the same time generating brand loyalty.
- Creates client interaction, making it easier to tailor your products and services to your customers by listening to their needs and concerns.
- Offers another way to learn more about your target audience and gain new target audience prospects.
- Social media marketing is extremely cost-efficient (even when outsourced to a marketing agency) when compared to traditional media marketing.
- Adds transparency to your company, offering consumers an open perspective of your business.
- Social Media Marketing demands commitment; once you have an audience, it is up to you to cultivate them and keep them interested.
- With the aspect of transparency, anything you publish is open to the public.
- Without the ability to repress reader’s comments you are open for potential scrutiny.
- ROI is delayed most of the time. Social media is viral, but it still takes time. This is something that should be thought of as a long term marketing effort when deciding if your company should engage in social media.
With all of that being said, simply publishing a Facebook Fan Page and posting a few random tweets about your company isn’t going to get your company the viral exposure for which you’d hope. Before beginning your social media marketing campaign, you need to formulate a plan, choose your target audience, decide what each social network will address and set your goals. One of your goals should be to spread knowledge about your company and your industry, the kind of knowledge that your followers will feel inclined to spread to their friends. For examples of social media efforts you can view Agency Creative’s social media links below: