Social Media Marketing
Currently, only 65 of the top 100 UK businesses are using social media to market themselves. 2011 will see a massive growth in the use of social media, it will become more important than ever to start using Facebook, YouTube Twitter and LinkedIn for social media marketing.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Linkedin allow you to communicate with your target audience and engage them with your brand in a less formal environment. People use social media to communicate with friends, share information, recommend and research products and services.
There are many advantages of using social media as a tool for marketing. Users who become a “fan” or a “follower” can engage with your product through social networks, giving reviews, feedback, recommendations. Word of mouth marketing is an important factor in the social media revolution. People trust their friends honest opinions about products tried and tested over traditional marketing content, this is referred to as user generated content.
Facebook, The Social Media Giant
Facebook’s popularity is always increasing amongst all age groups as a way of communicating and networking with their friends. It now has over 500 million actives users, 50% of active users log in daily, 24.2 million of these users are from the UK, which is about a third of the UKs population. Since social plug-ins launched in April 2010, an average of 10,000 new websites integrate with Facebook every day. With the growing use of Facebook by brands, users are increasingly using the platform to gather information about products they wish to purchase.
Most brands on Facebook use the platform as a shop front, diverting users to their own website to complete a purchase. In the last month, online fashion retailer ASOS has launched a fully integrated shopping function on Facebook, allowing “fans” or customers to complete their purchase without leaving Facebook. A study has found that only 4 of the top 100 retailers are enabling their customers to do this. Facebook pages already attract higher volumes of traffic compared to brands websites with Coca Cola seeing 270,000 monthly visitors on its own sites whilst it had 22.5 million visits to its Facebook page.
The advantages of fully integrated shopping via Facebook are fewer clicks for customers, resulting in fewer diversions and fewer distractions. It allows the brand to engage with users by posting items such as new arrivals and offers which will appear on the fan’s newsfeeds and take them directly to the Facebook shop’s checkout. This type of ecommerce will be a major focus point for retailers in the coming year.
Importance of Twitter and Real-time Feeds
There are 175 million users on Twitter tweeting 95 million times a day. Twitter is used to send short bursts of information in “Tweets” (fewer than 140 characters per tweet). Brands use Twitter to keep their followers up to date with the latest information through both Tweets and photos, videos and other media content which are connected to Tweets. It allows a further level of engagement with users actually choosing to follow the brands and receiving the latest updates in real time. The thing that separates Twitter from Facebook even more is the fact that Google has taken up Tweets in realtime on its results pages. This allows anyone to find Tweets referring to a brand through just searching on Google.
Twitter also allows brands to search for users that have mentioned them or a particular item in twitter, giving the ability to reply to individual users adding another element to create more direct marketing towards users who are interested in their product.
Increasing Popularity of Video and YouTube
YouTube adds another dimension to social media marketing, video sharing. These are not only online versions of their television adverts but also video made especially to communicate the brand over the internet. YouTube is the second largest search engine, with 2 billion views a day, it has 50% more searches than Yahoo and 180% more than Bing.
Video has become increasingly popular amongst internet users with the rise of high speed connections and the fact that people prefer to watch content rather than read. YouTube allows brands to post all of their material on YouTube channels which allow users to access all information linked together and also another element to branding, with the look and feel of the channel being similar to the brands website.
Professional Networking Via LinkedIn
Linked in is the largest network of professionals, consisting of over 90million people with a new member joining every second of every day making 1 million new members every 12 days. It is most useful for advertising your services and products to other businesses and recruitment, as the majority of users are professionals.
Fully Integrated Marketing Campaigns
Social media is an important part of fully integrated marketing campaigns, printed marketing and television adverts can be linked to social media for more user engagement with your brand. Being at the forefront of the social media revolution will allow your brand to build its presence before your competitors. The possibilities of social media and opportunities to interact with your target market are endless; creativity in campaigns is the key to success for standing out amongst your competitors.
How HitSearch Can Help You
HitSearch offer integrated social media and reputation management solutions to improve your business’s reputation and visibility online. It allows you to build up brand equity, foster debate, generate advocacy and build reputation, enhance conversation and create buzz and influence the influencers, develop Your Brand with a bespoke social media strategy.