Social media marketing is different from traditional forms of marketing in two ways. First in traditional forms of marketing, e.g., in TV and radio marketing, people do not have a choice but to sit through your advertisement. But in social media marketing, people choose whether they want to engage with you. Say, if you have a facebook profile, they decide whether to ‘like’ your page or not. They decide whether to subscribe to your updates or not. Second, traditional marketing is a passive form of marketing. There is no input from your customer’s end. Social media marketing, on the other end, is a rather active form of marketing. The customer interacts and engages with you constantly. There is a scope for two way communication on social media sites.
Not too many companies acknowledge this difference between traditional marketing and social media marketing. They treat their social media profiles as an online version of a print or TV advertisement. They use their social media presence to advertise their products and services. That is a severely limited use of social media. You should aspire for deeper interaction with your customers on social media.
Some companies, which get the above point, yet engage in rather superficial kind of interaction on social media. They focus on getting lots of ‘likes’ on facebook. Some have even gone as far as artificially manipulating the number of ‘likes’ on facebook. But this is not a good idea for two reasons: first, it is wrong. Second, even if you get lots of ‘likes’ that is still not engaging with your customers at a deep level.
In order to interact with your customers in a more robust manner, write about some topic in which your customers will be interested and to which they will be able to contribute fruitfully. Then, invite people to comment on your posts. Get into a discussion with your customers. This would be helpful in two ways: it will help you form long-lasting business relationships with your customer base. Second, the interaction is valuable in itself as you will learn what people think about particular aspects of business. You can use this information to plan your future business strategy.
Social media marketing is a unique and powerful marketing medium with unique benefits. Understand its real nature and true potential to make full use of it.
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