The main advantage of social media marketing is cost-related. The majority of social media sites are free to access, create a profile and post information. The advantage of reaching your targeted market for little or no cash investment is substantial, and the audience wanting your information voluntarily joins or follows you. Pay-per-click advertisements on sites such as Facebook are “geo-targeted” according to specific criteria, to reach the correct audience. The viral nature of social media means that each person who reads your posts has the capability to spread the news farther within his own network, so information can reach a large number of people in a short time.
Social media marketing offers a number of benefits you would be hard pressed to find in other forms of marketing, including:
Ability to create brand awareness. As more people see your business name and the link to your site, your logo, and other details found in social media profiles, you establish more brand awareness among your potential client base.
Trust is established through natural connections and relationships that develop in online communities.
Your main website will gain traffic from niche conversations had through social networking websites, discussions, groups, and through blog comments.
Search engine optimization is increased through the increasing number of high quality links to your site and/or blog as other community members link to you and as you link to yourself from various social media sites.
Increased visibility in search engines will boost the number of visitors who find your website when searching keywords related to your industry.
Having a following on various social sites will decrease your dependence on search engines in general, since you’ll have a number of other websites helping to drive traffic to your site or blog.
Your participation in social media discussions and groups helps you see what is going on within your niche and find out what people want to see in the products and services you offer simply by listening to what people say to one another.
When you are actively involved in social media, you have the opportunity to manage your reputation. You can respond to complaints in a timely manner, encourage people to talk about their good experiences with your company, and keep an eye on what is being said about you in general by your client base.
You can discover more about the needs, desires and trends that encourage your market niche to spend money, and use that information to fuel your marketing efforts.