What Optimizes and What Diminishes
Social plug-ins or social media buttons are already a familiar site to the traditional clean, simple interface of blogs and websites. Twitter hashtags litter search engine result pages when one keys in search phrases in Google. Facebook has become a hub of information and news links instead of the platform to chat and reconnect with old friends that it was before. When Google started counting social signals to influence SERPs, online marketing took a significant bound of change.
But what does social media marketing mean today?
Gone are the days when marketing a brand’s social media meant paying to get guaranteed Facebook fans. Prospective YouTube users should also forget about buying YouTube views to monetize their videos. The volume of followers and number of views no longer mean as much as the ways in which these were earned.
Here’s a quick review of what social media marketing means today:
- Videos are the New Preferred Content
The fast climb to popularity of websites or apps such as Vines and Snapchat prove that videos are the hottest commodity in social media today.
In the past year, Facebook overtook YouTube for the highest number of videos played on desktops. This is a huge blow since videos are the bloodline of YouTube and were not originally a facet of Facebook.
However, this vital information only goes to show that more and more users are opting to view content when it is on video format. It also indicated that brands which can deliver their video content as conveniently as possible, such as through the Facebook newsfeed of consumers, win in social media marketing.
External links tend to take more time and effort in the part of users. They would much prefer if a video can play on a platform where they can simultaneously chat with friends.
Another study also revealed that video posting preference shifted from YouTube to Facebook and that videos posted on Facebook obtained more shares compared to YouTube videos. This is not unexpected because sharing and social engagement is the heart of Facebook.
What can a business owner or internet marketer do to jump on this opportunity?
- Create regular video episodes about the business.
- Provide the type of content the audience is looking for. Ask the social media followers to post questions and answer through a video blog by reading off their questions and answering afterwards.
- Get the social media followers to join. Vines and Snapchats are evidence that smartphone users do not shy away from creating videos of their own. Why not ask them to post their content on an allotted area or through a designated hashtag to stir up brand popularity among the social networks?
- Google+ Opens the Door to Local Searches
Gone are the days when search engine result pages only generate blue links that lead visitors to a website. Now, the SERPs also included social check-ins, real user reviews, and maps. Much of this information are provided by Google+.
This change in SERPs also paved the way for expansive local searches. Many entrepreneurs are already starting to see the business implications that Google+ afforded to their brand.
When users review or rate a brand, stars appear next to their brand name. Although this is not an official page ranking booster, Google tends to display companies with stars on SERPs. The same brands also have the power to attract visitors and turn them into customers as compared to brands which are not reviewed or rated.
- Social Media Followers Demand Real Interaction
Social media opened the gates so that regular folks can directly communicate with their favorite celebrities. It also meant that consumers can now directly speak to a brand.
Because of social platforms, internet users have grown impatient towards brands or companies that speak to them in general. People gravitate towards brands which recognize them as individual clients rather than as a faceless, nameless crowd of consumers.
This is why some brands have segments on their social pages where people can ask questions or air out their concerns. The ones which provide direct answers tend to gain or save brand-customer relationship while those which give canned and general answers receive backlash.
- Reputation Management and Damage Control are a Must
One of the negative implications of social networking is that trolls or bogus users intent on demeaning a brand also abound.
Watch out for these users that litter social media pages and leave false accusations to discredit a company. Although these users which hide behind made-up accounts may just be spewing lies, such negative comments are an eye-sore that must be weeded out of the page.
There are also frustrated customers who resort to social media to vent out their concerns. For legitimate issues, it is wiser for brands to start a personal interaction with the consumers and resolve their concerns privately.
Because internet users have grown accustomed to faster and more convenient ways to communicate, bringing one’s business on their level of preference and comfort is the social media marketing tactic to follow.