Social media marketing is a recent addition to organizations’ integrated marketing communications plans. Integrated marketing communications is a principle organizations follow to connect with their targeted markets. Integrated marketing communications coordinates the elements of the promotional mix;advertising, personal selling, public relations, publicity, direct marketing, and sales promotion.
In the traditional marketing communications model, the content, frequency, timing, and medium of communications by the organization is in collaboration with an external agent, i.e. advertising agencies, marketing research firms, and public relations firms. However, the growth of social media has impacted the way organizations communicate. With the emergence of Web 2.0, the internet provides a set of tools that allow people to build social and business connections, share information and collaborate on projects online.
Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it is coming from a trusted source, as opposed to the brand or company itself.
Many of us are so excited about the technology and web (hence my somewhat trite opening), that we forget key pieces to success: definition of business goals, objectives and overall process for execution. The old “fail to plan, plan to fail” comes to mind. While you need to create the roadmap for your online business – you must certainly decide on what goals and resulting metrics you want to attain.
Social media marketing can help you increase the activity around these top goals:
- Website traffic and user behavior
- Conversion and sales tracking
- Page views, ad exposure
- Growing brand awareness
- Creating a positive brand association and keeping it there
- Business development and a broader customer reach
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