There’s really no denying the formidable impact the Internet has made in the world of the consumer. Not surprisingly, as the Internet evolves so do the way buyers shop. Social media sites have become a key component of this evolutionary process. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram are just a few sites that host millions upon millions of users every day. In terms of how quickly these sites have caught on, in 2012, Facebook alone saw a 28 percent increase in their daily active user base from 2011.
Businesses wanting to make the most of their advertising dollars have a virtual goldmine of opportunity awaiting them in the social media realm. The trick to making the most of this marketing metropolis has to do with know which tools or sites will deliver the best return on investment. This is where a social media consultant can come in handy. No doubt, a significant time investment is required to market a business across this expanse of social media sites. A social media consultant specializes in the ins and outs of the online world while keeping the best interests of your business in mind.
Nowadays, the average consumer responds to cold calls and direct mailings in much the same way someone would respond to using a rotary phone or a typewriter. Traditional advertising methods are quickly becoming outdated in the eyes of a consumer who has little to no patience for aggressive sales tactics.
Since marketing and advertising campaigns rely heavily on existing communication mediums, as these mediums evolve so must the methods used to get the message out. Social media sites have become firmly established communication channels within today’s lifestyles. This makes social media consultants the “now” step (as opposed to the “next” step) to carrying out an effective marketing campaign.
Data from a survey done by MarketingProfs show companies with 1,000 Facebook likes gained a 185 percent increase in Web traffic. Likewise, companies that generated anywhere from 51 to 100 Twitter followers received 106 percent more Web traffic than companies with 25 or less followers. With a social media consultant at the helm, a company can expect to receive non-stop exposure on a wide range of social media sites. When compared to traditional marketing, social media marketing has the very best chance of expanding a business’ customer base.
Cultivating a growing customer base is one thing; cultivating a loyal customer base is another. Most business owners well know it’s easier to sell a new product line to loyal customers than it is to new customers. Social media sites deliver on both counts: through word-of-mouth and through the relationship-building potential these sites offer. Social media consultants use these benefits to the fullest advantage.
When it comes to relationship-building, people spend more time interacting on social media sites than they do through email, on the phone and in face-to-face interactions. Social media consultants, in effect, turn your business and its brand into a social butterfly within the online world. When compared to other forms of advertising, none can deliver like social networking when it’s done right.
A social media consultant uses social media sites to build recognition for your business brand through ongoing interactions with site users. In the process, users enter into a relationship with your online presence. From there, trust can be established. Users who trust a company’s brand message are that much more likely to buy from that business. Not only that, these same users will refer your company within their social circles.
Targeted Traffic/ ROI
Social media marketing requires a devoted time-investment regardless of who’s doing it. A business can designate a department or point person to handle these tasks, but this can get expensive in terms of yet another employee to pay or “mouth-to-feed,” so-to-speak. By outsourcing social media campaigns, businesses employ specialists well-versed in the social media scene; specialists who can offer a higher return-on-investment at less cost than an in-house department.
As each social media site offers different tools and features for their users, social media strategists can present a business in ways that best optimize its brand exposure while targeting ready customers. Ultimately, the key to an every growing customer base lies in the ongoing interactions had with site visitors. Social media consultants maintain these interactions by offering up brand-related content throughout the day, every day. In this way, your company’s brand remains fresh in the minds of site users and becomes a part of their everyday routine.
Social interaction lies at the heart of any thriving social media site. Consequently, much of the shift from traditional marketing to social media marketing has to do with socializing as opposed to selling. Crafting brand-specific content into opportunities to interact with customers (and potential customers) is what a social media consultant does. These strategists post on behalf of businesses to social media accounts and monitor ongoing interactions from site users throughout the day.
Considering the number of active social media sites online, developing content suited to each site’s style takes a certain degree of know-how, not to mention time. Likewise, monitoring and responding to user responses and questions also takes time and finesse. Social media consultants also take advantage of the integrative nature of the Internet itself by connecting site profiles and newsfeeds to one another and ensuring all profiles and newsfeeds point back to your company’s website.
Another aspect of the online world has to do with trends or trending topics and the way they influence conversations on social media sites. Not only do trends influence conversations, but they also drive traffic. Social media consultants take this into consideration when developing content for company brands. Consultants capitalize on these trends by using carefully placed keywords throughout a day’s worth of postings to a company’s media account. Under these conditions, a business’ website can draw massive amounts of traffic from a deftly executed social media approach.
Social Media Strategy
As with any marketing campaign, social media marketing uses a pre-planned strategy that’s designed to accomplish certain goals and objectives. An effective strategy requires an in-depth knowledge of how to use the tools at hand. In effect, the differences between the various social media sites offer a myriad of tools for marketers to consider.
For example, a restaurant can use Twitter’s running commentary to post impromptu specials while Facebook’s conversational flow can be used to announce upcoming specials or special events. While these are but two examples of the tools available through social media sites, consultants work this formula into multiple social media sites as part of an overall marketing strategy.
Social media consultants work closely with your business to develop the types of brand-specific messages and content that attracts your target audience. Consultants help draw out a business’ individual voice and niche by becoming familiar with a business’ market sector, its strengths and its mission. By doing so, consultants can craft brand-specific content that makes your company stand out from the crowd.
Just like attorneys who speak on behalf of their clients in the courtroom, social media consultants become the marketing voice of your business. Considering the potential for exposure and customer relationship opportunities, hiring a specialist in the social media field can generate considerable returns on a company’s marketing dollars.