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Social Media Defined
Before we go any further, let’s take a moment to define social media. Social media is the use of Internet technology, mainly websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, along with blogging, forums, and other third party publishers of information, which allows for individuals to communicate via conversation – talking, chatting, posting, commenting, and/or tweeting about a product, service, news story, advertisement, etc., in real time and with little to no restriction.
Thus, business owners must engage, participate in, and attempt to influence this technology in order to keep an eye on what is being said about their products/services, to intercept negative or unwanted conversations, and to conduct overall brand reputation management.
It’s no secret that the world is becoming increasingly digital, networked, and interlaced thanks to social networking websites. Nowadays, everyone has both a voice and a stage, and in most cases an audience to boot. Today, more than ever, individual opinion is paramount.
The days of television advertisements and radio announcements merely pushing products via there per-packaged marketing message are just about gone. Consumers no longer have limited paths through which to react to advertisements; the paths are plentiful and often so are the tools necessary to voice an opinion.
As a result, marketers are attempting to repackage their advertising messages to fit the growing demands of ever-changing communication technology. This is the case all throughout the world, not just in the U.S., digital social media has had, and continues to have, an impact the world over, and a growing number of companies are responding.
The majority of companies that have yet to embrace social media marketing are typically the ones who don’t understand it, don’t feel as though they need it, or, believe it or not, feel that it is beneath them. For others, embracing social media is simply a question of return on investment (ROI).
How do you measure the effectiveness of social media as a marketing tool?
In 2009, Mzinga and Babson Executive Education conducted a survey that found that 86 percent of marketing professionals in a variety of fields were using social media in their marketing and communication efforts. However, in a follow-up survey, the same group discovered that 84 percent of respondents admitted to not currently measuring the ROI of their social media programs. Additionally, over 40 percent of respondents stated they didn’t even know that they could track ROI from their social media marketing efforts.
This can be somewhat worrisome, when considering that business owners and industry professionals are adopting technology without actually understanding how to measure success or taking into account how it will impact their business.Free Internet Marketing Analysis