When social media first emerged, it was used primarily for communication among friends, family and acquaintances. However, over time, businesses began using social media platforms to connect with consumers. Today, many businesses also use social media for marketing purposes. Below are some of the most common strategies used in social media marketing.
Pinterest is one of the newest social media platforms on the internet, but it has already been a target of marketing efforts. To attract consumers on Pinterest, brands frequently pin pictures of their best products to their virtual bulletin boards. They may also pin information about deals or promotions on certain products. Additionally, some of the more innovative marketers have promoted their businesses by sponsoring user contests and sweepstakes. For example, British Midland International (BMI) recently launched a week-long competition in which it asked users to repin at least six of its pictures in order to receive entry into a sweepstakes. At the end of the week, BMI chose an image at random. All users who had repinned that particular image had a chance to win free round trip tickets to a BMI destination.
Advertisements on Facebook
Businesses can market their products and services on Facebook by purchasing ads. For example, if a business purchases Facebook “like” ads, fans of the business can “like” the business’s fan page from any location where the ad appears. Even if users don’t always click the “like” ads, the ads still provide significant brand exposure for the business.
Businesses can also advertise on Facebook by creating Sponsored Stories, which are stories that appear on a user’s newsfeed in a prominent location. Recent studies have shown that Sponsored Stories units are more effective than standard ad units. In fact, Sponsored Stories garner a 46 percent higher click-through rate than standard advertisements.
Promotional Tweets on Twitter
Some businesses are also incorporating Twitter into their marketing efforts. In April 2010, Twitter announced that it would begin allowing businesses to purchase promotional tweets. These tweets appear higher in relevant search results, and they also appear on users’ newsfeeds. Sponsored tweets are clearly labeled as such in the search results, and they also have a different background color than regular tweets.
Not every tweet can qualify to become a sponsored tweet. Twitter will only allow tweets that receive a certain amount of attention from users to appear high in the search results. If a promotional tweet stops resonating with users, Twitter will replace it with a different sponsored tweet.
To complement advertising efforts on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, businesses may also market their products and services on other social media platforms, such as MySpace and LinkedIn. Social media platforms in general are a useful tool for any business that wants to reach a large base of consumers for minimal marketing costs. In addition, because social media platforms allow two-way communication between a business and consumers, businesses can also use these platforms to forge lasting relationships with potential and previous customers. As more consumers become active on social media platforms, it is likely that more businesses will turn to social media platforms for marketing.