The Benefits of Social Media Marketing

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Engaging in social media marketing is a necessity nowadays among online marketers and entrepreneurs. It is one of the ways to keep your business ahead of the competition. But before anything else, what exactly is social media marketing? In simple terms, it is but the process of utilizing social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. to promote a product, service, or cause. Social media encompasses a broad spectrum of sites. These include social networking, social bookmarking, and use-generated content sites. These sites receive millions of hits a day. This makes them great platforms for marketing purposes. In fact, so many online businesses rely solely from social media traffic for clients. This speaks a lot about the power and influence that social media marketing holds.

The Benefits of Utilizing Social Media

1. Most social media sites are free to use. The top social sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, MySpace) won't cost you a thing if you decide to make use of them. All you need is an email address to sign up. Once you are in, you can utilize all of the social site's tools and resources to market your business. However, some social sites aren't entirely free. But these charges are purely optional. For instance, Facebook sells ad spaces on the site. It's your choice if you buy into these ads or not.

2. Targeted traffic. This is what's great about social media marketing. It is easy to find your target market within social sites. Social users usually group themselves in communities so it's much easier to find them. For example, Facebook has a lot of site features that allow people to form communities. These include Facebook Groups, Facebook Pages, and certain Facebook Apps. These features can be used to build a community around your own website or business.

3. Brand-building. There is a reason why even the world's largest corporations are in Facebook, Twitter and other popular social media sites. It's simple – social sites are very effective tools for building a brand. This is why social media firms and consultants are in demand these days. Social media marketing has become an industry on its own. Everybody wants a piece of the social media pie.

4. Viral marketing. Social media sites are the best platforms online to conduct viral marketing. Because of their sharing features, it's easier and faster for something to go viral on social sites. Furthermore, there are social buttons and widgets that you can embed into external websites to allow visitors to share your content. In essence, this is free distribution and syndication. Your visitors will be promoting your website for free.

5. Relationship-building. With social media, you can build better relationships with your customers. Communications via social sites have personal touches in them enabling better business-customer relationships.

Needless to say, having a social media marketing strategy for your website or business can have a huge and positive impact on your business. It will be much easier for you to grow an online business if you have social media presence.

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