Six Reasons Business Should Pay Attention to Social Marketing

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Social networks and online communities are full of valuable insights and information that can help brands learn about their customers. Companies can also leverage social applications, such as polls, Q&A discussions, reviews, forums and comments within their online communities to gather additional information and spot trends. For example, when they know what their customers care about and what to ask them about, businesses can create surveys or polls and use the resulting feedback to shape new product ideas or enhancements. 

Social marketing is a hot term right now, defined by Forrester as “the use of social tactics, media, tools and technologies across all components of the marketing mix: product, price, promotion, and placement.” Social marketing includes a wide variety of activities happening in social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as in online communities. Online communities are hubs where people with shared interests can communicate, get support and build relationships; they can be a company’s entire website or a specific section of the site.

Online communities take social networking beyond Twitter and Facebook and into an owned property that allows companies to connect with customers on a more individual level. In an online community, a company can control the customer experience in a whole new way. It can connect its customers to its employees and other customers, as well as provide them with content and support. And through the use of common social media applications such as wikis, forums, media galleries and more, businesses can create communities that help customers share and access information easily.

The culmination of all of these activities helps a company foster stronger customer relationships, augment awareness of the brand, build brand loyalty and increase sales efforts. Megan Yunker, vice president of marketing at Telligent, a provider of enterprise social software, identifies six use cases of social marketing that companies can apply to their social networks and online communities.


Related Topics : SharePoint, Web Video and Voice Conferencing, UK, MySpace, Intranets

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