The Fundamentals of Social Marketing Tools.
Tuesday, 15th June 2010
With the sudden rise of social media tools and services, it can get confusing trying to decipher who is who, and what does what, but what it all comes down to is relationships.

An everyday social media user may not recognize the power of what they are doing. Businesses may also not recognize how they can gain power using social networking as a tool for marketing. Companies around the world are just now learning how to leverage social media for their business.

If you're one of the many businesses looking to integrate social marketing into your business strategy, here's a list of some basic fundamentals you should know first.

It's Not Your Final Answer

Marketers, advertisers, and public relations professionals all agree that social marketing is a great tool for marketing, but that's it—a tool. Social marketing is not the final solution for marketing and advertising, it's simply another channel used to help get the message across. The reason it's raved about so much is it's cost—usually free or cost efficient. It's an easy way to set up a marketing campaign with little to no cost at all. Traditional ways of marketing should still be used. They were successful before and will continue to be, but integrating social marketing is a great way to expand your reach, your audience, and find potential customers while maintaining your bottom line.

Know Your Terminology

In order for people to take your business seriously, you need to know what you're talking about in terms people can understand. Each social network has unique terminology; Twitter messages are Tweets, Facebook uses terms friends and fans, LinkedIn has connections, and YouTube has subscribers. There are numerous others, but these are just some popular examples. With the majority of users under the age of 30 for most of these sites, learning to speak a common lingo is an important step in making a connection and building a relationship.

Crucial Conversations

Social media experts agree that the number one benefit of social networking and marketing is the level of interaction and service you can give to your audience. Conversations are no longer one-way. With social marketing applications, you can send your messages and have feedback instantly. More importantly, feedback received is typically more genuine and honest because customers feel more comfortable conversing with sales representatives on applications they enjoy using.

Using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or any other Web site, marketers easily engage customers and encourage thoughtful exchanges of ideas. You can track everything in real-time, and you get more information about where people are from and what other interests they have online. Expanding your customer base is a seamless process with advanced social networking applications.

Spam Isn't Just in the Can Anymore

We're all familiar with the term, spam, referring to unwanted and unsolicited e-mails. However, the term is also used in reference to messages from companies that are overusing social marketing tools. In addition to getting your message across, you need to constantly engage with those who interact with your business online, whether it's through a personal response on Twitter or a comment on a blog.

Yet, there is a fine line that must not be crossed on the Internet; doing too much or too little can drive people away. Just like people dislike people who talk only about themselves, the same is true when socializing with customers on Web sites. It is important to get your points across without overwhelming your customers.

To make your business' brand noticeable on the Internet, it takes effort, time, and a well-developed strategy to get the rewards and benefits you want.

Just getting your toes warm is not enough of an effort to bring success to your business. Do your research and have a strategy for social marketing. It may seem daunting, but over time, it can bring lasting results.

AllThingsCRM.com is intended to be a comprehensive resource for business professionals who want to learn more about the benefits that customer relationship management (CRM) can provide to a company. It's our mission to provide the most reliable, up-to-date information about all aspects of the customer relationship management process, including the options available for hosting platforms, automation, software, custom application development, and infrastructures.

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