Social media websites are an emerging tool in the digital marketer’s arsenal. They can be utilized to build brand loyalty on networking sites which already command a large following of highly-engaged, digitally active consumers. One of the top social networking sites, Facebook, actually receives more traffic on some days than even Google does. However, it is important for a brand’s image in the digital space to create and maintain a reciprocal social media experience if they want to see results from this technique.
Your socially-based marketing strategy needs to provide a benefit to users to keep them engaged. This shouldn’t mean you need to offer tangible items, such as coupons or other complimentary items; instead, the perceived ‘benefit’ for your followers and fans can simply be the chance to “interact” with your brand. Aloowing for a two-way communication between a brand and its followers can often be the most successful form of marketing within social media.
Engaged social media followers can be difficult for a brand to attract and maintain. Advertisers need to be aware that they cannot simply update their status messages with marketing materials in order to successfully capture their audience; instead, they need to provide an experience outside of the traditional direct response formula.
Offering the target audience an experience unique to your social media strategy is key to overall success. For example, your Twitter account should reply to users’ comments and questions, post links to stories, videos, or websites outside of what would be considered direct response marketing, and re-tweet (or, forward along) posts that you think would be interesting to other followers of yours.
Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter offer unique opportunities for advertisers as well. Both sites provide for a brand to create or sponsor applications, games, and other forms of interaction. These engagement techniques are great examples of social network-based tools that a brand can utilize to market themselves in a less direct, yet highly visible manner