Social media marketing is simply a form of advertising that makes use of existing networks in the online community. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter are just a few of the networks that can be used for this purpose.
Let’s look at Facebook as an example.
Launched in 2004, the website currently has over 300 million active users. That’s not a typo, that’s 300 million and the website is absolutely free to use.
As a contrast, look at how many people watched Super Bowl XLI. That figure is estimated to be only about 93 million, still a lot of people. Of course, most people don’t pay to watch the game, but if you wanted 30 seconds of ad time during the game, you would pay over $2 million USD.
Now, if you want to place an ad on the Facebook, you would have to pay, but the cost of advertising is very reasonable. Fees are based on when, where and how long you want the ad to run for. But, the real beauty of social media marketing is that you don’t have to pay anything.
You can build a Facebook page for your company and invite people to become your “fans”. Pro sports teams have their own pages, as do individual players. Many chain restaurants have pages. Walgreen’s has a page. So, if you are trying to promote your company, the first step is to sign up and create a Facebook page.
Let’s say that you are trying to start a company or perhaps, you are an affiliate marketer, who promotes other company’s products. You could use the “Book” and similar networks to tell your friends about your company or the items that you are promoting.
Your friends like the products and start telling their friends about them. It is possible to reach millions of people in this manner, directly, in a short period of time. If that happens, then we say that your social media marketing campaign has gone “viral”.
It’s something like old-fashioned word-of-mouth advertising. But, instead of spreading the word through a traditional community, you are spreading it through an online community.
Creating a successful campaign can be tricky. The products really need to be unique, if you expect to create a viral campaign.
But, even if the campaign enjoys only moderate success, there is no doubt that social media marketing is worthwhile. Think of it as an inexpensive form of advertising and get started, today.