Social media marketing refers to the effective utilization of various social media networks and sites to advertise a product or service. While the terms digital media and e-marketing are more dominant in academic circles, social media marketing has become more popular not only for researchers and practitioners but for small business owners and individuals as well. Businesses that are looking to promote their company’s brand, products or services can use social media to expand their target market. Social media can also be used by businesses to measure the effectiveness of their promotional campaigns and track the response rate of their target audience. The following tips will help you get started with your own social media marketing campaign:

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Understanding your target audience. The best social media marketing strategy is to understand your audience, to know what kind of people your business is aiming to attract, and how you can reach out to them. An easy way to do this is to conduct focus groups that allow you to get clear ideas about what your potential customers want. For instance, if you are into the fashion industry, a good social media strategy would be to set up a booth at an upcoming fashion event or to have your representatives visit clothing stores in your area to answer questions about the latest trends.

Know your audience. One thing that you must have at the back of your mind is who your target audience is. Your audience may be a group of teenage girls who want to look cool, but it could also be professional women who are into running their own businesses. Before engaging in any social media marketing strategy, it is important that you identify your audience so that you can avoid doing things that will alienate them. Your audience strategy should also include the monitoring of comments, shares and reposts to gauge the success of your strategy.

Engage your target audience. If you want to engage your audience, make sure that you connect with them on a personal level. Use social media marketing strategies to give away freebies or prizes so that people will be more inclined to visit your website and take part in your marketing campaign. You can also hold contests and ask members of your audience to leave testimonials about the benefits of using your product or service. With the power of social networks, you can easily get feedback about your product.

Brand your brand. One of the best social media marketing examples involves creating a unique avatar that represents your brand or business. This avatar should be an extension of your company logo so that your audience will know instantly who you are and what you stand for. Make sure that your brand incorporates elements of your website and graphics so that users will be able to relate to it.

Connect with your audience followers. You can engage your audience followers on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest. These platforms enable you to interact with your target audience followers. You can use Twitter to let your audience followers know when you have new posts and update them on your latest activities. You can also use Facebook and Google+ to let your audience followers know about any new developments in your venture.