Does Social Media Marketing Actually Work?

This just in: social media is here to stay. Just in case you had any lingering doubts about getting involved in social media, let me put them to rest. Social media marketing is a highly effective mechanism for increasing your site’s rank in the search engines.

Many business owners may be unsure of how to begin utilizing social media or doubtful of the impact it can really have on their store’s sales rates. While social media can translate into an effective selling tool, its chief purpose is the betterment of yours site’s position in the SERP’s.

Where It Works

According to a study conducted by Marketing Sherpa, here are the seven most effective aspects of social media marketing according to a survey of professional marketers.

1. Influence brand reputation
2. Increase brand awareness
3. Improve search engine rankings
4. Increase website traffic
5. Generate leads
6. Improve internal communications
7. Increase online sales

As you can see, increasing sales falls at the bottom of the list of perceived accomplishments, but don’t write social marketing off yet – the top six points are each critical steps in a businesses’ online development. Any inexpensive effort that can significantly improve brand recognition, site rankings, and web traffic is well worth the investment of time and money.

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In regards to social media marketing efficacy, at least 87% of all those surveyed believed their social marketing efforts were from “somewhat effective” to “very effective” in increasing brand reputation, brand awareness, search engine rank, and website traffic. Those are exciting figures considering how easy it can be to implement many social marketing efforts, such as blogging, submitting articles, tweeting, setting up a Facebook fan pages and creation of tabs, posting on forums, and so on. Specifically, marketers felt user product reviews, blogger relationships, and discussion group delivered the greatest benefit.

Subtle Success

However, the survey also indicated that while marketers believed in the results of social marketing, they were uncertain of its ability to be measured or quantified. In an era of e-commerce laden with rich analytics programs, it is something of an anomaly to ponder a process that works but cannot be inspected and improved. Sure, there are some methods that are easier to measure than others – such as cpc advertising on social networks, distributing news releases, and the effects user reviews have on shopper’s choices – but generally speaking, it is difficult to measure the impact that social media has on your online success.

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Nevertheless, social media works – despite being hard to track – employing social media methods to market your ecommerce business is an easy way to connect with a global consumer base in a fast and somewhat personal manner.

Like compounding interested in a retirement account, the beauty of social media is that your work can yield a much greater response. This phenomenon is not unlike “word of mouth” marketing, which is, of course, not marketing at all (except, perhaps, for some social networking), and is the wonderful reality where customers are told about your business by a friend whose brother’s uncle’s cousin was satisfied client. A fan following your business postings on Facebook may “share” your link with a virtual “friend”, who may just decide to follow you as well, and, after choosing to “like” your page, may then see your posting about a drastic discount on refurbished laptops – and, as things go, it just may happen that friend has been hunting online for the last few weeks for a standout laptop deal and walla…the magical yet incalculable marvel of modern social media marketing.social