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What Is Social Media Management (SMM)

 

What is Social Media?
Before you can really understand the management aspects of social media, it is important to know what social media actually is. Social Media, simply put, is a way in which people may communicate and interact online. It has been around since the beginning of the web, but didn’t see an increase in engagement until the last 10 years or so. The reason it is called social media is because individual users, and groups, are able to engage with each other in a social context which can include conversations, video, commentary, and other user-generated interactions.

With advancements in technology, the ability to publish content has become increasingly easier. This has helped to skyrocket the use of social media. Even the most technically-challenged users are now able to create content on a variety of platforms including, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. Engagement amongst individuals and groups has grown exponentially because of this.

 

What is Social Media Management (SMM)?
What does all of this mean for businesses? It means that the shift in web-related consumerism and the rise in social media brings a new level of opportunity and responsibility to the forefront of business. Consumers now have an unprecedented amount of data at their disposal. Businesses can be made or broken through social media channels. Customers are able to leave reviews all over the web about their experiences with businesses. They are also able to make or receive recommendations about which business will fulfill their needs. Search behaviors have shifted, expectations have changed ― and so should businesses.

This is where Social Media Management really comes in to play. SMM is just another form of marketing. Instead of the traditional forms of marketing such as billboards, radio, and television, SMM utilizes social networking websites. SMM produces content that users will share with their social network to help a company increase brand exposure and broaden customer reach. In essence, it is a form of electronic word of mouth about a company, product, services, or anything else that may be available for consumption.

 

Why does my company need social media?
Social media is not just a fad that is destined to go away. In fact, over the last several years there has been quite the explosion of growth in numerous platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and many others. In our opinion, social media is still in its infancy stage and just getting started. The need for social media in business is going to continue getting stronger over time and the entire world is feeling the expanding effects of social media.

The fact is, your customers are online. Regardless of the size of business you are running or type of product/service you are offering, your customers are interacting online with their friends, coworkers, and unknown individuals to find the best deals available. If your company is in the dark with regard to social media and unable to answer the barrage of questions from customers scouring the web, you can certainly count on a competitor being there to take the sale. Once that happens, you can bet your ‘lost’ customer will then be sending their friends, family, and anyone else who will listen to your competitor.

So much of the customer experience lives on the web. Social media merely enables a business to brand themselves and take part in that customer’s online interaction outside of the traditional channels. This means that a business, traditionally relying on word of mouth, is now able to develop additional advocates that they would not have previously reached before the rise of social media. Sharing is, and always will be, the best marketing that a brand or business can ask for.

Social media just lets you identify potential advocates and interact with them before your competition. You are able to see what makes those advocates tick and design a strategy around those key enticements using the various social tools available. This will help any business build great relationships and transition from old-school into the 21st century. By doing this, you are able to get closer to your audience then you would previously have been able to and reach more people in a genuine and authentic manner. You will drive more traffic, get more qualified leads, and engage the people who will prove to be influential to your business.

 

Can I do SMM for myself?
Absolutely! However, keep in mind that SMM can be just as complex as SEO. Most people have the capability of understanding the very basics of social media. Even a small amount of knowledge can make a big difference. Just as with everything else, it is possible to find SMM education all over the web. With a little practice, you could have a great start on your own Social Media Marketing campaign.

All things take time and, depending on your time commitment, your willingness to learn, and the complexity of your website(s), you may decide you need a little help. There are many firms that are capable of helping you reach your goals. It may be of note that firms practicing SMM can vary. Some have a highly specialized focus, while others take a broader and more general approach. In any case, it’s good to have a firm in your corner that specializes in handling SMM. For a list of some of the firms out there, please check out our SEO Directory. This list will detail which firms handle SMM.

 

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