How to make best use of Social Media for Online Marketing?

Successful social media marketing is not built on impressions.
It is built on relationships.
– Kim Garst

You might be having a swankiest website. Your website might be driving a huge traffic. Your website’s conversation rates might be pretty impressive. But, have you ever considered having an active social media page like Google+, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr for your brand? If not, probably you haven’t realized how they can become the best online marketing tools. They not only talk about your brand, about you as a founder, or about your products and services, like what your website does. They help you move a step forward, to improve your customer relationship, thus becoming a value added to your existing online marketing strategies. I would now like to explain about the aforesaid social media networks, to help you understand the best use of them. I will also be giving a few practical examples.

Google+_logo_2015Google+ may not be as popular as Facebook and Twitter. Yet, having a brand page on Google+ is highly recommended just because Google owns it. Why only because Google owns it? Any online business can reach out to customers only through Search engines and the Search Giant of the World owns Google+. And, having a Google+ page can easily get your page on Google Search result page.

Other benefits of owning a Google+ page include:
• Your Google+ page helps customers to find you on Google Maps.
• Google+ also makes sure that your customers are getting the right information about your business.
• Under the ‘About Us’ section of Google+ page, you can talk about your business, your story, and your brand to potential customers.
• With Google hangouts, you can connect with your followers and get to know them better. This is one aspect through which you can improve your customer relationship, by directly interacting with them and knowing them personally.

Although you might find Google+ page pretty simple, combining it with Google Apps can boost your business on Google+
• You can turn simple posts in to Web Banner Ads.
• Becomes potent enough to get 50% more engagement than normal advertising.
• Google Ads account for 64.4% more clicks.
The best Google+ page I ever came across is ‘Annabel karmel’ Google+ page. She is one lady, who turned out to become a ‘Mompreneur’ from a Mom. As a mother, she had tried several nutritious recipes with her infant, using simple ingredients like fruits, vegetables and cereals. Seeing her infant loving the food prepared by her, she then came up with an idea of sharing those recipes with other moms.

In her Google+ page, you can find varied recipes with simple ingredients that are available in every home’s kitchen. New and inexperienced moms can seek answers for queries about her recipes, directly from her, on her Google+ page. There, I found moms, who have tried her recipes, fed their infants, and have shared their experience on the same as well.

Eventually, from being just a ‘Mom’, she moved on to become a ‘Mompreneur’, starting a business of infant food. She named her brand with her own name ‘Annabel karmel’, with a range of baby food products that can be seen in most of the popular retail stores in UK, including Sainsbury and Tesco today.

facebook_2015_logo_detailFacebook being the Social media Giant, there is a high probability that you can find most of your customer base on Facebook alone.
Your customers will be able to easily find you through the search option provided by Facebook. You can regularly post on Facebook, about a new product release, or a link to an informative article published in your website’s blog. They can like your page, read your posts, post comments on the same, and also share the same with their friends on Facebook. With Facebook’s messenger, you can have one-on-one conversations with your customers.

With a Facebook page you can reach out to a large number of customers at once, and more frequently with various posts that interest your customers and answer their queries about your brand, products or services.
The best Facebook page for a brand that comes to my mind is the ‘Kumon’ Facebook page. Kumon, created by Toru Kumon, is a private tutoring organization. The Kumon Method is the mathematics and reading educational method which is practised in franchised Kumon centres.

While I was in the UK, in 2011, I had enrolled my daughter in the Kumon Reading Program. I was sceptical about their Math program because, I was not sure if it would really help her in academics, or it would clash with the methods that were being followed in her school. While I was in a dual mind, as a usual tendency, I did a Google search to find out about their Math program. I found their FB page and I followed them there. I typed in my query, and within 24 hours I got a reply from them, saying how it can help her in academics and that it will definitely not clash with her school curriculum. They convinced me with their answer and I enrolled my daughter in their Math program also. While as a customer I found them good, I also realized about their online marketing tactic through their Facebook page, and how they directly interact with customers and build a relationship with them.

imagesThrough Instagram, you can either take pictures using their App, or use photos that already exist in your mobile gallery. You can give your photo a catchy title. Photos can be instantly shared, not only on Instagram, but also on other social media networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Instagram, like any other social networks, is based around having friends and followers. On Instagram you can follow people or a brand.

Having an Instagram page for your brand and posting photos of your products on the page can become an effective online marketing strategy, provided you do it right. And, what is right is the way your customers would love to see your product on Instagram. And the best example, for a brand that is doing it right is one of my favourites.

I’ am a great fan of Starbucks coffee. I just love the brand and I can’t stop myself finding them on various social media pages and following them. When I was checking through their Instagram page, I found a unique marketing strategy they have used to especially shine among their customers in the Instagram world.

Starbucks has received a great attention from its customers, by successfully building a great relationship with them. And, that is, through their Instagram marketing. What is unique about it is, they only feature seasonal products at appropriate times on their Instagram page. They only share user generated content and their images mostly depict people and their lifestyle, and not their products.

For example, instead of taking a picture of their latte or their strawberry slush and posting it, they show two people’s hands cheering one another, holding the latte and strawberry slush. Such images, create a long lasting impression among customers, towards their products, even if they are a simple coffee or a fruit drink.

Twitter_2010_logo_-_from_Commons.svgTwitter is the second largest and widely used social media tool for online marketing, next to Facebook. It’s a fast paced feed and real time conversations make it one of the top 4 favourite social networking site among both individuals and businesses. With over 1 billion registered users, and 320 million daily active users, today, most businesses have realized having a Twitter page for their brand highly worthwhile.
Twitter can become a very effective social media tool for your online marketing, provided you make complete use of all its available features.

• At the first place, make sure that your bio on the Twitter portrays your company’s identity and voice of the brand well, in a consistent tone that people can understand. You should also include your company website or a landing page in your bio.
• Secondly, you have to find out influencers and experts in your industry and interact with them on a regular basis. For this, you can use a tool like ‘Topsy’ to find the like-minded prospects, customers and influencers/media through keywords relating to your industry.
• Thirdly, you have to get your colleagues involved. Associating number of people with one brand can make the brand more reliable among customers.
• Finally, do regular tweeting. Tweeting once in a week or two might end up showing that you are not keen on being active on Twitter. Sandra Fathi, Founder and President of, Affect, a public relations and social media firm says ‘’Regular tweeting is the sign of active and healthy profile.’’

Being a working woman and a mother of 2 young children, I have always preferred online shopping. Having extensively used Amazon for my varied needs, starting from learning accessories for my children, to clothes that rightly fit me, I have now become a great fan of the brand. While I as researching about them on Google, I stumbled upon their Twitter page and found that they are aptly doing what Sandra Fathi has told. On their Twitter page, they regular tweet. It could be about new releases of products, or about the latest informative post on their blog.

635946503189638341-239880403_pinterestThe best way to grow brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and get sales conversions, is by letting your visitors pin for you. You can do this by installing Pinterest‘s Pin button to every product display in your website. By giving this feature, your website visitors will be able to post the image of your product from your online store to Pinterest. In addition to this, like other social media sites, Pinterest also allows you to create a page of your own for your company or brand. Another feature of Pinterest is, you can create Smart Boards. For example, if your eCommerce shopping website sells school accessories, you can create a board representing ‘Back to School’’. By creating themes for your online store, you will be driving more interest from people to your online store. Another creative way of using Pinterest is, you can exclusively create a board for testimonials. When you receive a hand-written testimonial, you can take a photo of that testimonial and pin them to the testimonial board.

The best example of a brand that has successfully used Pinterest for their brand promotion is our very own 2 minute Maggi. Maggi joined Pinterest to help people find tantalizing recipes of Maggi and send traffic back to Maggi’s website. They also use appealing photographs of their recipes that make people’s mouth water. Maggi has created a landing page for asparagus on their website. Visitors can learn tips for how to cook Maggi with asparagus and there’s also a link to their asparagus recipe board on their Pinterest page.

Tumblr_logoHaving been launched in 2007, Tumblr has seen an enormous growth over the past years. As per the reports of Forbes, at least one Tumblr blog gets created every day. Today, there are 86 million Tumblr blogs that drive 18 billion page views every month. But, Tumblr is not as popular as other social media sites and this is because, it is considered more like a blogging platform. What makes it a social media site also is the features of follow, like, and re-blog. These features create greater opportunities for a quick spread of content.
Being a social media marketing expert, I hunt for articles related to social media, online. I came across Jason Keath’s article on ‘’60 brands using Tumblr’’. In this article, the author mentions that Tumblr cannot become a suitable social media marketing tool for every business. He has also said, it may best suit only for fashion brands, and media and publishing businesses. The article features some of the popular brands that have used Tumblr to find success and reach out to as many potential customers. They include, ‘The Economist’, The Huffington Post’, IBM, and Elle Magazine.

In my opinion, like any other blogging platforms, if your blog on Tumblr should get appreciation from your customers, it can only happen with an interesting content. Every time you post an article on your Tumblr blog, see that it appeals to your customers’ interest. Also, see that the posts you publish are unique and organic. Only a quality content can earn a good reputation for a blog of a brand and it is so with a blog in Tumblr as well.

Conclusion: Just having a social media page is certainly not enough. As already mentioned, it has to be active. If it has to be active, then you should use it regularly, every now and then, for direct interaction with your customers. In addition, the content you publish on these social media sites should be of your customers’ interest. You should also make sure that you provide a new information every typdme, in every post. The aforesaid brands have used them successfully to improve their online marketing strategies, by building a good customer relationship. And, the next brand could be yours?

Reference Links:
https://plus.google.com/+AnnabelKarmel/posts
https://www.facebook.com/Kumon.UK/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BH7NuE3BEC-/?taken-by=starbucks
https://twitter.com/search?q=Amazon&src=typd
https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=Maggi noodles
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