Social media can be a powerful marketing tool. With over 2.31 billion social media users in 2016 — a 10 percent increase since 2015 — businesses cannot ignore its potential to help them reach their customers. A social media marketing course can help you develop practical skills and social media platform knowledge to combine online advertising with effective social media marketing strategies.
As part of Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s online Master of Business Administration in Marketing program, students complete a 7-week course in social media marketing. This specialized training helps prepare students for careers in marketing, consulting and brand management. According to eMarketer, almost 90 percent of U.S. marketers with 100 or more employees will use social networks for marketing by the end of 2016, suggesting that social media marketing is a growing industry.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is a way to reach consumers online, drive website traffic and get attention through social media platforms. By creating content that consumers want to share with their social networks, the marketing message appears to come from a trusted source instead of from a faceless business. This is a digital form of word of mouth, or peer-to-peer, marketing.
Why Use Social Media Marketing?
The most important reason for using social media marketing is that it is effective. In a 2015 survey by Social Media Examiner, 90 percent of marketers said that social media has produced more exposure for their businesses, with 77 percent reporting increased traffic.
Compared to traditional marketing methods, social media marketing is relatively inexpensive. It gives marketers the ability to focus on a niche, using personalized marketing messages. For example, companies can mine social data to target “married 35-45-year-old females in Boston with school-aged children.” This kind of low-cost targeted marketing means businesses can easily experiment with new campaigns and make changes as necessary.
Create Value for Consumers
Savvy marketers understand that social media is an opportunity to connect with consumers and build stronger relationships. This does not mean bombarding them with endless marketing messages or cluttering up their social feeds. Take time to listen to what your customers are talking about on social media, and you will begin to understand what is important to them. Once you understand that, you can create useful and engaging content that consumers will value and share.
Know Your Platform
Facebook has more than 1.5 billion active accounts, Instagram has 400 million monthly active users and Twitter has more than 310 million monthly active users. Those are impressive numbers, and then there is also Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snapchat — the list goes on. Knowing where to begin focusing marketing efforts can be overwhelming to the new social media marketer. A social media marketing course can help you understand the differences between the various platforms and choose the ones that make the best sense for your business.
Businesses that ignore social media are missing out on effective marketing opportunities. Similarly, marketers who do not develop their skills in this field risk missing out on job opportunities. By completing an online MBA program, with a specialized social media marketing course, graduates can position themselves as strong candidates to potential employers.
Learn more about the SOSU online MBA in Marketing program.
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