Social media has revolutionized the way businesses market their goods and services, and the way aspiring marketers are approaching their careers. Modern professionals entering the marketing field are finding that it is critical to educate themselves on social media and how it can be used to build brand awareness. By obtaining an MBA in Marketing, or taking the time to learn about how social media is used in a business environment, marketers can expand their knowledge and open the doors for various future job opportunities.

Those entering the marketing field should note that strategy is crucial in an effective social media campaign. Patience and critical thinking are necessary in order to achieve brand recognition. The first step in creating a quality marketing campaign is to choose one or more of the “big four” social networking sites to reach the target audience. These include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

When making this decision, it is important to consider the technological expertise of the target audience and where they will be found online. It is more effective to choose just one or two social networking sites and deeply focus on them. Creating too many accounts can be a waste of effort, since each account may not receive the attention it deserves – from either side – to build success.  

After account creation, the next step is to clearly define the brand’s identity to its target audience. Effective social media relies on establishing credibility and broadcasting the brand identity for readers to find. Here, it is critical to first strategize what to say and how to say it. Assess the audience and think about their interests and how best to engage them. Use these ideas to reach out to readers and build a social media audience.

One effective means of engaging readers is to invite them to a conversation. If marketing on a blog or Facebook page, for instance, ask thought-provoking questions and encourage responses in the comments. Not only will this inspire communication on the webpage, but readers will provide genuine feedback that may help with site, brand or product improvement. When followers respond, provide a follow-up question or response to prolong the conversation and keep them focused on the brand.

After establishing a brand voice and engaging followers, the challenge becomes building their loyalty. This can be done by creating and curating content that aligns with the brand message. A good idea to keep in mind is to post content that is curated, meaning it is re-posted from other websites that contain similar ideas. The rest, a majority, of the social media content should be created by the marketers and relate specifically to that brand and the target audience.

In addition to creating content, businesses can continue to build brand loyalty by continuously interacting with audience members on social media. Ask them questions and encourage their feedback, or even directly mention them in comments. This makes audience members feel unique, attracts them back to the website and encourages them to share.

After building a loyal audience and a reputable brand, there are plenty of ways to ensure long-term website success. Here are a few ideas:

  • Host social media events: Create an event that focuses on fans to boost their loyalty. Host a live webinar and offer discounts on goods or services while discussing an idea that is important to the audience. Always encourage plenty of feedback and sharing.
  • Make real-life connections: Take some time to reach out via Skype or telephone to active consumers and social media users. It’s easier to hold an online conversation after having an offline one.
  • Employ Google Analytics: This gives an idea of how much traffic a website has received, where it came from and what they are doing on your website.

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