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Many people and digital marketing agencies believes that social media marketing (SMM) is quick, easy and free. Every business wants to be part of the social media phenomena, but most of them doesn’t understand and know all the facts regarding social media. This is the biggest reason why many companies fails to achieve success with Web 2.0 (social media) marketing.

Even though social media marketing can be seen as “free” way of advertising your business to targeted audiences, it costs time and effort to make a dedicated social media campaign and strategy a success. With any new “trends” online, many theories and misunderstandings are bound to be found.

Find below a couple of questions that can help you better understand social media marketing.

Social media marketing questions

Social media is free: Even though the social media channels are free to use, it is expensive to integrate these channels into an effective digital marketing strategy that produces positive results. An effective SMM campaign usually requires a team of professionals with all the experience and skill to run a successful campaign.

Social media is easy: This is by far one of the biggest assumptions regarding social media. It takes a lot of commitment and time for a dedicated social media strategy. It takes work each day for slow gains on various social media channels. All the results needs to be measured and tracked.

You must pay for my content: The goal with SMM is to brand yourself as the expert in your niche and to build up brand authority online. You want to be seen as the go to company when someone needs something to be done. In the social media sphere, the more you give, the more you get. It is all about building your reputation.

Social media is only for youngsters: Young people were the original early adopters of social media, but it is now being used by all age groups. Each social media channels develops its own demographic profile and community. A good tool for looking up these demographics is Social Bakers.

For my business, social media is too risky: Many companies big and small are afraid to participate with social media and blogging for the fear of a negative reaction online. Fear not as these conversations will happen about your company or brand with or without you. It is more risky to avoid the conversation than to take part in it.

Social media is placing ads on social networks: No, this is a form of paid advertising similar to PPC (Pay Per Click). Social media marketing is about engaging and interacting with targeted audiences. Placing a banner ad on a social network doesn’t do this. The goal with a social media is to inspire trust and to show your business is trustworthy and credible.

There’s nothing to measure with social media: Even though it may be tough to measure your brand awareness and reputation, social media is very effective in improving your organic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings when done properly. Better organic results bring in more traffic and more traffic means more sales and leads.

There’s no stats for social media: You can find many 3rd party monitoring tools available online to measure the success and impact of your campaign. This can include the # of mentions for your company name, comments on blog posts, # of fans, friends, likes, impact on Twitter, trackbacks and the number of visitors to your website that were referred to from various social media channels.