Social network marketing or social media marketing is all about reaching target audience through social networks or online communities. The methods range from placing ads to building niche content, focused around the promoted product or service. Public relations and customer service are other common marketing activities on social networking sites.

If you are considering marketing your product or service via social media sites you’ll have to know how these media work. Once you understand how it works you can creatively develop a social marketing strategy for your offerings.

How Social Network Marketing Works

Social networking sites are the online social hubs where people go to hang out, reconnect with old friends or even plan a reunion. Here users with similar interests or backgrounds congregate to share information and give advice. To facilitate networking, social network services such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube offer web based tools for the users.

The most interesting fact about social networks is that it is a “marketplace.” It doesn’t, however, work like eBay. Unlike people coming to eBay, which are ready to buy things, most social network visitors are not ready to buy. To market your stuff to the folks flocking social networks you will have to maximize their function as online community building platforms first.

Social networks are going to work for you when you add value to the communities. Building content related to your niche is a good example. You can use it for collecting friends in your network and developing real relationships with them. If you help your friends with their concerns they are more likely to respond to your offer and you will have more chances of getting sales.

Social Media Marketing Strategy

A social networking site is like a mall. People are coming to a mall for shopping or hanging out with family and friends. Do you know that some of the folks in the mall are your target audience? How do you connect with them and market your stuff?

1. Study your target audience and the social networks they are used to hang out. Create a presence on the social networks. Use many tools provided to develop relationships with your prospects. Depending on your target audience you might need different tools. Simply do some experiments to find whether “fan pages” or another tool is right for you.

2. Find a relationship between something that is hot on the television that has an impact on your target market. Once you find that relationship develop a marketing strategy that can make that connection obvious, something that your product or service can relate to. Then create a buzz through videos, tweets or blog entries to attract their attention.

3. Incorporate suitable social network platforms on your site. Your target audience already knows you before they even visit your site. When they actually visit your site and like you they will voluntarily give you free content for your blog, forum and so on. And once the prospects trust you they are going to convert into paying customers.

If you do it right social network marketing is going to give you visitors that are ready to buy. No need to educate and convince the people about your offering. The social media has done almost all the work to make some level of excitement surrounding your product or service for you. You will only take one step or more to get the social groups interested in what you have to offer.