Social media marketing involves the use of social networks, consumer's online brand-related activities (COBRA) and electronic word of mouth (eWOM)[81][82] to successfully advertise online. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter provide advertisers with information about the likes and dislikes of their consumers.[67] This technique is crucial, as it provides the businesses with a "target audience".[67] With social networks, information relevant to the user's likes is available to businesses; who then advertise accordingly. Activities such as uploading a picture of your "new Converse sneakers to Facebook[81]" is an example of a COBRA.[81][82] Electronic recommendations and appraisals are a convenient manner to have a product promoted via "consumer-to-consumer interactions.[81][81] An example of eWOM would be an online hotel review;[83] the hotel company can have two possible outcomes based on their service. A good service would result in a positive review which gets the hotel free advertising via social media. However, a poor service will result in a negative consumer review which can potentially harm the company's reputation.
After you complete a listening campaign, put the information you gather into a report. Make sure your social listening report is actionable. For instance, if you discover a sentiment issue, the next step would be to focus on social media PR. It’s easy to get caught up with social media reports so maintain a healthy balance between actual listening and reporting. Always prioritize actual listening and acting on insights.

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To this end, companies make use of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram to reach audiences much wider than through the use of traditional print/TV/radio advertisements alone at a fraction of the cost, as most social networking sites can be used at little or no cost (however, some websites charge companies for premium services). This has changed the ways that companies approach to interact with customers, as a substantial percentage of consumer interactions are now being carried out over online platforms with much higher visibility. Customers can now post reviews of products and services, rate customer service, and ask questions or voice concerns directly to companies through social media platforms. According to Measuring Success, over 80% of consumers use the web to research products and services.[37] Thus social media marketing is also used by businesses in order to build relationships of trust with consumers.[38] To this aim, companies may also hire personnel to specifically handle these social media interactions, who usually report under the title of Online community managers. Handling these interactions in a satisfactory manner can result in an increase of consumer trust. To both this aim and to fix the public's perception of a company, 3 steps are taken in order to address consumer concerns, identifying the extent of the social chatter, engaging the influencers to help, and developing a proportional response.[39]
Today, people create profiles on every social media channel available with the aim of reaching as many people as possible. Unfortunately, with that mindset, you will not reach your chosen target audience. As a result, it is key you look at your buyer personas when choosing your social media channels. For example, you won't necessarily need a LinkedIn profile if you are launching a gothic clothing brand; the same as you won't need to be on Pinterest to promote your surveillance services.
NetBase is a Social Business Platform that global brands and agencies use to power brand building, grow businesses and connect with consumers. NetBase processes millions of posts across the social web in 42 languages, faster (9x) and more accurately (50-70%) than alternatives. The platform enables brands and agencies to deeply understand customer behavior, emotions and intent in real-time, giving confidence in making actionable decisions that accelerate growth. The advanced patented technology gives clients access to purchase intent, new audiences, and contextual brand emotions that link to shareholder value. The intuitive UI, simple non-Boolean search, and complete and flexible functionality works ‘out of the box’, and includes history, geo and depth that the biggest brands in the world now rely upon.
If your business naturally focuses on a specific niche (like cat owners, for example), your job will be easier than if you’re trying to appeal to a more general audience (like a telecommunications or airline brands). I recommend lurking in the places your intended customers often hang out, in subreddits or blog comments for example, to see what they’re interested in.
As you can see in the example above, Wal-Mart does an excellent job addressing customer concerns.  The first comment cues them in to the fact that that there is a high demand for a certain product because it is sold out at the local store.  Wal-Mart directs the customer to a site where they can search other stores for the product. The second comment indicates a customer concern about order fulfillment. Wal-Mart addresses it and directs the person to a site where they can make suggestions on how the company can improve.
The insights gleaned from your audience personas should be used to tailor your social media marketing strategy and help you to develop clear strategies to ensure you engage with all target audiences on social media. Audience personas should inform content creation, marketing campaigns, ad targeting, and more to ensure conversions against your goals.
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