There are essentially four different types of return that you can expect from a successful social media marketing campaign: links, mindshare/branding, sales and consumer interaction.
Using social media for link building is most popular within the SEO community, and for good reason. Using social news sites as a platform to spread your content (linkbait) can effectively produce hundreds or thousands of new inbound links to your site.
Mindshare & Branding
Social media marketing goes beyond just traffic and links. It is also great for creating mindshare, branding initiatives, and brand awareness. It doesn’t matter if you have a new brand or one that is well established, using social media can help build or strengthen it.
The bottom line for many marketing campaigns is to bring an increase in sales. Sometimes this is done directly and sometimes it is a very indirect process. It is very hard to create a social media marketing campaign that will result in direct sales. This is because you’re reaching consumers in a non-purchasing stage of the cycle.
There are a lot of benefits to interacting with your customers through social media. Some of these include improving products or services, establishing trust, being viewed as the authority in your space and creating evangelists.
The most common form of customer interaction in social media is done through blogging.
The environment is still evolving and growing. As we see more participation in different ways, the landscape will pose even more opportunity for marketing.