Social Media Marketing is Essential
Social Media Marketing is essential for a complete Internet Marketing campaign. It consists of a group of online platforms where people connect and communicate, such as; Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and literally millions of blogs (Weblogs) all across the Internet, about any topic you could possibly imagine. They enable the creation of tons of free user-generated content. Studies show that in these days of social web sites, potential customers are swayed more by product reviews and user word-of-mouth, than by conventional advertising. It’s called social proof, which is the theory that we are more likely to do something when we see others doing it. Social media is built on social proof.
Social media sites are where the people are. Do you know anyone who doesn’t have a Facebook or Twitter account? Social media gives you the chance to interact with hundreds, thousands, even millions of potential customers. Social communities are breeding grounds for interaction, which is a huge market that must be utilized to be able to achieve success in your Internet marketing strategy. However, these platforms are not places for “hard sell”, they are for attraction and awareness of who you are, and what you do. Since social media is readily available to everyone, it greatly enhances potential for creating brand awareness.
With conventional advertising you are talking at the potential customer. But with online advertising, you have the ability and opportunity to talk to the customer. With social media, you are the publisher. You need to determine exactly what your customers need and publish valuable, re le vent and compelling information, through social media platforms, blogs, email and more. Show them that you are an authority, and that what you have to offer will be valuable to them. By positioning yourself as an authority in your field, you’ll stand out from your competitors, generate buzz and increase your value. Providing valuable relevant content boosts your credibility and builds trust. Once you establish yourself as an expert, the customers will come to you. Value, credibility and trust, added to high visibility (social media) gives you the perfect formula for complete success.
Facebook is a social networking service. Their mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Currently, there are more than 800 million users on Facebook and more than 50% of those users log on every day. The average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups or events. More than 2 billion posts are commented on each day. More than 350 million active users currently access Facebook through mobile devices. The potential for customers is astounding.
By comparison; 211 million people watched the 2011 Superbowl, which holds the record for the most watched TV show ever. Everyone knows that the 4 hour Superbowl is the biggest period of the year for conventional advertising, yet it reaches merely a fraction of those you can potentially reach on Facebook.
Twitter is an online social networking and micro-blogging service that enables users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, known as tweets. It is the fastest growing social networking site with currently over 20 million users.
With Twitter you can attract attention and create an expert platform very quickly. You can get clients and customers directly, because people are not just there to connect with friends, but to share what they need. That makes it much easier to spot someone looking for what you have to offer. Twitter is a great platform to interact with customers on a personal as well as a professional level. As with all social media, Twitter helps to develop authority and trust.
LinkedIn is all business. It is especially useful in the business-to-business (B2B) environment. It currently has over 43 million users from 170 industries. It’s actually a networking network that’s geared towards professionals that want to talk shop. This is the place to establish yourself as and expert. When you are developing your linking strategy, this is where you will find other experts to link to your web site.
LinkedIn is where you create your interactive resume and promote your products, services, events, businesses and brand, and drive targeted, quality traffic to your web site.
YouTube is a video-sharing web site where users can upload, share and view videos. In terms of a social media strategy, you create some sort of video that relates to your business, in some way. you post it on YouTube along with a link to your website.
The classic example of a YouTube video going viral is WillItBlend.com. They posted a video of their BlendTec blender pulverizing an iPhone. It currently has over 10 million views and is legendary in the Internet marketing world. After seeing that video, how do you not think of them when you’re in the market for a new blender?
Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking platform. With it’s video, it is a direct competitor of YouTube. However, it lend’s itself to being a great medium for a business that doesn’t necessarily produce any type of business, but does have product images to display, such as a florist, artist, photographer, builder, etc.
That fact that everyone is carrying around a camera all day, every day, makes a very convenient platform for adding images at any time.
Weblog – Blog
If you are in business you need a Blog (from Weblog) attached to your website. It gives you a place to interact directly with your customers and potential customers. These are targeted customers, because they wouldn’t even be on your site otherwise. It makes adding content to your site as simple as sending an email, yet it’s public and is able to accept responses. Content is King. Often times users are able to obtain positive information about your company just from reading posts and comments. Regularly adding new content also works towards gaining higher rankings in the search engines. When the search engine spiders crawl your site and determine that you have added new content it establishes more relevancy, which works towards showing that you are an authority.
Every business web site needs to have a place for people to give you their email address. Normally, only people interested in what you’re selling, will sign up. This enables you to create a list of targeted potential clients, to who you can then send information. This is not solicitation mail, but actually something they can use, such as tips, how-tos, events, etc. By sending them things like that, you are not annoying them, but trying to help them, by giving them something useful… for free. The thought pattern is, that since they are already interested in what you do, they will appreciate the gesture and when the time comes for them to buy, you’ll be the place they turn to.