Social Media Marketing is the most talked about business marketing platforms of today. With Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, Foursquare and others are taking center stage and it’s hard for business owners and marketers to figure out if and how they can break into the game. For many, the question is why, not how.
The debate comes down to old world versus new world marketing. Television and print industries are showing diminishing returns yet some still aren’t changing direction. Some business are sticking to the old methods and not changing accordingly. Marketing methods are being re-vamped with new technology and social media marketing in particular is catching the business world by storm.
Many companies realize this change and want to being a social media marketing campaign immediately, yet there are certain questions that need to be initially answered. Will social media help your company sell? Who’s your customer? Are you B2B or B2C? What platforms are most appropriate? Do you know what each medium can and should be used for?
Facebook has emerged as an Internet marketing hot spot because it has more members than any other option. Many marketers are missing the boat with Facebook as a marketing platform, and eventually the returns from pay-per-click ads will and other tactics will not support the needed budget. Facebook is a great tool, but needs to be utilized properly.
Facebook is place for community, not advertising. It’s the place to build a home for your fanatics, where everyone has a voice. If you put together the right campaign, Facebook can be tremendously rewarding to both you and your customers. Think of all the data you can gather by LISTENING! If you can build a place for people to come and encourage engagement, give away prizes and give people a reason to be on your page, you’ll experience a positive return. If you just use your wall to toss out a discount, you’ll see your results dwindle and campaign go down in flames.
Twitter is the fastest growing social media platform today, and the business benefits can be tremendous. Twitter is great for directing traffic. Think of it as a gigantic news feed that points traffic multiple directions based on impressions, conversions, and the like.
You must have the complete package put together to truly take advantage. Where do you want traffic to go? Do you have an attractive website with a call to action? Is your blog flowing relevant content that would be a perfect place to send traffic? Do you have innovative products that people need to know about? The same advertising principles apply as yesteryear, we’re all just playing in a different sand box.
LinkedIn and YouTube are social media mediums that are growing quickly, but for different reasons. LinkedIn just surpassed 100 million members and the networking capabilities outweigh any other platform, including Facebook. LinkedIn can be the number one priority for your business, or it can be the lowest, depending on your industry. A realtor may find LinkedIn the best tool on the market where a shoe store might find it difficult to build a network of people. Application is everything.
YouTube has just become the #2 search engine behind Google. With this much traffic and attention it’s easy to see how a video your company creates can go viral and spread to the masses, although it’s much easier said than done. The chief reason to use YouTube is for SEO purposes. If done correctly, optimizing your short videos (30 seconds to 1 minute long) can help boost your web presence. Think of the source YouTube can become for you to push traffic to videos you have posted via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Now you can see the integration. Tumblr can help you distribute and optimize your blog posts, and Foursquare can promote your retail locations, offering participants exclusive deals and promotions! Facebook houses your community of fans that are thirsting to know more and have their voice heard. LinkedIn helps you network with other professionals and clients. Twitter can distribute information and send traffic via short links. YouTube helps your website gain relevancy and provides some great material for your audience.
By John Benson