Promoting a business is not done the same way as it was 20 years ago. This is a fact that has been reiterated time and again. Everyone is well aware of the impact the Internet has had on marketing. Email marketing, banner ads and other methods of connecting with customers have changed the playing field from the time when television commercials were as exotic as marketing got. However, something that has slipped past many marketing professionals is that promotion is not the same as it was even three years ago. Social media is king, and there are more ways for a smart business owner to reach his audience than ever before. Take a look at some of the unique ways companies small and large have reached utilized social media to reach a new audience.
Making the Most of Social Media: Facebook
The one social media site that rules them all at the moment is Facebook. Unlike many other sites that have a niche or purpose, Facebook does it all—even if it can’t do each thing quite as well as the specialty sites. According to Statistic Brain, there are 1.2 billion Facebook users worldwide and the average user is on the site for 15 hours 33 minutes each month. The best thing about Facebook users is that they are generally okay with receiving marketing messages from their favorite brands. By “liking” a page, they opt-in to receiving updates through their news feed. Using the tools on Facebook is a great way for companies to interact with their customer base and reach a new audience. For instance, cloud hosting company Rackspace uses their Facebook page to promote their customer support model and engage regularly with customers.
Making the Most of Social Media: Twitter
The other “big gun” in social media is Twitter. While Facebook is about the big picture, Twitter focuses on the small message. Each tweet from a member is 140 characters or less. But in that little tweet, there is a big opportunity. As stated in an article by TwitTip, building a Twitter relationship is more about helping followers than marketing to them. Twitter users are a smart bunch and will see if all a Twitter account is doing is pumping advertising at them. However, smart marketers will realize how beneficial it is to connect with followers and build their trust by giving a glimpse into the people behind the business. Many individuals have marketed themselves in this way; consider the big news in summer 2012 when Charlie Sheen decided to leave Twitter!
The Other Guys
Depending on your business, some of the smaller social networks may be the way to reach your core audience. Pinterest is growing by leaps and bounds; crafters, amateur chefs and other creative types have embraced this resource. Even sites like YouTube are social networks of a kind, since they encourage the sharing of information socially. An article by Steven Papas shows how picture sharing sites Instagram and Flickr are an important part of a social media marketing campaign.
Social media marketing is a vital part of any company’s overall promotion plan. Smart marketing professionals will not allow themselves to become stuck on any one way of reaching their core audience as the field will likely continue to grow and change in years to come.