In the Middle Ages, shopkeepers hung signs outside their doors with symbols to represent what type of business they ran, and when newspapers developed, ads began to run. Advertising has never evolved as rapidly as it is doing now, however, making marketing a difficult challenge even for specialists.
If you own or run a company, you might be among those who just don't understand the terms social media marketing or social media branding that are thrown around so frequently these days. Yet they're almost critical to your success, and here's why.
They are, quite simply, a great way to interact. You could be interacting with other businesses, the press, or most commonly, consumers. If you deal with customers in any way, you'll know that managing your reputation is difficult and nothing can help you once you've obtained that reputation of an old and backwards company! Social media marketing alleviates this to a large extent, as any company that is cool enough to really understand it is one that customers trust more than a faceless corporation.
You can start doing social media marketing for very little, if any, money, which is totally different from traditional forms of advertising. It's also possible to do over time, so you don't have to suddenly pour a lot of money into a print ad and keep your fingers crossed that it worked, for instance.
If you're deciding which social media to use to engage customers, seek media that are trust-building, by allowing you to interact in multiple ways with the customer. Facebook, for example, allows you to create a like page or group, post videos and discussions, update your status, respond to messages from consumers, and more.
Facebook isn't the only social media outlet you can try, however. Some popular ones are a corporate blog, Twitter, forums, and Youtube videos. All of these encourage different means of interaction, so combining some of them can have a powerful effect.
If you don't have a dedicated marketing department or team like South Jersey Web Design, however, don't start with every site at once. You'll just get overwhelmed and stop updating any of them, making customers exasperated and frustrated. A few sites at a time are plenty; some companies start with a corporate blog that is linked to their main website, then add a Facebook and/or Twitter account, then start developing Youtube videos, and so on. Expand your web presence slowly rather than trying to burst onto the scene suddenly.
Also, you'll want to be sure you have a main hub for all your outlets. This should be a page you own that links to your different social media profiles, and to which all your profiles are linked. That way, people can tell where your home base is and find your other social media profiles if they'd like.
Finally, when trying to use social media, think personal. Don't open an account and try to maintain a corporate faade; instead, reward customers with a quick thanks, follow up on problems they report using social media, and make yourself approachable.
Social media can have a powerful impact on your brand. Are you utilizing it properly? If not, South Jersey Web Design's Social Media Marketing team can help!