Social Media is the new “word of mouth” advertising businesses need to survive in this virtual world.
It’s hard to conceptualize how a simple “tweet” or “status update” can effect your reputation and bottom line. Social Media used correctly reaches out to a targeted global audience of potential customers/clients. Social Media used hap-hazzardly can generate very little impact on your business. I dare say, social media used incorrectly can leave a “negative impression” with your audience. Facebook and twitter are the social media networks used most frequently to promote individuals and businesses. There are other sites (i.e. Pinterest, LinkedIn, Stumbleupon) that are generally used in addition to these mega social media sites. Both are very user friendly and, can be tailored to your specific business needs. These networks not only provide a free platform to advertise but also a means to communicate with your customers. The informational flow is a two-way street. Sending messages about your business’ special offers or uniqueness in the marketplace and an element to receive feedback (both positive and negative) from your clients. Realizing the marketing scope of these social media sites is difficult to conceptualize. In general, your audience is worldwide. Is that a good or bad thing? By employing techniques to zoom in on your target clientele can produce a much broader influence that any other form of traditional marketing. Luckily, money doesn’t have to be budgeted but, you need to allocate your time to be effective. Some businesses have created a Social Media Specialist position to handle the increasingly important role that social media plays. Specific strategies and goals need to be established. Methods to track the effectiveness of your social media plan are essential (Google Analytics is a wonderful tool). In future blog posts I’ll will deal with tips and tricks to launch a successful social media campaign. In the meantime, get out there and use social media to maximize your business’ potential.