Whether your business operates from brick-and-mortar locations or entirely online, social media offers a powerful way to generate word of mouth advertising and brand building. The sheer numbers of customers and prospects trolling the social media waters is enough to make marketers put social networks front and center in any brand marketing campaign. When efficiently integrated with traditional marketing initiatives, social media can support and multiply results in ways that have never been possible before.
Social media is fast becoming the go-to marketing strategy because that’s where all the customers are hanging out. Smart marketers are using social networks to enhance and build brand awareness, generate leads, nurture customer loyalty, improve search rankings, and grow business-to-business partnerships.
It’s hard to keep track of social media platforms today, and even harder to determine which ones are right for your business. The behemoths such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are great for interactive conversations and copy-based messaging. Video platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and Vine are effective at showcasing products and services in an engaging and entertaining manner.
Getting your social content shared can amplify its reach in a viral manner and create effective and free word-of-mouth advertising. To create shareable content, you should use images and video, target your audience, be timely, stay consistent, and include a call to action. Then, make it easy by including sharing links so all it takes is a click.
It’s not enough to simply accumulate page Likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. You need to turn that “love” into action. To do that, you need to target the handful of social platforms where most of your prospects hang out. You need to engage people there by commenting and replying to comments, and offering valuable information people can use, instead of focusing on promotional pitches.
Social media is powerful, but it’s still just another tool that you must integrate with your existing sales and marketing initiatives. Social media can push people to other media, such as print, email, radio, and TV, and those traditional channels can pull people into your social networks to create exciting brand-enhancing opportunities.