by John F. Black
Welcome to the LocalEdge Social Media Blog! This blog was created to provide education and insight about Social Media and how it can be utilized to market and grow your business. We are now in the Web 2.0 era and Social Media Marketing has become a necessity for all businesses that want to engage new and existing customers on a modern level of communication and advertising. Social Media Marketing has emerged as a fun and organic way to market and create buzz around your brand. It allows you to build relationships with customers and keep them informed with what’s going on with your company, inviting them in on a more personal level.
Let’s start off with some basic definitions to get everyone on the same page…
Web 2.0 – Consists of blogs, social media like Twitter and Facebook, web applications, YouTube, Wikipedia and things like that. The most important aspect of these is that virtually anybody can add anything to them. You can post a new status update or share content on Facebook, you can Tweet, you can submit an article to Wikipedia about your local band, you can upload your videos at any time and share them with the wide public.
Social Media – are online channels or services that people and businesses use to communicate with their friends, followers, customers, subscribers and other people who have liked interests. One of the unique features about social media is an ability to “like” another person’s message, read their experience of using a product or service, post reviews or comments, and even share the content with your own social network. Some social media channels are YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. There are also other online directories such as Insider Pages, Citysearch and Yelp, which feature user-generated reviews that can be great word-of-mouth advertising for your business. It’s important to be listed accurately on these sites so that people can talk about your business and tell others about it as well.
Social Media Marketing – There are many new and exciting online tools that allow people and businesses to build social connections with friends, family and customers alike. This has facilitated a massive transfer of shared information and content online, and allowed people to collaborate on artistic and business projects via the internet. Social media marketing campaigns usually center on efforts to create viral content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share a business’ message with their own social networks. Presumably, the message resonates with readers, because it’s coming to them from a trusted source, rather than from the business itself.
Social Media Marketing does require some effort on your part in order to be truly effective, but if you’re willing to commit some time each day and each week, the pay off in terms of enhanced communication and building brand awareness and loyalty can be well worth your time.
Here are a few quick tips to get you started:
- Build your online community by generating “likes” on your Facebook page and “followers” on Twitter. This can be done by getting friends, family, co-workers and most importantly CUSTOMERS to visit your pages and become fans. Try including your Facebook and Twitter URLs on your business cards, invoices, receipts, brochures, menus, website and anywhere else people might see them! The pages can also be used to drive traffic to your existing website and other online content.
- Content is king. You must post updates to your pages frequently and systematically in order to keep your customers engaged. Don’t drown your customers with deals and specials; a good rule of thumb is limiting yourself to one sales pitch for every handful of updates. Try mixing in jokes, industry insights, do-it-yourself tips, thoughts on current events, etc. – you may be surprised at the feedback you receive.
- Evolution – Your customers and the social platforms you are advertising on are constantly evolving and so should you and your online presence. Once you get to know your customers, it is easier to find out what kind of information they are looking for, and how often they want it. Promote your pages wherever and whenever possible, but make sure once they get there they like what they see.
Please check back regularly for new blog posts. We will be posting everything from “how-tos” to tips and tricks on how to use social media to expand your business’ online presence. We will keep you updated on new trends in Social Media, and how all the biggest companies in the world are using Social Media to drive their sales, customer satisfaction and overall brand recognition.