Social Media and Marketing

There is little doubt that at this point social media marketing is forefront on the marketing scene. Business owners are scrambling to get a company presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more.

Therein lies the problem, “scrambling”. Social media should be a complementary piece of your marketing strategy. And like everything else you do in your business, it should be integrated into your overall marketing plan. This is because there is no other low-cost promotional method available today that can expose you to very large numbers of people. Those who ignore the efficacy of social media usually fall into three categories; the ones who don’t know much or anything about social media, the ones who are interested but don’t know how to use it and those who don’t believe in the value that a social media strategy can bring to any business.

So here’s the rub. Although we hear about it everywhere we turn in the marketing world, social media is generally unproven. Few companies can probably step forward today and provide statistics on exactly what it contributes to the bottom line in fact. But everyone you talk to will agree on one thing. You should be in the game. Social media cannot be ignored. And to differentiate yourself from the vast majority of businesses out there pursuing this approach all you really need to do is to approach it with a strategy.

Here are some tips on how you can go about making this a reality. First and foremost, get in touch with a company that understands the power of the different social media, and how to use them in your overall marketing plan. Decide on exactly how it fits into your business and how it can work with both your prospect and client base. Remember, various medias may not be for every company.

Secondly, make sure you understand the concept of the word FREE! The various social media you implement are not free because there is a human cost to maintaining this part of the business. Time is money and someone in your business is going to have to maintain them daily and often many times a day. Why? Currency of message! Once individuals start to track you the last thing you want them to see is stale information and updates. So, if you can do it yourself, costs are limited to only your time and perhaps the expenses involved in hiring a freelance programmer/designer. The hope is that the benefits will exceed the cost. But here is one reality that makes it worth the effort. No one can dismiss the fact that it would cost thousands of dollars to buy many new links. The advantage of social media is that it possesses the ability to give you that for free.

You need to understand how you can justify the costs associated with dedicating someone to the job of managing your social networking, whether in-house or external. Remember, the objective is to attract a large number of hits to your site. As the natural hits from trusted domains grow, your site becomes recognized and trusted by search engines. Your person overseeing the social media must optimize your “link-bait” and website structure properly. When this is done you can easily start ranking for competitive keywords, which will in turn bring in more search engine visitors.

Over time, if you maintain diligence your search traffic will increase. In this manner you are obtaining quality links because people trust the other links they are going to. If you are a citation link then you too are probably worth checking out. Think of it as “borrowed credibility”.

To ensure that the money you are spending is worthwhile, your next priority should be to make sure you can in fact measure what is actually happening. Evidence supporting and validating the impact of your efforts can be the single most effective tool at ensuring you are on track, tell you what is working and letting you know when it’s time for a change. Whether you are selling products or services or just publishing content for ad revenue, social media marketing is a potent method that can make your business more profitable over time. You need to pay attention to it and do it right from the get go. Not paying attention to or not participating in it at all could cost you even more in the long run.

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