Social Media Marketing.
Social Marketing is the latest medium of online marketing and taps into a networking effect that follows the viral or word of mouth marketing model. Social Media sites are frequented by millions of daily users, and, love them or hate them, you have at your disposal a massive, connected audience.
Social sites including Facebook, Bebo and Myspace connect ‘friends’ where they can share information, text, photos and social events. Each member creates an account and builds their own network of friends.
The idea behind Facebook and the other social sites it to get millions of people connected, all sharing information to the benefit of each individual user. The more people they can connect with the more other people will want to join and the system becomes self-sustaining and self-fulfilling. The power and value of Facebook increases by the number of friends it connects. This is called the Network Effect.
Cynics would say the model behind Facebook is not exactly to get users sharing information but with the aim of getting as many users as possible into their database, because ultimately the more users Facebook acquires the more marketing potential they have. However let’s look at the potential for your business to market to these networks and users.
How You Can Use Social Media?
To get started, create company accounts on Facebook and Twitter and begin to communicate with potential buyers, but do not sell too early or aggressively in the business relationship.
This is an incredibly important and rapidly growing area of Internet marketing, allowing you to promote yourself in a number of different social arenas. The significant thing to remember about social media marketing is that you must be genuine to make a connection with other social users. People are immune to spam, so there is no way you will stand out in a crowd unless you are offering real and relevant information.
Facebook has 2 options. A ‘Personal Profile’ where you connect with ‘Friends’ and A ‘Fan Page’ or ‘Business Page’ where you get ‘Fans’ following you. You can create both if required or just choose one profile. I have both a personal profile page and a business/fan page. I have subtle links from my personal profile that link with my business/fan page and vice versa.
My recommendation is to use a service such as SocialOomph.com and link to your Twitter account. From within the admin panel you can set up an automated email so when someone follows you, a pre-written email goes out with a welcome message and an offer such as a free report or link to your website. You have 140 characters max so make your message short and sweet. Don’t set your account to ‘auto follow’ anyone that follows you as automated systems follow and then when you follow them, they unfollow you. Find people that you actually want to follow and are interested in their Tweets. Also I uncheck the option to ‘unfollow’ anyone that ‘unfollows’ me, simply because I may still want to follow someone’s Tweets, who cares if they unfollow me.
Some of the best social media and bookmarking sites are Facebook.com, Twitter.com and MySpace.com.
There are Other Social Media Websites, such as:
- LinkedIn.com (Professional Networking Site)