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Social Media… It seems to be one of the buzz words that online marketers love to throw around. What does it really mean and is it really important for your business? I started out in the business in SEO several years ago before the phrase “social media” really existed and my goals were about getting more qualified visitors to a website where they would interact with the content.
Before there were social media giants like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter people would generally start their web experience at a search engine. These served as the best portal to access information online so people “congregated” there. What these new social media websites provide is another portal to the web where users interact with networks of people they know. Several aspects of our daily lives are being digitally organized so we interact with the web in such a way that it consistently provides information that is more relevant to our daily lives than when we just search for a specific piece of information.
- Social media allows users to interact and communicate within their networks. As an advertising opportunity, this is similar to Word of Mouth because you have individuals spreading your marketing messages for you. When someone in your target market hears about you from someone they know, the message has a much larger impact. A recommendation from a friend is the most valuable marketing channel available that you can’t buy. Social media allows you to be in that space and have your target market push your marketing message out to each other which will build a level of credibility other channels don’t.
- It also allows you to put a personality or face to your business. How you deal and interact with the public will shape your brand position. Social Media gives you the opportunity to communicate as a person directly with your target audience. Not only do you get the chance to push your marketing message, you also get to actively resolve issues in a positive light in front of potential customers. People will be able to see how eager you are to ensure your customers have a quality experience which will only reinforce a positive brand experience.