Social media is the latest buzzword in the virtual world of Internet. Initially it may have been associated with the young who used it to stay connected with friends. But in a very short period of time social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google +, and YouTube have proven that they can serve as powerful marketing tools for businesses both online and offline. Social media is here to stay and being a relatively new phenomenon it has got considerable scope for growth and evolution.
Social media is so powerful because it helps customers connect directly with providers and other consumers. Businesses can promote their products and communicate with customers to establish relationships and spread awareness about their product(s) or brand(s). This would obviously lead to improvement in sales and offer better chances for future growth.
So much to gain from tools that are essentially free, is this too good to be true? Well, the answer is Yes and No. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress etc. are freely available for use by anyone. But using them well is quite another issue. If you are using them for business marketing purposes then they need to be treated as seriously as any other marketing tool. In order to be effective social media marketing needs to be backed by a well-thought out marketing strategy and its execution needs to be carefully monitored, for any course corrections that might be required in future. Consequently, for success social media requires resources like time and manpower which are not freely available.
Integrating social media into your existing business or ecommerce site can be quite time consuming. It also requires in-depth understanding of social media tools. You cannot just tinker around with it to see what happens. Social media should not be treated lightly just the way you wouldn’t treat any other marketing tool like print ads or television commercials lightly. Since social media is used to directly connect with customers you need to make sure that your customers always see the best face of your business.
The physical process of integrating social media platforms into a website is not very difficult. You can have the hyperlinked icons of various social media platforms and social bookmarking sites on your website and blog through a simple process of pasting codes and icons available from the social media sites into your website’s structure.
What does your digital properties say about your company? Are they active, liked, followed, interactive, and reflective of your company image?