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The Rise of Social Media: What Does It Mean for Marketing?

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Conventional methods of advertising (commercials, mailers, paper ads, etc.) are, by themselves, no longer sufficient when it comes to reaching an extensive audience. The persistent evolution of technology has taught customers to expect more when it comes to marketing. Enter social media: the digital bridge that connects businesses with their consumer base.

Utilizing a digital marketing plan is a must for all businesses regardless of size or scope. Though there are a plethora of social media options, this article will take a look at my top four digital platforms, and explore why they are vital to today’s evolving industries.

1.     Google+

Currently touted as Facebook’s number one competitor, having a G+ account is essential if you care about catching the wary eyes of the Google Spiders. This quote, taken from an original post by Seoworks, succinctly captures the overarching message; “If you ignore Google+, then Google search will ignore you.” Google is the most popular search engine in the world; if you want potential clients to be able to discover you, it would be wise to consider which search engine they’ll likely use.

In addition to becoming more appealing to the Google Spiders, having a G+ account also comes with social benefits. With the ability to join groups, add people to circles, and “share” posts, networking and product propagation can reach new levels. Google+ also has a “Hangout” feature that allows users to have video conferences; this is always a plus when employee and/or clients can’t meet face-to-face.

2.     Facebook

Facebook is a more casual networking site than G+, but the benefits to using this site are twofold. Businesses on Facebook can create a page that will display as much (or as little) information as the webmaster desires. Potentially, fellow Facebookers can see your business’s address, products, how many people have visited you (and their reviews of your work), and coupon discounts/codes, and more. Hundreds of millions of people use Facebook on a daily basis; as a business, it only makes sense to put your product under their noses.

The other considerable benefit to using Facebook is the ability to recruit and investigate (aka creep on) potential employees. Most user profiles contain pictures and relevant education/life information. If you are looking to hire summer interns, a local University search will bring up a handful of local students. Conversely, if you are considering hiring a pre-school teacher and discover that their Facebook page is full of distasteful pictures (that parents could easily see as well), it may impact your ultimate decision.

3.     YouTube

YouTube allows businesses to reach out to their clients in a unique way. Videos posted on the site can be purely advertisement-based (like a vault of product commercials) or instructional (like how Apple’s Touch ID works). YouTube posts can also allow professionals to address consumer questions and concerns all at once rather than trying to individually respond to each situation.

Another notable attribute for YouTube is its capacity to generate feedback. Not only are there comment options available for each post, but it’s likely that users will post video reviews of and responses to your products/services. This provides professionals with an opportunity to get honest feedback, which will ultimately help address weak points in the company.

4.     Twitter

Perhaps more exclusively interaction-based than the other three platforms, Twitter is the short, sweet, and to the point media mogul. With only 140 characters to give voice to your cause, it’s important to be aware of your tone and content. In order to capture the attention of other users, Tweets need to be engaging. Consider asking an opinion-based question, including a picture, or commenting on current events in order to boost your followers. A Tweet that contains a special offer for followers is also a smart move—people simply enjoy getting a deal.

Undoubtedly, there are countless amounts of professionals out there that do the same thing you do. Thus, the point of Twitter (from a marketing perspective) is to engage other users and essentially create a loyal fan base. If consumers feel a connection to your product, they will continue to use your services.

With each of these social media sites, the most imperative things that businesses must do are stay engaged and be responsive. Reply to every direct message, tweet, and comment that your pages get; these crucial steps will make all of the difference in a social marketing campaign. After all, it’s called “social” media for a reason—interaction is the name of the game.

Kyle Parker is a huge fan of the Archer (the best TV series ever). When he’s not brushing up on his social media skills, you can find him playing soccer and writing about smart business strategies. 

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.
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