Anyone who owns or even knows someone who owns a computer (and nowadays that is a good percentage of the entire world) is probably familiar with the term Social Media. It is a collective term used to describe a wide variety of websites that are heavily weighted towards user generated content. The big hitters in the world of Social Media are;
- Twitter - 22million unique users
- Facebook - 132 million unique users
- LinkedIn - 15 million unique users
- YouTube - 91 million unique users
These figures are not to be sniffed at; there are vast numbers of people involved in some form or another of Social Media. Contrary to popular myth these figure are not solely made up of younger generations content creation serviceTweeting away to each other, it is fast becoming popular with the older generations. What we have here is an audience waiting to hear what fantastic products or services your company has to offer and with the correct strategies applied the world of Social Media can significantly raise the profile of your company (and hopefully your profits at the same time!).
Each and every business is unique and therefore all strategies will not be applicable for all businesses, so what follows is a brief overview.
- Twitter - In the last year or so Twitter has grown incredibly fast and we are seeing more and more businesses using it to their advantage. The most obvious way of using Twitter is for Direct Marketing. Essentially using Twitter to promote offers and to announce new products. Within your Tweets you can then provide a link to the relevant page on your site. Twitter is also a valuable tool for keeping an eye on your competitors and can help with customer relations.
- Facebook - With Facebook you can create a Business Account and use it as a direct tool for communicating with your customers. This direct communication can help your business understand its customers' needs, and implement any changes you may be required to make.
- LinkedIn - A more business orientated version of social media. LinkedIn can be valuable for making contacts within your industry. It also can help with customer relations and has some great features. One feature of particular interest is the 'recommendation' feature. If you get your clients to recommend you after you have provided your service or product it will give you more credibility with new or potential customers
- YouTube - Whilst YouTube is primarily famous for videos of cats playing keyboards it can also be a great marketing tool for your business. Although more thought may have to go into the videos you upload to YouTube for your business it can only help to reinforce your online marketing presence.
It is important to understand that you will need to consider your strategies carefully when you begin to utilise Social Media as part of your online marketing, either through research or attending courses. If you strategise correctly you can use Social Media to help your business grow and hopefully your profits will follow.