Social media marketing

When was the last time you received a paper invitation in the mail, as opposed to a Facebook invitation? You might flip through some magazines, but do you have a Pinterest account as well? Been on the subway or in a doctor’s waiting room recently? How many people have their eyes glued to their smartphone? What do you think they’re looking at?

Today, people have more things than ever to read, listen to and watch, and that means the old standbys of television, newspaper and magazine advertising and marketing don’t reach the wide audiences they once did.

How often do you read news stories that refer to Twitter or a Facebook status update as a source? The point we’re making here is that all elements of life are gradually moving online and once they’re there, they’re gravitating toward social media.

Lots of small businesses have had great success with online marketing and social networking campaigns. Using well-designed websites, targeted email campaigns and pay-per-click Internet advertisements are an excellent, cost-efficient way to communicate directly to your target audience.

  • Traditional means of advertising and marketing are falling in effectiveness because the media market is fracturing. For example, the Search Engine Journal reports that only 18 percent of TV ad campaigns resulted in a positive return on investment.
  • At the same time newspaper and magazine subscriptions are falling and TV audiences are scattering, Internet and social media use continues to skyrocket. In January 2013, it was reported that Facebook had reached 1.6 billion active users worldwide, and in March 2013, microblogging site Twitter reached 500 million users. Clearly, your audience is moving off the couch and onto the web.
  • In just the past six months, the percent of email messages opened on a mobile phone or tablet (like an iPad) has increased 80 percent. So, not only are your customers online, but they’re on the move as well.

How big an impact can social media marketing strategies make on your business?

  • Facebook engages more than 1.3 BILLION monthly active users and earns more than 7 billion dollars in annual revenue (mainly ads)
  • Google+ engages 343 million monthly active users, LinkedIn 300 million, and Twitter 271 million
  • Time spent on social media sites has grown over 250% in 2 years and continues to grow
  • Nielsen stats show that social media usage has increased by 82% in the last year

Social media has become THE tool for brand awareness

Although it’s a very hackneyed phrase, social media marketing is about a conversation. It’s also about staying “top of mind” with your customers and potential customers. The likelihood that someone’s going to hear about your product or services at the same minute that they need that particular product or service on a social media channel is unlikely (that’s for SEO and/or PPC), but if they like or follow your brand, and you make a consistently good impression, they are likely to remember you when the purchasing time comes.

Small business and social media marketing

Small businesses see the potential of tapping into Social Media. They come with different expectations that are built on the foundations of traditional marketing which include one way conversations, email blasts with only sales messages and not willing to listen to negative comments.

So there are a lot of people on social media. Okay. What can your business gain from all those potential eyeballs?

  • give your brand an engaging, human face
  • help your brand stay top-of-mind with current and potential customers
  • create brand advocates who recommend your brand to their friends
  • inform, educate, entertain and inspire your target audience
  • make it easy for your brand advocates to share your valuable content with their circles

The problem:

Social media isn’t “set and forget.” If you throw up social pages and profiles and never put effort into engaging people, you wasted your opportunity.

If you put up mediocre pages and share mediocre content “just to have something there,” you wasted your opportunity.

Don’t waste it.

Flagstone’s social media management process involves:

  • Defining your audience and its social media habits
  • Social strategy for your business to get the full benefit of social media
  • Creating attractive and engaging social media profiles and pages
  • Content sharing system
  • Strategies for engagement

Add some value to the conversation or just shut up already

The upside of social media is that anyone can build a Facebook page or start a Twitter account. The downside is also just that: Any business can do it, and most do it badly.

The real premise of social media is adding value with content that engages your customers which inspires, educates, informs and maybe even entertains. This means forgetting about “you” and thinking about “them”

This means adding value to your audience by solving their problems with content that includes “How To” articles,white papers and ebooks on your blog and website.

Social media will be the web’s largest component

Time spent on social media sites has grown over 250% in 2 years. Nielsen stats show that social media usage has increased by 82% in the last year, an astronomical rise.Facebook , Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and social interaction are becoming the focus of our online interactions, even more than search.

A Pew Internet Project report concluded, “Whatever language we use to describe it, the beating heart of the Internet has always been its ability to leverage our social connections. Social networking sites like Facebook struck a powerful chord at the right time with the right technology, but the actions they enable are nothing new.”

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