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Things You Should Know About Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing, will it deliver results for my business? It’s clear that social media has grown dramatically over the last few years and that with more than 800 million active users, the number of Facebook users is easily more than twice the size of the entire population of the United States! Its growth has been astronomical and today, millions of people are posting more personal and business information online than ever before. It’s happening at lightning speed with thousands of posts, tweets and uploads occurring every hour.

Recent research conducted by the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) commissioned by Sensis Pty Ltd (May 2011, p. 10) indicates, that “62% of Australian Internet users use a variety of social media sites, with many visiting every day and most at least a few times a week.” It’s no surprise that with the millions of prospective customers from all over the world using these sites, every day, that so many businesses have decided to include social media marketing into their marketing mix. However it also important to get an understanding of how these sites are being used and what’s involved in maintaining or resourcing your business presence on these sites. Your online footprint can stick around for a long time so don’t underestimate how this can affect the perception of your brand in the market place. Spend some time upfront thinking about whether social media is right for your business.

Seek first to understand – It is very important that you understand the fundamentals of how is social media actually works and how it’s being used. What are people and businesses doing with social media? What gets them results? Some of you may be thinking, how do I do this? Perhaps you could consider trying it out for yourself by setting up a personal account, then testing some of the features, or get a trusted friend to show you their account and guide you through. Alternatively there are so many resources and ‘how to’ items online about social media, that you could run a search on Google or on YouTube on a particular topic of interest and watch the video tutorials to get informed.

Understand your purpose – What is your purpose is for using social media? What do you hope to achieve for your business by using it? It’s really important that you identify your purpose for getting involved in social media (or any other marketing activity for that matter). You need to work out why you are taking part. What do you expect to achieve? Do you simply want to build brand awareness, engage with your customers or identify new sales opportunities? Remember to be realistic about what you believe you will be able to achieve.

All About Social Media Marketing

A lot of people ask me why I’m so successful with connecting with my tribe via social media. It’s a great question, because it lets us explore how useful social media can be – and how to utilize it without broadcasting endless pitches to people, but actually engage them and provide true value. Here are my seven secrets that transcend all social media platforms and allow you to apply them in ways that grow your business, no matter what field you are in:

Be Findable-You have to take your business where the people are and be in the relevant conversations. And in today’s world, the relevant conversations are taking place on social media. The particular platforms will be different for different businesses. Someone in the corporate arena needs to be on LinkedIn while a band would still be a better candidate for a page on MySpace. The criterion for deciding which social media platforms you need to be on is simple: where are your customers and prospects hanging out today? Once you know what those platforms are, make sure you have a presence on them and are contributing to the community there. Be certain that when prospects are looking for your area of expertise, you can be found.

Have an Attitude-If you’re a business that sells accounting programs for accountants, you probably have a certain vibe on your website and other marketing materials. If you sell exotic automobiles or couture fashion, your vibe would be quite different. Whatever that vibe is, it should bleed through to all your social media accounts. This attitude should show up in all your graphics, such as the header and pictures on your Facebook Fan Page, your avatar pic and wrap on your Twitter page, and even the style of your headshot on your LinkedIn profile. I can’t count how many times someone has messaged me or shared one of my posts, and when I click through to their page to see if I should be following back, I find… nothing. No picture, no bio, not even the city they live in. If you’re in the witness protection program, you probably shouldn’t be on social media in the first place. But if you are hoping to use social media to build your brand, expand your reach, or actually make money, give us something to go on.

You can start with a pic! If we go to your Twitter page and there’s only a colored egg where your face should be, it’s like a billboard that says, “Hi, I’m Amish, and I’m checking to see if this computer fad is gonna last.” Even 97-year-old mammies are emailing pix of their great-grandkids. If you don’t know how to upload a photo, ask someone. Make it a real photo of you, not your dog or cat or llama. And please, post a current one. (Don’t be one of those people who sends a pic and shows up 15 years later!) We want to know who we’re conversing with. Likewise with caricatures or icons. Use them only if they really are an essential part of your branding. And by the way, for many of you reading this, your avatar should be your logo. But don’t just do it mindlessly. Think about who is actually doing the feed and whether a personal photo would be better instead. You can place the logo somewhere else on the page.

Social Media Advantage for Brands

Social media has become mainstream and as someone said: every media becoming social. I always think some brands and their attitudes to social media, content marketing, and management. It is clear from every angle, except from view, that most brands are overlooking the “social” in front of the social media. This is what sets social media apart from other kinds of media. To excel in social media, you begin with cultivating a social media mindset. Most have not understood what this platform offers. All that we are currently doing is majorly titled toward social media abuse which is based on advertising and shameless ego promotion. This affects corporate brands more though.

Most have concentrated mainly on mainstream traditional media. They have neglected or can we say they are unaware that the only way to survive in this time is a two-way communication media which embraces not only the traditional but online media platform. As we know, the current trend today is for brands to first learn about their brides-customers, get their attention through the use of social media platforms like blogging, YouTube, Xing, Face book, Delicious, Bookmarking, RSS, Podcasting, video casting, Wikis among many other available online media.

The evolution of these new media has opened up opportunity to seek opinion, interact, court, date and offers irresistible proposal that will hook the bride. Today customers are no longer buying one mode fits all offer by the traditional media. Some corporate brands here seem to hinge non-participation in online community building on such excuses that we are not yet online, neither are there recognized consumer fora which have major convergence of consumers online. Also no regulatory authority here pays attention to or gives any attention to whatever they have to say can. They also claim that online forums here have no impacts on corporate performance. Some also claim that social media is alien to us. My answer is that social media is not alien. The fact remains that many things had been part of us only that we do not accurately label them until the westerners help us out.

The idea of social media, content marketing is rooted in cultural rituals where a couple gets engaged before they could start dating. The process require that suitor’s intention has to be established through family contacts, integrity checked and a cogent promised is made that he is interested in a serous relationship and not flings. Without these background checks, no one officially allows the intending couple to start dating. If this is violated then, the bride to be would be disciplined.

Drawing a parallel in this ancient ritual, the customers want the brand today to show that what matters is her, not money making. The customers want to be sure that out of arrays of suitors-products, services- your brand can take the initiative of starting a conversation, the customer wants to be sure your brand is not just flirting, looking out for short flings but a real relationship that will enhance her lifestyle. Brand through social media, content and social marketing set up a bate by loading the right words in their contents to convince, educate, entertain the bride that they are out to make her life better even before selling anything.