Digital marketing can be daunting. The Internet is huge and new, the variety of options is overwhelming, and business people are still trying to figure out what’s the best way to mine it.
The sheer amount of scams, dead-ends, and time-wasters on the Internet could make you swear it off together. However, this would be a deadly mistake.
In the modern world, you must have an Internet presence if you want to be even moderately competitive. After all, social media is by far the most cost-effective way to do marketing.
Even the most traditional of Mom and Pop stores are on some social network or another these days. For a startup, social media is vital.
But why social media?
Let’s face it: billboards are dead. No one listens to radio nowadays. Even the all-powerful TV is now living its autumn days.
According to recent statistics, people today spend more around a quarter of their lives in social media. 50 percent of people prefer to socialize via social media than in person.
For better or for worse, people are starting to spend a big chunk of their lives on the Internet, and a good marketer always goes where the people are.
However, you should be aware that, without a real understanding of social media, your attempts at promotion will be disastrous.
Social media is a completely different ballgame than traditional marketing. Whereas traditional marketing consists mainly in making your advertisement as visible as possible and hoping your ideal customers will run into it, social media is about you finding your customers and targeting them and no one else. In other words, social media is about building a community.
The main difference between social media-savvy marketers and newcomers to the field is their general approach. Newcomers try to capture as many followers as possible, thinking the success of a campaign lies in the numbers.
Real experts know that quality trumps quantity any day. Worthwhile followers with a real interest in your product will keep coming back for more, while the kind of followers you can capture through gimmicky viral tricks won’t engage your content.
Besides, a zealous follower is more likely to capture other quality followers, and will also engage in conversation with you – something that was not possible in the days before the rise of social media.
Direct feedback from your customers, while not a replacement for professional market research, is a great way to improve your content and tailor it to the community.
Another great advantage of social media that not many people leverage is how easy it is to evaluate your efforts. As everything that happens in social media is made of zeroes and ones, it’s easy to evaluate the success of your campaign with online tools like Google Analytics and change your approach according to the results.
If you’re starting using social networks for marketing your business, maybe the most obvious choice is Facebook. It’s by far the most popular social platform, and therefore it has strength in numbers.
Also, because it’s the biggest social network, it’s also the one with the greatest usability; it’s very easy to create a profile, and even easier for customers to find you. Most businesses today have a Facebook page.
In fact, it has become the norm to such a degree that not having a Facebook page is now a handicap, and potential customers may regard your business with suspicion if you fail to have a presence on the platform.
The most credible alternative to Facebook is Twitter. Twitter is also huge, but if you want to make the most of it, you must be aware of its differences with other social networks. Twitter is the newest kid on the block.
It’s hipper, to the point and a bit hyperactive. Success in Twitter usually requires a more informal approach, plenty of updates, one-on-one customer engagement, and a certain degree of snappiness.
But perhaps the most important social network to be in today – especially for B2B startups – is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a platform made by business people to business people. It’s the online hub of the professional world.
Every respectable professional – including, presumably, you and your employees – will be there. A good reputation in LinkedIn goes a long way in establishing you as an authority in your field.
But, however important individual social networks may be, in the end, social media marketing is all about the content. Quality content, however, delivered, is the only guarantee that your campaign will have any success.
If you don’t have a content-writing team, you can always get content tailor-made for you on a case-by-case basis from some of the many essay-writing services that are lately springing up on the Internet.
Make sure your writer can write engaging, SEO-friendly content and knows the basics of your business. If you don’t know which service to use, look up review sites like UK Services Review and choose the right one for you.
Content is king. Don’t forget it and you’ll be on your way to a happy and successful existence in social media.