The State of Social Media

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When I first began this blog, most of the posts were dedicated to educating small / medium size businesses on the importance of social media.

At the time, many were wondering what the fuss about Facebook was and who the heck wanted to know what you had for breakfast on Twitter.  I spent a long time painting the picture so that my clients could begin to see the potential for connecting with their audience using social methods. I spent a long time explaining that social media would surpass other forms of marketing and be more cost effective and practical than print media and direct mail.

I predicted that ‘one of these days, not having a social media profile will be as bad as not having a fax machine would have been in the ’80’s’.   Well, that day arrived… a few years ago.  Now, organizations that don’t have a social media presence are falling behind their competitors and doing themselves serious damage long term.

The trouble is that many still are confused by the role that each social media platform plays – and how they should be incorporated into their business operations. Which platforms are best?  Which ones should they not bother with?  Which ones will impact their bottom line directly and indirectly?

I’m asked these questions all the time and the answer is often not the same.  It will vary depending on the type of organization, their internal demographics as well as their target audience demographics.  Having said that the main social media platforms that are really relevant for business today are: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram.   For most organizations, concentrating on these platforms should take care of the bulk of their prospect and customer base.

The key to success with social media is in having a plan based on a well thought out content marketing strategy that’s executed consistently and frequently over the long term.  The objective of the content marketing strategy is to inform, educate and connect with a desired target audience, so the content has to be geared to do this.  The key difference between this type of marketing and what used to be done with print ads and direct mail is engagement.

With old style marketing, the flow of information was one way: from the business to the audience. With social media, it’s a two way conversation. You put information out in various forms and your audience can engage with you by commenting, sharing, liking and so on. The more this happens, the more conversations begin. The more conversations there are happening, the more your audience is getting to know, like and trust you.  And as you know, people buy from people they know, like and trust.

For more insights into how to go about deciding on your own social media strategy, you can request a report I prepared by telling me where to send it in the form below.

 

Request your copy of “The State of Social Media” Report

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