Any serious Internet marketing strategy should include social media as critical to its success. While having a website is the bare minimum, it’s unlikely to get much traction without social media. Just like any other marketing technique, however, there are several choices of platforms and methodologies to consider.
First, you need to know who your audience is (or who your audiences are). Where do they prefer to hang out online? Each platform has a mixture of users, and your business may also have a mixture of audiences. But without this information, you may wind up focusing on the wrong platforms, missing out on others that would be better for your business.
Research whether or not your audience uses a platform to take action or just to find information. And decide if this aligns with your company’s goals. While many users may be on one platform, they may be just hanging out for entertainment purposes. You may have to spend more money to place ads or maintain a presence there than with another.
This article just touches on some of the major social media platforms for marketing, but it’s only a start. If your budget allows in-depth marketing trials and analyses, thoroughly investigate each one. If not, try a few that make the most sense. Just start somewhere.
Facebook is a household name, and most major companies have a presence. Businesses can put up a simple page or launch full on campaigns. Surveys, polls, daily (or even hourly) postings, conversations with readers, and even Facebook apps are all examples of ways to enhance a Facebook presence. Even though there should be a link to your company’s website, some companies use Facebook as a makeshift website.
Millions of readers use Twitter to find out about news as it happens. Having a Twitter account lets companies interact almost immediately with their customers and prospects. From writing witty content during major events to using hashtags for people to follow, Twitter is a major player in marketing businesses. Like Facebook, written content is the main way it connects with readers, though images and video are quickly gaining favor.
Instagram’s platform uses primarily images/photos and videos to communicate messages to its users. This works really well with a company whose products are interesting, or those who have a message that is enhanced with the spoken word. It’s growing in popularity, and it is often shared to other platforms.
What’s notable about LinkedIn is that many of its users don’t use Facebook or Twitter. LinkedIn caters to businesses, so if your company is B2B, this is the platform for you. Like the others, it can be connected to other platforms, but don’t overlook its power as a marketing and networking tool. And LinkedIn is always testing new ways to build its brand and increase its value.
The last platform we’ll cover here is blogs. Blogs are just websites that post new content on regular basis – sort of like an online newsletter or magazine. Businesses can teach readers about their field, give them tips, entertain them, or even converse with them in the comments section. Other bloggers share blog articles, search engines rank them just like any other website, and they are a great resource for keeping customers coming back for more. Regular websites tend to be more static and out-of-sight/mind.
Finally, though there are other platforms to consider, this is a good list to get started. As other social media platforms gain in popularity and influence, research their pros and cons. Give them a trial run when time and money permit. Most of all, good luck in the world of Internet marketing. It’s truly a web – easy to lose your way but not hard to find a connection.