Why Social Media?

Social media gets a bad rep sometimes, and for a good reason. No one wants to read every thought that spills out of someone’s head. Nor do they want to see endless pics of someone’s face (aka the dreaded selfie).

There is another side to social media, the side with messages that empower, raise money, conquer bad guys or are just plain old helpful. It’s full of rich content and valid instructions. When businesses  and marketing agencies harness the power of social media, they wield an excellent marketing weapon. And let’s face it, with all the FB users, Tweeters and other ways to connect—social media is a way to reach all the users of the internet age, which spans a wide array of ages, genders and backgrounds.

Social media can be considered vital for several reasons when it comes to marketing. Businesses have found that it increases inbound marketing, brand recognition and loyalty and search engine rankings while keeping marketing costs lower. It is also a helpful way to interact with consumers by getting crucial insights. The businesses that know how to play the social media game often see the best results in their conversions.

As a business, where do you start? Well, get going on some social media in 2015, make your debut if you haven’t already, or make it a part of your ongoing marketing goals.

Start with platforms have the greatest reach. Once you have some experience, you can target different demographics through their favorite outlets, but there a few that consistently have a wide audience and will get you started.

The big two are worthwhile; Facebook and Twitter still have plenty to offer businesses, as well as social media users, so you can rest assured that the outreach on those platforms are still valid. It is smart, however, to engage some of the other big names. YouTube, PinterestInstagram and blogs are all great options to act as lead generators.

The more savvy and innovative you become with your social media in 2015, the more appealing it will be. Remember to keep an eye on the newest social media trends. Snapchat, Medium, Quora and Chirp are unique entities to keep an eye on. By using them, you can indulge your creative marketing spirit by devising one-of-a-kind campaigns.

Don’t Keep It Just About You

Nothing will turn a potential customer off faster than if you’re obvious in your sales ploys. It can’t be about me, me, me, look, please, please look at our awesome product. We all know those types of salespeople—and we don’t exactly love them. One thing that gets peoples’ tingly good feelings going is when someone has contributed something useful to their lives. They’ve shared tidbits and information that makes them smile, laugh or say, “Wow, that’s going to really help me in my everyday life.”

Some of the most successful business campaigns are the ones that are subtle, but memorable. Maybe you hit the nostalgia button or instigate fascination. Some marketing tactics include connecting and doing something that touches the hearts of potential consumers.

Your interaction with these leads is just as important. In today’s fast-paced society, customers lean toward companies who actually acknowledge them, and better yet, show that they care and want to hear what you have to say.

In the Field of Dreams, the famous line states, “If you build it, he will come.” Well, build an interest through subtle channels, entertainment and other inventive avenues, and they (the customers) will come.

Integrate Social Media with Other Channels

Once you have a strong social media presence established, it is wise to cross-pollinate. Most people have seen those symbols peppering blogs, websites and e-mails. And there is a good reason for it. Take a look at a scenario that gives you an idea of why you want to add some share, like and follow buttons.

Let’s say Jen, your target consumer, is a social media guru. She tweets, chats, pins and posts on a regular basis—it’s her favorite form of communication. She’s just seen an amazing non-marketing, marketing post on your blog. She loves it, thinks it’s brilliant and must share it with her bazillion followers. You’ve added a Twitter link: she uses it. Jen also likes it, pins it and forwards it, effectively assisting you, the business, to share it with everyone she’s connected to. Now some people won’t give it the time of day, but there are some devout Jen fans who really love everything she does—I mean she finds some great stuff and passes it on. Your lead pool just got bigger without having to do much at all.

All those little buttons, threads and icons are interconnected to a complex web of people. You never know what will go viral or how many people, who might not have otherwise, will find your awesome product. So it stands to reason that integrating your social media in 2015 is pretty important.

Make sure to add your links to your e-mails, newsletters and website. Learn which social media platforms easily connect to others. Take the time to educate your business and marketing departments on what a share is and what a follow is, and what purpose they each serve. Anchor, link, mention and hashtag whenever possible.

The beauty of social media in business marketing is its ability to reach leads you may not have in any other marketing format. With the right tools and message, that reach can burn through the internet like wildfire. All you need are some amazing thinkers who know how to connect with your target demographic in new, appealing ways.

So go ahead, make 2015 your year to master and dominate social media. Become a marketing superhero by wielding its power effectively.