We tweet, we blog, we like and share…welcome to the world of social media. In case you’ve been living under a rock these past few years, social media is here to stay. Whether you’re on 10 different social media websites daily or one, interacting on the social media platform of your choice is a great way to promote your business, attract customers, and encourage visits to your website. The trick is learning how to harness the reach and power of social media for business purposes in a positive, constructive and brand-boosting way.
What Is Social Media?
You’re probably familiar with many of the more common social media websites. They’re mentioned on the news, they’re touted by all the latest marketing gurus, and they’re even on the stock market. Social media websites promote connections and networking via direct, personal links. Through your personal or business social media account, you share updates, links to relevant content and more. You can make connections with new acquaintances, rekindle old friendships, and keep up with family and friends.
Social media today has a broader definition than most people give it. Social media is more than websites like Twitter or Facebook. Social media encompasses any website where conversations and interactions are encouraged.
Examples of Social Media Social media includes:
- Social networks, such as Facebook, which enable users to create networks of friends, acquaintances and business contacts with which they can share updates and content;
- Question and Answer forums, such as Yahoo! Answers, which provide forums for individuals to post questions and others to respond;
- Content curation platforms such as Pinterest and Reddit that make it easy for users to share links to their favorite articles, images and more, and to curate groups of useful and relevant content;
- Photo-based social sites, such as Flickr, where images are the basis for communications, commentary and sharing;
- Video websites like YouTube that provide personal television channels to billions of people worldwide;
- Blogging, which provides platforms for individuals, companies and organizations to share their ideas, thoughts and content with the world;
- Business and networking sites like LinkedIn which focus on industry and business-specific topics;
- and many, many more.
Is Social Media Marketing Profitable or a Time Waster?
Business people often look askance at social media marketing as time-wasting, unprofitable communications. Social media, however, can provide profitable indeed. Let’s look at a few examples.
- Cadbury/Wispa: When chocolate company Cadbury announced it was retiring the Wispa candy bar, a popular treat in the United Kingdom, millions of fans petitioned via Twitter and Facebook for the company to keep the Wispa bar in production. Cadbury, reluctant at first to respond, finally sent 40 million Wispa bars to market. The bars were quickly snapped up by chocolate-hungry fans, and Cadbury kept the bars in production. Today, the company credits social media with both saving the iconic British chocolate bar and adding 30% to their annual profits.
- Coffee Groundz: Do you remember the days when door to door salesmen like the Fuller Brush Man knocked on your front door and sold items from a case? The days of a direct salesman traipsing around the suburbs may be over, but direct sales lives on today via social media. Coffee Groundz used a Twitter campaign to directly sell its products to consumers. The results netted them a 25% increase in both sales and profits. Not bad for using a ‘free’ advertising medium.
- Jimmy Choo: Shoe designer and retailer Jimmy Choo’s footwear commands prices as high as their platform heels, but that didn’t stop consumers from responding to their social media campaign. The company used a cleverly targeted campaign via Twitter to encourage visits to their retail stores and sell sneakers. The results speak for themselves; soaring store visits, positive Tweets shared among Choo fans, and 33% more sneaker sales.
Your company may not be as big as Cadbury or Jimmy Choo, but with creativity, persistence and knowledge, you too can harness the power of social media to boost sales, profits and site traffic. Get started today by exploring some of the popular social media platforms. Connect with Web Design of Palm Beach on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn. Soon you’ll be tweeting, liking and commenting like a pro!
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