Social Media Marketing? Huh?
Oh yes! Social Media Marketing ties in with a new concept called Web 2.0. This new interactive web is fueled by people rather than technology.
What does that mean? How about I give you an example! Look at Wikipedia. The users of Wikipedia are both consumers and creators of the information on the site. Anyone can go to a page and edit it. This gives the world a growing, developing version of the dictionary. Rather than having a site’s content being limited to the employees of a company, a framework is established to support a user base and moderators are put into place. The content being created by the consumers themselves. Why rely only on the brain power of the people you hire? Why not borrow the brain power of the world?
There are a number of sites that are now run off of a Web 2.0 mentality. These sites have seen the benefit of social media marketing and are growing at astonishing rates. Some companies are even having difficulty with server space because of all the entries being created and updated!
Why is social media marketing important to your business? Simply put, it is the way business is going. You have witnessed the transition from paper to internet and recognized it’s importance in marketing today. Now it’s time to make another transition, one from the old web to the new one. In the same way that your marketing style had to change when print upgraded to internet, your mindset needs to change from side-show announcer to conversationalist. The announcer style of marketing is on its way out and the informed, internet savvy, self-researching public of web 2.0 would rather be spoken to rather than preached at.
Take a deep breath. Relax! As you get ready to test the waters of the social media pool there are a few guidelines that will help you make a more graceful transition from web 1.0 to web 2.0.
Social media marketing is a conversation. Think about networking at a party for example. Someone who only wants to talk about their business is just annoying and you’ll probably get out of that situation as quickly as possible. In the same way, if you are relentlessly promoting your business online, you will be tuned out with all the rest of the “noise”.
Build real relationships. You heard me. Social media marketing is tech-savvy, professional, word-of-mouth marketing stuck into a close-knit community. Join the community. Practice common courtesy. You will get further, faster by caring about the people around you.
Be yourself. There is something to be said for the professionalism of a salesman, but you don’t want to talk to one all the time. Many social media interactions are casual. Remember the party example? You will be meeting new people, take the time to check out their web site, see who they represent and find out what they are passionate about. Chances are, they will be doing the same for you.
Find out how you can help. By building these online relationships and communities, you have, in a way, made friends with the people you are interacting with. A helping hand is always welcome and people will appreciate you for it!
With those guidelines in mind, jump in! You can do it
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