Social Media: The Online Phenomena Taking the World by Storm
Social media marketing is a new advertising strategy that businesses can use to appeal to a much wider and far more relevant market audience. Facebook, YouTube, Friendster, Twitter, MySpace, Digg, LinkedIn, Stumbleupon, Delicious, Hi5 and hundreds of hundreds more are all examples of the phenomena that has taken all four corners of the globe by storm. As long as you have access to the Internet, no physical barrier or distance could come between you interacting and sharing information with the rest of the world, using social media. This concept began as one that would promote social interaction but has now extended into the business sphere as social media marketing. One need only consider the incredible statistics pertaining to the number of regular and addicted users to the sites mentioned above to appreciate the kind of exposure businesses can reap from visibility in the social media and networking domain.
Social Media Marketing and What it Can Do For the Modern Business
Think about what you do when you are looking for something – no, not your car keys, but rather the name and location of your nearest bakery, locksmith or plumber. Or, perhaps you need to know where you could rent a Halloween costume from, buy a clock radio or get your teeth whitened at a reputable dental clinic. Whatever you are looking for and no matter how big or small, chances are you are going to turn to the Internet for answers. Statistics have shown that over 75% of people in the United State think exactly the same way: the Internet is now largely regarded as the Holy Grail of answers to all possible questions. So, if you are a business owner and want the people who are searching for the kinds of services or products that you sell to FIND you, and find you above your competitors, on the Internet, you are going to need to appear in the top ten search results yielded by a search engine such as Google, Yahoo or MSN. No one is going to bother to look further than the first page because: (1) No one really has the time to trawl through tens of results pages and, (2) Chances are they’ve already found what they were looking for in the top ten results. So how can a business get themselves top ranking on local and global search engines? Through a marketing strategy call Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and now, with the explosion of social media sites on the Internet, through Social Media Optimization (SMO). The more active your business is in the realm of social media – this means creating accounts and updating them regularly – the more visible you will be to global and local directories with the result of higher rankings. This is essentially the philosophy behind social media marketing and SMO and it is contributing towards the immense success of businesses big and small. Social media marketing enables businesses to:
- Spread their brand name and image to a much larger target audience,
- Effectively manage their online reputation,
- Gain visibility without geographical obstacle
- Generate far more leads and customers or clients
Social media marketing enables a business to achieve all of this and more, with a far lower budget! Why? Because the Internet is free and becoming a registered user of all the social media and networking sites out there is also free. So, social media marketing essentially offers businesses free airtime and free advertising!
Social Media Marketing: A Final Note
The explosion of social media websites – those that promote social interaction, networking and communication – onto the Internet has revolutionized the way the modern business approaches marketing and advertising. Social media marketing is fast making the distinction between the successful businesses and the ones that fall into online obscurity.