A couple of years ago, I began to write about social media marketing. Since the complete reboot of my site, I haven’t come back to that topic. So let’s revisit the key concepts around social media marketing.
Despite the proliferation of social media in all its forms, the concept still seems lost on a large number of small business owners. For some, it’s a scary frontier land filled with identity thieves. For others, it simply seems like a waste of time when traditional marketing methods work just fine (thankyouverymuch).
Whether a small business owner chooses to embrace social media or not, it’s important to understand it’s a form of communication and interaction that’s not going away. Like it or not, social media is a powerful influence on not just people, but businesses, marketing practices and even sales and customer service. Larger enterprises have mostly adopted social media and are using it for a variety of purposes, from product announcements to lead generation to customer service.
But social media is a big place. When I originally wrote this blog in August 2013, I noted that if Facebook were a recognized nation, it would be just behind India in terms of most-populated countries on Earth. India was second only to China. Today, Facebook has 1.3 billion monthly active users, according to an article published on Business Insider last summer. If you count all of Facebook’s properties, the number jumps to 2.2 billion, but it seems likely there’s some overlap there. Still, at 1.3 billion people strong, Facebook is essentially the equivalent of China’s population — and by now, it has likely gained a clear lead.
And that’s only Facebook. Add in the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and the hundreds of other social media websites and applications, and it’s a whole other story. The population of social media is a large portion of the planet’s population — and it’s safe to say it’s the majority of the population in many nations.
Trying to unravel the complex web of social media is like trying to untangle a ball of yarn … one-handed … in the dark. With some time, effort and dedication, social media can become a strong tool in your marketing and customer service toolkit. And you don’t even need knitting needles.
It’s not easy to build a social marketing campaign and stick to it, but I’ll aim to give you a few tips and tricks to help you build a following on your social media platform of choice, create a strategy so you don’t suffer from the same maladies that strike many business social media efforts, and learn to effectively communicate with a whole new audience that is tech-savvy, engaging, has a strong sense of entitlement, and needs to be drawn in with 140 characters or less (go ahead, say it… Millennials!).
Until the next instalment, check out this article I wrote for the Freshbooks blog on success with gaining new clients through social media marketing.