Social Media has become a great tool for business, an additional free avenue of marketing. 

The Wikipedia definition of Social Media is:
Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media uses web-based technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogues. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein also define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content.  Businesses also refer to social media as consumer-generated media (CGM). A common thread running through all definitions of social media is a blending of technology and social interaction for the co-creation of value.

Social Media has become a great avenue for businesses and organizations to connect and interact with current customers, potential customers, volunteers, employees and more. 

Social Media includes many different types of web applications including the popular ones in our area like

There are thousands of social media websites on the Internet in the areas of communication, Collaboration, Multimedia, Entertainment, Reviews and Brand Monitoring.  Often people are overwhelmed or know they need to be on some form of social media but do not know how.  Most people just set up an account and don’t know what to do next.  My clients most often request to be on Facebook as it is a popular social media tool in our area and their competitors and others are already using it.

From my experience and what I have learned about social media for business is that it should be used as a tool.  With these tools you are able to execute a social media plan.  Like every form of marketing you do, you need a goal or purpose for carrying out your marketing plan.  The same goes with social media.  Each business or organization may have a different purpose or plan for using social media tools.  You may want to use tools like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for

  1. Building Brand Awareness
  2. Increasing Traffic To Your Website
  3. Generating Leads
  4. Providing Customer Service
  5. Engaging With Customers, Creating a Relationship
  6. Improving Search Results

Before you begin, sit down and make a plan.  What are your goals for social media and how will you use the tools to meet those goals?

I like to suggest to my clients to start with a blog.  This form of social media allows you to add information and news updates to your website, giving your website visitors the ability to interact and leave comments on your blog posts (basically a page or update to your website).  Blogging is great for keeping your website content fresh, essentially bringing more visitors back to your website on a regular basis.  It is also very beneficial in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). 

Once you have a blog post created, you can easily use other social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. to share that blog post, driving traffic to your website and providing engaging content for your interested viewers.  For example, you can share your latest blog post of useful information about your product or service on Facebook which includes a link back to your website for people who “Like” your page to learn more.  You can create a blog post with your latest video using YouTube and share the link to your post and video on Twitter.

If you are interested in learning more about social media or would like advise on how to set up a plan, contact me today and I would love to talk with you about using social media for your business or organization!

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