The internet has opened the doors for so many businesses. If you had an existing business “pre-internet”, then you had a new way to earn additional revenue. If you were looking for a way to start a business, then the internet offered ecommerce as a way to generate income. No matter where you were, you knew that the internet was going to take the world by storm and you wanted to be along for the ride.
Now there is a new forum; social media! Social media is an online term that pertains to the conversations and interactions of people online. Social media includes sites like LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and more. It’s where digital media combines with the power of “word of mouth”. It’s where business owners can promote their products and services to the masses and reap the rewards. That is – if it’s done effectively.
Imagine the internet as a series of giant billboards. If you plaster your name and product all over every billboard people will see the message but with so much “direct, in your face” marketing, they may begin to overlook your self-promotion. The key to social media is to provide something someone needs in order to get them to look to you for more information. So let’s say you owned a hair salon and had built an amazing website. In order to draw traffic you may create an article on “Top 5 Updo’s for Prom”. That article can be distributed to various article directories to gain you exposure. It can also be added as a blog on your website. Now, turn up the volume, just not very loud. So you take the next step and post a blurb on your Twitter and Facebook page that says something like:
This season, the updo is all the rage. Check out the Top 5 Updo’s today by going to “insert website address here”.
So you’re adding value by giving your audience something they will find interesting. By giving them the website address to this information you are taking them back to your site or blog and “presto” – you have now promoted your site and services without overdoing it. By not marketing your business in such a direct manner, you actually capture a wider audience and have now captured the power of social media to gain the exposure you need. You’re slowly becoming the expert for information in your niche market.
Now, the trick is not to stop there. Some businesses feel if they do this once or twice then they’re golden. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It takes constant marketing in this manner to get you on top and keep you there. The power of your marketing campaign depends on the effort you put into it. So the question is………”What are you waiting for?”