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Social media – What’s all the fuss?

Marketing used to be about companies pushing their ads in front of people in order to sell; now it’s about engagement with the audience. There has always been competition in business but with such a plethora of options these days, companies must stand out in a very positive way, they almost have to seduce potential clients like a new sweetheart.

Less than a decade ago, few people thought of social media as a useful channel for online marketing, now small businesses are embracing it and are reaping the benefits with increased customer engagement and sales. From Facebook to Twitter and Instagram to LinkedIn, some of the savviest businesses are establishing a presence on social media and capitalising on the massive exposure available from it.

Whichever social media platform you choose will depend on your individual preferences of course, but to some extent the nature of your business can determine the most suitable for your purposes. LinkedIn for example is the platform of choice for some professionals because of the more formal nature of their business services, whereas Facebook and Twitter are less formal, and reflect more of an individual’s or company’s personality, while still providing opportunities to promote the business. Twitter gives valuable exposure to small businesses and Pinterest is highly visual, which businesses can benefit from using the impact of images to attract interest.

Once we’ve identified the best platform(s) for our business we cannot rest on our laurels. Continued interaction is important in keeping people interested and they will, in turn, reward us with their loyalty, and their custom.

Content can go out-of-date very quickly and if we are not updating it, our followers may just head off somewhere else. Also, we can get insights into what is being said before it ever becomes a problem. The best performing businesses constantly monitor and measure activity and responses and adapt their strategies accordingly.

Social media is a stage upon which we can stand, view the landscape and make a judgement about where we need to be heading to effectively market and promote our business. It reaches the ears of so many more potential opportunities than was ever possible before its invention. It does the hard work connecting us to the people that matter to our business and we reap the rewards.