In today’s ever increasing and fast-paced business world, the methods used to market have hit a time of growing pains. Marketing is moving in a direction that requires less people and more technology. For some people this is second nature, some are learning as they go, and others are having a hard time leaving the old ways of doing business behind. There is a technical term for this growing pain; it’s called “Social Media.”
To better understand why social media is so important, we have to look at what it does for business in 2009 and beyond.
If you’ve ever wondered what Social Media is, it’s simple. It is a collection of various sites on the Internet with the purpose of keeping people connected on a global scale. It quickly became a tool for business networking because of its ability to reach a mass audience without the need for travel or attend every social event possible.
What are some of the most popular Social Media networks out there at the moment?
- Facebook - (definition)
- Myspace – (definition)
- Twitter - (definition)
- Linked In - (definition)
- Blogs ( Blogspot , WordPress )
Social Media and SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Everyone that has a Website understands that people don’t come to you; you need to reach out to the people when they search for a word or phrase that relates to your business on a search engine like Google. By using Social Media, it offers benefits to your SEO efforts which in turn puts your business in front of more people interested in your services and/or product(s).
The more websites your company’s name appears on, the higher you’ll rank on Search Engines such as Google. Search Engines see your name appearing repeatedly and recognize your company as being legitimate as well as an important source for users to know.
Search Engines rate your Website based on new content. As content on sites such as your blog increase, it creates more keywords; more keywords lead to more opportunities for your business to be found online. Fresh content also offers users a benefit to coming back to your Website.
Social Media and Networking
While nothing can ever replace the value of face to face networking, Social Media allows you to reach more people than your business’s geographic location allows. Email and the Internet already changed business by allowing people to work on the same projects overseas; now it’s doing the same with business networking and consumer marketing.
Establish new business contacts or update existing ones all simultaneously from your phone. Promote your business or get answers to questions from real professionals while you work instead of some support line. Test new ideas and get real reactions, not statistics. Build credibility as an expert by answering questions and posting beneficial blogs or advice. Someone is more likely to do business with you if you’ve already given them helpful advice or written consistent blogs on topics that are helpful than cold calling or simply meeting someone and telling them about your services.
Social Media isn’t a tool that will bring overnight success. It takes time to build up a network of people to be social with, but once you start you’ll find if they are part of one of your social networks, they’ll join the others. Every social contact offers the possibility of all of their contacts becoming one of yours and the cycle continues with every new contact you make.
Social media is a basic tool; it’s how you apply it to your business that is limitless. Look at it as a window into how you do business and how your knowledge can really benefit those looking to do business with you. Let the world see what you really have to offer and they’ll add you as a friend, re-tweet you, post your blogs, ask questions, thank you for your advice, and become followers.
Business is about relationships; now you have the chance to build them anywhere in the world from your desk and from that, with time, face-to-face.