When you consider that there is about 1.3 million small and medium sized businesses located in North America alone and they generate an astounding $5.5 trillion each year, it is no wonder that a large number of them use social media as part of their overall marketing campaign.
It’s safe to say that the internet has revolutionized the way many businesses are formed and how marketing has changed. What was once the domain of newspapers, radio and television has now grown to the superhighway of information that the internet provides. Within that scope, social media has taken on a powerful new way to help businesses and entrepreneurs reach new customers and keep ties with those who have purchased before. In fact, over 80% of businesses today use social media in some form while most of the rest plan to do so in the near future.
The Changes to Social Media
Unlike traditional means of advertising, the internet and social media in particular are subject to changes on a rapid basis. Techniques that once worked like gangbusters before fade quickly and are replaced by other means. As part of your marketing budget and resources, you need to keep track of upcoming trends and incorporate those that are beneficial to your efforts.
For example, the largest social media outlet, Facebook, has put in place changes to their algorithm which has reduced the amount of followers that may see your posts. That trend is expected to continue which means that business which rely solely on Facebook will be facing diminishing returns.
You need to be more creative, open and flexible with your social media marketing strategy. This means opening up your marketing efforts and applying resources that can better take advantage of new trends as they happen.
How to Creatively use Social Media
There are a number of ways that you can creatively use your resources when marketing on social media pages. The trick is to be open to new ideas and understand how to correctly evaluate their promise.
Diversify your Social Media Investment: It’s easy to understand why so many businesses rely on one or two social media outlets to get out their message. Even the best in advertisers are creatures of habit and relying on the “tried and true” simply takes less work and imagination than exploring new options.
However, the recent changes to Facebook and rising prominence of new social media sites is prompting a change for many businesses. You need to select several social media outlets to market your business effectively. Fortunately, there are software programs that allow you to post the same messages on different outlets at the same time, but you will also need to take advantage of what each has to offer.
So think about the new social media sites that are rising up and the different group of customers that they can bring to your business.
Google+ is Here to Stay: After a lukewarm opening, Google+ has become one of the biggest players in the social media scene. There is a very important reason for that as Google has incorporated many of their other services into their social media business.
However, the most important reason is that the Google search engine which dominates the internet takes into account Google+ into its organic ratings. This means that you can get more from posting on your Google+ account which should automatically be one of the social media networks you use regularly.
In addition, Google+ allows access into Google Authorship which is playing a stronger role in search engine optimization. This is because it allows the search engine to identify the content and give it the proper attribution based on the author. The more you publish, the higher your author rank will be which in turn helps your SEO efforts.
Think Visual: You have probably read about how video and images are playing a much larger role in social media, especially in terms of advancing the ability of companies to reach new customers. However, the true potential of video has simply not been fully reached as of yet.
Incorporating more video content to your social media marketing, even in more subtle ways may greatly expand your base of followers especially if the use of the video is clever, funny and to the point. Instagram and Vine have greatly expanded the potential use of video and every day businesses are using it more as well.
When planning out your posts, think about how video can enhance the message that you are trying to deliver. The more you can effectively incorporate video, the better the chance that your followers will pass it on to their friends.
Build up your Brand: One of the most overlooked aspects of social media is how it can effectively build up your business brand. Your brand helps sell your products or services just as much, if not more than your other marketing efforts. This is because the public sees internet businesses as a “dime a dozen” or in other words, they have no reason to buy from you over your hundreds of competitors unless you provide one.
Building up your brand means enhancing what you do so that people feel more respect and are comfortable in purchasing from your business. So use your social media outlets to build up your brand and reputation so that it can best serve your needs as well as your customers.
Diversifying your approach and being more creative with how you employ social media is not easy and the fear of making mistakes is ever-present. However, the things we find difficult are often the best means in which to raise our talents and create new opportunities for success. In expanding your view of social media, you also open up your business to creating more profit potential.
Overall, social media is an ever-changing, ever-growing part of your marketing efforts. To understand its full potential means expanding your approach and incorporating different elements so that you can maximize the potential of your business efforts.