We all know how quickly social networking sites spread opinion across the web. The term ‘social media marketing’ has become an integral element part of the business world to enhance brand and reach out to their audience. They use these platforms for word-of-mouth marketing as well as to monitor trends among their customers and even research new product ideas According to the 2013 Harvard Business Review survey, over 79% of the surveyed 2,100 companies are either using or planning to use social media channels.
Social media is now making its presence felt in the political arena. An article in the Washington Post tells of how cyberprotests were successful in postponing the vote on two bills (PIPA or PROTECT IP Act and SOPA or the Stop Online Piracy Act) that would have empowered law enforcement to shut down entire Internet domains if these were found to be infringing on copyrights or violating IP strictures. Up to 1000 protesters showed up in person. But this was nothing compared to the protests expressed via social media platforms. In addition to 200,000 phone calls (made via Craigslist and Tumblr, the Google petition gathered 7 million online signatures. Twitter saw over 2.4 million tweets on the issue. Eventually, even Google, Mozilla, Reddit, Oâ€™Reilly Radar, Wikipedia, and thousands of other websites joined the protest against PIPA and SOPA.
This incident just goes to show the increasingly important role that social networking has assumed. Businesses should realize the enormous potential that social networking sites have for brand building and reputation management. Being active on these sites in a meaningful way allows you to
- Build trust and relationship with your customers by extending your network of fans and followers
- Post authoritative, quality content that gets shared across networks
- Manage your business reputation – monitor what people are saying about your product and services, and address any negative issues in a timely and effective manner
- Reduce your marketing expenses via advertising options such as Google + Hangout and Facebook Offers
- Improve your site’s SERP ranking by driving traffic from social networking circles
A recent write-up in Harvard Review Business Review points out that more and more companies are poised to enter the social business scene in 2014. If corporate marketing teams continue to focus on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for brand awareness, sales teams and other teams that play customer-facing roles would look for ways to authentically reach and engage their customers, build their credibility through value-added content and render higher levels of services. The author says that businesses will make use of social media by:
- Training employees to use social media tools effectively for business
- Creating social business programs and establishing guidelines
- Defining key business metrics and applying them to turn social media prospects into real business process and ROI
Professional SEO companies offer social media optimization strategies and social media marketing services to meet the needs of various kinds of businesses. In fact, partnering with an established service provider to craft you social media campaign is important because every business needs a customized solution.