Thursday, January 24, 2013

Social Media Marketing

Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are quickly replacing traditional means of communication, including email, as the favored way for people to stay in contact with each other. The sites allow for community building efforts in a multiple of ways but the common theme which runs between them is that of implied trust which encourages sharing of opinions, reviews, commentary and the like. The “word of mouth” aspect of this communication is extremely powerful and can be instrumental for a business in its marketing efforts as long as it’s done in a manner that fits in with the “spirit” of the social media sites.

To be seen as a trusted member of these communities, it is imperative that marketing efforts focus on adding value, over the impulse to sell, sell, sell.  Adding value can be done in numerous ways, including the providing of research, engaging in conversation, and responding to questions or requests for more information. As opposed to the methodologies of traditional marketing/advertising campaigns, blatant and unrelenting selling is seen as a huge annoyance in these communities and is generally considered as pure spam.

Participation in social media also presents the opportunity for brand building, again, in a different manner than typically thought of prior to the emergence of these social communities. The opportunity for direct contact with community members allows for a more intimate interface, and can provide a foundation which fosters trust, credibility, and familiarity with a company and its products, all important aspects of brand building. This direct communication can come in the form of providing content, guiding conversation, and the building or protecting brand perception.

One of the largest benefits of successful participation in these social media circles is that marketing, advertising, and brand building can now be done with great cost effectiveness on relatively large scale. The viral nature of these applications enables word to spread far beyond its initial dissemination at never before seen speed. The issue for companies in this arena is that community interface and all other aspects of participation must be done properly, or that viral benefit can quickly become a large and growing problem. For that reason, it’s extremely important to have an experienced social media marketing company on your side. For a free analysis on where your social media efforts should be focused, call The Gervais Group today at (770) 529 2262


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