A lot has been written about marketing via the internet and sometimes it helps to have a quick summary to refer to and focus your thoughts around. This is especially important if you are not a user of these mediums yourself. here is a list of the common systems available at present:
Facebook: This is arguably the biggest social media site today. It has even been immortalised in a movie that made its way to the Academy Awards. You will find your children and people in their 20s and 30s all across business using Facebook. People use this site to share and communicate with their friends and their “tribe”. From a business perspective we are talking business to consumer marketing.
How do you do that? Facebook Ads and Facebook Fan pages and Facebook business pages. Facebook Ads are those Ads you see on the right hand side of Facebook. Facebook works hard to make sure that these advertisements are chosen to fit against demographics and the context of the “Posts” on Facebook near where you are looking. So for example, Facebook knows from my profile that I am married and am interested in Sports and like Travel. So I often see ads about travel spots to visit, diets and exercise programs, and….marriage advice!
You can also create a Fan Page. These were the first attempts by Facebook for organisations and groups of people as well as business to have a place with their logo on it and allow people to interact with company representatives and others interested in the company. You can release new products there. People can comment on your products and you can have a direct dialogue with them as well. This is pretty powerful, if you sit and think for a while. A Business page is the next logical extension and with this comes the advertising setups that you can create.
Lastly don’t think that is just a young peoples thing. In fact Facebook was being adopted by the middle aged to older generations before the younger generation joined in droves. They were still stuck on MySpace.
How else can it be used? The integration between medias has never been easier. You can attach widgets to your webpages and also you marketing emails that allow a reader to “Like” that object. This publicises this in a users “Status Page” in the real time feed.
Twitter: this medium is more about real time information. It is good for press related work like releasing a product or an announcement from your company. You can also setup search strings for your company name and see if there is any mentions. That way you can see conversations about your products or company and you can react by twittering that you will contact the person directly or giving a common answer to the questions being asked. Using Twitter for business is far more work than other mediums. It is a constant stream of many different conversations and tools have to be used outside of the normal twitter.com. TweetDeck for example is a product that helps you organise your twitter feed so it becomes easier to understand.
The power comes in the “reTweet”. This is where a person sees something in their connection group on Twitter and resends it out. This opens it out to the twitter users on that persons group. So you start to get a message quicckly covering many different groups of Twitter users. Journalists use this feature to pickup on news that travels quickly. It may not be verified but the Journalist can do that as the see the conversation building on Trending Topics at the Twitter website.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn started out as a method to connect people in business together. It made it easier to find people as they changed jobs and careers over time. As time went by LinkedIn added features from things like Facebook with Status updates and Groups for people to have discussions. You can have your business listed on LinkedIn and show your employees and business partners and owners. This medium has become a good way to track down people for introductions in the B to B world. You may want to find a person in company X that you would like to show your services to. You don’t know who that person is but based on their title you can search and find them.
You are probably not directly connected to that person but in your network on LinkedIn there maybe somebody who is. You can then contact that person and ask them to help you with an introduction.
You must be respectful in this and not considered a “spammer”. A good introduction allows the person to understand how your business could help the person in Company X. Then they can consider introducing you. You should and can talk with the introducer on the phone and this makes things easier as well.
As you can see there is a lot to think of in using the various social medias in your business.