Social media marketing seems to be one of those buzz words. Most so called "online marketing experts" will probably tell you: "You have to get into social media marketing!".
The question is… what exactly is social media marketing and does your business really benefit from it?
Let's take a closer look at social media, what it does and how businesses can benefit from it…
First things first, there is no such thing as social media marketing!
Yes, that's right. At least not the way that most people think about it.
Most small business owners that haven't put a lot of efforts into digital marketing channels are used to the "old" ways of marketing. Let's call this Marketing 1.0.
This includes buying ads in news papers, magazines, radio or even TV ads.
Simply put the ad will look something like this:
Here is what we have to offer.
Here is why you need it.
And here is how to get it!
In other words, most small business owners are used to shouting out their marketing message in order to get as much attention as possible.
And this is exactly what is NOT working on social media. It's called social media for a reason… not commercial media! It's a two way communication channel and not a one way road.
Social networking sites are a place where people socialise, talk to their friends and follow the stuff they are interested in. The brands and companies that get the most out of their social media activities are the once that add the most value to the conversation! This could be called Marketing 2.0.
This is a major shift in marketing thanks to the evolution of the internet. This is what makes the web 2.0 so different from the web 1.0. It gives everyone a voice and the ability to interact. And this is why Marketing 1.0 does not work in an web 2.0 environment.
So don't be fooled by the term "social media marketing". Instead think about it as social media networking. It's about connecting with people, being helpful to the community by adding value to their lives.
Most of the people you interact with might never buy your product or service. And that's fine because social media is not about selling. It's about creating a network of value that positions you as someone with expertise that is willing to help others as much as possible. It's about building influence and increasing your reach.
The average Facebook user for example has more than 100 friends. So when you connect with a person on Facebook or Twitter you are not just talking to one person… you are talking to one person that has the potential of influencing more than 100 other people in their network!
Don't do social media marketing the "old" way. Do social networking instead. Build your online brand by adding value to other people's lives. Give as much as you can and your efforts will pay back many times over.
What are your thoughts? Ever started shouting out you marketing message on social sites? How did it go?
Share your thoughts in the comments or shoot me an email to mail(at)fabianlinge(dot)com.
Have an awesome day!
Photo credit: Fan The Fire Magazin