Keeping abreast of the latest trends in online behaviour is vital for every business amidst tough competition and other challenges plaguing the global economy. Developments in technology and Internet activities help predict marketing and sales outcomes while serving as tools or avenues for online marketing strategies.
Social media integration
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social network giant has reached critical mass with over 700 million users interacting and sharing information every day. For a small and medium enterprise, a social profile in a global network is the first step towards creating brand or business awareness to a massive audience.
Every major launch already includes marketing campaigns at Facebook, Twitter and YouTube while the Internet is abuzz with the testing phase of Google +. To illustrate, the last and much-awaited installment of the Harry Potter Series engaged fans and followers in the weeks leading to the movie premier, registering as much as 100,000 new fans per day in Facebook. Pictures of the premier were tweeted live while footage of the opening night were streamed live on YouTube. The positive online response is expected to usher in huge revenues at the box office upon the movie’s regular showing.
A sizeable marketing budget, however, is not a requirement for social media marketing, which is inexpensive yet highly effective. Most marketing applications are free at Facebook while more sophisticated tools are also available at minimal cost.
What you need for basic Social Media Marketing
User accounts: Using an email address, register accounts at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr and WordPress. Registration is free and it’s best to use a business name, product or brand as username across all networks. Register multiple brand names before someone else does, to eliminate online confusion among prospects.
Facebook page: Every Facebook user is allowed to create various Pages (previously known as “Fan Pages”) for business. This option is found on the left hand side of the Facebook home page under “Pages”. Click and follow the instructions for setting up Pages. Once a Page is created, it can be used for introducing new products, announcing marketing campaigns, and interacting with prospects and buyers.
Website or blog: A web page or blog is essential in social media marketing. This will serve as the main source of information about a business and its products/services. When integrated with social network accounts, it can be used to convert fans or followers to buyers with the help of killer copywriting techniques or for building an email list. Moreover, social sites are good sources of inbound links to a web page, boosting search engine visibility or SEO.
Setting up the necessary accounts is easy. However, what breathes life into social media marketing is high quality content published and shared regularly through the integrated networks. These tasks may be delegated in-house or outsourced to content writers and creators. Online marketing strategies may be inexpensive but they require time and commitment for best results.