Even though social media is a relatively new part of the business world, its importance in business marketing only continues to grow. Once viewed as a passing fad or perhaps a platform for little more than wasting time, social media—a vital part of any inbound marketing campaign—is now understood as absolutely necessary for any business that wants to have a place in the digital world. What used to be achievable by just a company website now requires a host of social media tools. Unfortunately, learning the world of social media and understanding its significance isn’t easy, but definitely worth your time if you’re interested in expanding your brand.
So What’s the Big Deal?
According to the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 94 percent of businesses today that have a marketing department also use social media as part of their marketing. About 60 percent of all marketers are devoting a full eight-hour day toward developing and maintaining social media online. Just under half of all people ages 20 to 29 spend 10 or more hours a week on social media websites. And about 85percent of all companies that have dedicated social media platforms have reported increases in their market exposure. Of those 85 percent, more than half said that using social media for three years or more has resulted in a significant revenue increase during that period of time.
What Platforms Should I Use?
The two most important social media websites today are both household names: Facebook and Twitter. Facebook began as little more than a way for college students to network their parties and dates, but as it accumulated millions of users, that all changed. Today, Facebook presents businesses with real marketing opportunities for anyone who wants to create a Facebook page for their brand. Twitter, similar to Facebook, began as little more than a means for friends to stay in touch with one another. But just like Facebook, it has quickly turned into one of the most important business marketing tools. Politicians use it to stay in touch with their constituents and major news networks like CNN use it to provide live audience feedback for current events.
Using Social Media For Your Small Business
Of course just because all the major brands, politicians and television networks have social media profiles, that doesn’t necessarily mean that social networking sites can do anything for smaller businesses, right? Wrong, because the truth is, social networking sites are surprisingly effective at promoting smaller businesses. One possible reason for this could be due to the fact that bigger businesses don’t have any special advantages over your own page.
What this means is that, in a very real sense, you have an equal opportunity to grow your page with all the other big brands. Just like the big guys, small businesses can use social media to be more visible in the marketplace, to seem more relevant to the younger demographic, and of course, to boost your websites page ranking whenever your content is shared online.
Regardless of why social media sites are working, the fact is that they’re working. The numbers don’t lie, and real revenue and traffic improvements await anyone who is prepared to tread into the world of social media. The bottom line is that social media isn’t rocket science, and being involved on social media sites can provide clear and direct returns for your business. So why not get your business on board?
Photo courtesy: forbes.com