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Social media has become an important part of the regular marketing plan for most successful businesses. Few other advertising vehicles can match social media’s ability to reach people from every walk of life in practically any corner of the globe. If your business is in a competitive industry and plans to stick around awhile, the intelligent utilization of social media for marketing is mandatory. Even if you’re not using social media right now, the chances are good that your competitors are, and they’re reaching thousands of potential clients every day.
How to Integrate Social Media with Your Business
In these digital times people are increasingly connected to the internet ‘round the clock using their home computers, work computers, smart phones, tablets, and other internet enabled devices. They spend a majority of their online time using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. They absorb information and research via blogs, websites, and forums. They watch videos on YouTube. They search for jobs and networking professionally via LinkedIn.
People who spend much of their time using social media have developed a tendency to associate with the brands and businesses they see most often on their favorite social platforms. Developing a presence on those social media platforms for your business allows you to reach these internet power users where they spend most of their time.
However, social media integration doesn’t mean simply creating a Facebook page and making a post every once in a while. True social media integration is a strategic process that involves the intelligent promotion of your social media channels everywhere, including:
- The use of social media badges and links on your website
- Placing social media links and icons on all printed materials including business cards
- Cross linking social media to blogs, and even other social media properties
- Using social media in your PPC ad campaigns
- Marketing through social media directly to targeted prospects
- Specifically creating content for social media to help achieve your marketing goals
The most effective way to promote social media for a business is to talk about your social media presence everywhere. Not only on a website, but also business stationery, product brochures, flyers, business cards, television ads, etc.
Social media strategy and business integration also involves training to educate staff, teaching them how to use social media as part of their official job duties to build a positive corporate identity. Teaching them limitations, establishing guidelines of what employees should and should not do in social media properties while representing the company. And finally, a checklist of steps to take that will help amplify the effects of the official social media campaigns currently being sponsored by the company.
Including your social media profile details throughout all available channels helps to build a network of loyal customers who are connected to and engaged with you on a regular basis. The following are important benefits of social media integration for your business:
Expanding your business network – Social media connections (fans and followers) are often the first to see the latest news about your products or services and have an ability to easily share that information with their network of friends. This helps with indirect and rapid promotion of your business, brand, products, and services across a wide audience.
Enhanced credibility – Social networks can help enhance the credibility of a business. If someone notices that a friend or other trusted person in their network has mentioned your company in a positive light, they are more likely to trust and use your product or service.
Improved sales – Several surveys and statistics confirm that the proper use of social media helps to improve business sales by increasing brand visibility and awareness.
Making social media work for business is fairly complex, mostly due to the way people are currently using it and what they expect to see there. People are easily turned off by direct advertising on these types of networks, so getting social media wrong can actually do more harm than good. When seeking to maximize your marketing budget, it’s always best to hire a team of social media optimization experts. Whereas a self-proclaimed social media guru may be able to deliver short-lived success, an experienced internet marketing company will have the knowledge and resources to create effective strategies based on your budget and goals that will deliver consistent and meaningful results.
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