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Does Your Company Utilize Social Media Marketing?

Social networking thrives on connection, and encouraging users to interact with your business and each other. Social Media Networks are proven, powerful channels for engaging with your current customers and attracting new ones. Strategic use of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and niche social networks allow businesses to identify and engage with highly targeted audiences. Social Media Sites and their Mobile Apps give you the power to interact and advertise to specific audiences like never before. Social Networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube have transformed the way people and businesses interact with each other. Social Media Marketing gives companies unlimited “word of mouth advertising” and referrals.  With images and video fully integrated into these platforms, businesses can promote products and services, and connect with users locally and across the world in ways that are not possible with traditional marketing and advertising.

Social Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn focus on posting articles enhanced by images and video, while others such as Instagram and Pinterest require content that is primarily imagery with very little text.  Each social platform allows businesses to target specific audiences and the type of content that they prefer.

Social Media Networks Used In Marketing

Facebook is the largest social networking site on the web. It has instant name recognition and the total over 1.5 billion users.  It is no longer just a social site for people to post their personal experiences and share with family and friends. Facebook has grown into a powerful, versatile network for connecting prospects and customers with your business.  Facebook owns Instagram, a popular and rapidly growing image based network, as well as the widely used communications app WhatsApp.  Businesses that understand social media marketing use Facebook to attract and engage followers.  Users will like and follow companies that provide quality product information, customer support and service, and encourage conversations and reviews.  Facebook offers increasingly sophisticated tools for for business marketing. These tools include content creation, including images and streaming video, audience targeting, a variety of advertising options and metrics analytics (Page Insights). Learn about Facebook Social Media Business Strategies.

LinkedIn is a Business to Business (B2B) site for professional social networking. While some of its 450 million users use LinkedIn as an online resume and career development site, many businesses find it to be an excellent marketing tool and sales generator. Having the right relationships is key to business success. The basic LinkedIn model for building your network is; Establish your brand presence and credibility with a Company Page. Connect with your target audience and build a network of connections. Engage followers and turn them into advocates and customers by sharing valuable content. LinkedIn allows you to connect to a wide audience of professionals through personal and company pages, as well as a wide variety of special interest groups. It provides audience targeting, paid advertising and analytics. LinkedIn is especially useful for selling professional services. Learn about LinkedIn Social Media Business Strategies.

Twitter is social network with over 200 million monthly users that allows you to connect with your audience with 140 character posts or Tweets. It is fast, concise way to post content, including images and video and easy way to connect with your audience. Twitter uses hashtags which are keywords that start with the # symbol. They are clickable links, that help users find messages with a specific theme or content. Twitter is an excellent platform for providing custom service and support, but you must be available and responsive. Learn about Twitter Social Media Business Strategies.

Google+ is is Google’s Social Media Network and must be a priority in your business social media strategy. The site has over 1 billion monthly visitors and will continue to grow because Google requires all Gmail users to have a Google+ account. A Google+ account is also a major ranking factor, making it very valuable in SEO. It is critical to have a Google My Business and Google+ page for your business, especially if you want to use the power of local SEO for your business that operates in a small town, or specific area of a large city. Google+ allows you to post content, (including videos linked directly to your YouTube account), gain followers, and exchange recommendations. As with other social media networks, you build followers (called Circles) and organic traffic by creating a professional Google+ page and profile that helps build brand awareness.  Posting from your blog and linking to your website will increase the social signals that are one of Google’s top ranking factors. Learn about Google+ Social Media Business Strategies.

Digital marketing experts agree that video is the single most important part of content marketing.  Every major social media network gives users the ability to use recorded and streaming video to enhance their image and text content.  YouTube is a free video sharing site where billions of users discover, watch and share originally created videos. It allows users to create and upload your own videos to share with others. It provides a forum for people to connect and share ideas and information. YouTube is the second largest search engine, after Google which acquired it in 2006.  As a distribution platform for original content creators it allows businesses and excellent channel for building brand and product awareness, as well as build credibility with tutorials and instructional videos. Learn about YouTube Social Media Business Strategies.

Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service. With over 300 million monthly users, it is the 3rd largest social network after Facebook and YouTube. The network can be accessed on any device, including desktops, but the vast majority of users are exclusively mobile. Instagram enables users to take pictures and videos, and quickly share them on the mobile app. Facebook owns Instagram but allows users to share posts on other social networking platforms, including; Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr. Instagram Direct allows users to send pictures and video to others privately, like a direct message on Twitter or a private message on Facebook. Learn about Instagram Social Media.

Social media management tools automate posting and metrics. Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer allow users to schedule posts to pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, WordPress and sites from one integrated dashboard.  The dashboard uses tabs and other methods to organize the social profiles, content, feeds and metrics. Managing a business’s social media presence can be a full-time job.  Many companies use social networks to provide their followers with product information, special promotions and customer support.  Social networks are also forums for users to discuss, and review, the company’s products and services.  To effectively serve fresh, engaging content, and give people a reason to come back to the site, businesses must be organized and monitor all their social media interaction and metrics. Social media management dashboards allow users to implement and analyze marketing campaigns across all social networks without needing to sign in to each social network individually. Most of these services offer free versions with limited capabilities, and premium accounts with advanced features for audience engagement, access for multiple team members, metrics analysis and security.