Social media began with just being social. Facebook connected long lost high school friends and old college roommates. Blogging, in the very beginning, allowed people to talk about their daily lives, to vent their frustrations and talk about the things they enjoyed most. Twitter allowed people to creatively micro blog their thoughts in 140 characters or less. Quite simply, sharing online was fun and is still fun. Being connected to friends, co-workers and family is now easier than ever with the rise of smart phones and phone apps. We share what restaurants we like, what movies we’ve seen, what videos make us laugh. All this sharing created a very fertile environment for the birth of social media marketing. Overtime, social media has evolved into what is now the hottest tool for online marketing.
Social media marketing has grown astronomically as the use of social media has grown globally. The opportunity for businesses to reach their target market on a more intimate level is compelling. However, as you venture to the different social networks, you will find that many times you will be bombarded with status updates that are nothing more than self-serving antics from online businesses. Many companies are shoving their products in your face, and they can be relentless. This is what people in social media call being “spammy”. It is most definitely frowned upon. However, not all companies do this.
Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Oreo have the right approach. They engage. These companies and many others communicate with their audience through their Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts and their blogs. They practice on a daily basis the art of “being social”. By using these platforms, businesses can poll their customers on pertinent issues regarding their products or services. They become accessible for customer service questions and have the opportunity to be involved with their audience. This online relationship and two-way communication is more likely to create a sense of loyalty and build trust with the company.
When used appropriately, social media can enhance the experience of your audience. It can help your business keep a pulse on what is important to your customers and can help grow your business by positive word-of-mouth from your customers or audience base. Of course, this can only happen if you are truly social. Social media is meant to be social. Enough with all the spammy pleas, let’s bring back the social in social media and let’s continue to have a fun and positive experience online.
What About You?
Have you been using social media to market your business? Care to comment on any positive experiences that you have had with social media? I’m looking forward to your tweets and comments!
Our Guest Blogger: Lysa Saavedra is the owner of Savvy and Social LLC, a social media management company, where she helps companies leverage the power of social media to share information with their clients and potential customers and ultimately, achieve their social media marketing goals. Connect with Lysa on Twitter @Savvyandsocial and on Facebook.