Social media marketing does not just mean marketing on Facebook, Linkedin and Google+. The more you think social media is about posting a few social media websites, the more off track your social media marketing will get. Here is how Merriam Webster defines social media “forms of electronic through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content”. Now what does that really mean? Creating an online community to share information, ideas and more importantly other content?
As a small business owner you probably often wonder if you should get into social media marketing, but what does that really mean? For many it unfortunately means that they are going to start using the two or three major social networks. The term social media does not refer only to the two or three networking or social websites, social media marketing refers to all types of social media.
We subscribe to quite a few businesses online, a few that we like to follow and a few because we want to see what the trend seems to be with social media. Needless to say we are finding out the ugly truth about small businesses and their use of social media. Every day we get flooded with useless information that business owners think are important because it relates to their business. Then they wonder why their social media marketing is not working. Think about it this way, would you choose to opt in to receiving junk mail if you had the choice? Would you deliberately sign up or choose to get the mail that goes right in your trash? If you are like most, then the answer is no.
Flooding users with special offers, with advertisements and information that does not benefit them or intrigue them on some level is the worst social media strategy you can have. When we see that, we always think that the company in fact does not have a social media strategy at all. They are just taking what they have done with other media and copying the advertisement they otherwise would pay to distribute. The reality is that social media is different, because of the social media overload on people, you have to be smart about your social media marketing, and you have to be different and creative.
Think outside the box with your social media marketing, do not fall into the trap of thinking it is the same as ad purchasing, pay per click or SEO. It is not, in fact it is almost the exact opposite of what those things are designed to do. Social media is an opportunity just waiting for your business to tap into, if done right. Build your social media wisely, use it in a way and to do things you normally do not have a chance to do. Present the humane side of your business or create a character that represents your buyers or potential clients. Then create the content for those people, not for your business. Come up with a strategy that will live on, that someone can take over. Do something that makes people smile, frown, cheer, cry or think. A strategy that makes people want to share what you say, tell their online neighbors and friends. Put some efforts into your social media and the rewards can be huge, take an advertisement strategy and your efforts will be wasted in a wave of white social media advertising noise.