Something unprecedented is taking place today. Advertising doesn’t work anymore as it used to. Before now, the idea of buying some TV time or putting an ad in a newspaper was considered smart and effective, but nowadays most people especially the youth spend a lot of their idle time socializing on the internet and even get their news online. This isn’t an entirely strange occurrence because man since the inception of time, has been a social being. However, what is unprecedented is the rapid rate at which communication has been enhanced through the widespread use of Internet which creating our virtual reality today.
As at March, 2013, there are more than 1 billion Facebook users, over 200 million active users and also available in 35 different language. More than 346 million people read blogs globally, and 184 million people are bloggers themselves. Twitter has more than 200 million registered users who collectively tweets an average of 3 million tweets per day, and YouTube claims more than 100 million viewers per month. LinkedIn has more than 200 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. To promote your brand, you don’t have to try to outspend the biggest companies anymore; now you outsmart them with viral videos. You don’t have to spend thousands on sterile focus groups; you’ve got your market’s pulse at your fingertips with quick Twitter searches. The world of social media is an awesome place to reach out to existing customers, expand your reach to new markets, and to maintain good relationships with other brands.
Today, through the advent of new web technologies, it is easy for anyone to create and, most importantly distribute their own content. A blog post, tweet, Facebook page or YouTube video can be produced and viewed by millions virtually for free. Advertisers need not pay distributors or publishers huge sums of money to broadcast their messages; now they can create their own interesting content that viewers will flock to. More consumers are connected than ever before, and every second your company is not engaging them in social media is a wasted opportunity. So, get on board.
Before we get started, let us juggle our minds on the definition of some key terms. Media can be simply defined as a platform where you can share ideas. Traditional media, such as television, newspapers, radio, and magazines, are one-way, static broadcast technologies which are becoming less effective marketing tools today. Social media unlike its predecessor is a new platform where we can share ideas; say things we like and don’t like; find people that share common interests and so on. Examples of social media are blogs, Facebook, Twitter, PinInterest, Google+.
Considering the following as little strategies for you to promote your brand with social media:
Be Authentic and Genuine
Social media should be used as a virtual medium to market your physical identity. Just as your physical image is unique, your virtual image has to be unique also. Being authentic gives you consistency with your customers which would inspire brand loyalty and therefore increase customer’s satisfaction. This is true because most people buy from who they like and trust other than vice-versa. Social media gives you the power of knowledge sharing and by using it appropriately you will help build trust in your organization while showing others the value in your business.
Social media is about openness and sharing. Businesses trying to build their brand online must find their customers first and continually engage them in conversations informing their customers about their brands. These conversations should be two-way between the businesses and their customers to ensure adequate feedback for both parties. Companies need to be careful because these conversations now happen in the front of millions of people, and they’re archived for years to come.
Be Alive and Responsive
Social media allows real-time communication between the different parties involved. It is not an uncommon experience for news to appear and have been already propagated on social networking sites before they appear on the traditional news media like newspaper and TV. Similarly these days, customers prefer if you can respond to their needs and challenges as soon as possible. Failure to respond on time could leave your customers searching for alternative solutions from your competitors.
Monitor your brand
Whether you’re a local business or an international brand, it is possible that people are already talking about you on the Web. But before you can get involved in those conversations, you have to start listening. After you start listening then you can start responding to what is being said, where it is being said, and who is saying it. Monitoring social media should however be an ongoing process, and you should take advantage of various social media platforms to be sure nothing slips through the cracks—the right (or wrong) story can originate from anywhere and burst up in your face. You don’t want to get caught off guard.
Spread the word
Your own “word of mouth” is your best marketing tool. Tell everyone. EVERYONE! Tell all your friends, relatives, and co-workers that you are starting a social media campaign and are openly extending your search for clients. The more people know about this exciting plan, the more likely the news will get passed along to the ears of your prospective clients. The best publicity you can get is free so make sure you maximize on all the free publicity that you can get.