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John A. Brownridge Ed.D.

Social Media Marketing
Jon Brownridge, Ed.D.

Effective marketing is the life blood of any business. This is especially true for newly-established businesses whose products and services are relatively unknown. It is vital for new companies to implement a successful advertising campaign that will reach as many potential clients as possible.

Traditional marketing strategies like newspaper advertisements, display ads and printed flyers may be cost effective, but they are limited in scope and may not reach the clients you need. Promotions through TV and radio are much more effective of course, but they can be prohibitively expensive for a fledgling business. In their search for a middle way, many marketing strategists have discovered that social media marketing is not only successful and cost effective, but it is relatively simple to implement as well. Perhaps it is the marketing strategy that your company needs right now.

Although the term social media is used to refer to any site that facilitates social interaction, these sites can be radically different in terms of what they offer. The shrewd strategist must be selective in order to achieve best results. Twitter, for example, simply facilitates an easy exchange of short messages. That can certainly be useful if members are sharing information about your product or service, but Facebook is a far more comprehensive network in that it allows members to share photos and videos with a single click. Information about your company could be passed on Facebook to hundreds and even thousands of potential clients in the blink of an eye.

Commercial interaction with clients through social media is fundamentally different from the business relationships formed through traditional marketing avenues. This is because social media platforms like Facebook, U-Tube, Instagram and others can facilitate much wider audiences, and the vibrant consumer activity that results from that is always highly visible. Through their chosen media platform, your customers and clients can now review and evaluate your products, recommend them to friends, and discuss the kind of customer service they have received. They can also ask for help and advice, giving you the opportunity to develop customer relationships that can only benefit your company.

Although social media marketing aims primarily at forming and developing new commercial relationships it can lead to other benefits as well. Strategists do not always realize that there is a close relationship between social media and search engine optimization, and they are surprised to find that web site hits increase in both number and quality soon after their business information has been entered into a social media platform. Although several factors determine the strength of organic searches on Google, many of the top criteria are dependent on social media. That means products and services that are active on these platforms tend to show up more frequently on Google searches.

When you are ready to embark on social media marketing you will need to examine the options available to you. Re-evaluate your business plan and identify your target market before deciding on what approach to take. You could begin by entering a dynamic blog about your company and the products you have for sale. If you need some social media training, contact one of the low-cost business networking groups that advertise on-line. There are several of these groups out there and they are willing to give you all the help you need at reasonable cost. But don’t try to do too much at once. You will need to build trust with potential clients in order to develop your on-line reputation. You will have to keep control of your new commercial relationships as well as the content of your blogs.