Social Media Isn’t A Fad

Watch Out 2010, Social Media Marketing Is Here To Stay

large man wearing a fanny packSocial media isn’t the fanny pack fad of online marketing. Although, those were pretty cool… A purse that buckles around the waste and wait, guys can sport it too? Radical. Well,  come 1997 this was pretty much obsolete. Not so much the case for social media.

When many of businesses think of social media marketing they consider the “big 3.” Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. While this is a great place to start, there are so many options for social media marketing available these days that can, and will, help your business. And you really should be trying it.

When launching a social media marketing campaign or wondering if this is something right for your goals consider the following…

1.    What do you hope to accomplish with social media? Do you plan to address customer service issues? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Do you have a bad reputation that needs mending? Social media can help in all of these areas and many more.

If you want to address customer service issues I say hook yourself up on Twitter. Start reaching out to potential customers and apologizing for the fact that customers order flowers from you and they continually end up delivered 2 weeks past the date specified, or if you’re @hotwire manage all the hundreds of amazing promotions you get from unsuspecting customers every day by responding to them. (PS – offering people free/cheap sh*t will always get you positive feedback. So do it.)

If you want to build brand awareness hit the big 3 and then hit up KnowEm.com to check hundreds of popular social networking sites for the username you want. That way you’ve claimed it, it’s yours and you can be the guy that sits on the name googleguy for months before you even update. And then when you do update, those sites will show up in search results for “googleguy” or what have you. Pretty awesome.

If you have a bad rep floating around out there pretty much do anything you can to put that fire out now. The big 3, KnowEm, put up videos with cute puppies playing and tag your brand name in the upper right corner and include your name at the end of the video title (anything about “cute puppies” is gonna get a butt load of views) – and be active in all of it. Save your face now before it’s too ugly to recognize later.

2.    What do you have to offer? This is a big one. Do you have stellar, short videos that people want to watch? High quality images? Great unique content? An employee to answer customer questions? Funny stories?

You name it, there’s a place for it in social media marketing.

social media logosIf you have video – We all know YouTube is the way to go. But check out Flickr, Vimeo and Qik – all front-runners and new guys worth knowing.

If you have images – Start with Flickr. Flickr allows you to upload photos (and video!), join groups, connect with friends, and share information. Then check out Kontain, PhotoBucket, and Fotki.

Special Kontain callout – This site rocks and is especially stellar if you have high-quality original images to share with blurbs about them! Set up a profile (complete with followed links!), upload images/videos and you’re off.

If you have great, unique (funny is an added bonus) content – Set yourself up with a profile on Digg and StumbleUpon, make some contacts and start spreading that goodness. Helps if you’re on Twitter and you can get some of your peeps to shout you a holler.

3.    Just do it. I think some famous brand might have said that one time? But the time really is now.

Social media marketing isn’t a fad – it’s becoming an important and integral part of online marketing and a boat you don’t want to miss. By rolling your eyes at the idea of marketing through Twitter, Kontain or any of the other social media sites you may just be hearing about, you could be opening the door to a big advantage for your competitors. As online marketing grows and steps into the future, so should your marketing plan. And it should include social media.

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