The development of new online destinations for information sharing and interactive communication by and between family and friends as well as professional associates is consistently cited as the driving force behind Web 2.0. Termed “Social Media”, the trend has created abundant opportunities to distribute high quality health and disease education content, while creating community and entirely new opportunities for collaboration between your business and it’s customers. The Social Media Moguls website is dedicated to sharing those ideas with you.
One of the web’s most recognized information sources, Wikipedia, defines “Social media marketing” as a term that describes the act of using social networks, online communities, blogs, wikis or any other collaborative Internet form of media for marketing, sales, public relations and customer service. Common social media marketing tools include, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr and YouTube as well as many independent subject matter blogs. In the context of Internet marketing, social media refers to a collective group of web properties whose content is primarily published by users, not direct employees of the property (e.g. the vast majority of video on YouTube is published by non-YouTube employees).
MOST ACTIVE SOCIAL NETWORKS
FACEBOOK – As the largest and most successful social networking media site in operation today. Facebook has 300 Million users worldwide and continues to grow and add new members at an impressive rate. Members interact with one another by providing updates to their personalized pages which may include photos, videos, links to other sites, or “microblog” type status updates that let’s friends and colleagues know what you are up to.
TWITTER – Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access.
YOU-TUBE – YouTube is a video sharing website on which users can upload and share videos. Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, although media corporations including CBS, the BBC, UMG and other organizations offer some of their material via the site, as part of the YouTube partnership program. Alexa ranks You-Tube as the fourth most visited site on the web.
However, to capitalize on this emerging trend, your business needs to develop a comprehensive Social Media Marketing strategy. By developing and implementing a carefully planned social media strategy, you can take advantage of current media trends, to accomplish multiple objectives including broadening the reach of your brand and providing an interactive platform for communication with and between your business and your customers. My friend David Hindie has created a super easy to use, step by step video course for using Facebook to market your business. I refer to it often and would highly recommend it.
As with all things web, things change rapidly and having and maintaining active Social Media Marketing strategy takes work and cooperative effort from multiple areas of the your organization including management, operations, and communications. Through minimal effort you can yield extraordinary results and form an effective plan for increasing site traffic and brand awareness for your business
Development of the your business’s Social Media strategy is suggested as the first step in defining an online media plan to boost your online marketing efforts. While social networking sites offer access to millions of targeted individuals, it should be viewed as a tool for driving traffic to corporate owned sites such as .ORG and .COM where similar features could be incorporated and where you can guide the visitor experience in a way that creates a deeper more meaningful engagement between your business and the customers.