Social media is the two most powerful and influential words on the web in this moment in time. From social networking to social bookmarking, social media has embellished the world of advertising and marketing. Ever since its inception, it has rationalized private sharing, brand promotions and online advertising. It is expected that social media will storm past existing media platforms to become the kingpin of mass media. In fact the reign of social media has already commenced, evident in the booming advertising and marketing revenues it generates for popular social media players.
Social media can be classified into many sub classes such as social networking, social bookmarking, video streaming, document sharing, microblogging, and web blogging. Some of the popular websites representing these sub classes are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SlideShare, WordPress, Tumblr, and Delicious. It is estimated that close to three billion users are registered with these websites and generate about 10 billion page view collectively on these websites. Social media websites have become the hub for most online enthusiasts hence these hubs are also the main attractions for online businesses and enterprises. Of late, there is a flurry of business activity in the social media space, mainly companies going public, websites being acquired top tech companies and also budding websites receiving venture capital funding.
As a result of all this booming activity, businesses are turning to the Web for increasing their business and making their presence felt. Online marketing has received a new impetus with social media playing a major part. There are people spread out all over the world who want a product or service that you are dealing in. They have a specific need and they want it real bad. They also have the cost factor worked out and all you need to do is to learn how to present it to them. They will buy from you; the only problem is that they do not know that you exist. In order to make them aware that you exist, you need to announce yourself.
Under normal circumstances, your target audience would have been limited to a particular location and you would have resorted to the traditional means of advertising and showcasing your goods and would have tried to get a small share of the market which would more or less be fixed, depending upon the population in that particular locality. However, with online marketing and Social Media sites with their vast membership base, present you limitless opportunity to capitalize on an overwhelming clientele that you just need to tap.
You need to first gear yourself for social marketing. You first need to concentrate on finding a buyer in order to sell to him or her. Social media is a great platform that lets the buyers let the sellers know what they want. They send out signals by way of comments on posts and through exchange of views on some communities. Forums also play an important part in bringing together people who would otherwise never have met.
Using the social media sites to add to your database of customers is a good way to begin. You can first start off by initiating a discussion on any social media site. One of the most popular social media sites today, is Facebook, with a phenomenal membership base that recently crossed the 1 billion mark. Imagine the free access Facebook gives you to its vast database that you can tap at will. You need to initiate a discussion and welcome comments from likeminded people and leave behind a link that leads them to your site. Once a person clicks the link leading to your site, you can ask him or her to leave a comment along with his name and email address. It is very easy to build up an email list in this manner.
Once you have created a sizeable list of followers, try to segment them. Find out what sort of information they wish to share and segregate them according to their preferences. For instance, Google has something called Google + Circles where you can find a set of people who have a customized approach to social sharing. Remember that only quality content encourages people to share. The social sharing button that you have strategically placed on your website needs to grab the attention of the people and induce them to want to share.
Just as creating a following is important, it is important to learn to hold the attention of the following you have created. Ensure that people are not weaned away by several others like you who are actively targeting people through social media. Remember, every person who has been successfully diverted to your site has the potential of referring a few of his friends and family. If planned properly, this chain can continue unbroken, allowing you to reap all the benefits.