What is social media? According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition is:
“Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.”
My simple explanation, it’s a conversation between two or more people that informs or inspires. It allows you to engage in two-way communication with their target audience.
Social Media is Not New
The act of communicating and socially interacting has been around for thousands of years, even before we were walking upright. Think, artwork on cave walls. What is unique with social media in the 21st century is the immediacy of the shared content and the ability to reach thousands of people. This ability is due to, in some part, to the simple, easy to use technology for sharing the information. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, even YouTube are easy to use for even the most technologically-challenged individuals like moms, dads, grandmas, and grandpas. If you can type, you can share, and I’m not just talking about sitting at a desk. These tools are mobile, at your fingertips.
Just whip out your smartphone, and you are communicating and sharing. Today’s social media has changed the brand-consumer relationship. There has been a paradigm shift from the brand pushing the content through traditional media, TV ads, billboards, newspapers, et cetera. Gone are the days of writing letters and complaining to companies about their poor service. With social networks like Facebook and Twitter, the consumer can communicate directly with the brand and the big key with the expectation of an immediate response. Consumers expect brands to be listening through social networks. Brands have to work harder at capturing consumers’ attention and engaging with customers.
Why Social Media is Important
It doesn’t matter if you are a subcontractor or a large security business; social media is an essential piece of your business marketing strategy. Social platforms help you connect with your customers, increase awareness about your brand, and boost leads and sales. With more than three billion people worldwide using social media every month, it’s no passing trend.
Social media is one of the most significant marketing elements for establishing your brand and adding branding elements, such as images, banners, image profiles, et cetera. There are billions of users using Facebook alone, so you can’t ignore it. You and your business need to be having conversations on these channels. Now, your specific market may not be entirely on social platforms. Still, the people who you might hire, your competition, perhaps your future business opportunities are. Or you are looking to find your tribe, like-minded individuals who can support what you do, and vice versa.
We all know word of mouth in this business has an enormous impact. Getting information out or from a trusted source about someone or something is really how this business runs. Using social media effectively is word of mouth on steroids, a considerable amplification. Of course, if word of mouth is about you and your company, and you’re not on social networks, you can’t control or defend what people are saying about you. Your social media profiles show up in search results. Having accounts on social platforms opens doors to possibilities you didn’t know existed. It also opens the door to criticism, the mob mentality, and anything you say or post is for public interpretation. From an EP and security standpoint, you can conduct intelligence gathering and investigations.
Using Social Media Effectively
Here are vital components or elements to using social media effectively for your business. Clearly defined goals. Social media is a labyrinth with users in the billions. You won’t be successful with your social media marketing efforts without setting goals and strategies to achieve those goals. Know your audience before developing your marketing strategy, and you must determine your market.
Metrics, it is critical that you pay very close attention to your metrics from your social network accounts. Metrics are the driving force behind making essential decisions. Data such as where your market is, return on investment, are you reaching your market, and is your market engaging with content? You should be conducting a thorough analysis of how your content is performing. Useful content is the core of your social media marketing efforts. Creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience will ultimately drive profitable customer action.
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