$24 billion dollars. Yeah, with a “b.” That was Twitter’s valuation after their recent public offering. The crazy thing? They aren’t even profitable. As in, they don’t make money. How is a company that doesn’t make any money worth so much? It’s because they’re part of an industry that has ingrained itself so deeply in the fibers of society that we can’t imagine a world without them.
With the explosion of social media, propelled even further thanks to mobile technology, marketers have had to rethink much of what they knew about reaching their audience. According to a recent Pew Research Study, 72% of online adults are using social media, and general social media usage has increased 800% over the past 8 years. That’s a lot of tweets, likes, and shares.
But, what’s the best way for your brand to leverage social media?
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, FourSquare – just to name a few. All of these platforms provide brands with a unique opportunity to share content and engage with users. But that doesn’t mean you need to use them all. Pick the platforms that best suit your brand’s needs. This will help you focus your efforts and manage the amount of content you need to create.
It’s not anti-social media. Simply setting up a profile and waiting for the fans to come to you is a bummer waiting to happen. Even if you don’t have a dedicated social media manager to constantly monitor your profiles, you can still be effective by coordinating timely, targeted posts and interacting with your followers regularly.
Several brands and personalities have stolen the headlines through their witty postings and comedic banter (see Old Spice and Kelly Oxford), while others maintain a strong brand presence through sharing more traditional content (See Mashable and Starbucks). The key is to highlight your brand’s personality through content that resonates with your audience.
The benefits of social media marketing extend well beyond the limits of your social stream. Social signals are increasingly important to SEO, so, even if your Google ranking is much more important to you than your number of likes or retweets, you should still be thinking about your social strategy. Whenever you’re planning a new project or campaign, or updating an existing one, make sure you incorporate a social strategy.
Social media is still a relatively young medium for marketers and the audience is still growing rapidly. This provides brands with a golden opportunity to engage with their audience in real-time, and provide content that drives conversations and impacts behaviors.
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