American author, Amy Jo Martin, encapsulates the crux of social media: “Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand.”
Social media has indeed revolutionised the way we communicate and who we are able to communicate with. We can meet people on the other side of the world – who we wouldn’t have otherwise met – thanks to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like. This has broadened our communities and increased the real-time interactions that we are able to have with these people. As long as they have access to the Internet and a device that they can access the social media platform, you can communicate with them. Time zones no longer play a factor.
This has had exponential benefits for providers for goods and services. No longer are they solely reliant on people coming past their shops to see what they have on offer. With the Internet and the relatively low cost of simple websites, businesses can marketing their wares to people all over the world and not just in the same geographical location that they are.
This means that social media, being forums for communication, have become platforms for digital marketers to market business’ products and/or services on. It’s become so popular that one’s social media rankings have become a very significant feature in helping to determine a company’s SEO positions. However, to make social media marketing have a tangible benefit in your organisation, there are a couple of best practices that you need to follow.
Advantages and best practices for social media
As mentioned previously, people on social media are there to connect. They are there to learn more about you, your business and what you stand for. They don’t want to be constantly marketed to.
So to make sure that you keep the social media community that you’ve done so much work at building, don’t constantly bombard them with pleas to buy your product. What this will tell them is that you have nothing better to say and, in actual fact, are desperate to make a sale. They’ll very soon get bored and will stop following you. Worse still, they may discourage their community from interacting with your brand.