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The advent of online social media has changed the face of conventional marketing forever. Twitter, Facebook and MySpace all represent a brand new opportunity to get your message across and reach out to a worldwide audience instantly.
You don’t need a huge budget or even a recognised brand name, eye-catching creativity and a good word of mouth campaign will often suffice. The online balance is shifting and this is very much the time to be capitalising on that.
Of course, not every business or website will be able to create the same buzz, whether using social media or not. But these sites are a great way for anyone to really reach out to and interact with consumers, whether locally or internationally. Whatever you’re selling, whatever you’re marketing, be creative.
Twitter is very much the new kid on the block when it comes to social media. Whilst the site has been around for three years, its explosion in popularity over the last few months or so has taken the Internet by storm. Just as personal users may look to interact with friends or promote a blog, marketers too have been quick to get their messages tweeting across the forums.
As a developing medium, there still aren’t any finite codes about how best to market yourself on Twitter, or any other site for that matter. Spammers rarely prosper though; so if you are going to take this as a marketing avenue, be sure to offer something that the general public and customers alike will find interesting, informative or even entertaining. Filling pages with URLs and garish self-promotion will do your site few favours.
Apart from simply promoting your site through social media, you can of course integrate the two to provide a cross-linking cycle. Working on the principle that casual visitors may stumble across your site and then check out your social media offerings, as well as the other way around, you can really add some credibility with a strong understanding of the latest technologies. Just like maintaining a successful blog, showing an effective personal presence in the social media realm can really boost user interest and popularity.
Social media sites are designed to be fully interactive and provide a forum for innovation. With the multi-media opportunities that are available on MySpace for example, you can share images, videos, reviews and almost anything else that you can possibly muster. So effectively you can use these sites as a second online presence, helping build interest in what should be your primary site, the one that you were promoting originally.
Modern Internet users can be a fickle lot though, so you need to ensure that you’re offering something they actually want. If your social media campaign is lacklustre, don’t expect the results to be any different. Circulating a few promotional messages on Facebook isn’t a magic cure for failing marketing strategies. You have to engage an audience, show them what you’ve got and why, more importantly, they should want it.
The social media epoch that we’re now in has revolutionised communications on all levels. It has given a platform for people and businesses to share their world with others. Ignoring its power could see you drift into insignificance amongst an entire generation of Internet users. It is still by no means a saturated market either; opportunities are abound for upstarts to get a foothold in this highly lucrative market.
Doing your research and taking a unique approach that will resonate with your target audience should be time well spent. There’s no sure-fire guarantee with any form of marketing, but incorporating a strong social media presence within an integrated strategy can only be a positive thing. It’s cost-effective and certain to be the shape of things to come over the next few years at least.
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