intersectionSocial media is fast becoming an integral part of a strong internet marketing plan.  Gone are the days when business owners wondered, “Should I have a social media presence?” Instead, smart business owners are asking today, “Where should I invest my time and energy? How can I maximize my social media presence?” Social media is now a must-have, rather than a nice-to-have part of a thorough internet marketing strategy.  In this article, the first of several on the topic of social media, we’ll explore the changing landscape of social media and how it impacts your business marketing strategy.

The Changing Nature of Social Media

Just a few short years ago, business owners were scrambling to create pages on the popular social media sites. Many tried to manage multiple platforms at once, posting sporadically or assigning someone within the company to update their pages. Business owners sought to reach as many potential customers as possible through the “free” social media channels by sharing anything that came to hand: funny cat pictures, articles, comments, sales items.

Today, business owners are realizing that social media must be seamlessly integrated into an overall internet marketing strategy in order to justify the time and monetary investment. It’s not enough to post anything you like; what you post and share must be a reflection of your corporate brand image. You must be scrupulous about what you share, post or comment upon, because once something is shared across social media, it tends to stay online forever, and customers may access your posts anywhere, any time. They must always be a reflection of your corporate image and brand.

You must also monitor your social media sites daily and respond quickly to customer comments and complaints. If you don’t, you run the risk of offending customers who prefer to communicate with you via social media platforms. Social media cannot be an afterthought; it must be treated just as thoughtfully as any internet marketing or communications channel.

Be Selective in Your Social Media

When social media was in its infancy, business owners created pages on as many platforms as they could to reach as many potential customers as possible. Today, however, it’s nearly impossible on a small or mid-sized business budget to effectively juggle multiple social media channels. Instead, it’s best to focus on a few select social media sites that your customers like to use or that suit your business model. A business that relies heavily on clients seeing its wares before buying them, such as a furniture store, clothing store or gift store may find that social media sites that rely heavily on images are a great fit, while information-rich companies may find that sites relying on text posts are a better fit.  With the plethora of social media platforms available, there’s no “one-size fits all” model anymore (if there ever was.)

Social Media as Part of Internet Marketing

Social media isn’t separate from your internet marketing strategy. It’s part and parcel of your overall strategy. Consider social media as another channel, like your digital advertising, press releases, email marketing and so on.  By treating social media as a serious and potentially profitable marketing channel, you’re ready to incorporate it into your internet marketing and treat it with the respect it needs and deserves.

For help enacting your online social media strategy and campaign, contact Dashboard Internet Marketing. With experts in internet marketing strategy, content development, social media and more, we can help you launch an effective social media campaign that gets results. Call us at 800-807-1852 for a consultation today.

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