Social media is an ever changing medium. I’m not sure if you’d call it a metamorphosis (morphing), maturation, or growth. One thing I do know is social media is changing and will continue to change. Social media is a child and is still growing and finding it’s balance in society.
For many, many years marketing remained the same until social media changed the marketing landscape. For over 50 years marketing was based on radio, television, print, fliers, and just about any way you can imagine to market a business, other than using the Internet. Even though the Internet had been a viable channel for marketing for many years, the vehicles to market a product on the internet were not as abundant as they are today. During the “dot com” about the only way anyone made money on the Internet was by having a website. Then by happenstance social media was created on a college campus and here we are today. There are a few things we’ve learned about social media over the years.
At the top of our list is to always, always remember the “social” part of social media. It’s about building and maintain relationships. As you know social trends change over time. They have a tendency to morph into something else, very similar to starting a relationship with a new friend. Social media is fluid in as much as it changes fairly regularly. The mechanics for social media are in place and rarely change. It’s the processes behind the mechanics that change. When the processes change, outcomes change. For instance let’s take a look at Facebook.
For the first few years of Facebook’s infancy Facebook allowed any posts made on a business page to go to every person who liked that page. Since the advent of Facebook going public they have throttled that back to between 6 and 10% of the people who like your page will receive your post in their news feed. Isn’t this crazy? I said no way, then we tested the theory and found it was spot on. During our testing we found several ways around this restriction, but we’ll save that for a later date. Let’s get down to business.
So what does all this mean to a small business owner? It means confusion. As social media changes, how do business owners keep up with those changes and run their business? There are two actions a business owner can take. They can find seminars and workshops to attend or find someone who works with social media on a regular basis. More than likely this will be a company and you will have to pay for their services.
For the business owners who can take time to keep up with social media changes there are any number of seminars and/or workshops in your area. Many presentations, seminars, and workshops are offered at little or no cost. SCORE and the SBA are great sources of business information. Constant Contact also offers quite a few social media marketing seminars and webinars. Go to Constant Contact Seminars to get more information. If you don’t have time to attend a seminar you may have time to attend a webinar right from you own desk. The point is to stay current on the changing face of social media.
If you are a business that uses social media 3 or 4 times a week to market your business you will more than likely pick up on the changes as they happen with the social media platform you use the most. The most radical changes right now are with Facebook. LinkedIn and Twitter have made quite a few changes over the last 2 years to enhance the user’s experience. Facebook is manipulating the way you see data and how to access people on Facebook. LinkedIn and Twitter have not done anything like, yet.
Although video marketing is changing YouTube has not changed their landscape as much as Facebook. Once again Google has done a fantastic job of putting together a usable application. They have consistently kept the same tools for owners to market their business through YouTube. We have personally found YouTube to be a great source of information and a great way to market your business. Out of all the changes on the social media scene, the most consistent has been email marketing
If you keep up with any Internet Marketers you will see notice one thing in particular, their main mode of communication is email marketing. My company has had a lot of success marketing through social media. We’ve also found we can close 2 to 3 times more deals for our clients through email than we do through any other social media. No matter what your social media consists of, take a careful look at using email marketing as part of your marketing strategy. We have built more solid businesses through email marketing than with any other marketing medium. Haven’t tried email marketing yet?