Five years ago, the importance of social media was debatable when it came to a small business’ internet marketing strategy. Then again, five years ago, an internet marketing strategy primarily consisted of stuffing blog posts and metadata with as many keywords as possible in order to simply drive traffic to a webpage. However, the internet marketing landscape has changed quite a bit in the last few years as search engines strove to make search results more relevant to the user and small business owners finally began to understand that more web traffic does not necessarily mean more business, especially if a website lacks compelling content.
Today, most marketers agree that social media is an absolute must. The 2013 End of Year Report from Social Media Examiner reveals that 86 percent of marketers believe that social media is important for their business. The same report also found that 60 percent of marketers surveyed saw significant improvements in their search engine rankings after investing at least six hours in social media marketing per week, and 78 percent of participants found that their web traffic increased as well.
Obviously, any business that has not included social media as an integral part of their monthly internet marketing strategy is likely missing out on a great opportunity to grow as a business. With so many social platforms to choose from, it is easy to see how a business owner could feel overwhelmed, and instead opt for more traditional forms of marketing. A common misconception is that, in order to succeed at social media marketing, a business should invest time into every platform possible. This is actually not the case. Most businesses thrive with a presence on only a few different platforms.
Which Platforms are Popular? At CyberMark International, part of our job is to advise our clients as to which social media platforms will benefit them the most. Here are some of the most popular and commonly used platforms:
- Social bookmarking sites, such as StumbleUpon, Reddit and Digg
- SlideShare presentation sharing
- Niche social media sites, such as Avvo for law firms
Social media is not only important for your internet marketing strategy, it should be a priority. With the right content and time invested, social media allows your business to gain increased exposure. This type of marketing is all about building your brand and boosting your online presence beyond your website. Your profiles on social media platforms offer a unique communication channel between you and your prospective customers.
Benefits of Social Media: You can share your brand’s expertise and know-how about your industry while also allowing customers to interact with you and provide feedback; your customers are literally able to tell you what they want, when they want, and you can provide. For the cost of a small advertising budget and a few hours of time every week, social media gives businesses the ability to turn their customers into ambassadors for the brand and form a close community. This is something that has not been possible before in the marketing industry.
Challenges of Social Media: Many businesses still face several challenges when it comes to effectively using social media. One common misconception is that, because a wide variety of people young and old use social media, that it must be easy to use. However, this is not the case when it comes to managing profiles for brands. The top challenges facing those inexperienced in social media marketing include a lack of time invested in the platforms, an inability to measure value quantitatively, difficulty integrating social media with more “real world” types of advertising, and a lack of budget. This is why, for most companies, it is wise to resist handing all social media responsibilities to an inexperienced intern. Instead, outsource through an internet marketing company that already has trained and knowledgeable social media marketers in-house.
Does your company prioritize social media marketing? If not, you should. For more information about the all-changing state of the internet marketing landscape, download our free eBook, Internet Marketing Trends 2014. And be sure to check in next week when we go over some of the myths that businesses believe about social media marketing.
Are you looking to boost your online presence with internet marketing? CyberMark International can help! Please call 623-889-3380 or fill out our contact form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.