Written By: Giselle Aguiar
The Social Media Paradigm Shift
If you’re not taking social media seriously to promote your business, you are missing out on powerful, free marketing tools to reach your target market.
Marketing is not what it used to be.
Once upon a time, advertising messages were broadcasted out via TV, newspapers, magazines, radio, direct mail, telemarketing and the yellow pages. (Yes, remember them? When was the last time you used the yellow pages?) Before, it used to be if you weren’t in the yellow pages, your business didn’t exist. Then it was the World Wide Web. If you didn’t have a website, your business didn’t exist.
Now, if you don’t have a presence in the top networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest, your business doesn’t exist.
Why the shift? Consumers don’t want to look at advertising. They DVR shows and fast forward through the commercials. They block pop-ups. Direct mail is junk mail and there’s the “do not call” list.
People search online for what they want when they want it. “Google” is a verb.
Online search, combined with social media, drives people to your product or service.
You can’t ignore where your customers and potential customers are and they are “hanging out” in social media.
There is No More “Box”
You’ve heard the expression, “Think Outside the Box”? Well, there is no more box. The box is gone. The old “marketing mix” with a percentage of broadcast and print media, direct mail, yellow pages – is no more. It’s basically “anything goes.” The more creative, witty and clever you are, the better your results will be. If you’re not creative, hire someone who is.
Social Media has become an integral part of the marketing mix. Though it does not completely replace traditional methods, it has to be included in your marketing plan.
Google used to have 60% of the searches. It’s now closer to 90%. Bing and Yahoo will never catch up. Last year Google changed their search algorithm to give searchers content that is more relevant to their searches. It seeks fresh, relevant content written for the human reader.
It used to be that the more times a search keyword showed up in a page the higher it would rank in the search results. Not any more. Customers search for information and find you by the content you provide on your website and blog.
You must think like the searcher. Figure out what they will enter in the Google search box to find what you have to offer and integrate those phrases and keywords in the content.
It’s all about Content Marketing
Content is King! How do you give Google fresh content? By blogging. Blogging at least once a week will increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and lead people to your website. Can’t write? Hire someone who can.
It’s not all about you! It’s about what you can do for your customer. Solve their problems. Educate and inform them. Make life easier for them.
Social Sharing for Promotion and Visibility
But the blog is not enough. You then need to promote the blog with social media. That, in turn, helps SEO and build relationships with your potential and current customers – something traditional advertising and marketing never did.
Social media is not a magic pill that will immediately drive sales. Though that is the ultimate goal of your business, social media’s job, when used correctly, is to increase awareness and establish you or your company as an expert in your field and increase traffic to your website. It takes time and effort, but it will be worthwhile in the long run.
In my next post I’ll be covering Google+ and how Google is making search social and changing SEO.