Unless you’ve been hibernating under a rock for the last year you’ve at least hear about Social Media marketing.
Using sites like Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Youtube, Stumble Upon…I could go on and on here…to connect with others is the core of Social Media. Using them to increase exposure for your business, charity, rock band, whatever, is Social Media marketing.
The difference is subtle but it’s worth noting. When you’re using Social Media as a marketing tool it’s unlikely that anyone will be interested in what you had for breakfast as a Twitter post. If I’m following you on Twitter and the only content you’re providing is your opinion of the outfit worn by Rachel on Glee this week, you can bet I’ll be dropping you pretty quick.
While Social Media is not particularly discerning in who it attracts, the marketing aspect is. Twitter is a great example of how “who” is much more important than “how many”. The great benefit for sites like Twitter and Linked In is that they allow you to target your market. In fact, industry vernacular would suggest that you can “laser” target the people or businesses that will, most-likely, be interested in what you’re selling.
So, who’s gaining the most from Social Media marketing? Definitely small companies or sole proprietorships who do not have an large marketing budget. Since marketing through Social Media is considerably more cost-effective (when done well) than traditional marketing methods, those willing to embrace new technology and engage their audience are seeing the greatest results.
Outside the box, to use an overdone cliche, thinking is necessary to set one company apart though. Simply posting content isn’t going to cut it in this age when everyone is starting to see what a great Social Media marketing campaign can do for them.
It actually reminds me of a great story. In 1985 a 46 year old, below the knee amputee, Tom Whittaker, wanted to mount an Everest Expedition. He needed a sponsor. The usual type of sponsors, North Face, Patagonia, etc were already full-up-to-their-ears with climbers. So Tom approached a completely unlikely company, Bausch and Lomb. Until that relationship was established, no one thought about a eyewear company as an expedition sponsor. Now it’s done all the time.
Thinking about the business relationships that will be mutually beneficial takes some time and consideration but when it’s done well, it can see you sitting at the top of the world! (see what I did there? I hearkened back to the whole Everest thing 🙂