Today no diary is private. Years ago, if you kept a diary it was private. If someone read it, you had every right to admonish the reader, for not respecting your privacy. Now we live in a social age where we have all become diarists and what’s more openly publish our content to friends, relatives, clients and everyone else whom our privacy settings allow.
Social media is the new marketing but what exactly is it? Well let’s take a step back to when the internet started and we all jumped on the website bandwagon. Marketing managers and intrepid entrepreneurs saw the benefit of openly publishing content on a website and getting visitors to it. Some even saw the opportunities for on-line purchasing and how the internet would transform business and the retail high street.
Around this time, mobile phones were just starting to reduce in size from the handheld bricks and portable batteries. Vodafone had launched its SMS text messaging service; which was originally designed for its own engineers to use – much like the origins of Twitter. Push the price of mobiles phones down, shrink them in size and hey presto, everyone can start texting. The world just goes text crazy to point where SMS messages sent outnumber mobile phone calls.
Then along comes the smart phone with a host of built-in features including a camera. Now we can take great photos (or try to), selfies and SMS them or upload them to our favorite social media sharing account, whether this is Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram and so on.
What marketers also learned is that social media tools provide a great way to interact with clients, prospective customers and other social stakeholders in a business. It can take time to write up and publish a press release or launch a new advertising campaign. Social media makes things instant. The medium allows marketers to publish information instantly.
What is published has to be controlled but as a strategic marketing tool, social media is invaluable. You can launch new promotions, respond to competitor offers, generate website traffic, share client testimonials and reviews, provide information on your company and position yourself as an industry ‘thought leader’.
In social media the hash tag has become a powerful stamp. Hash tags allow you to instantly create a social media stream of content around a specific search term. Add the hash tag to your social media content and you immediately add your contribution to the communication stream. For example if we launch this blog post with the hash tag #SocialMedia and #Redbows, you can search for either of these hash tags on Twitter and this blog post will show up. Imagine then as a company grabbing the most relevant hash tags in your industry so you dominate them or generating new ones to spark debate.
The possibilities with social media are endless. To really benefit you have to build social media as a marketing tool into your communications strategy and that is something the Redbows Marketing team have become very skilled at. Not only do we help with social media training, we also provide campaigns and competitor analysis.
For more information on our social media services call us on 0800 158 3080.
Written by Dawn Koffler.