The Internet has completely revolutionized the way we consume information and interact with brands. Social media marketing is a whole new ballgame.
Take it from my parents, who just a few years ago read the morning paper, watched the evening news and used the yellow pages to find the right “bug man.” Now they spend nearly all of their free time with their eyes glued to a screen.
For my mom it’s Google she’s enthralled with. “I don’t think you understand,” she said when I teased her about the hours she spends looking things up. “You can find everything on here.” My dad now spends the majority of his time on his iPad scrolling through various social news sites. I know this because I receive three to five emails from him each week with subject lines like “Who Should be in Charge of Your Social Media Marketing Services” and “26 Content Marketing Tools to Use in 2013.” It should be noted that my dad is an emergency room doctor, not a marketing or PR professional.
We have the Internet to thank for my dad’s growing interest in, well, everything and my mom’s amazing ability to patrol Google’s pages to find the best of everything.
And it’s not just my parents. Our society is now always “connected.” Today about 80% of Americans use the Internet and 67% of online adults use social media sites.
Like my parents, society has become desensitized to traditional marketing tactics. The Internet has made it easy for consumers to customize the information they want to see, and eliminate what they don’t. Which means as marketers, we have to work harder to reach our consumers. This is where social media marketing services come in.
It’s all about connecting with our customers on the Internet, particularly via social media networks. In the U.S., Facebook and Twitter are the most effective social networks for brands targeting business to consumer (B2C) channels.
While interacting with your audience on social networks is certainly cost-effective, managing your business’ social networks isn’t a job to take lightly. Actively engaging and interacting with your customers, which is what they have come to expect, is a full-time job. Let social media marketing services do the job for you. Firms like the Bradford Group offer ongoing, coordinated social media efforts based on listening and sharing, not selling.
The Internet—and social media—is constantly changing and we have to be ready for the next big thing. For example, Facebook recently announced they will be rolling out an updated news feed in coming weeks. This is the largest update to the social site’s news feed since its debut in 2006.
Facebook’s idea is to utilize bigger images, allow for more news feed categories to create what Zuckerberg hopes to be “the world’s best personalized newspaper.” Currently it’s only available to a small number of people on the Web and will be available to all users once it’s perfected.
Here are four changes to the news feed that will affect your business’ Facebook strategies:
- Larger images and more of ‘em. Updates that include photos are five times more engaging than updates with links. Revise your content marketing strategy to include more visual imagery.
- Emphasis on brand identity. The news feed will offer more upfront information about people, pages and brands in previews. Make sure your first impression is well defined and will draw consumers in, encouraging them to visit your page.
- Content-specific feeds. Multiple feeds and filtering options will allow users to sort information into separate feeds such as music, photos, and most importantly, news from brands they “like.”
- “Following” feature. Users who “like” a brand will be able to see posts from other users who “follow” that brand, even if they aren’t friends.
PR and marketing firms offer social media marketing services to help you navigate important changes like these to ensure you don’t fall behind. Before choosing a firm to head your social media marketing, research their work and make sure they are the best fit for your company.