Updated: June 15, 2010
I have a confession to make.
One of the reasons why I made The Thirsty Blogger, is because I want to get invited to food blogging events. Although quite subtle, as I focus mainly on drinks, it has nevertheless given me free invites to product launches – buffet meals included. 😀
Did you know I got to taste Red Ribbon’s Chocolate Heaven cake a week before it went out to the market? That’s just one instance why I love blogging. 😛
But why am I sharing this?
It’s to tell you that apart from traditional media (TV, radio, print ads), many businesses are now tapping the social web as part of their marketing strategy.
Social media marketing has been getting attention for the past couple of years and its only until recently that businesses are realizing its importance.
According to Wikipedia:
Social media marketing is a recent component of organizations’ integrated marketing communications plans. Integrated marketing communications is a principle organizations follow to connect with their targeted markets.
The growth of social media has impacted the way organizations communicate with their customers. In the emergence of Web 2.0, the internet provides a set of tools that allow people to build social and business connections, share information and collaborate on projects online.
Hard to understand? Here’s a better explanation what social media is and MORE IMPORTANTLY, it briefly explains why it is important to establish your business on the social web:
Hopefully after watching the video, you now understand how relevant social media is to business marketing. And also know the reason why Red Ribbon invites me and other food bloggers to their cake launches. 😀
So what now? How can you, as a business owner, tap the social web for your marketing?
The key to social media marketing can be summarized into four steps:
Know where your customers are on the web – are they on Facebook? on Twitter? Perhaps they are not in social networking websites but they’re very active in online forums like Pinoy Exchange. Check:
- Social networking sites like Friendster and Facebook
- Microblogging sites like Twitter and Plurk
- Blogs – bloggers tend to have an exclusive network of readers which you can tap.
- Media sharing sites like Flickr (photos) and Youtube (videos)
Create a “brand account” (a Facebook account, a business blog, a Youtube channel, etc.) and participate in the community, that’s why it’s called the SOCIAL web in the first place.
Do not hard sell your products, people will hate it. Instead, initiate topical conversations. Interact and listen to your “network of friends”.
Learn from the discussions, discover what is relevant to your market and use it to develop products, services and more importantly – a marketing plan that will motivate them to gravitate towards your business.
Execute social media marketing by providing relevant stories that will help your network realize the value of your business.
Depending on your marketing goals, you may choose to offer incentives to active participants in the network or give out free stuff to help create buzz which will result to more contacts in your network.
Remember that each social media require different marketing strategies. Fortunately, the internet is already brimming with information on how to take advantage of the social web to enhance your business.
So is your business still doing traditional media? It’s time for you to discover “new media” and get your business an online presence.
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Image credit: 4everyoung