The Next Evolution in Social Media Marketing

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The web evolves almost daily, with new tips and tricks… and rules for SEO, as well as new social media platforms. There was a time that MySpace was the must-be-on platform, and Twitter confused people who wondered how anyone could communicate anything in 140 characters, or less. With new platforms that are image and video-centric, businesses will have to rethink, and reorganize their approach to using social media.

The time is now to look at your social media outreach for 2014. Here are a few things you must consider:

Social Media is a Serious Necessity

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The days of pushing off the responsibilities of the company Twitter, Facebook, and blog duties on a secretary, or intern are over! As any expert will attest, your social media outreach is a reflection of your brand, and can increase customer loyalty and trust… or decrease it.

Unfortunately, when you give this power to someone who is not trained, or experienced in social media, you gamble of that person damaging your brand, and reputation. Social media can attract, or repel customers, and there are some very famous social media incidents.

Every single tweet that a brand sends out can make a big impact, positive AND negative because of the viral nature of Twitter. If a tweet is something scandalous, there’s nowhere to hide, and you can bet consumers will jump at the chance to help spread the scandalous tweet all over the web, both on Twitter, and Facebook, just to name two social media channels.

Content is King!

Social media is driven by content. Images, blog articles, and videos are what drive traffic to your site, set you up as a reliable expert, and create customer loyalty. Content must be fresh, constant, and relevant to your customer to be effective, as well as working within search engine guidelines.

Fresh content is one of the most important things for your social media outreach, as well as improving your search ranking. It is a hard and fast rule that you should have new content entries at least once a week. Too many companies cut their content to every other week or once a month. Usually it’s done to save money, but in the long run, it just wastes the money spent doing it less than once a week. You must commit to a regular schedule, and pay attention to the days, and times when your customers are viewing that content.

Consider Google+

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Everyone is still enamored with Facebook as the number one social media platform, but Google+ is coming of age, and can no longer be ignored. If you haven’t already joined and started adding people to your circles, the time has come to start. Before you know it, Google+ will, with the help of the rapid expansion of Google services, become one of the top social media platforms.

Read: How to Breathe Life into Your Google+ Profile

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Image and Video Content Increases

It’s no secret that people are reading less, and watching more. While written content will always be needed, it should be balanced against, or tied to, video content.

Sites like Pinterest, originally considered “women only” site, has found it’s place as a valuable social media platform, and Tmblr, Slideshare, Path, and Mobli are continuing to grow. Also, while YouTube has continually grown, the newest entry, Vine, has exploded with short, looping videos, and companies are using it for everything from instruction, to sharing company culture. Instagram, which allows 3-15 seconds, as opposed to the 6 second loop allowed by Vine, is also a great addition to inbound marketing from consumer’s smartphones.

Instant News and Trouble

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Another consideration every business must be ready to deal with is that very same power social media gives consumers. Negative testimonials on Twitter, and Facebook, have caused major negative PR for many firms, and, as seen on news programs, video taken by people’s smartphones will catch the most embarrassing moments, which takes expert handling. Once again, as stated before, social media is a place for experienced experts. Handing over the reigns for the power wielded via social media must be considered carefully, so get used to budgeting your advertising/PR budget to reflect hiring the right people to handle your social media outreach. Anything less can, and will destroy your business.

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