In web design and online marketing circles, we hear a lot about what social networking is, what it can be, and how it stacks up against other ways to reach customers like search engine optimization or online videos. When I hear these conversations, two things stand out: first, that none of these are truly even separate disciplines anymore – what you do on social media sites affects your search engine optimization, and vice versa, for example – and also that it misses the point a little bit.
It doesn’t matter what we, as marketers, think about social media. The fact is that customers everywhere love them, so they are going to be an increasingly-important part of our plans to reach them whether we want them to be or not.
At the time of this writing, Facebook alone boasts somewhere around 500 million members, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing up. Twitter is nearing 200 million, and LinkedIn is connecting more than 50 million professionals with one another. The more people continue to sign up and use social networking sites as a forum to meet one another and share ideas, the more we are going to have to use them as marketing mediums.
The bottom line with social media is that your customers and potential customers love it. That’s reason enough for all of us to keep paying attention to it. Contact Marcy Design, a Columbus Ohio Web Design company, to find out why so many businesses trust us with their social media marketing plans.
As the social media wave continues to pick up steam, businesses are taking a closer look at sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to see whether there might be a way they can turn friends and contacts into customers. It’s a good question; with hundreds of millions of people using social networking sites, it’s clear that your prospects are out there. But to find and reach them, you are going to have to take some cues from businesses in other industries that are already making it work.
Here are five things you can learn from other businesses about social media.
Social media takes some time… but not necessarily a lot of money. You would think that large, multinational corporations, with their extensive public relations teams and market research staff, would dominate social media, and some do use networking sites effectively. But in many cases, it’s the smaller players – family-owned candy companies and Main Street specialty stores – that are using the personal nature of their businesses to meet the big boys step for step. To make social network marketing work, you’ll have to be patient and invest some energy, but not necessarily a whole lot of cash.
Connect with your best customer. One of the reasons those smaller players are doing so well is that they typically don’t have any trouble finding focus. Given that there are literally hundreds of millions of social media users, trying to target them en masse is never going to be effective. Instead, think of who your very best potential client would be and then arrange a profile that speaks to them. You can’t sell to everybody online, but you can use social media to attract good customers.
Keep your marketing messages subtle. You’ll hardly ever see movie stars and musicians advertise on social media, but they’re always promoting their latest projects. You can do the same. Since social networking sites make a poor outlet for outright advertising, try to layer your sales pitch within informational articles and other “soft” forms of content. Once people are familiar with you, it’s only natural for them to take the next step and buy from you in the future.
Be fun. In the same way, take a cue from our friends in the public relations world and try to blur the lines between marketing and entertainment. Social media marketing is really about winning attention, and there’s no substitute for being fun when it comes to drawing readers and followers online.
Stick to the plan. If there is one thing you want to borrow from the corporate giants, it’s this: focus on the bottom line. The advertising departments of Fortune 500 companies don’t spend much time worrying about how many friends they have; they just want to know how social media is supporting their other online and offline marketing goals. Your thinking should go the same way. Social media is fun to use, and it can be effective, but only if it works along with everything else you’re already doing.
Need help making social media work for your dealership? Contact Marcy Design, a Columbus Ohio Web Design company, to find out why so many businesses trust us with their online marketing plans.
With the steady flow of hype and attention that’s being thrown out on social media, video marketing, and other newer tools these days, it’s appropriate for business owners to wonder which of the old ideas and tricks are still worth devoting any time and energy to – especially when it comes to blogs.
There was a time, only a few years ago, when the first thing a web designer, online marketing expert, or search engine specialist would have advised the business owner to do would be start a blog. These days, however, there are a lot more blogs than readers, although many of them haven’t been updated in months or longer.
So should blogging still be a part of your marketing mix?
We feel strongly that it should, but with one minor tweak: the focus shouldn’t be on blogging quantity, but on content quality. Search engines still love blogs, and a fresh supply of writing is a good thing for any business or website. But it’s hardly worth the effort if no one actually reads what you post, so skip the absolute fluff, the keyword-rich “articles” recommended so often in the past, and turn your attention to topics and insights that actually matter to the men and women who buy from you. There’s always a place online for quality content, and people can recognize it when they see it.
As an added bonus, keeping to a regular blogging schedule forces you to come up with new ideas at regular intervals. After a few weeks or months, you might find yourself thinking about things that might not have occurred to you otherwise, which can in turn lead to some of your best strategic breakthroughs.
Blogging might not be the hot marketing topic it once was, but that’s actually helpful if you’re willing to devote time and energy to producing something worth reading. So make a regular appointment with yourself to sit down and come up with some fresh posts – you might just surprise yourself and your customers.
Blogging is still an effective form of social media marketing, but only if it’s done the right way. Talk to Marcy Design about making your blog a stronger tool for bringing in new clients and customers.
Corning Incorporated is the world leader in specialty glass and ceramics. Recently Corning developed and released a viral video titled: A Day Made of Glass on YouTube. The video beautifully depicts a family in the future utilizing Telecommunications, Life Sciences, Display and Environmental Technologies in their everyday life. These technologies are being developed today. The video has garnered over 10.5 million views.
We’ve noticed something slightly shocking over the past few years: that a new business website can be a complete waste of time and money.
Now, that’s probably not what you expected to read in this space. More likely, you thought we were going to tell you how, since it can potentially attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, your website is an important – and probably the most important – part of your marketing mix. You thought you were going to hear about how it doesn’t just help you with sales, but also public relations, customer service, and even recruiting. You just knew we were going to tell you that your website represents some of the best money your company can spend.
And those would all be correct… as long as you’re building a site with an online marketing plan to go with it.
Here’s what we are getting at: a new website for your company is fantastic, but unless you’re making the accompanying investment, in time or money, to search engine optimization, social media marketing, improved content for your landing pages, and so on, then you probably shouldn’t expect to get too much out of it.
Too many prospective clients are out there just looking for “a website,” and too many web design firms are happy to give them one – and collect a fee – without taking the time to learn about the client’s real needs and business goals. But a website built without purpose or plan is just an expensive online brochure. With the right tools in place, it can be a huge boost to your businesses income.
Do you need more help turning your web design project into a profitable online marketing plan? Then call or e-mail Marcy Design today – we’ll give you the kind of personal service clients have come to expect from us for years.
A lot has been publicized about the soon-to-be-released Apple iPad. This device will create a whole new category for books and magazines. Wired Magazine has developed a digital version of their magazine to take advantage of the iPad platform.
We have gone from mass media to one-on-one marketing. And it only took 60 years. In the 1950s, mass media such as television dominated the advertising scene. If product companies wanted to reach large audiences, they had to create commercials for TV and place them on popular shows. The I Love Lucy show, for example, reached a mass TV audience that has never been equaled since. In 1952, there were over 17 million televisions sets in US homes and I Love Lucy had an audience of 45 million viewers. Almost everyone who had a television set was watching I Love Lucy every week.
Just how fast does news travel these days. Pretty darn fast if you ask me. If you haven’t heard already, a remarkable television event happened recently. Susan Boyle, an unknown Scottish citizen became internationally famous in the blink of an eye. She dreamed of becoming a professional singer, and entered a contest on the TV show; Britain’s Got Talent. Similar to America’s Got Talent, contestants vie for prize money by singing, dancing and displaying wide variety of entertainment.
Within 1 week the video (shown above) on YouTube had over 24 million views. Hundreds of blogs and major news media covered the event. When she walked on stage you could here the crowd laughing. But, I’ll let the video link above tell the rest of the story. She is living proof that you can do anything that you sent your mind to. She is also proof of the power and speed of the Internet.
An iconic comic strip has turned 20 years old. Dilbert, created by Scott Adams, was born on April 16th, 1989. Dilbert appears in 2000 papers in 65 countries and 25 languages. Currently, a book is available titled: Twenty Years of Dilbert (also on DVD). And according to Fast Company, Scott Adams has no plans of slowing down. Here’s to 20 more years!
Another Social Media web site has reached a tipping point. In the middle of a recession, Twitter has grown 131% in one month! According to comSCORE, the number of visitors to Twitter jumped to 9.3 million visitors. That equates to a 5 million more visitors than in February alone. Part of the growth can be attributed to mainstream media promoting communication between viewers and their networks. In other words, you’re likely to hear about Twitter almost every day.