If you had to rank the most important emerging trends in Internet marketing, would social media be at the top of your list? We hope so. Social media is arguably one of the most significant and untapped resources among Internet marketers with the potential of yielding incredible results if used properly.
What makes social media so powerful? Size, scope, and reach. In other words, social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter give you access to an unlimited number of customers across a broad spectrum of social and cultural divisions. You cannot get that sort of access anywhere else. Consider the following numbers:
- Facebook – 850 million users and still growing
- Twitter – 500 million users and growing
- LinkedIn – 150 million users; mostly professionals and business-minded individuals
- Google+ – 90 million users (it’s also integrated with the entire Google platform)
Twitter and YouTube
Where Twitter is concerned, never underestimate the power of 140 characters. Twitter is to Internet marketing what a tag line is to a corporate logo. It offers just enough information to pique the interest but not enough to give away the store. Great Twitter management can drive people to your blog like never before.
YouTube is another social media platform that should not be ignored. Let’s face it; we are now living in a media oriented society where a good video can go viral in just a couple of hours. Adding YouTube to your Internet marketing strategy allows you to integrate the content from your blog with videos that illustrate that content. The combination of words and images together is a powerful selling tool.
Making it Work
Making social media integration work for you begins with making sure your blog is solid. Doing so involves knowing your audience, choosing relevant topics designed to address the interests of that audience, and developing those topics with relevant content. The point of social media integration is to use sites like Facebook and Twitter to encourage people to visit your main site and read your blog.
Good Social Media Integration Requires a Few Things:
- Links on Your Blog – A properly integrated blog will contain links or buttons pointing to social media channels. In other words, you may have a “like it” button in your sidebar allowing your users to like you on Facebook. You might have a “share” button that will immediately send your new post to sites like Facebook and Google+ when clicked by a user.
- Social Media Plug-Ins – All the major content management systems like WordPress and Drupal offer plug-ins for your site that will automatically update your social media channels whenever you add new content. These plug-ins should include all of the major channels we have already mentioned.
- Regular Updates – Nothing will kill a blog faster than sporadic updates. In order to keep your readers engaged, you need to shoot for semi-weekly updates at the very least. If you can manage daily updates that’s all the better. With regular updates, your social media friends will constantly be reminded of your blog. As long as your content is up to the task, they will be more than happy to read.
If you are not yet using social media as an Internet marketing strategy, you need to start doing so right away. Whether you know it or not, the vast majority of your customers exist primarily in the social media world. That’s where they get their information and that’s where they communicate. It makes no sense to avoid social media for any reason. Take advantage of all the potential social media offers by integrating it with your blog.