The Basic Principles of Social Media Marketing

Introduction

Social media sites are the hottest properties on the internet. Millions of people login to them every single day. Facebook alone has currently more than 500 million registered users and judging from the rapid growth its been experiencing recently, it probably won't be long before we get to see that number reach a whooping 1 billion. This number is just for Facebook alone. There are hundreds of other social media sites out there such as Twitter, Foursquare and MySpace. If you are to combine all the numbers of these sites, you will without a doubt come up with a figure that is beyond 1 billion.

If you look at the numbers, it is not very difficult to see the reasons why social media marketing is a must if you are a business owner looking for ways to promote and market your business. It does not matter if your business is online or offline. Social media sites are HUGE markets for whatever it is that you are promoting and selling. If you don't get engaged in them, your competitors who are in it are going to eat your business alive. Their businesses will eventually grow and expand while your business gets stuck in the mud.

Effective Social Media Marketing

The key to successfully tapping the marketing opportunities that social media sites offer is genuine participation in them. Nothing more and nothing less. You have to use Facebook the way Facebook is meant to be used. Use it the way users are using it. You have to tweet on Twitter what your followers want or expect from you. Give them what they want and they will follow you more. They might even retweet your tweets.

Social media marketing is about nurturing connections and engaging in meaningful conversations. Be an active user first, a marketer second.

Marketing to your contacts on Facebook and Twitter doesn't only mean pitching them products or services. You have to know whom to pitch and when to pitch. Not all users are going to be needing the stuff you are offering. This is why it is very important that the community of contacts, friends, and followers that you build around you should at least share an interest with the things you have for sale.

Conclusion

As we stated earlier, there are hundreds of social media sites out there. It would be impossible to try and create profiles in every single one of them. This means you will have to choose which ones you are going to use. In order to do this, you need to create the criteria on which you are going to base your decisions.

First criteria could be the suitability or appropriateness of the social site to your business. Foursquare for instance is a great match for businesses with offline stores. Second criteria could be the amount of time that you need to spend on the social site in order for your efforts to be effective. You can use as many criteria as you want. These will depend on the nature of your business, your target market and where that market is commonly located.

Social media marketing can do miracles for your business if you play your cards right and if you are patient enough to show up every single day to participate in whatever it is that's happening in the social sites you signed up with.

Good luck! :)

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