What are Social Media? Not many people know that in 2004 a new Internet term was coined, ‘Web 2.0’. This tem refers to the way web users can now interact with each other as contributors to website content and not just passively view information on web pages. It is not so much as an update in Internet technology but rather a cumulative change in the way people use the Web. The term Web 2.0 lies behind the term Social Media, and Social Media generally includes web-based communities, web applications, social net-working sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites and much more. We are all aware of the ‘facebook generation’ and this is no understatement, facebook website gained 540 million unique users. The great thing about this change in the way people interact on the Web, is that it acts as an equalizer helping small business’ to compete with the huge firms.
I remember working for a government agency and being trained on a new computer system. Along with this training came a kind of motivational talk on the importance of accepting these marketing changes with open arms (which of course was aimed at the older government worker – no ageism implied). At the time I didn’t fully grasp the concept of this but now I realise that it is, adapt or be left behind. This is true within the public sector but it is even more true within the private sector.
Small business’ must not be afraid to adapt to the modern market place and take their business on-line. It can be very off-putting the world of technical computer jargon and the feeling of being dwarfed by large corporations armed with their SEO teams and Internet copywriters. This is the beauty of the socialweb it is helping to democratise all voices on the Internet. So many small business’ have benefitted from utilising the socialweb; food-outlets, retail companies, niche companies, they have been able to access huge markets and reap the financial dividends.
Going global, is a term banded around but through Social Media websites it is possible to take your small business to the global level. Have you ever been browsing the Internet and been massively annoyed by distracting adverts; me and many people have. It is now better to build up your brand or business through the placement of marketing messages seamlessly into on-line contents.
Social Media is able to spread unique messages and with extreme rapidity. Internet viral marketing has existed for many years now combine this with the socialweb and you have a set of tools to quickly build a huge buzz around your brand or business. Here is one example; create a hip and trendy video with a marketing message embedded, post it to some friends on facebook, the friends of friends will get to see it and might then share it with some more friends on twitter. You have just tapped thousands if not millions of potential clients.
The world of Social Media is absolutely massive and is expanding rapidly, this article has barely even began to break the surface of the socialweb monolith. If you do plan to enter into this world of tweets, blog post, SEO, Internet copywriting then there are some things to remember:
• Online business’ that help their customers to share their contents and experiences are seeing a growth in traffic.
• Making multiple social network options available for your users will increase the amount of participating users.
• If you do have multiple network options make sure the user experience is optimized and varied.
• Some people have a problem with the privacy aspect of Social Media but with the right sort of savy its possible to stay safe.
• Utilizing socially referred traffic is becoming as important as SEO and SEM techniques in growing website traffic and market analysis.
The socialweb is now the new powerful direct marketing engine.