Social Media – New Phenom or Old Hat?
Believe it or not, the idea of social media has been in place for over 30 years. Only, it had a totally different meaning then. Social media pertained to the telephone and hacking in to unused corporate test lines where social messages enabled people to make “free” phone calls. Bulletin Boards Systems followed shortly and became a means for a single user to dial in and gain access to social discussions, community-contributed file downloads and online games. In 1991, the World Wide Web was launched and added a whole new dimension to social media. In 1994-1995, private users were introduced to the benefits of the Internet and Internet forums were booming by the late 90’s. Six Degrees, a social site that enabled users to connect with Friends and create profiles was developed in 1997, followed by Friendster in 2002, MySpace in 2004 and Facebook in 2007. The predecessor to StumbleUpon and Reddit was Digg, which was introduced in 2006.
As you can see, Social Media is definitely not a new phenomenon with its history dating back to the 1950’s. One this is for certain though, it is an extremely powerful method for businesses to reach their customers and for customers to provide real time feedback and reviews about the products and services that they use. And while today’s social media differs greatly from that of yesteryear, the impact is very much the same. Consumers are still helping consumers gain valuable information to make educated buying decisions and enhance their buying experience.
Which Social Media Yields the Best Marketing Results?
Facebook vs. Twitter
When it comes to making purchases, social media has enabled businesses to target their customers effectively. Right now, Facebook is outperforming Twitter in terms of reputability and sales conversion. Consumers use their Facebook pages and their tweets to share tidbits of their daily lives. Facebook has become a source for people to gain valuable insights into products they are looking to buy, places they are visiting and situations they are faced with. With that, comes a natural tendency for viewers to chime in on their “friends” requests for information. In a sense, Facebook is the new way of word-of-mouth referrals. This is especially true for those who are looking to make tech tools or electronic purchases. Where Facebook serves as an excellent platform to survey “friends” before making a purchase, Twitter’s short tweets allow people a medium for their voice to be heard. This can be a powerful way for consumers to provide a “thumbs up” – or “thumbs down” – for products and services.
Visual Social Media
Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr are on the radar. Their growth and popularity is making them viable contenders for marketing products. Because of the visual nature of these social media outlets, many consumers are utilizing them to create a pictorial shopping list thus making light work of gift buying for special occasions. As a result, businesses can capitalize on their exposure by adding images of their products that are shareable by consumers.
Social Media Marketing – Get Results
Today’s social media marketing efforts are highly customizable and nearly effortless to institute. An effective social media marketing campaign is one that effectively reaches targeted customers when and where they are. In order to be an effective marketer in the social media realm, it is imperative to understand who the customer is, which social media they are using and how that social media is being used. Once a few key elements are known, an effective social media marketing campaign is born.
For more information about social media marketing, contact AO Design.