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Join the Social Media Party

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There are several reasons social media attracts the enthusiastic interest of marketing professionals. First and foremost, its where you find huge audiences—literally billions of people. Additionally, you can target populations based on demographics as well as individual interests. Social media campaigns aren’t difficult to carry out, either; tweeting or posting a Facebook message doesn’t require tons of technical expertise. It’s also relatively inexpensive; you won’t need a giant marketing budget to effectively promote your messaging.

Interactivity and immediacy of social media also makes it a very attractive marketing option for businesses. You’ll know when a message has been received by your audience and you can also get a feel for the reaction through “likes” and shares or comments. Best of all, when you succeed in getting consumers to carry your message for you, it becomes highly credible in the estimation of their friends and family.

So, social media marketing makes sense … but what specifically do you want to accomplish? Think of it as going to a party.

Mingle (brand awareness) – You’ve seen wallflowers at a party—maybe you’re one of them—who stands off alone or at best interacts with a very few people. They arrive and leave with barely a ripple. Social media is an easy way for your company to stand apart from the background.

Make a good impression (public relations) – You’re telling people about yourself—getting them to enjoy your company (pun intended). But just as importantly, you’re showing interest in the other guests and letting them know you share their thoughts and concerns.

Let others show you around (create advocates) – If you’re an interesting party guest, others will want to introduce you as someone who can help them with an issue or who is simply a fun person to meet. Be the in-demand guest!

Get a real feel for the room (market research) – If there’s one thing you can say about social media, it’s unfiltered; people have no hesitancy about saying what they think. Such market research is invaluable in helping you develop and position new products, solutions or services.

Meet people you’ll be glad to know (lead generation) – It’s always great to turn strangers into friends—especially the lifelong variety. That doesn’t happen by sitting alone, at home. Think of every person you meet on social media as a potential customer, and the value of marketing here becomes obvious.