Why you should integrate online networking into your ongoing marketing efforts
Lately, my email inbox has been flooded with invitations to
networking opportunities around the topic of social media: Marketing
groups are wondering how to use social media to enhance their client's
campaigns and reach younger markets. Small business groups are looking
to social media to keep in touch with their client base. And graphic
designers are contemplating their new role in providing a whole new
suite of branded products for social media applications.
Attending these events, I'm discovering the following themes among the
Resistance. "I just got a website after 14 years of having
nothing! Why do I need to do more?"
Reluctant Acceptance. "Yeah, I'm on LinkedIn and have a Facebook
account, but I really don't get the Twitter thing."
Integration. "Social media is just another part of my overall
When it comes to my business, I'm definitely in the "Integration"
category; I use several forms of social media as different points of
entry to reach my current network and extend my company to future
contacts. Beyond my own marketing, I'd recommend embracing social media
to my clients as well. Here's why:
1) Staying top of
mind. Applications like Twitter,
LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace all allow for easy, constant updates
about the work you're doing, the events you're attending, articles
you're reading, and specials you're offering. So, when an opportunity
does come up for someone to utilize your services, you're the first person
2) Reaching younger audiences.
A recent Star Tribune article ("Voice
Mail Calls, But Do We Care?")
reported on the decline of voice mail as a mode of communication for
younger professionals, who are instead turning to Twitter, Facebook,
texting and email to keep in touch. The lesson? If your company is
intending to reach younger audiences, you ought to be saavy in social
3) Increasing your search results/controlling
your brand. Think
about it: if someone does a web search for your company, wouldn't you
want the pages that come up to be ones that you've crafted with your
brand images, your messages, and your products? Utilizing social media
multiplies your search results, supporting your website with branded
blogs, custom icons on Twitter, designed Facebook pages, and crafted
LinkedIn profiles. Here's a hot tip: check out the new Google Profiles page to control your search results: http://www.google.com/profiles.
4) And finally,
integration. Consider that on
average, a typical amount of time users spend at your website is from
1-3 minutes. Now consider that you get a blog. You update it with
content and post the link on a Twitter update. Twitter followers click
the link to your blog entry to read it, and while they're there, they
see a link to your website/LinkedIn Profile/Facebook page, etc. Maybe
they visit your website and click a link to sign up for your
e-newsletter. You've successfully kept people engaged with your
business, and if you post again tomorrow, the process can begin again.
In closing, social media doesn't appear to be going anywhere soon,
and smart businesses will embrace opportunities to use it intelligently
to promote their business and stay in touch with their networks.