Social Media in Business
The social media in business online are playing an increasing role and has formed in a way of marketing which is called SMM (Social Media Marketing). SMM is a set of activities aimed at the promotion of the website with the purpose to attract visitors from the social networks.
SMO, which means Social Media Optimization, is a part of SMM. SMO can be defined as a set of actions to get free traffic from different social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ and other, also by various social activities like blogging, social bookmarking, RSS feeds, participation in discussion groups, posting status updates on social media profiles, online reputation management, user rating/polling, user feedback, sharing buttons, use of photo and video sharing sites and many others.
As you see, SMO is similar to search engine optimization (SEO), but the main goal is to generate traffic from social networks. You’ll need this knowledge at the next step in order to make a right choice for social networks you’ll use to promote your business, as not all social networks can be equally good for your online business promotion.
So, here we discuss:
- Social Media in Business Online
- Types of Social Networks Good for Business
- Benefits of Social Media in Business
- Conclusion and Notes
1. Social Media in Business Online
Social networks are not longer just tools for the information exchange, and gradually become places on the Internet, where people with similar interests are united. For example, if you are engaged in tourism, you join a group of fans to travel and so on. This advanced feature of social networks enables individuals and companies to do social media in business more efficiently, creating social and community groups at social networks. For some people business and social media even become something like an organic whole.
Since website promotion techniques are constantly changing the Internet marketers have to constantly monitor and take into account new trends. For example, today the traditional advertising methods to promote products and services on the Internet are gradually becoming less and less effective, and the more positive effect gives the non-standard advertising techniques, particularly applicable at social networks.
The rapid development of social networks affects the basic principles of creating business websites, and your website is not an exception. Nowadays, it is not just enough to carry out only SEO, you need also to have qualitatively performed SMO for your business website. This is due to two main reasons:
The fast-growing number of people involved in social media networking. This creates huge traffic, which already exceeds the traffic entirely controlled by search engines. You can’t stand aside from this.
Search engines take into account the perceptibility of your website by social media networks and consider this factor when ranking web pages. So, whether you like it or not, whether are you active on the networks or not, social media in business online is very important for the purpose to get high web page rankings, and, therefore, more traffic.
2. Types of Social Networks Good for Business
For the social media in business on the Internet you’ll find different classifications of social networks (there are also very bulky). Here we are going to use a very simple and laconic classification, which will help us quickly and easily gain clarity on this issue. Of course, in our case, we first of all consider the importance of social media in business.
a) Social Networks
Just five years ago, not many people knew of the existence of social networks, today they have become part of our lives and have become an integral part. Almost everyone now has its own page on the Internet.
What is a social network?
First of all, it is a website designed in order to introduce and bring together people with common interests and enable them to communicate in a variety of topics (to add each other to friends, to upload different information including photos, videos and audio, etc.). One of the benefits of social networking is the ability to find long lost friends and relatives.
So, the most popular social media for business are:
Read about the 15 most popular social networking sites.
b) Bookmarking Websites
This is the kind of services that allow you to organize, store, manage and search links to various websites and resources on the Internet. Basically, these services allow users to post their favorite websites, using keywords (or tags) to organize them by category. Other users can copy these bookmarks and add them to own collection (or share them with other users).
The most famous of bookmarking websites are:
This is the kind of services that allow people to communicate with each other with regard to the interests. Learn more at Top 50 Social Bookmarking Websites.
c) Media Sharing Websites
With multimedia sharing websites it easy to share video and photo content online. So, media sharing sites make it possible for you to publish your videos, photos and audio to a website that can be reached from any place in the world. You can then share that media with the world or just choose a group of friends. This makes the media appear like it’s on the new website. So, it is a great opportunity to use the social media for business!
There are two main forms of media sharing sites: video sites and photo sites. Here are some of the most popular sites for multimedia sharing:
d) Blog Platforms
The Blog Platform is a complex and fully automated website that allows anyone wanting to create a blog about any business topic and keep it on the basis of a particular set of technical capabilities. Creating a blog on the blog platform is simple, accessible to everyone and does not involve the actions of programming knowledge and skills to create websites.
The most popular business blogs are found in specialized public blogging platforms:
Some of the popular blog platforms, for example WordPress, can be used to create the own self-hosted websites. In this case, WordPress is loaded on a user server. It gives great opportunities to use social media for business as you can distribute your content from one location to many social media.
Compared to blogs, this is a micro journal of what is taking place right now. These websites can discuss what is going on in a person’s life or can be the information that the person wants to share. In micro-blogs, unlike blogs, there is a restriction on the length of the post – no more than 150 characters (Twitter – 140). This is an approximate length of a single SMS.
The best known micro-blog is Twitter.
It is used by many people who do not feel the strength to write a blog, but do an excellent job with a few posts. This has made Twitter a place of communication of very many people, including stars and politicians, as well as a platform for collecting the views of the target audience of the company, product or service. Twitter is also a great social media for business.
The Forum is a platform for dialogue and discussion. It is like a community in blogs, but less unique. So, forums are normally consisting of people with a similar interests. To communicate in a forum requires less disclosure of individual information. Forums are usually created by a theme – women, health, student forum, forum marketing, etc., also there are some big public thematic forums.
Forum provides important information on a topic and is a great way to get and to share knowledge. As an example of a well-organized and effectively working forum for online business can serve Warrior Forum.
3. Main Benefits of Social Media in Business
Social media marketing is something that every business needs to do and needs to do well, because it can bring many benefits. Especially important are the three of them, which I will briefly describe below: Distribute Content, Increase Sales, and Legitimize a Brand.
a) Distribute Content
Social media is a powerful instrument for content distribution and hence the ability to strengthen your presence in the Net. Therefore, social media should be a part of any content marketing distribution system.
Also, the social media accounts insure a huge portion of referral traffic on the web, as people are looking for content that interests them and they want to share it online. Some studies show that people spend more than 50 percent of their time online with content and an additional 30 percent of their time on social channels where content can be shared. So, the business owners who want to gain customers through content marketing need to use social media and promoted content to make that happen. This can be very beneficial.
b) Increase Sales
The social media marketing also helps increase sales and revenue. That’s why it’s called social media marketing and not just social media public relationships. There are ways to use social media to directly lead consumers to the sales funnel. For example, business owners can write posts that link to products, sales, etc. Marketers can also use marketed content and advertising to promote products to target audiences who haven’t become fans of a brand yet. The potential to target particular audiences is one of the greatest benefits of social media marketing. Social networks know a lot about client interests and demographics, so even though there are hundreds of millions of fans, marketers can perfectly target the right people with the right message.
There is also a lot of ways that suppliers can sell products directly from the social networks, that makes social media for business very effective. For example, on Facebook, business owners can set up a Facebook store with the application. On Twitter, retailers with Amazon.com pages can allow Twitter users to add products to their Amazon checkout straight from their Twitter feed. There are also ways to offer products on Pinterest, YouTube, and other social networks.
c) Legitimize a Brand
Another great benefit of social media in business is that social media marketing helps with customer acquisition is by establishing a brand as legitimate. When Internet consumers discover a business or retailer they want to use, but know little about, they often check their social media page to learn more about it. Many small businesses have static websites that change little, if at all, after being initially set up by the designer. Social media pages, on the other hand, should be constantly updated with new posts, comments, etc. A website establishes that a brand exists, but a social media page establishes that the brand is active. Similarly, the number of fans shows how popular a brand is and Facebook reviews can reassure buyers by showing them that other consumers like a business. Some studies show that more than 60 percent of consumers who search for local businesses online are more likely to use businesses with information on social media sites.
It’s worth noting that poor social media marketing can also delegitimize a brand. If a new customer goes to a business’s social media page and discovers that a post hasn’t been done in a few months, that customer may assume the business is defunct. If customers are asking for help in the comments and they’re being ignored, they may assume the company has poor customer service.
4. Conclusion and Notes
So, social media in business deserves a lot of attention and can be profitable. For example, the Facebook Display ads, the LinkedIn Ads, the promoted Tweets, the paid discovery (StumbleUpon) and the other similar social network ads have become very popular ways to promote a website. This is because these social media websites offer valuable demographics and infographics that enable webmasters to buy space and show their messages to highly targeted audiences. But remember, that selecting the appropriate social media network and form of advertising is extremely important to ensure the success of the campaign.
Here are some notes to help you improve the use of social media in business:
Be consistent and make a plan for what you’re going to post and how often you’re going to post, and stick with it. This should ideally be a few times a day (or a week), depending on your goals and your following. You can’t go from posting once a month to five times a day and then back and expect to have an engaged following.
Use many social networks if you want to be successful with social media, as you need to post across many networks. This means having and maintaining an account at least with the big social media sites, including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.
Format content to optimize for each platform. It means formatting content, especially meant for each platform. You need photos for Instagram, long posts for LinkedIn, videos and memes for Facebook and short and clever reports for Twitter. All of your posts should be unique, even if they are giving the same message.
Make sure that your content adjusts with your message. You may be convinced to deliver a post that simply gets a lot of attention, but that will do nothing for your brand if you don’t make sure that the content aligns with your message. Everything needs to fit within your brand identity and promote what it is that you’re striving to say to the world.
Find a harmony between popularity and business. Your professional social media site is expected to be about your business, though you still want to make sure that it’s getting the interest you want it to get. Simply put, you want to be popular on social media. Nevertheless, you need to find that balance between popularity and business. You need to have a little bit of both and mix the more fun side that wants popularity with the serious and informative side that increases the reputation of your social media in business.