What is Online Marketing, Exactly? Part 1: Social Media Marketing

Online marketing is a bit of an elusive subject for some people. As for business owners, most know they need to utilize it; know people are making a killing off of it; and also know that every day it’s becoming more of something that’s necessary to their arsenal of exposure–the way the Yellow Pages once was for many businesses. Online marketing is a pretty broad term, but there are a couple of areas that you should know about that will make understanding the whole of it a lot easier. For instance, we all know (if you didn’t, now you know!) that Facebook is a good place to promote your business, but where does that fall in within the broader scope of online marketing, and where should you start if you don’t know too much about the practice? Read on to find out.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a avenue of internet marketing that has just recently rose to prominence, but is clearly here to stay for quite some time. It constitutes advertising on networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and a host of other social platforms. Here are a couple very simple ideas for ramping up your social media marketing practices:

1. Utilize Twitter!

Personally, this is our favorite method of social media marketing, as Twitter is probably the most casual social network around. It can be largely valuable, despite what the skeptical may think of 140 characters at a time. Completely flesh out your Twitter profile and make it enticing to prospective visitors and followers, and then engage them in a variety of ways. People love to be included in things. For example, say you’re a company that makes designer boots, and you decide to see who is tweeting about “designer boots” or “buying new boots” or something similar. Put yourself in your customers shoes (or rather, boots!), and simply type that phrase into the search box and click “all” on the toggle button. You now have a list of people who are very recently interested in designer boots, or buying new boots, boot collecting, etc. If you tweet @ (a.k.a mention) these people from your company account with just a funny little anecdote, what are the chances they will buy your boots? A lot more than before you made yourself known. Be willing to engage your user base once they are found, share quality content, and be of true value as connection not just a “follower”, and you’re sure to increase your sales.

2. Get involved on Facebook.

Facebook is a bit harder to become engaged with your user base, but if you have the know-how and a small budget, it’s the perfect opportunity for you. Facebook Ads is sometimes seen as a bit underwhelming, but if you properly utilize all of the capabilities of it, you’ll be sailing on the road to inexpensive, targeted traffic in no time. The strength with Facebook is its ability to laser-target ads at people of very specific age, gender, location, and even interests. Also, the more you target your ad, the cheaper Facebook Ads is. First, identify your base. If you don’t know who that is, you have a bit of research to do. A good way to do this without paying a market researcher 100$/hr is to utilize services like Quantcast. Let’s say you’re a company that does scuba diving lessons in the Caribbean. How would you utilize this service to find out what age group is most interested in scuba diving tours in the Caribbean? Just type in “scuba diving” into their search feature. We’re going to use the site scubadiving.com as an example. As you can see, a large majority of people coming to this site are between the ages of 18 and 24, male, and have no kids. So you can now use this data to target your FB ad for your Scuba Diving website/fanpage (we recommend utilizing a fanpage, as it’s easy for people to like your page from the side, and once they like your page, you can permanently reach out to them through status updates). So now, not only are your costs for advertising cheaper per click, but you aren’t displaying your ad to people who don’t want to see it, therefore increasing the value of your ad by a ton. Good deal right?

3. Leverage Tumblr.

Tumblr is a bit of a niche market, although it’s the 10thmost visited site on the net. Tumblr is very much for art inclined people, but it’s also for the people interested in niche markets, and the art that comes out of them. You can find groups on here dedicated to most anything, so why not your target market? Create stellar content for your niche, and drive traffic to it through following people who are interested in your niche. Hint: get a nice digital camera, and take some cool pictures, put a new one on your Tumblr daily. You’re sure to garner some interest. We hope you enjoy these tips, which we think are pretty original compared to the usual generic “sign up for Facebook!” Social media tips, be sure to contact us if you need some further advice in stepping up your social media campaigns, and/or someone to manage your social media. Check back in a few days to see our What is online marketing? Part 2 and 3, we’ll be covering search engine marketing, PPC, and some other mediums we can’t give away just yet. See ya then!

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