Social media is a great way to build awareness about your company as these sites allow community members to share their experiences with you and other members of the community. A customer’s good experience with your products or services can lead to positive feedback and word-of-mouth buzz. This feedback and word-of-mouth content spreads across social networks leaving an effect on your company’s image and your customers perception of your company. An explanation of the various types of social media sites is provided below.
Social Networking – Social networking sites allow community members to upload photos and videos, add comments, create and join groups, create events, post bulletins, etc. Facebook is the largest social networking site in the world followed by LinkedIn.
Social News Sites – Social news sites allow members to share news stories, blogs, videos, articles, and photos. The community can then vote up or down for the submitted piece and can also add comments. The more votes a submitted piece gets the more likely it is to appear on the front page of the site. Digg is a very popular social news site, and it can drive lots of traffic to a website in a short time if the piece appears on the front page of Digg.
Social Sharing – Social sharing sites tend to share materials mainly in two forms: videos and photos. Community members can upload videos on YouTube or pictures on Flickr, for example. Uploaded photos or videos of your company, product or service can lead potential customers to your website.
Social Bookmarking – Social bookmarking sites allow you to bookmark and share your favorite websites with an entire community. Delicious, Magnolia, and Diigo are online communities that have a lot of opinion leaders who want to find great sites and share with their friends.
Microblogging – Microblogging is a very abbreviated blog consisting of short messages often sent from smart phones and laptops. Your messages are sent to people interested in seeing your posts. Users can post comment on your microblog and forward it. Twitter started all the rage for microblog, and it is by far the most popular platform for public instant interacting.
Unlike traditional marketing, in which people passively receive information, social media turns the table around and lets users create and/or interact with the content. A customers post about their personal experience with your company, product or service is far more valuable than any advertising slogans. Be sure to provide your customers with social media outlets to share their positive experiences with your company, product or service.