There is a lot of buzz about utilizing Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, FourSquare, etc.) in your internet marketing campaign. My main response is, “How does it make money?” I’ve seen some people do social media really well. My client Marina Anderson (www.medusirena.com) does a phenomenal job of posting to numerous social media outlets, monitoring those outlets to make sure that nothing is getting out of hand and keeping people really excited when she posts. More often than not though I see people do social media really badly.
The key to social media is relationship building. As one of my RSS feeds put it, “Show, Share but don’t Shill.” It isn’t about selling stuff as much as it is about keeping your target audience engaged and remembering your name. If you are selling something every time you post to Facebook then your friends will start dropping off. If all of your e-mails are announcing a sale or a coupon then how are your different from a coupon pack that arrives in the mail and goes into the trash? Most people will just unsubscribe.
However, if you sent out e-mails that have free helpful tips or educational short articles then your reader perceives value. If your posts entertain with funny cartoons, pictures or videos then you even have the chance to go viral. And if your content on your website is always changing and fresh and interesting then people will want to stop by and see what is happening with you and your company.
Lastly, most social media is free to utilize. Which means that the social media provider is selling the ads and trying to make the money with the page or e-mail. They have very little interest in allowing you sell something through their site without you paying them for advertising. Ever notice how hard it is to get your webpage address linked to a video on You Tube? They don’t want the viewer to leave the site. They are perfectly happy with you spending the resources to produce the video, posting it on their site and then they get the traffic while people log in and get entertained with your video.
Be careful and be strategic. Use the social media outlets to build relationships, provide value and keep your name in front of customers and potential customers. Once you start using social media keep at it because most experts agree that it is better to not do social media at all than to do it badly. Best of luck.