Very often, if you ask someone about Social Media, they tend to think of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and the like from the point of view that these networking sites are used as ways of keeping in touch, tagging each other pictures of nights out, letting their mates know what they're up to and generally being social in an online world.
Sometimes it is very difficult for people to see how the growing popularity of Social Media can be used as a key marketing tool for their business, but it can - and it can be a very powerful medium indeed.
Essentially, Social Media Marketing is word of mouth advertising - it's fair to say that most businesses have a product or brand they wish to promote - what you should then think about is which social networking platform is most suited towards your goals be it generating leads, driving sales, building awareness, increasing customer base etc
Still not convinced? Here are a few examples of Social Media Marketing adopted by some of the world’s leading brands:
British Airways – Twitter
BA use the microblogging service to keep followers updated with special offers and information on their most popular destinations.
IBM - Blogging
Whilst they make it clear that the thoughts expressed on their employee’s blogs are not necessarily those of IBM, they are more than happy for you to peruse the extensive collection of staff thoughts and expertise be it on their official IBM or personal blog.
Nike / Apple – NikePlus Online Community
Nike and Apple teamed up to give runners a social edge to their pastime by developing a pedometer you place in your trainers which tracks running data via your iPod. I am personally a member of this community which allows me via the technology to track the time, distance and pace of all my runs, and then save this online whilst setting goals, challenges and plotting your runs using Google Maps all of which can also be shared with other runners.
H&M – Facebook
H&M use Facebook to promote their brand via a Fan Page containing videos, photo albums, forums and special offers. With near over 700k fans they have direct contact with a large customer base within an extremely popular social network which undoubtedly makes this one of their most powerful direct marketing tools.
Adobe – Delicious
They have used the social bookmarking service for tagging numerous independent online tutorials which show users how to make best use of their products.
If you want to find out more about how social media marketing can be used to help promote your brand online, get in touch.