Does social media really matter? Is it just there to give all those young people something to do after school? Maybe it is something that no serious business organization would ever take seriously. Right?

Wouldn’t life be much simpler if this was the case? Unfortunately, though, all of us grownups need to take a page from our local group of teens and preteens and jump on board the social media express.

Otherwise, we are going to be standing on the platform waving goodbye to all our competitors as they chug onwards towards success. Because if there is one thing that has been proven, it is that social media sells.

On that note, here are four ways that social media will make a difference for you.

  1. Hello, Brand. One of the best uses of social media is building brand recognition. A relatively unheard of business, with a successful social media campaign, can quickly become a household name. Want proof?

Case in Point: Distractify

A month after Distractify launched, it said that it had gained 21 million unique visitors to its site according to Google Analytics. That means that a month into its operation, at least 21 million people had heard of them. In the first month they were operational, they had been shared over four million times on Facebook, where 90 percent of their traffic initiates. All this, and did I mention that when they started they were a three person team?

Without social media, it would not have been anywhere near as easy to get this kind of name recognition. While this particular company was designed with social media in mind, it is still a good example of how proper social media marketing equates to fast and successful brand recognition. (But don’t forget to back up your social media with a good product or service.)

  1. Feelin’ Lucky Swag. If I were to tell you that people liked to get free stuff, would I surprise you? I hope not. However, as we all know, nothing in life is free. When it comes to social media, many companies hold competitions and giveaways or respond to customer complaints/compliments with free goods and services. In return, they build their reputation; since many people, when given a free sample, are so pleased that they want to continue using the product and telling friends.

Case in Point: Reconverse

With less than 200 LinkedIn followers, Reconverse decided to test out a new strategy. It created its first status update saying that everyone who liked the update would be entered in a drawing with the winner taking home a prize. Guess what? In less than an hour, they had 100 likes. Then they went viral. And then they started gaining likes and followers from all over the world, who actively engaged with the company, left and right.

Using social media is a good way to broadcast prizes and competitions to the entire world. And the ability to give swag to anyone in the world means it is much more likely that the entire world will be talking about you.

  1. For the Love of Google. Because no discussion of social media marketing would be complete without mega-power Google, I present you with reason number three to use social media: Google likes it and so do “Google-ers.”

Go ahead and search for a company. Any company with a social media presence will do. (Though it might be a little vain to search for yourself, but I’ll leave that to you.) Did you notice anything? I did.

Case in Point: Any Company with a Social Media Presence

  • When I searched for McDonald’s, its home site was the first result. It’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts were two through four respectively.
  • When I searched for Carvel, the third result was its Facebook page, and a link to its Google + page was on the right.

Google ranks social media accounts highly, and if you want to have control over what pops up on Google for you, you are well-advised to give it social media pages to send searchers to.

  1. People Search Social Not Google, Too. You don’t need social media because people will find you or your blog when they search Google. Right? Except what if instead they skip the middleman and search Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn instead?

Just as an example of the power of a social media search, up to 2010, Twitter handled 19 billion searches a month, which is 5x as many as Google. However, in order to be found in one of these searches, it is vital to have a profile that can turn up in a search.

It can also be a good idea to use promoted Tweets so that when people are searching Twitter for related topics, you pop up right at the top.

Case in Point: Junk Gypsy

Take Junk Gypsy for an example. It used a series of promoted Tweets, both promotional and friendly and engaging, in order to increase its Twitter presence. In so doing, it gained 1,800 followers and increased engagement by 43%. Junk Gypsy also now has its own show.

Which Platforms to Use

One thing that you will note from the above is the varying tools that each success story used to become successful. Distractify relies heavily on Facebook, Reconverse on LinkedIn, etc. What type of social media platform works for you, is determined by the people you want to attract.

  • Is your target audience young kids who want flash? You probably don’t want to focus your energy on LinkedIn.
  • Is your target audience more seasoned professionals who mostly use social media as a networking tool? Then maybe you should focus on LinkedIn.

The Point: In a Nutshell

Know your audience, research the various platforms out there, and find a system that works for you. But whatever the system is, make sure it includes social media.

So there you have it. No matter how opposed you are to social media, you still need to embrace it with open arms. And even if you are a strong proponent for these platforms, you should still make sure you are properly utilizing this important marketing tool and spending your time efficiently when you use it.

Besides, if you do a really good job with social media, people like me might talk about you when we discuss success stories. Free advertising—who doesn’t love that?

Ready to market your business? Call Maine’s favorite web design & marketing firm Greatson Media today! 877-283-2777