To truly take advantage of the capabilities of the Internet, it is essential to develop a social media presence. Of course, not all business professionals have the knowledge or the time to promote themselves in this new medium. This is where social marketing companies come into play.
What can a web marketing company do for you? They understand how the internet works. A truly effective web agency understands the ways in which the lines between PR and marketing are being blurred. A digital agency can do more for you than promote search engine visibility through local SEO. They can help spread brand awareness through the power of social media and social bookmarking, as well.
To understand what social marketing companies can do for you, it is important to recognize the fundamental shift that has taken place. In the past, the only way to get in touch with your customers was through a media company, such as the newspaper, radio or television. Today, even a small business can effectively function as its own media company.
But, this also changes the way that you need to approach marketing. When somebody encounters an ad in the paper, on the radio or through the television, it is because they are actually there for something else. If your web presence is nothing more than one big advertisement, your customers have no incentive to encounter your message to begin with.
Social marketing companies understand this important distinction. They can add an entire wing to your business, transforming it into a small media company. Effective social marketing requires content that users want to share with their friends. This means you have to be interesting, funny, shocking, inspiring and helpful. Online, you can no longer buy an audience. You have to build one.
Another crucial change is the role of listening. It is no longer enough to talk at your customers. You must speak with them. The monologue has been replaced with a dialogue. As important as this step has become, it is also incredibly difficult to accomplish. It may be easy to listen when one person is talking, but when thousands or more have joined the conversation, it turns to noise. A social marketing company understands how to sift through this noise. They can determine what your customers are trying to tell you, and allow you to respond, either with words or actions. Businesses that can respond to feedback will prosper. Those that get defensive or act wounded will only lose their customers.