Social media is the fastest growing form of human communication. It is quickly becoming the most cost-effective means of creating brand awareness and word-of-mouth interest in the products and services of a business or organization. Less than two years ago, very few businesses and organizations used social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter for marketing, branding, and awareness. Now, with social media usage growing across all age demographics, and with such a low cost of entry, many businesses are scrambling to carve out their niche on social websites.
Social Media Demographic Statistics
Facebook and Twitter have seen significant growth over the last 18-24 months. Here are the *Facebook growth statistics for the 35 – 54 and 55 + age categories, two of the largest consumer demographics.
|Age||Start Date – 6/18/2008||End Date – 1/4/2010||Growth (%)|
|35 – 54||1,856,680||29917640||1611.35%|
*Twitter does not require age data, so therefore cannot provide age based demographic statistics.
Social Media Step 1: Creating Professional, Well-Branded Social Media Accounts
Effective social media marketing begins with creating professional, well-branded accounts on Facebook and Twitter. For Facebook, this includes filling out profile information, uploading photos, adding links, joining appropriate groups, and becoming a fan of appropriate fan pages.
Social Media Step 2: Growing Your Social Networks
Before the content starts flowing, it is important to grow your social media networks. Then, when you post content, influential, well-connected people will see it and share it with others. This sharing will eventually generate brand awareness and help your network grow on its own, but some serious groundwork must be done in the first 60 to 90 days to ensure sustainable growth and momentum.
Social Media Step 3: Engage Your Social Networks
In the beginning, it is very important not to overly self-promote. We start by posting fairly mundane status updates with occasional links on your social media accounts. We also post about general industry topics and don’t focus entirely on what your business is doing. We become a source of useful information about your industry or topic. This is especially important on Twitter. After posting interesting topics and links about issues that are relevant to your industry, your followers and friends are much more likely to show interest when we begin posting content about your specific business.
Social Media Step 4: Promoting Your Content
There are several reasons to send specific marketing updates to your social media networks. Here are a few key areas to focus on:
- News: Update Facebook (profile and fan page) and Twitter with any significant news about your business.
- New Content: Create website/blog content geared toward educating your social media audience and post links on social media every time new content is published. Content creation and promotion should also coincide with a well researched search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, so your posts have the added benefit of driving search engine traffic to your blog or website.
- Special Offers: Post deals, sales, or offers when appropriate. We make sure not to inundate your social media with special offers, so these types of updates drive significantly more traffic.