The world is a different place now to how it was just 20 years ago. The dawn of the 21st century heralded the arrival of the Digital Age, at home as much as in the world of commerce and industry. Computers had been commonplace in the workplace for some years in the lead up to the year 2000 and there are now many examples of social media marketing, but the biggest change in the way we live and do business came with the smartphone. Packing more computing power than the early office machines, they are now ubiquitous. What has this to do with social media marketing?
Consumers are now more likely to search for goods and services when on the move. They use a smartphone or tablet to browse for local businesses selling the items they want or providing the service they need. This could be a pair of shoes, a place to stay, somewhere to eat or a transport service – anything, in fact, can be found online. More commonly they are using a form of social media to conduct a search – especially where local – so let’s have a look at some examples.
If you have a business, you're going to have a website, that's pretty much a given. An online presence is essential, and this is exemplified by the rising business usage of social media as a marketing tool. An example? You go on Facebook, one of the most populated of the social media platforms with many millions of users, and you can use their ‘Recommendations’ function.
By doing this, you are asking others for information on the service you are looking for, and when they link to their recommended service, you will be given a map and all the information you need. A similar thing happens when you use Google searches; the local map you get will display the locations of the local providers of the relevant service or product. Notice we are talking about local searches; this is because they are by far the most prominent searches made these days, and for your business to be noticed it needs to be optimized for this type of search.
Moving on, we should add that Facebook is not the only social media platform that can be successfully used for business promotion. Other examples of social media marketing include Twitter – perhaps a Tweet about your latest product, or a retweet of something relevant to your services – and Instagram uses pictures to get the point across. Many businesses, however, are coming to understand the power of Pinterest traffic as a prime marketing platform.
Pinterest may not be the biggest social media platform in terms of numbers of users, but it is one of the most important for business promotion and digital marketing. It works mainly by way of sharing images. These are shown in ‘pinboards’ and are shared among your followers. Say you share a picture of an example of your latest decorative paving installation. Followers of yours may know of someone who is looking for such and share it to them. Or you may share it with relates business pinboards, such as fencing installers and so on.
Pinterest – as with much of social media – is the present day version of what we used to refer to as ‘word of mouth’; someone would try the new butchers in town, and recommend it to a friend, who in turn would pass the word on, and so it goes.
There’s a lot to be said for using social media platforms for online marketing – it’s free for a start – so check out Pinterest and see why it’s one of the fastest growing social media platforms of all.