Social marketing (Facebook, Twitter, blog, e-newsletter), the new marketing standard was determined by customers who pay for special, convenient shopping experiences. The switch from traditional marketing and advertising methods to Internet methods was driven in part by customers’ quest for shopping convenience.

Today customers determine convenience not in the time to drive, browse, and buy from a store – but it begins in their down time with web-based research from their home or laptop computer, or from mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) in their travels. This research is still followed by the traditional decision-making process, partner approval, and price comparisons – all prior to any store visit, or purchase.

Consider that reports show that 40% of all retail customers have a Facebook page – and its fastest growing audience is people in their 40s and 50s. With its 600 million + users Facebook could be considered the fourth largest nation in the world.

While you are considering whether or not to engage with social marketing chances are your competitors have already engaged with one or more of the social networking tools – and are posting to Facebook and/or Twitter, posting a new blog article, or emailing their latest newsletter.

For social marketing to be successful these three aspects must be considered and addressed:

  1. Customers must be exposed to your content (be a fan on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, receive your e-newsletter).
  2. Customers must be aware of your content (meaning they actually see it)
  3. Customers must be motivated by something in your content to take action (buying product/service or sharing your online info)

You expose, make aware and motivate customers by connecting with them and starting conversations as you grow your online community. Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your web presence (and potential customers) more than either of the other two main SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tools – Linking Domains and Key Words. Relevant, original content drives link building (connections) online… and external link building is a very effective SEO strategy.

Engaging social marketing as a related, powerful SEO influencer should be an integral part of your marketing plan. The technology is here, access to it exists and is available to all, and there is no turning back, so engage and enjoy!

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