Web media come in several distinct categories, including social media, blogs, and message boards. Understanding the differences between these types of Internet communication and promotion can help you actively define and control your online marketing message.
Over the past few years, social media have become necessary tools in any company’s online arsenal, with businesses creating Facebook and Twitter presences that complement their websites and LinkedIn profiles. For many business owners, creating a corporate Facebook presence requires a change of thinking about online promotion. Gone are the days when Facebook was predominately a way for friends in their teens and twenties to share gossip and photos. Now, people of all ages and professions are linked through the social media site, which creates unparalleled marketing opportunities.
In an interesting development, the design and features of Facebook pages are changing, allowing the site to integrate many relevant aspects of its members’ social lives. With the Timeline feature, many Facebook users’ profiles are now timeline-based virtual scrapbooks that document nearly every aspect of the user’s life since joining the site.
For savvy business owners, opportunities abound in this new Facebook concept. In particular, business owners will be able to engage directly with fans in ways that were not possible before. Comments will no longer require a “like,” making communication between businesses and their fans simpler and more spontaneous. At the same time, many businesses will need to adjust their Facebook approach: standard promotional messages will no longer be enough. Instead, a highly personalized connection will bring optimal bottom-line results.
For businesses, another advantage of the new-generation Facebook are apps that will encourage people to stay on the site longer, increasing advertising exposure. In addition, new analytical tools are becoming available, including impressions-per-post metrics that help businesses determine what generates fan interest and activity.
About the Author: A serial entrepreneur, Granger Whitelaw has invested in a number of innovative firms in a variety of industries. Mr. Whitelaw is currently Co-Founder of Rocket Racing, Inc., and an advisor with the online-marketing company Social Media 123-4.