In the fast evolving world of web design and technology, we see the rise and fall of a lot of things that come and go. Take floppy disks for instance; here at Ecce Media we use them as drinks coasters. Social media though has seemed to be on the up since it came out, with more and more people signing on to the various platforms. This gives businesses access to mass audiences in a well manufactured environment, providing huge potential.
An early effort, SixDegrees.com, launched in 1997. It only allowed name input and a basic profile search, but such humble beginnings got the ball rolling. Six Degrees folded by the millennium, but was soon followed in 2002 by websites like Friendster, Linkedin and Facebook. Their early interfaces are laughable compared to now, but they marked the start of a new era and the birth of a new way to communicate and market to potential customers. 13 years later Twitter, Facebook and Instagram practically own the internet.
Down to business
Being able to access millions of people so easily and in such a small amount of time opened up many doors for the entrepreneurs of the world. We have seen companies like American Apparel and ASOS grow massively on the back of their social media presence. We have also seen companies like Mars increase sales through use of dedicated social media marketing strategies.
The main aim for most companies relying on these platforms to place products and sell socially is to cultivate posts, hashtags and mentions. Some small businesses do this really well. People often naturally endorse products they are pleased with, often using established marketing logos, catchphrases and campaigns, especially if digital. And each provides an opportunity for interaction. So say a tweet such as this comes through from a happy customer.
A big thanks to the Ecce Media team for their hard work in getting our new website off the ground! Excellent job! https://t.co/xkxt2wroRa— The Physio Group (@thephysiogroup) May 5, 2015
This is beneficial for the business, as the person posting this could have thousands of followers they are endorsing the brand to. In terms of brand recognition alone, this is incredibly valuable and free publicity. It also works the other way, with complaints often being voiced first on social media these days. But even these can be used constructively.
Its another opportunity to interact. Many brands and businesses have come through potential disasters by educating, informing and probably most importantly, solving customer issues whilst under the social spotlight.
Promotion, Promotion, Promotion
With Twitter and Facebook realising their websites offered more than just a way to connect with friends, both grew the marketing and promotional tools available to businesses. This is where you can set a budget and pay for your account or your posts to reach a much wider audience. Growing and endorsing your brand organically is still a good option, but paid and promoting posts have the potential to do it for you much faster. But we recommend you research the benefits before committing.
Typing ‘twitter follower strategy’ into your generic search engine with bring up countless articles. Every company that has a budding social media account has their own strategy and they're all slightly different. We even have one here at Ecce Media. It's protected by lasers and a 40 inch thick titanium safe, and we’ve forgotten the combination, so neither we or thee will be hearing about it anytime soon, but there is plenty of information to take advantage online.
The strategy that must not be named
Amongst all of this joyous fun that is social, there is a darker side, that of buying followers. Yes, I know, it sounds great and easy doesn’t it? One click and a payment of £20 and your up 10,000 followers. But 10,000 followers and no interaction with any of your posts makes it all too obvious that something isn’t quite right. These are called ghost followers. Accounts that follow you but don’t interact have no use to you as a business as they will never buy or endorse your product, making your numbers pretty pointless. Naturally growing your followers has to be they way.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Social media has developed into several wonderful platforms that allow businesses and entrepreneurs whom might not have had access to such a global reach grow and develop into leaders of industry. I have spoken about the strategies used and how they could benefit you, but it is an investment and shouldn’t be ventured into lightly. You will get out what you put in. Reading this blog and setting up several social media accounts won’t make you the next ASOS, but if you put the right hours in and work hard on where you want to get, then what's stopping you!
Keep active! Keep Tweeting! Keep Posting! Love Social Media.