In This Chapter
In the best of all worlds, social media — a suite of online services that facilitates two-way communication and content sharing — can become a productive component of your overall marketing strategy. These services can enhance your company's online visibility, strengthen relationships with your clients, and expand word-of-mouth advertising, which is the best type.
Given its rapid rise in popularity and its hundreds of millions of worldwide users, social media marketing sounds quite tempting. These tools require minimal upfront cash and, theoretically, you'll find customers flooding through your cyberdoors, ready to buy. It sounds like a no-brainer — but it isn't, especially as social media channels mature into a pay-to-play environment with paid advertising.
Has someone finally invented a perfect marketing method that puts you directly in touch with your customers and prospects, costs nothing, and generates profits faster than a perpetual motion machine produces energy? The hype says “yes”; the real answer, unfortunately, is “no.” While marketing nirvana may not yet be at hand, the expanding importance of social media in the online environment may mean that your business needs to participate anyway.
This chapter ...