The beauty of social media is that using this method of marketing for your business means your advertising strategy is inherently social in nature. While previous PR campaigns were one-directional, and basically shouted at your current and future customers about what your product is and what it does, media 2.0 allows you, as a business, to interact with fans of your brand. Instead of just selling product, you can build a relationship with your market, which will then sell the service or product you provide by itself.
It is important to remember social media is not a thing in and of itself, but rather a way of marketing with a set of tools businesses can use to reach more customers in a new way. While you may have previously paid for print advertising or commercials on television, these campaigns basically shouted at consumers about your product — and not about your brand or your team’s expertise in solving the bigger problems related to your service. Using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, you can use your brand to engage with present and future customers to develop a relationships that encourages these customers to trust you as a brand and respect your knowledge and expertise. Then, when it comes time to choose a product or service — especially repeatedly — those you engage with will remember your product first and foremost as they now know and trust you.
Key to the success of this strategy is interacting with fans — both present and potential — on a somewhat personal level, so that your fans build a personal respect for the brand. Many brands are leveraging this strategy on one of the newest social media platforms, Empire Avenue. This network, which operates like a virtual stock market where you can buy and sell friends, brands, celebrities, and businesses, features the ability to easily interact with anyone else using Empire Avenue — including other businesses, such as Fortune 500 companies like Ford. Companies like Ford personally interact and respond to comments from other Empire Avenue users, which allow consumers to develop a stronger appreciation for these companies, both for their level of customer service and their appreciation for their customers, demonstrated by their engagement and accessibility.
While you may be interested in seeing a quick ROI by using social media, the use of social media for advertising actually promotes the development of relationships, which can produce an increase in profits, but over a longer period of time. While you may want to push a product and quickly see an increase in sales, pushing your brand or business as a whole and developing stronger relationships with potential customers may not only attract even more customers in the end, but may also attract more repeat business. Just remember — you may be inclined to talk about what it is your brand does or what you businesses makes, but it is more important to focus on building a reputation and then making a sales pitch once trust and respect between you and the community have been established.