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Social Networking Sites: Time Suck or Killer Marketing Tool?

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Gone are the days when marketing was done through door to door, word of mouth, through advertisements in newspapers and magazine or through promotions etc. Now with the invention of internet they can now get not only good but better results. Internet has fundamentally changed the way people find, discover, share, connect and shop.

Why has internet marketing reached great heights in a short span? According to me, the only reason is that it takes only a fraction of time to reach to the people than advertising through newspapers and magazines. It has also been found out that marketing through internet can reach a far greater crowd based on interest, within millions of people using internet, thus all this results in more demand for the product and services and also gives positive results than another source of marketing.

In the present scenario, internet marketing is done not only for clothes and electronic products but also for movies and music. Earlier companies to advertise their product had to give ads in newspapers and magazines which sometimes go beyond their budget, but now with the use of internet marketing this has become very economical and assessable as now the companies can make their own site and can publish and update their required information regularly. Therefore, majority of the companies now days have moved their promotion and advertising techniques from newspapers, hoardings and magazines to internet marketing through social networking sites also because it is difficult to assess the impact of direct sales for your business where as with online marketing all this can be done very easily.

In the few years since the growing impact of social media sites like Face book, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, their importance as a marketing tool for product and service businesses has grown extensively.
According to the article which was recently published “Emerging Trends in B-to-B Social Media Marketing: Insights from the Field,” social media is now seen as the most important and pervasive marketing tool. The study also reports that some 93 percent of B2B marketers are engaged in social media marketing now days. Study respondents favoured LinkedIn, with 26 percent calling the site the “most important social channel.” Close behind was Face book, with 20 percent of respondents favouring it, and blogging, with 19 percent! Customer communities with 14% and YouTube with 7% rounded out the top five.

Social networking sites have a major impact on the way customers and businesses find each other. Many search engines like Google and Bing also use social networking information to help refine their search results and anticipate future search behaviour for their site. Google has recently unveiled its “+1 Button,” a feature which is similar to Face book’s “Like” button, that allows users to single out companies, web pages, and postings they like, or search results that proved to be particularly helpful for the users. With the +1 Button is being used 2.3 billion times a day, exploding its introduction on net. Meanwhile, Google’s newest service, Google Plus, is now used by an estimated 25 million people around the world.

Despite a plethora of social networks sites being launched every other month, Face book continues to be the number one Marketing Tool for small businesses. It has also been surveyed as many as 70 percent small businesses use Face book to promote their business – up from 50 percent a year ago.
It’s another indication of the how the world’s leading social network has come off age.

Have you ever noticed how the ads and links presented to you on your Face book page change when you type in a new status update? At that time you realize how powerful this site is to introducing businesses and products to customers who might never have found them otherwise.

So, how can a product company expand its social media presence? In short, by getting the word out and keeping it up to date. One can develop a complete company profile for social media sites like LinkedIn including various videos, blogs, and links related to sites about your company. Wherever possible, companies customize their profiles or pages to tie their social networking profile to their brand and image. Dedicating resources – employees, a contractor, or just a block of time is helpful in maintaining all of their social networking sites and profiles, and developing new content on a regular basis. One of the best advantages of this is that one can get as much feedback as you can from employees and customers about the look and feel of your social networking material.

As the popularity and importance of social networking is growing, product businesses are realizing all the ways these sites can be used to find customers and take the pulse of the marketplace. It’s important to devote time to keeping up with this fast-changing medium.

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