Today at 1PM Diane Helbig and I are going to discuss the differences between Social Networking and Social Marketing on her internet radio show. Please feel free to join us if you can. Here is the link to access the show online and/or call in at 1.347.838.9838.

Because this is such a hot topic, I thought I would provide some information here in my marketing tip for you to ponder.

First off, why is Social Media Marketing important to you?

  • In North America alone there are almost 253 million internet users.
  • There were 90 trillion emails sent in 2009.
  • There are over 600 million Facebook users. (To put this in perspective, the US Census Bureau estimates the US population to be 308 million.)
  • There are over 126 million blogs on the internet.
  • 2 billion videos are streamed each day on YouTube.

These are huge numbers that continue to grow. I have been monitoring various social media numbers for awhile and they have been multiplying like wild fire. This is something you cannot ignore no matter what business you are in.

Here are some more facts for you:

  • According to Forrester research, the interactive marketing spend is expected to more than double by 2013 to over $55 billion (the 2009 spend was about $25 billion).
  • Out of these dollars, the biggest increase is projected to be in Social Media (as opposed to Paid Search, Email Marketing, and Display Advertising, etc).
  • Facebook and YouTube are the #2 and #3 most trafficked websites. (Google has the #1 position and they are working like mad to keep it!)
  • Your average customer is much more informed. Why? They use the internet to get their information.

The beauty of the internet is that it is virtually a level playing field for all businesses, at least for now. As a small to medium size business owner, you might not be able to afford television or radio advertising but you can afford to market online. You can do many things online and pay nothing. However, there is a trade off of your time which still has a cost associated.

Social Media Marketing plays a big part in this and it is getting bigger.

So what exactly is Social Media Marketing?

It’s not about sitting on Facebook all day and working your real-time farm with Farmville. It’s not about tweeting what you had for breakfast or your latest food craving. What it is about is providing compelling content that enables others to become an advocate for your business.

You may have heard it likened to a cocktail party. You are not making a sales presentation, you are engaging with others in an informal yet informative way.
You are listening and then responding. You are not throwing up your sales spiel all over everyone you encounter. That is a giant turn off.

When we start working with clients on their social media marketing, we talk about their objectives and strategies with the various platforms.  As with any marketing you invest in, these key factors are no different with social media marketing. You want to establish what you hope to gain from your involvement.

There is much more to this media than what most people think of when they hear “Social Media” and more than I have time to discuss in this space. If you are interested in hearing more about this and you can’t make the radio show today, it will be available for download afterward.

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Author: Kathy Jiamboi

Owner of Creativedge Marketing, where growth-oriented dentists find dental practice marketing strategies and advice to take their practice to a new and higher level.

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