The Internet is changing our world each day. Gone are the days of opening your morning paper to read the news, checking community announcements, and scanning over the classifieds. Today’s consumers are turning on their computers, netbooks, and even mobile phones to read through the news headlines, do web searches for topics that interest them, and get information on everything from doctors to lawyers, and what daycare to send their kids to. In other words, this ain’t your mama’s Internet anymore.
One of the biggest changes the Internet world has seen in the past 10 years has been one of the most influential, even swaying presidential elections. Social networking sites are connecting thousands of people in ways never seen before, and this has connected them with new ideas, businesses they would have never heard of before, and customers to tell them what that business is like from a consumer’s point of view. Social networking has become a daily thing for millions of people, especially younger, Internet savvy consumers that expect the companies they choose to buy from and work with to have an Internet presence.
What is social media?
Social media is a fast, inexpensive (and sometimes free) way for all companies to have an Internet presence consumers can access. If you’re an independent insurance agent, you can reach thousands of potential customers with one post on a social networking site. Marketing through social media sites is effective because it can reach so many people at one time, which cuts marketing costs, but also because it can reach people you’ve never been able to effectively market to before. Many people don’t trust companies, but they trust their friends. If you have a person that uses you as an agent recommend or like your site, all of their friends can now see you and they will remember you because someone they know and trust uses your services and trusts you. It’s word of mouth on a large scale.
Another reason to use social media marketing is because you can monitor the people who look at your posts and page through easy-to-read statistics on the social networking site. These stats will tell you what times of the day your posts reach the most people, the demographics of the people most interested in you or your business, and how often they look at your site. All of this information will help you to not only streamline your social media marketing efforts, but also your other marketing efforts.
Advertising with social media
Finally, many social media sites offer selective advertising with them. This means you can pay for an ad, choose the location(s) you want to advertise in, and choose the demographics you’d like to advertise to and the site shows the ad to those people. Also, some sites look for keywords in a consumer’s post to directly advertise to that consumer.
For instance, if a 22 year old female in Texas makes a post about needing an insurance agent, the site will display your ad on the side of the screen for her to see. You only have to sign up and pay for the one ad, saving you time and money and reaching more people than traditional advertising and marketing.