We have been discussing the various methods for advertising online using social media sites. Making the decision where to advertise is critical when considering the variety of social media sites available. Deciding whether or not to post predominantly on Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace can be a big decision. Most businesses don’t have the capacity to advertise effectively on all of these sites and so must make decisions about where to focus their efforts.
Facebook is the single largest social media network in use today. There are several ways to advertise and market a company using this resource. There are free methods such as creating a business page and updating regularly. This method allows businesses to interact directly with consumers and get their feedback on upcoming sales and special offers. There is also the option to buy paid advertising space. Facebook sells banner ads on a pay-per-click business model. The amount spent on this method is completely controlled by the advertiser and can be limited to the local area. Using paid advertising judiciously along with a free business page can be a great way to increase your online presence. However, Facebook is not always the appropriate place to market certain types of services.
Business to business services are often best represented on sites like LinkedIn. Instead of being a general social networking site like Facebook, LinkedIn is a networking site geared toward the business professional. This makes LinkedIn the preferred place to advertise to businesses, grow a business network or market a skill set. If you offer services rather than products, LinkedIn can be an invaluable resource. Even if you only use the general profile option, it is a great idea to set up a basic account showcasing the talents and skills that are a part of your business. Ensure that all key employees have LinkedIn accounts and update them regularly to keep your business network growing.
While MySpace doesn’t have the number of active users that Facebook does, it does offer a chance to advertise in a less congested environment. Facebook is used by so many people, that it is easy to be lost in the crowd. With the smaller number of users active on MySpace, it is easier to connect with niche markets and get in touch with your targeted demographic.
Carefully consider the options when you are embarking on a marketing plan that includes social networking. This type of advertising requires a considerable time commitment to be successful and it doesn’t happen overnight. Social media marketing is for those that take the long view rather than those looking for an instant response.