Social Media Marketing & PR 2.0 by Extanz.com
Image by Yann Ropars via Flickr

More and more businesses are using social media to get in front of their target audience.  It makes sense, if you are “out there” more, more people can find you.  But Social Media goes beyond that.

Being present in Social Media gives you more time to listen.  You can keep an ear (or eye) on what other people are saying about your brand.    It is commonly referred to as Brand Monitoring.

Third party sites (or in some cases other people) may create a profile for your business.  By entering into Social Media you can own your brand’s profile.   For example, I have a client who is an attorney.   When we googled his name, we found profiles for him on lawyers.com and lawyercentral.com.  He has to create a log in on those sites to “own” those profiles and be notified of reviews and other interactions with his profile.  Ditto for Yelp.  Restaurant clients have found listings on Yelp that they were not even aware of.  They must join the site to be able to respond to any reviews.

According to the Social Media Marketing Report for 2010, marketers are seeing a significant increase in web traffic with only a few hours of time invested per week.   They also have a noticeable increase in their search engine rankings and are able to track deals that were closed due to their participation in the Social Media space.   B2C’s tend to participate more on Facebook and B2B’s focus more time on LinkedIn.

The most common combination of efforts take place on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs.  More companies are looking to forums to create smaller consumer driven social networks that are specific to their industry.

So, Social Media can be used to monitor, own and increase brand recognition.  All with the end goal of obtaining more qualified buyers for your product or service.   What’s stopping you from entering into the Social Media realm?

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