Learning as You Go in Social Media Marketing
There’s a school for everything these days and a license for just about everything else. If you want to be anything from a chemist to a wedding DJ, there’s a program to take in a post-secondary institution. And if you want to drive a snow mobile or use a boat, you may have to get a license to operate them. We’ve come a long way as a society and, depending on your attitudes towards this kind of social progress, have refined educational and operational procedures for just about everything under the sun. Legitimacy has become the foundation for our behavior.
Finding criminals through science is still an evolving practice. Art schools promising to generate the next Gauguin are still under scrutiny. And then there’s the matter of how to improve your memory; a school to make sure that you don’t forget your kids’ birthday or anniversary would likely have a student roster a mile long.
If you wanted to squeeze in another unmapped, unrefined phenomenon, you couldn’t do much better than social media marketing. While so many people use it, there isn’t a lot of formal knowledge on how it works, especially with business professionals. There are many who claim that social media is a mapped out business tool, but this just isn’t the case. It doesn’t have the analytics tools or the online business functions—i.e. search engine optimization (SEO)—that other business tools have. If someone comes to you with a definitive social media marketing plan, test them out a bit. Unless they are the most current form of hot-shot Internet business type around, they might be pulling your leg to make a fast buck.
But all is not lost in using social media for business purposes. While it may not have the well-understood techniques that other business media have, you can be sure it still has a lot to offer you and your business. You just have to learn as you go.
The power of observation is a strong tool to have in social media. You will see other businesses promoting themselves on social media web sites. Take a look and see how they create ads, how they create fan pages, how they offer promotions, and how they offer client-to-business interactions. A lot of social media companies or applications cater to small business and there are specific channels for small business social media that are worth paying close attention to. There are more new social media sites every day for small business social media. So seeing how the other pros go about social media marketing is a cheap and easy way to learn the rules of the road for social media marketing.
On that note, investigating new social media or assorted social media web sites is helpful, too. Most people are only familiar with the most popular social media web sites—Facebook, Twitter, etc. But social media web sites, like stars in the sky, are numerous and even a bit “clique-y.” Some are designed specifically for online marketing purposes and can offer you ways to promote your business and its products more effectively than the more conventional social media sites. Be sure to investigate all of them, starting with LinkedIn, one of the more preeminent social media sites specifically for business networking. These social media sites can help you funnel your attention into business promotion and expand with people and clients just like you.
In a perfect world, it might be possible to go to school and get certified in everything from child rearing to becoming a CEO overnight. But we don’t live in such a world and, in an odd way, perhaps should not. Learning as you go is a human’s greatest asset in giving life meaning. Combined social media and marketing skills make up one of the few legitimized forms of business operation and it could be a good way for you to earn your success on your own terms.
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