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Social Media Marketing - #itsmorethanusinghashtags

If your company has been investing time and energy into marketing these last few years, you've probably come across the concept of social media marketing. What is it, and why is it so important?

For businesses, social media is the best way to directly interface with your customers. You can share your ideas, thoughts, promotions, events and pictures with your customers and get instant feedback as well as real time back and forth conversations. Customers will see your company as more than a brand, logo or business but as an actual person or group of people and will hear your "voice" and see your "face." Its the best way to get personal with your customers and have direct communication.

The most popular social media sites are Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Pintrest. Social media, although free to sign up and use, takes a lot of time to execute. If you want to be relevant on social media, you have to post interesting and varied pictures, topics and conversation starters. It takes a lot of time to create, share and post this material on each site as well as respond to people who ask questions or engage you in conversation. It's also important that the voice and face of your company is consistent across all the social media sites.

What do companies usually post on social media sites? Twitter has a limit on how many words your post can be, so often its a short message with a link to a longer story/post/article. Twitter is designed to be a real time conversation site, so it's important that you post current and relevant information and engage with other people who are posting on Twitter. LinkedIn is where other business professionals go to connect, so it's more conversations and articles related to business, the economy, networking and finance. Pintrest is where your company can get in touch with it's more creative, artsy and introspective side of itself. It's important that the marketing professional that handles your social media sites understands how to utilize each social media site properly and effectively.