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In a world that is increasingly dominated by online culture, can you afford not to be involved? Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are just a few of the resources available to help you expand your business.

But you might ask, “Isn’t social media what is used to connect with friends and scrutinize other peoples photos”? Well yes, it certainly serves that purpose, but the world of social media also is the next great frontier in marketing capability. No longer do you have to spend millions to reach millions. By using social networking, the tools available to rebrand your pre-established business or launch your brilliant new startup are endless.

  1. Know Your Audience:

First rule of thumb, Know Your Audience. Just like in traditional marketing, if a Victoria Secret billboard is placed in a predominately orthodox Jewish community, chances are, its not going to be good for business. However, if the next great cell phone app to download and watch movie trailers is shown just before a feature film, that’s a great way to target your audience. The same is true in social networking. Certain sites are better for reaching the eyes of some, while other sites are better for others. Thanks to the segmentation provided by Business2Community, users can now see the breakdown of certain social networking sites by demographic profiles. http://www.business2community.com/social-media/pew-breaks-down-social-media-demographics-by-age-gender-and-race-0440380

  1. Establish a Voice, Become Visual:

Social media is a two-way conversation between you and your audience; but you should facilitate it. You have the power to dictate what you want your audience to know about your company and how you want them to know it. However, you also have to be prepared for your audience to share how they feel for better of for worse with the rest of the world. Once you understand your audience, you have to understand how to market yourself towards them. Are they older and prefer lengthy articles?  Or Are they Millennials who prefer attention grabbing headlines and short summaries? Todays world is becoming increasingly visual and the best way to grab peoples attention is through strategic marketing strategies using original content, photos and, more frequently, video.

  1. Master Facebook:

Sites like YouTube, Twitter, and Flickr are all incredibly important to maximize your presence across various social networking mediums. However, you still need a home base. This can be a personal website but to be truly effective you should establish your business persona on Facebook. As of January 2013, one million websites have integrated with Facebook, 23% of users check their accounts 5x or more each day, and 80% of users prefer to connect with brands on Facebook (Huffington post).

If New York City is the hub of the international financial center, Facebook is the international hub of the web and social media. While brand identity is key, getting people to discuss your brand with their friends and family through a network they know and love, should be the goal.

If you do your homework, know your audience, and understand your brand, embracing the tools of social media to promote brand identity is relatively easy. Soon you will have a brand people want to associate with, tell their friends about, and line up at the door to see what’s next. Social media and the web have replaced ‘word of mouth’ marketing by making public the interactions other people have with your brand. Soon the world will see who likes, tweeting, sharing, pinning, posting and reposting whatever it is you and your brand want to convey. Social media is the gateway from your brand to your audience. So jump on, hang tight, and join the world of social networking.

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