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How to Succeed in Business with Social Media: Part 1

These days, almost very business has a social media "presence," even if it's nothing more than an static Facebook page or occasionally updated Twitter account. Why is social media so important?

Most social media websites were created as open digital spaces where family, friends, and work colleagues could fraternize and share information. Today, while these sites continue to serve this function, they are also being leveraged by businesses of all sizes as powerful marketing tools.

 

Whether you are a sole proprietor or a publicly-traded multinational, a strong social media presence has become a must-have item in any marketing budget. How did social media end up becoming an necessary tool for modern marketers? Quite simply, it's due to the internet's power to influence.

 

The internet is arguably the most influential technology of all time. While advancements in telecommunications and transportation have contributed to the growth of stronger international relationships, the internet is the key catalyst behind the world's current state of globalization.

 

The internet's power to influence people began as its popularity and availability grew during the late 1990s and early 2000s. As internet access became more commonplace, the internet's potential as a marketing channel was recognized by a new breed of digital ad men, and pop-ups and banner ads were born.

 

The explosive growth of e-commerce websites pushed the technology powering the Internet forward. Static banner ads, the equivalent of billboards at the side of the information superhighway, were made obsolete by more advanced online marketing systems offering features like dynamic content, targeted ads based on a visitor's previous activity, and built-in customer relationship management tools.

 

Business websites, most of which were launched as nothing better than digital hot dog stands, became more sophisticated and engaging. Companies started to pay more attention to new web metrics like traffic sources, bounce rates, and conversion rates.

 

This decade has seen the online world enter the Golden Age of SEO: search engine optimization. Or more accurately, Google Search optimization. Google is the 800-pound gorilla of search engines, with 8 out of 10 web searches being done through Google Search, according to a May 2018 report from NetMarketShare.

 

Getting a website to appear on the first page of Google search results is the goal of every corporate marketing department. As a result, SEO has become its own multimillion dollar business, servicing companies that regularly try to second-guess what adjustments Google is making to its search engine algorithms in any given month, in order to move up in Google's search results.

 

One important web metric from the SEO toolkit is social traffic. Social traffic is the number of website visitors who arrive via a link shared on a social media account. When Google began to include social media links in search results, the business world realized that using social networks to communicate with potential customers was now an essential component of any comprehensive marketing plan.

 

When looking at business use of social media, you're primarily discussing these most-popular social networking sites:

 

● Facebook
● Twitter
● LinkedIn
● YouTube
● Pinterest
● Instagram
● Google+

 

There are other social networking sites out there, but these are the ones the majority of businesses are currently focusing their energies on.

 

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