Now more than ever, marketing with social media has become very imperative. The internet has not only altered our way of doing things, but has also completely revolutionized our way of thinking. Offline processes that would require days to accomplish can now be completed in a matter of seconds. Gone are the days where you would see an office desk having piles of documents. This has been replaced by soft copy documentation; a good example is cloud computing. It wasn’t long ago when post mails where the best modes of communication. Today people use the internet for business purposes, communicate with friends and family and also to study. All these been done on real-time basis. By a click of a button, you can now get access to books and videos through instant downloading. Businesses are marketing with social media now more than ever. This is demonstrated by how gift shops are offering their online customers better discounts than the clients coming directly to their offline stores. Research has shown that currently we spend about 1/6 of our lives in the cyberspace. Just in the United States, the average American spends like 4 ½ hours daily on the internet. By the look of things, this trend is bound to increase to 5 hours or more in a short span of time. The increase is necessitated by the fact that some individuals entirely depend on computers and the internet to perform their daily tasks. All this is an indication that we are fast moving into the digital world. Any business that does not position itself strategically online will very soon become obsolete. One of the tactics that business people need to embrace is marketing with social media. Google Ad Planner did a survey and revealed some of the most visited sites in the US alone. The list contained six categories which are Search Engines, Social media networks, shopping sites, entertainment sites, business websites and sites offering softwares. The research showed how marketing with search engines is number one. More than 90% of traffic generated on the internet is through search engines. Naturally, because the internet is about sharing information, search engines, encyclopedia sites and how-to websites like eHow and Wikipedia took top spot. After search engines, shopping sites took the second position. This includes sites like eBay, Walmart and Amazon. From there we go to entertainment sites, social networking sites, business sites then softwares sites in that order. Close observation of all these six categories, social media is one of the fastest growing sectors. It takes the fourth position and yet they gained popularity just the other day. Google Plus the new kid in the block has hit the social circles by storm. By the second week, Google +1 had over 2 million subscribers and today the site has over 40 million users that is after two months. This is why it is critical that marketers should think seriously on how to best approach marketing with social media. Social networks are websites that are community based. These are sites where you will find business professionals, bloggers, dating communities and online forum communities congregating. Take a look at a site like Facebook which has over 800 million subscribers. There is no way any serious marketer can ignore such numbers. Next after facebook is YouTube where people share videos then twitter takes the third spot. The amazing thing is that the number of social media users is increasing by the day. It is for this reason business people need to take advantage and begin marketing with social media much more. Which site is best for marketing with social media in the US? According to Nielsen, 22% of Americans have been completely engrossed with social networking sites. Facebook takes up to 67% followed by YouTube which takes about 55% of traffic generated by social media sites. Though the other social sites are used by less people, they attract more targeted visitors and thus are also excellent when it comes to marketing with social media on these sites. These include sites like twitter and LinkedIn. Bloggers have also cut a niche for themselves with sites like WordPress and Blogspot featuring as some of the most visited sites. Living Social and Groupon are other sites that businesses are using for marketing with social media. The one thing that elevates these two sites is that fact that customers can get good bargains and discounts on various products and services. marketing with social mediaConsidering that this year Cyber Monday increased by double digits, am sure a big percentage of these online sales were transacted on sites like Living Social and Groupon. Active users on social media sites in the USA. According to the research conducted by Google Ad Planner, about 200 million people in the US are active members on social sites. Of these 200 million people, the research reveals that most of them are female. The sites that women mostly frequent are social sites that offer deal of the day. There men counterparts mostly can be found on sites like social business sites like LinkedIn. This is because most men take the top positions when it comes to the corporate world. Age is also an important aspect to look at in regards to marketing with social media. Research reveals that young people prefer active sites with more action while adults are inclined towards sites that have more of content. Some of the sites to find young adults include blogging sites and social sites that require active participants. Teens on the other hand are more inclined to sites that encourage social sharing. Here we are talking of sites like Photobucket, Flicker and YouTube which are all image oriented. Conclusion: Invention of things like computers, Laptops, IPads, mobile phones and the internet have revolutionized the way of doing business. People have moved to the internet to study, gather information, be entertainment, preach, communicate and shop. In fact, we are now spending more time online than offline. It is the high time that people thought of getting into home online business based ideas. Slowly but surely people are becoming internet consumers and the first sites they are going to are social networking sites. Marketers therefore have to reexamine their marketing strategies so as to succeed in increasing their customer base. While working online, you need to incorporate several online marketing techniques in order to reach a wider audience. Marketing with social media has of late proven to be an integral component of web marketing and building business brands. On this blog, we have repeated time and again how important it is to research and know your target market preferences and where your audience spends most of their time. This article shows outright that marketing with social media sites is paramount. If you have more research records on marketing with social media kindly share them with us through the comment section below. You can also share this article with other online marketers using the social icons appearing on the left (This demonstrates the power of marketing with social media networks).
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