Social media has brought remarkable changes to the way businesses interact with their core customer bases. In the recent past, traditional marketing campaigns included direct mass mailing of brochures, catalogs and company newsletters. Every customer receiving this company literature got the same marketing and advertising messages, and this practice was known as a “one-to-many” marketing approach. The rise of social media has removed this degree of separation and allows you to tailor your marketing messages to each loyal customer’s preferences.

The people who follow your business’s and personal social media pages give you a good deal of information about their regular purchasing habits. They also have a great deal more influence in terms of promoting your products and services to their own social media circle. Word-of-mouth advertising has moved online, and people are often willing to give more credence to a product recommendation from one of their social media friends. In contrast to other types of marketing, social media has created a “one-to-one” approach rather than an impersonal “one-to-many” approach.

Word-of-mouth recommendations have existed for a long time among potential customers, but social media has widened its sphere of influence to a significant degree. Before online communication became so prevalent, only one person could make a recommendation to a small group of friends while meeting face-to-face. On a social media site, one person can now make the same product or service recommendation to hundreds of others in his or her online circle. Recognizing this larger sphere of influence allows you to develop a strategy that will increase your company’s social media clout.

Developing a social media presence is now vital for your business’s continuing profitability and ensuring your position as an influencer in your particular industry. Information moves quickly from one social media posting to the next, and you can move from being a trend follower to a trend setter in your field with a few vital updates, tweets or similar messages that end up going viral.

A strong social media presence takes time and planning, so it can be easy to place it lower on your priority list in the face of other matters. Negating your social media strategy for the long term is a mistake because it indicates you care less about building a strong customer base or about staying on top of your industry’s latest developments.

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