Gone are the days when owners of Internet companies could do their business in a bubble. OK, there probably was never a time when that could happen, but now it's definitely untrue. And it's all because of social media. If you're not active on at least one social media platform, you're ignoring thousands of potential customers. It's a critical chance to communicate with your competitors and customers. Social media activity is also a key factor in SEO — those crafty search engines like to see that you're building your brand through interaction with others in your field.
Your choice of platform will depend on your specific products and your comfort level with each platform. Think of Facebook as the starter program — it's a no-brainer to set up a page there. But Instagram might not be a good fit if you're selling software or something without strong visual appeal. Likewise, if you're not one for brevity or snappy comebacks, you might not want to be on Twitter. Whatever you do, though, the social media bandwagon is one you can't afford to miss.
Author's Note: 10 Ways to Market an Online Business
I would hope that a blog would be my most powerful marketing tool if I'm ever marketing my (nonexistent) online business. Lord knows I've put in enough time writing that I could be a consistent blogger. Lord also knows that I would never put myself on camera, so "making videos" would certainly never have a spot on any to-do list.
- DeMers, Jayson. "The Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014." Forbes. Sept. 17, 2013. (April 14, 2015) http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2013/09/17/the-top-7-online-marketing-trends-that-will-dominate-2014/
- DeMers, Jayson. "Your Guide to Marketing an Online Business." Inc. Nov. 19, 2014 (April 14, 2015) http://www.inc.com/jayson-demers/your-guide-to-marketing-an-online-business.html
- Google. "The Small Business Online Marketing Guide." (April 14, 2015) http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en/us/ads/pdfs/small_business_online_marketing_guide.pdf
- Hejny, Chelsea. "Know Your Advertising Options." Socially Stacked. Sept. 17, 2014. (May 4, 2015) http://www.sociallystacked.com/2014/09/invest-online-advertising-get-know-options/
- HubSpot. "The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics." (May 1, 2015) http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics
- James, Geoffrey. "Market Your Small Business Online: 12 Tips." Inc. Dec. 6, 2013. (April 29, 2015) http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/market-your-small-business-online-12-tips.html
- Martin, James A. "Top 25 DIY Tips for Better SEO." CIO. Aug. 5, 2014. (May 4, 2015) http://www.cio.com/article/2460827/seo-sem/top-25-diy-tips-for-better-seo.html
- Patel, Neil. "7 Online Marketing Tips for Entrepreneurs Who Can't Market or Sell." Inc. Nov. 6, 2014. (April 23, 2015) http://www.inc.com/neil-patel/7-online-marketing-tips-for-entrepreneurs-who-can-t-market-or-sale.html
Several major companies have been under fire recently for offensive marketing tactics and ads. HowStuffWorks looks at a few that have made headlines in recent years.