Reach new customers, build a brand, succeed in business
If you’re interested in business school, then you might already have some idea of how important social media is to modern marketing. If not, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basics, because sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, with their massive user bases and constant streams of activity, have become central to companies’ marketing strategies in recent years.
Social media allows you to connect with large numbers of potential customers in an efficient and cost-effective way. You can increase the visibility and authority of your brand, advertising your products and communicating your company’s values directly to your target audience. You can increase traffic to your website, learn about your customers, their interests and habits and what they’re saying about your business, and monitor what your competitors are doing online and how it’s working for them.
Business students studying marketing will learn a lot about how best to approach the unique challenges and opportunities presented by social media. In the meantime, here’s a quick guide to the six basic categories of social media online today.
Social networks like Facebook and the more professionally oriented LinkedIn allow users to connect with each other based on shared interests or backgrounds. Users create a personal profile for themselves, and are then able to create public posts and interact with each other in a variety of ways, including public or private chats.
Students on their way to an MBA university might be most interested in the direct advertising opportunities presented by social networks like Facebook, as they allow advertisers to target audiences based on a variety of highly specific factors such as age, location and interests.
Bookmarking sites like Delicious and StumbleUpon are used to save, organize and manage links to different websites and resources. Most have additional features, like the ability to tag links to make them easier to navigate and share.
Sites like Digg and Reddit allow users to post news items or links to other external articles or pages. Other users then vote on these posts, and the resulting ranking determines how prominently they’re featured.
Media sharing sites include Flickr, Instagram and the largest of them all, YouTube. These sites allow users to upload and share media like photos and videos, and usually have additional features like profiles and commenting.
Many forums revolve around niche interests or hobbies, allowing users to engage in lengthy conversations by posting messages to a board that can be seen by all members. Comments on blogs are similar, except that they follow a specific blog post, with conversations generally revolving around the topic of that post.
Twitter is the best known example of the microblogging genre. Users post short text-based updates, which might also include links or images, to their followers, who can then respond with their own short updates.
Even more than the others, this tends to be a very fast-paced medium. Business school students considering taking advantage of Twitter’s more casual and informal tone, and its direct real-time access to the thoughts and lives of its users, should be aware that responsiveness is key with the microblogging medium.
Are you interested in working in social media marketing after earning your MBA degree?
Contact WU Executive University to learn more about our programs.