Digital Marketing Agency

How to Use the Internet in a Social Media World
The internet is one of life’s best tools for marketing and advertising. But it’s not just about putting the product, brand or message into the world; it also has a massive impact on how we communicate with each other, what we buy, where we go, who we meet and communicate with. It affects our health, education, commerce and social culture at large. And now we are entering an age where we can use digital channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, WhatsApp and others to enhance and expand our business and make it more relevant than ever before. If you have the resources from Google Adwords, if you have a bit of knowledge about SEO and search engine optimization (SEO), then this article is designed as a learning resource for your own website or blog. As soon as you finish reading it, we will add it to your library of lessons on improving your site and SEO performance quickly! So how powerful is the internet? The answer is…it is really as powerful as any other media channel and a great tool when it comes to driving sales, increasing awareness and building relationships with new and existing customers. In fact, it probably represents more than half of all advertising revenue worldwide. When done well, the web is incredibly effective for marketing and advertising. With some careful planning and strategic decisions, it can be used along various touchpoints to engage and influence potential clients. And here’s why:
The first aspect that makes the internet so engaging and powerful is its reach. There are over 2 billion active users around the world online. That means they are literally everywhere on the earth – and there is no limit to how far they can get away from their homes. Think about how much time people spend browsing the net these days. What do they do when they are done with doing nothing but checking emails, refreshing social profiles, uploading pictures or watching videos? They just sit back, relax, play games or watch endless youtube tutorials. It’s like walking on quicksand: the faster people move, the deeper they sink. People need space to think things through and process information, be creative and enjoy themselves. This is what the internet provides them. Being able to do that all the time makes us feel relaxed and stimulated, rather than drained by meaningless content consumption. A recent study has shown that the average attention span of individuals aged 20 to 24 years decreased by almost two seconds since 2004. Imagine someone standing up, facing the camera and having only a few seconds to see what’s going on. Just imagine the impact that could have made in the lives of those who had less time to reflect on what they were seeing and thinking. Now, I know that this information is very general. Every person will react differently to different things. The point I’m trying to make is that everyone has got their unique way of processing information and interacting with other people. We tend to judge someone else’s behavior based on their responses and emotions, not on logic or facts. Even though these changes may not always result in visible outcomes, I believe they have a direct effect on our mental wellbeing, mood and ability to solve problems. According to research, boredom is a major source of stress and anxiety among people all over the world, even though it’s common to find many who struggle with feelings of loneliness. Why? Because most people spend more time sitting down doing nothing while working from home. When that happens, they lose their sense of purpose and happiness in life because they cannot fulfil all their needs in-person, such as meeting friends or spending quality time with family and friends. To combat all this negative energy, the internet helps bring both peace and calmness. Many studies prove that having access to entertainment, news or educational materials increases levels of satisfaction and reduces negativity. After all, people want to be entertained and happy, which brings them closer to achieving their goals in life. For example, if a college student doesn’t get enough sleep and spends only 8 hours per night sleeping, he or she might find it difficult to focus in class and pay attention in class. While this can have an adverse effect on grades, high levels of distraction, lack of concentration and poor motivation, it could also mean missed opportunities to explore topics and areas of interest. On top of that, students can develop anxiety because their brains can’t keep up with the constant input and stimulation coming from screens all day long without getting tired or distracted. Having something to look out for keeps them focused and motivated, which could otherwise lead to procrastination and the inability to complete tasks. However, if everything was available on one screen, then the individual would miss out on important details that determine whether they’re successful or not. Of course, our brains have limited capacity and processing power, so sometimes you simply have to wait until your brain gets used to doing something a certain way for longer durations of time – as opposed to short bursts. Also, some studies have shown that children who are exposed to visual stimuli at younger ages are better able to recognise faces and emotional expressions in pictures more accurately than their peers. All of this creates an environment of positive interactions between people. You don’t necessarily have to work with computers to feel or experience this kind of joy in your mind and body. The internet is a huge place filled with beautiful images and stories where you can find inspiration and entertainment. The possibilities are endless. From music videos, funny memes to photos of places you’ve never been, the internet gives you the opportunity to escape reality for a couple of minutes and just sit and appreciate nature. Studies have also shown that exposure to bright lights and natural light activates parts of the brain associated with creativity, memory recall and thinking skills, making it easier to concentrate and perform well when doing something. Most importantly, social media platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter are perfect for breaking into these habits and building a lifestyle that suits multiple personalities and lifestyles. Technology is constantly evolving, making it possible for brands to take advantage of video sharing, live streams and text messaging. Companies can offer incentives, freebies and promotions on billboards, tv, radio and websites. These types of campaigns can help capture new buyers, spread the word about the products/services or generate buzz for events or special offers. Everything is measurable; all the data points are tracked and analyzed (we won’t call it “data mining and analytics” because that isn’t exactly what this is, although I love the term). Here’s when we talk about using the internet: Social Network Sites
Social media sites are often mentioned together, but it’s important to know that they are vastly different from each other in terms of functionality and user behaviour. Like every other platform, social networks provide businesses with valuable feedback. By allowing visitors to share their opinions and feelings about different aspects of their daily lives, they become loyal supporters of the company and its products and services. Users can also contribute to the company’s ongoing success by contributing their own thoughts and experiences to conversations about specific niches or sub-niches within the same category. Take Facebook Groups for instance. One of my favourite features of this site is enabling participants to post their ideas for creating useful posts, adding comments (with a little description) and tagging fellow members to help other attendees and stakeholders. Another feature I like is giving users a chance to present projects they have worked on and gain recognition and praise from the community. Sometimes, these discussions turn into forums, blogs and communities. Some of my favourite groups are Community Manager, Online Shop Finder and Brand Extension Pro.
Social media is not one or a combination of several platforms. There are millions of social media sites available today — from big multinational corporations to small independent companies. Depending on the type of audience it is intended to attract and the number of followers the network has, online communities are categorized into five main categories: Communities, News Feeds, Video Blogs, Email Lists and Social Networks. At the core, communities are set up around common interests, shared interests, hobbies, etc. This helps people connect with each other and support each others efforts for various reasons. They are helpful because they encourage participation and create meaningful connections with other people. For example, community managers monitor the activities on Facebook pages to ensure that the right people are showing up in front of the right people (for example, posting in popular groups related to music, fashion, technology, travel etc.). Then, social media is filled with content created by users. Videos and photographs from personal experiences, fun activities, educational lessons, job interviews, and reviews on local businesses and restaurants are examples. Businesses rely on influencers and celebrities to drive traffic and build customer loyalty. Not only does it drive sales, but it also encourages people to visit physical locations via virtual tours or clickable maps to explore new locations for themselves. It’s the same reason why shopping malls, coffee shops and grocery stores attract hundreds of thousands of employees to work during off-hours. People can still shop in real life, but also have ready meals, prepare their daily food and drink, book a gym membership, book a staycation, order delivery and take care of their pets. Each of these ways helps increase consumer demand and create a sense of community, leading directly to increased purchases and conversions.
As a rule of thumb, social media networks are divided into four main categories (sometimes referred to as microsites):
1. Exchanges : Social networking sites allow users to discuss anything related to their everyday life. Typically, these discussions revolve around current affairs, trends, fads, jokes and political views. Examples include Quora, Reddit, Imgur, Tumblr, Telegram, Pinterest and Snapchat.
2. Communities : Similar to exchanges but with different characteristics: communities allow people to showcase their talents, passions, achievements, opinions and insights. Examples include Vimeo, Meetup or Twitter Spaces.