The advent of social media outlets has given businesses a host of new communication platforms to reach potential customers. Social media is no longer a trend; it is fast becoming the primary way the general public communicates with others. Recognizing its potential, most business owners know that social media should be a branch of their marketing strategy, but struggle to find the time and material to do it effectively. To help clients harness these viral tools, PR and marketing companies are stepping in to handle the day-to-day functions of social media.

Social media, also called User Generated Content, refers to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, (to name a few). These sites have quickly become organic news outlets that carry messages of all types to people around the world.

With more than 2.07 billion users just on Facebook, a business that taps into any one of these platforms can potentially reach millions of potential customers. With no cost to be a member and its ability to distribute information immediately, social media is currently the cheapest, easiest, quickest and most effective way to reach a target audience.

But in order to effectively take advantage of this new communication tool, businesses have to (1) build a following of users and continue to grow this user base, (2) post messages about their company and industry at least five times a week, (3) interact with other content producers, creating a two-way flow of communication and information, and (4) track the movements of their competitors.

Many social media plans fail because business owners, executives and other professionals lack the time to dedicate to its success.

Social media is a natural extension for marketers as it is just another resource to distribute information. In addition, much like public relations, social media messages tend to blend into the background. In our ad-saturated world, people tend to tune out overt advertising like TV commercials. Consumers may be more apt to remember a message if it is posted alongside their friend’s latest birthday pictures.

To ensure they are exploiting social media effectively, many businesses are simply expanding the scope of work with their PR and marketing companies to include 10 or more hours of social media services each month.

Are you looking to jump into the social media scene, but don’t know how to get started or don’t have the time to effectively maintain a program? Contact Desmond & Louis today for a social media program that integrates with your marketing plan.