Social media site, Facebook is celebrating its 5th birthday today.  It’s hard to believe that the social networking medium that has infiltrated most of our lives has only been around for five years.

facebook logo

Unlike some of its competitors Facebook has refrained from selling out to the big boys in the playground, hoping to make it on its own.  How does it do this?  By selling advertising. Whether being bombarded by adverts is your bag of tricks or not, especially when you consider Facebook is a network for socialising, as a marketeer it’s a fantastic way of reaching a highly targeted audience. After all, what other sorts of sites do we willingly divulge our personal information, our likes and dislikes, our interests?

Social media networking, as a concept is all about users being able to connect and communicate with each other, while Bookmarking (Reddit, Digg) allow you to share your findings with others.

As such it’s becoming increasingly important to use social media networks and bookmarking as part of an integrated online PR and marketing campaign.

There’s a variety of mediums, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Digg, Reddit, and as time goes by the lines between them are blurring.  It’s difficult to say where social networking starts and bookmarking ends – what is easy to work out is that all of them can be used to push content to a diverse market.

There should be no preference over one or the other, as a tool we should be using as many social networking and bookmarking sites as possible.  With a strategic online campaign, your messages help reinforce and further expose your branding. It allows you to share your knowledge of the industry and products as well as answer questions. It provides credibility to your products or services, it boosts customer loyalty as they continue to interact with you, and it builds your brand.

It also directly influence your sales – something every business likes – a lot.  How does it do this?  When we place a message on Twitter, enter a blog entry or add a posting on Facebook, it drives traffic to your site.  It provides deep links to very specific pages meaning that you can tell customers about new products, campaigns, special offers, all of which translates to greater sales.

Benefits of social networking include:

  • Quick way of driving traffic to your site
  • High exposure on the web
  • Increases links to site
  • Bloggers and webmasters have a greater chance of being exposed to your content
  • Quality links will increase your ranking

Social media is coming of age.  It has already become a big part of our lives.  Who knows what we can expect in the next few years.  What we do know now though is that used properly social media is a very powerful online and PR marketing tool.