Should I Invest In Social Media Marketing? Are you feeling a little lost when it comes to the very idea of social media marketing? You’re definitely not the only one. Truth is, whether you’re launching your first book, opening a flower delivery service, or growing your small family business, you can benefit from a smart and solid social media strategy. But you don’t have to tackle every site from Facebook to LinkedIn to build a robust social media presence! Nor do you have to seek out an online marketing firm right away. The more knowledgeable you are about the basics of social media marketing today, the more apt you’ll be at making sound marketing decisions should you choose to invest down the road. The Power Of Friends! What makes social media a powerful marketing tool is due in part to how it naturally follows key consumer behaviors observed in-person. What does this mean? Consumer trends have historically shown that shoppers are more likely to buy a product if a friend or family member approves of that purchase is some way. An approval could be an actual referral for a product or even that final word of approval before their friend hits the order button. Facebook’s “like” model is the digital version of this behavior and it works! Not only that, but Twitter re-tweets, Pinterest re-pins, and now Google+ “+1s” are also forms of this consumer behavior crossover online. Along with the power to influence online buying behavior, social signals are great for your Google rankings too. That’s why it’s important to include social media buttons with your useful and engaging blog posts. Just like with in-person communication, people love to share new and fascinating information they read with their friends. Grow Your Local Business If you’re a small local business, you can absolutely benefit from building a solid social media marketing strategy right now, especially if you’re operating on a strict budget. Social media is that cost effective alternative to buying ad space in local publications or shelling out more cash for 30-second local television spots. Once you’re ready to start marketing through social media, hold back from registering with a lot of sites right away. While accumulating those earned social signals is great, a DIY social media strategy can’t properly oversee multiple accounts in the beginning. For example, a local pie business would benefit more from a focused Facebook marketing campaign from the start. Why’s this? Small local businesses can create their own Facebook business pages and categorise it under Facebook’s “local business” section. Plus, local businesses can benefit from geotagging, which allows users to check into their business on Four Square, and tag their establishment in photos and posts! You think you’re ready to start your social media strategy? There’s no time like the present. Start investing a couple hours each day into learning the strategies for your social media site of choice!