Turning 16: Driving Through The World of Social Media

Do you remember the feeling?  You were probably terrified.  A stranger was sitting next to you, judging your every move and just waiting for you to make one tiny mistake. Some people are so scared they make themselves sick; others panic and lose control. Words of wisdom are inevitably offered: “make sure you count to 3 when you stop,” “constantly check your mirrors,” “remember to stay inside the lines.”  But nothing really helps.  It is just you, the car, and a DMV official.

Taking your driver’s test at the young age of 16 is a terrifying, thrilling experience—nothing can really prepare you for it.  Eventually though, you pass.  And you have it—that tiny little piece of plastic that changes your life.  No longer were you reliant on your friends or family to cart you around; instead you were free to go wherever, whenever.

The feeling that the world was your oyster—just waiting for you to explore—was exhilarating. You could now reconnect with friends, visit a place you had never been, or just simply drive around.  Getting your driver’s license for the first time is a life-altering moment: suddenly the world gets a little smaller and you get a little bigger.  Suddenly, you are connected

So it is with social media.  One moment your company is 15 and stuck in this little pigeonhole, relying on others to get you where you want to go.  And the next, your company is 16 and has access to the world.  Social media is one of the most accessible and cost-effective forms of marketing today.  Nothing, since the advent of the web, has had such a profound impact on marketing and advertising.  Social media, however, ultimately transformed the face of the Internet—the web became two-way.  People (and companies) could now talk to each other from across the world; a connection was now possible.

Souza has embraced this change.  We believe that social media is crucial to any effective marketing campaign.

Recently, one of our clients asked us how they could generate more interest in their company.  We recommended that they consider employing social media, the fastest growing form of online advertising today.  Our client seemed hesitant at first—they questioned whether or not social media was professional enough for their image.  We informed them that more than 60% of Fortune 1,000 companies use at least one form of social media to reach customers.  A well thought out social media campaign can not only be professional, but also help make the company more accessible to thousands of people.

Together, we developed a plan of attack.  We decided to focus our efforts on web site design, blog creation, search engine marketing and optimization, and social media sites like Facebook and twitter.

Before we could construct an integrated social media system, however, we wanted to update their existing website, ensuring that it was as user-friendly as possible.  We wanted to create a website that was the focal point of their online marketing; from there, customers could access the client’s blog and their Facebook and twitter pages.  We also wanted an interactive website: we wanted customers to feel compelled to explore the site and the new features we had added.  Most importantly, we wanted a website that was current, because when clients visit your site they want the most recent information available.

However, potential customers would not have been able to enjoy our client’s new site if they could not find it.  Therefore, we optimized the site and submitted it to major search engines.  With our highly specific and specialized Search Engine Optimization (SEO) process, we were able to target certain web-users, ensuring that our site matched their search terms.  Ultimately, SEO created a site ranked as high as possible on various search engines.

We also created a blog for our client that was creative and modern, yet ultimately professional and classy (since our client wanted to retain its professional image).  With the blog we built an online community for the client, providing an essential link between our client and their customers.  Now, the company’s customers had a place to post their thoughts and opinions—informing our client about customer satisfaction levels.

The biggest social media sites are undoubtedly Facebook and twitter.  Thousands of companies have created profiles for themselves; many devote millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours to creating the best profile possible.  Our client needed neither a million dollars nor extensive manpower; instead we were able to create a Facebook and twitter account with minimal expense.  We focused on setting up profiles that contained all pertinent information, with links to the company’s blog and website.  Then we allowed social media to do its job: within days our company was able to establish a large following of “friends,” simply through computer-to-computer communication.  People saw that their friends had become a friend to our client and they wanted to as well.  With our help, our client has created an online world that customers can easily access from anywhere.

As a result of this social media marketing, our client has created a cohesive and comprehensive brand image that permeates all forms of their web media.  Together, their various social media outlets have generated increased interest in the company, leading to substantial growth potential.

Social media is here to stay.  According to Nielson, last year companies spent $108 million on advertising for social media, and that number will only continue to increase.  We have embraced this change.  We have helped countless businesses celebrate their 16th birthday, thereby making the world seem a little smaller and much more accessible.  So does your company have that tiny piece of plastic that will grant it access to the world?

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