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keyboard with social media icons on keys Less than a decade ago, social media was widely regarded as nothing more than an online distraction frequented by younger internet users. Few businesses took the time to build up a meaningful social media presence on the web, and even fewer realized the potential that a solid social media footprint had on their brand's overall marketing strength. Now, with word of mouth having moved to the online world, and social media sites being the primary sounding boards where people voice their concerns and praises for brand names and products, social media has become more important than ever.

For most businesses, social media should be looked at as a branding opportunity, not as a source of profit. In fact, chances are slim that simply having a social media profile or page is going to result in future sales and higher profits, but chances are very high that having a social media presence will help foster word of mouth regarding a quality product or service. So the next time you're examining your marketing plan, and trying to quantify money being made as a result of your social media presence, remember that it's about branding. Social media is an opportunity to sell yourself, not your inventory or services.

A social media presence is but one piece of the internet puzzle that your company has to have in order to keep up with your competitors. Let's look at the necessary components of any successful internet marketing campaign. Your cornerstone puzzle piece is your website, which allows potential customers and clients to learn about your business. The next piece, your blog, allows your company to develop a voice and show its expertise in your respective area of business. The final piece, a social media presence, allows your fans and followers to interact with your brand on their own terms. Regardless of which piece of the puzzle your potential clients find first, each piece is an interlocking part of your overall branding strategy.

Social media profiles and pages create brand advocates who not only care about your services, but shout your praises because of the pleasant past experiences they associate with your company. Additionally, social media profiles and pages allow your company to show a more down to earth side of your business. Social media is the ideal avenue to humanize your brand, which will create a stronger connection between your brand and its fans. Once that connection is fostered, you can use social media to introduce your fans to the other pieces of the puzzle (i.e. website and blog). Remember though, social media is the piece of the puzzle that is most about branding. It's the piece that may be the most memorable, and it's the piece that may be the catalyst to convert a potential customer into a client. Social media alone may not sell your product or service, but social media as a piece of the larger marketing puzzle will certainly aid in leading to future business and potential sales.

Social media through branding is fun, but it's also quite difficult to capture a voice that will resonate with your fans. At SLS Consulting, our social media team can help you find your voice. We can help explain how to effectively put the marketing piece together, and how a strong social media presence will help create brand advocates that will not only shout your praises as a brand, but will indirectly lead to even more fans and followers down the road. Branding through social media is a necessary component these days, and SLS Consulting has utilized it since the beginning. For more information, please contact us today at (323) 254-1510 or (877) 248-3529.

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