A five-part series on online branding for businesses by Ryan Chaffin

1. What’s in a Name? Everything
2. SEO: Marketing in the New Millennium
3. PPC as a Model of Smart Advertising
4. Social Media: Highly Accessible Advertising
5. Freshening Up: Maintaining Your Brand Image

Social media is taking over. Blatant and bold as that statement may sound, it is the truth. You can either hop on the bandwagon or stay behind and figure out how you are going to catch up once the dust settles. Don’t believe me? Simply type the word “blog” into any search engine and tell me how many hits pop up. Facebook currently has over 400 million (!) active users. Twitter, a relatively new player in the social media field, has over 75 million users. Simply looking at those numbers and denying the prevalence of social media is willful ignorance.

You, on the other hand, recognize the significance of social media, and understand how they can benefit your company. A snappy logo or updated blog can help your business like no other form of advertising can. Think about it: if you are searching for information about Boston restaurants and you come across a blog written by a chef in Boston who adds entries regularly, discussing the newest foodie trends in the city, chances are you will search out your restaurant and give them your hard-earned cash in exchange for food that you trust (based on what you read on their blog) will be good. As a business owner what could be simpler or more satisfying? You get to talk about your passion and advertise your services at the same time! As a customer, you get in-depth knowledge of a product or service before you try it out for yourself. If there ever was a textbook example of a win-win situation this is surely it.

Social media is also an advantageous route to take because one properly placed video, slogan, or commercial can spread like wildfire, turning into a much talked about meme overnight. If you can plant the seeds of your services or products on a social media website and then let the users of the website spread that idea then you have effectively marketed your product while at the same time saving yourself thousands of dollars in advertising money. This is every advertiser’s dream: a self-replicating ad campaign that is spread mainly through the mouth of the customer.

Advertising your business using social media is a no-brainer. Once you have learned about the techniques and seen the results you will become a believer because there really is nothing like sitting back and watching your idea spread throughout the Internet on a wave of positive inertia.

About the author

Ryan Chaffin is currently a college student majoring in Business Marketing. He loves anything technology, internet, and social media related along with sports and health & wellness. Ryan currently specializes in search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, and social media and believes in achieving your fullest potential on and off the web. You can also find Ryan on Twitter (@ryanchaffin).

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