By Laura

There’s the theory of “you have to spend money to make money”–personally, I like this theory, if utilized properly. Right now, there is a tremendous opportunity for your company to expand and to have a larger place within your industry and in the minds of consumers.

While there aren’t any guarantees in the business world, there is such a thing as learning from others and seeing what works and what doesn’t. If you put more of your time, and perhaps budget, towards quality marketing efforts, you should see results. I want to emphasize the world “quality” in the previous sentence. It’s simple to toss good money around for any project that comes your way, but you’re just being wasteful. Looking at marketing trends, seeing where technology is directing current practices, and evaluating what has worked for other companies will help you to see where your marketing efforts should go.

Social Media Marketing Today
Let’s first take a look at what others are doing for marketing. Not surprisingly, businesses utilize social media more and more everyday. In an article by Ned Smith published on, two-thirds of small businesses have jumped on the online marketing bandwagon and are now spending time on sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as spending time blogging. Social media is a quick way for businesses to connect with their customers–especially ones that rely on local customers and community engagement. In an article published by, they shared some of the data they collected showing that companies (angling more towards B2B connections) are now using five different social media platforms with LinkedIn being at the top.  Companies are going online to build brand personality, share news and information, and try to engage with consumers and other businesses. That list has become common knowledge at this point.

To have a higher quality social media experience, you need to focus and fine tune your efforts. Three points from an article by Rosalind Henshell  on stood out to me: focus on the reputation (different from personality) you’re building, differentiate your content across your platforms, and share information based on what you’re learning from your target market based on your analysis of these efforts. Doing these things will help you to generate content that should be more effective and a better use of your investment into social media.

Technology’s Impact
Technology is also paving the way to make social media marketing and content marketing easier and better. Sites like HootSuite and Sprout Social are making it easier to organize, analyze, and distribute your social content. Google has gotten wise to the practices of SEO efforts and social media marketers and is working to ensure quality information receives better attention for Google page ranking. While this is making marketers work harder, it is basically forcing people to amp up the quality of their content so it holds more value. Apps are being developed all of the time to make blogging and sharing content of all kinds easier, faster, and more efficient. Investing some money into these efforts can yield a great benefit. Good programs mixed with sound content can help generate better results.

Success Stories – Social Media Marketing
Lastly, let’s look at some success stories. In October, we published a series by our very own Nick Bilava where he looked at Google+ and shared some examples of G+ Pages that have been successful. He mentioned one organization that I found interesting: the success of NASA on Google+. NASA has explored and used so many of the features of this social media platform to help reach audiences. They share engaging, high quality posts. Their pictures are outstanding–but they get to send pictures from space, so they have an advantage. NASA hosts hangouts to interact with people. This organization really uses the platform to their advantage.

Drew Neisser from points out in his article several success stories on other social media outlets. Grey Poupon’s Facebook efforts are fantastic to look at and learn from. The company created an online app that basically analyzes and critiques your Facebook social standing. It is spot on with their company’s other marketing efforts and is fun to use. People like to analyze themselves and I’ll certainly have their brand on my mind all day now that I’ve seen their critique of me. It is the quality use of the platform and the impressions made on them that make NASA and Grey Poupon stand out. You might not be able to create a Facebook app or send beautiful pictures from space, but you can spend a little time and money in ways that will highlight your business and make the best use of a social media outlet.

Consider your options for social media. What good information can your company share? How can you best deliver that message? What resources might your company benefit from right now? Can you purchase anything to help make these efforts stronger and more efficient? Those are just a few of the questions that pop up after analyzing what is going on in the world of social media marketing. It might be tough investing initially, but after seeing what others are doing and seeing the results, you might be willing to experiment with a little investing in these areas.