To the untrained eye, social media is merely a helpful resource for connecting with old friends and new ones through a user-friendly medium. But for a business-seeking opportunist, social media holds a world of marketing potential that can multiply the company’s consumer base and drive sales. There are plenty of hypothetical reasons why social networking would increase business, but what truly reveals the potential of this medium is the success it has already generated for thousands of companies, both big and small. In the same way that online learning continues to appeal to an increasingly larger audience because of its efficacy, online advertising through social media also ensures a more effective marketing campaign.

Generating Traffic from Target Audiences

Every company knows that advertising is a sure-fire way to get the consumer’s attention, and social media delivers precisely this effect. In the modern age, people want to tell their friends what they’re doing, thinking, and more importantly, buying at any given moment through social media.

Say one of your loyal customers, we’ll call her Susan, has just enjoyed a delicious dinner at your small Italian restaurant and has subsequently posted a Facebook status regarding her positive experience. Upon reading this status, a portion of Susan’s friends will likely be compelled to visit your company’s website and even visit the restaurant in person after hearing such a positive review from a person whom they know and trust. When it comes to increasing business, it doesn’t get much better than word-of-mouth recommendations from your current customers.

 

This fast pace in communication can also be seen within online education. Students in online programs can communicate with both professors and classmates through several different media, including discussion boards, email, Skype, and even chat features to stay in touch no matter what each individual student’s schedule might be like. This convenient system of communication can ensure better understanding of complex material and improved performance among students overall.

 

Maintaining Equal Footing

Before the digital era, big businesses had all of the advantage of gaining new customers and generating sales largely because they had the funds to do so through advertising. Since creating accounts on all of the major social networking sites is free, both small and large companies are essentially on an equal plane when it comes to reaching out to and connecting with the customer. In this case, the most successful marketing campaigns will be the ones that feature the most interesting and innovative advertising techniques and approaches.

 

Because of the inherent advertising fairness of social media, small businesses have just as good of a chance of having a successful online marketing campaign as large businesses. This equal plane idea can just as easily be applied to the greater accessibility of online education as well. In a traditional institution of higher learning, students without prior obligations, such as a full-time job or a family, would have a greater advantage over students who balance additional responsibilities. However, with online education, scheduling is irrelevant and only merit matters. This structure has fostered the success of many driven students, whose schedules may have otherwise prevented them from successfully performing in a strict schedule-based learning environment.

 

An Investment Worth Making

It’s true that creating and managing multiple social media accounts is free, but not every business has the time or expertise required to maintain each of these websites in an effective manner. As a result, companies from Kia to Pabst have invested extra money into ensuring that their social media marketing campaigns are maintained. According to the “Los Angeles Times,” the number of social media-related jobs posted on Monster increased by a remarkable 75 percent in 2011 alone, with an average of 155 new positions available each month.
With the astronomical growth rates of business spending on social media marketing, Forrester Research projected that spending would reach $3.1 billion by the year 2014. If your company were intending to set aside a portion of your budget for a more effective social media marketing campaign, you certainly wouldn’t be the first to do so.

 

Although funding will take you far in the social media marketing sphere, a little creativity and a little extra time can significantly influence the success of your campaign as well. To ensure an effective campaign, providing quality products and services as well as customer satisfaction should be at the top of your priority list.

 

The same general idea goes for online education as well: doing the bare minimum may get you a passing grade, but to truly challenge yourself and gain from the program, you are going to have to make sacrifices and be willing to put forth a full effort. Similar to the way a good company receives free advertisement through its customers, your accomplishments will speak volumes about your resilient and ambitious character.

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