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“The last thing that you want consumers to see when they Google your name is a bunch of bad reviews.”

Consumers are evolving, but marketing is taking its sweet time to change with them. Even though millions of people are online, and spend a steadily increasing amount of their day on the Internet, marketers continue to utilize old channels that consumers have long since tuned out. That isn’t to say that television/radio commercials are dead, they just aren’t as effective anymore. Why pay attention to whatever is being advertised during a commercial break, when Facebook is an iPhone app away? The trick is to build name recognition and trust via the daily distractor.

This was once radio, then it became television, and slowly it is becoming the Internet. But you cannot advertise your product on the Internet like you would with traditional media. It takes a delicate touch to reach newer consumers; if you just spam your name at every turn, people are going to associate you with annoyance, rather than the product you sell. A lot of consumers are also very distrustful of businesses that market their own products. So, while good customer service has always been important for a company’s survival, it is now an absolute necessity.

The last thing that you want consumers to see when they Google your name is a bunch of bad reviews. So one of the first things you are going to want to do when creating a social marketing campaign is to make a place for people to say good things about you. A Facebook page, for example, is an excellent, and easily accessible, area for potential customers to read about your product or company. Consumers who use the Internet to research products want answers instantly, and if a good Facebook page stuffed with positive customer reviews is one of the first things they see, it will be monumentally helpful in convincing them to work with you.

Luckily for you, people typically love to voice their opinions. The explosion of Yelp has shown this, with users updating their friends and family with their location and a review. Your consumers may not be very willing to listen to any praise coming out of your mouth, but they will definitely listen to their friends. Things can get a little tricky as bad reviews have a way of trickling through, but as long as you maintain a good relationship with most of your customers, the good will drown out the bad. If you did make a mistake, own up to it; social media acts as a megaphone, and can be used as a tool to help you regain face.

Being discovered is just the first step though, and you should take the steps to further establish trust with potential clients. Establishing your knowledge and credibility is still highly useful, but you can’t simply post a resumé or client list and expect potential customers to read through them. People who utilize social media want to be entertained, so try and entertain. Company blogs are immensely useful for this end, but are often under utilized. While you will get a couple of readers simply by listing your products and their uses, you will get a lot more by offering a little bit of comedy or intrigue along with your writing. This is all about cementing trust, and if potential consumers begin to see you as a person, and not a company, that trust will be much easier to gain. And don’t forget to spread these posts around! Use your Facebook page and Twitter to get your readership up.

Sadly, utilizing social media will not ensure your immediate success. You are still lost in a river of information overload, so it will still be difficult to stand out. However, social media can help bridge the gap between name recognition and trust. Utilizing search engines properly, and streamlining your websites and social media profiles with the proper key words and information, can shepherd customers towards your direction. Word-of-mouth is very powerful, and can do the same as long as it is easy to share your information. So make it easy! Blogs, Facebook profiles, twitter accounts; all of these establish trust, and are easy to spread. You shouldn’t abandon traditional advertisement methods, as there are people who will continue to be impacted by them, but you should begin to invest in new ones if you want to broaden your market. That way, even if potential customers have become completely deaf to radio and television marketing, it is still very possible to reach them.

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