Facebook, Pinterest, pokes, likes, Twitter, pages, retweets, Linkedin, Instagram, hashtags, favourites, Tumblr, pins. If you're not familiar with social media marketing then getting started with it can be bewildering. There's a plethora of conflicting opinions out there about how small companies can make a good go of it, so MT spoke to some experts to give you a flavour of what it takes to be successful.
If you're still one of uninitiated (i.e. living under a rock for the last eight years or so), most social media essentially functions by showing users updates, from friends, famous people they're a fan of, sports teams, the media, brands they like, and so on and so forth. Updates can be text, links, pictures, videos, or a combination.
The most fundamental and basic point is to make those updates engaging, so that people actually take interest in them, rather than seeing them as a naked sales pitch. Get them interested first - then they might decide to buy something from you later.
'Sometimes businesses forget the very first word and what it is, and that's being social,' says Barrie Le Gall, a social media consultant known as FoundUB4. 'So they're using it to air their voice rather than making their audience feel wanted and special - for want of a better phrase.'
What's the point?