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Social media is the new kid on the block when it comes to getting the word out. Advertising has taken many forms in the past, but social media is putting all the older methods to shame.
Social media is still developing, expanding, finding its place in the brave new world of computer technology. Who knows where it will lead us. In the meantime, it's revolutionizing the ways in which we interact.
Take Facebook. It is a way to reach out, stay connected, have fun, play games, laugh and cry, and otherwise escape the more formalized roads our culture has provided in the past.
And it is a way to promote the goods and services small businesses provide. Not the hard sell. But the softer interactions between regular folks getting on with their daily lives.
Example: An upscale women's shop posts pictures of newly arrived dresses, jeans, outfits and accessories on Facebook. Almost every day, there is something new there. The site becomes a go-to place for regular customers--and they not only "like" the photos, they also pass them on to their friends.
Example: A bakery that specializes in scones and brownies posts pictures of mouth-watering products on Facebook. Orders come in from organizations and corporate clients who want to punch up their meetings with some unusual goodies.
Example: A wellness center regularly posts pictures of the activities going on at the center--along with announcements of upcoming events. Massage therapists give free demos, yoga specialists hold free sessions, nutritionists hold free question-and-answer group meetings. Thanks to Facebook, the pictures create excitement and draw people to the center. The Facebook site is the chief means of advertising what goes on there.
Facebook is easy. It's free. And they lead you through the set-up. Of course, they want you to buy an ad, but it's not required.
Facebook is only one of the possibilities. How about using LinkedIn or Twitter or Pinterest or Instagram or some other social media site?
To use social media effectively, you'll need pictures. Well, you snap pictures anyway. They don't have to be professionally done to be effective. They don't even have to be on the subject at hand--any pet can attract attention to your message.