Companies have heard of many ways that others are using social media but still struggle with how to leverage this medium and optimize it for the best possible results.

With the advancement of the Internet, many new marketing channels have become available to both business‐to‐business (B2B) and business‐to‐consumer (B2C) sectors and the challenge is to understand the best ways to take advantage of the World Wide Web for Internet marketing.

Internet marketing and social media marketing provide a cost‐effective and practical way for small and medium sized companies to compete effectively against their larger adversaries especially since they operate on smaller marketing budgets.

Would it not be an ideal solution be to present your marketing message to your targeted prospect at the very moment they are looking for information on your products or services? This is a major shift from push marketing to pull marketing. It is using content to attract your audience and then market to them when they are ready.

So what are the new ways to be found on the Internet?

People are changing the way they shop for products and services. They go to the Internet to find and gather information so that they can make an informed decision. It is much easier to get the information that you need by searching on Google than to look up a phone number in the Yellow Pages and then call. We just don’t want to be sold to.

Besides searching on Google, people are also looking for information on a number of social media sites such as:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Blogs
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Stumbleupon and other bookmarking sites

These social media sites enable us to get the “word of mouth” recommendations and advice that we all seek when considering making a purchase of a product or service and they are a powerful tool for any Internet marketing strategy.

Many of us in the “Baby Boomer” community think that social media is a trend for the younger generations “X” and “Y” as they are the most active in this medium.

The Generation “Y” population is over 70 million in America and by 2010 they will outnumber Baby Boomers. They will become our future leaders and the majority of them have been raised with technology and belong to one or more social networks.

Companies must start incorporating social media strategies into their Internet marketing initiatives to engage with the Generation Y’s now to avoid being left behind in targeting this growing segment.