Someone recently asked me,
How do you believe the Google +1 button and the Facebook “Like” button will impact the marketing of a business. In what way can a business influence how many “+1's” or “Like's” it receives? Or can it?
I'm flattered someone would come to me with this question. Here's my answer.
The +1 and Like buttons are really helping to shift the marketing landscape in what I believe to be a very healthy way.
On the web side, It really comes down to a combo of three things that are very interconnected. Good content, Good Social Media Management, and building brand identity. It starts with targeting and engaging a demographic of consumers in an ongoing conversation about your company's industry.
First, developing great content (in any form-blog, infograph, video, podcast) that is legitmately useful to your audience is very key to being trusted by your audience, being seen as authoritative (by users and ipso facto, search engines), and being well liked (literally and figuratively) by people you want to be your customers.
Along with content sharing with Social Media, you engage your audience with with questions about the industry and their opinions of it, responding with them to current events (especially industry-related ones), and also letting them peek a litte behind the curtain, so to speak, at the people behind your company ("It's Muffin monday at the office today! [pic]), etc.
Lastly, your brand identity needs to be strong. This is of course strongly correlated to and influenced by the first two, but having a well-developed brand identity, (name, logo, core values, colors, etc.) can help bolster the other two in a huge way. The more memorable you are as a company, the more likable you are.
All of the above leads to more likes, shares, and +1s, which have been proven to increasingly more visibility online, which is a boon to all of your marketing efforts.
Beyond the web, the more you can instill these paradigms of sharing content, strong brand identity, and engaging your audience, relating to them, letting them peek behind the curtain now and then, OFFLINE in the real world, it will really help your business grow and build that brand strength. When your offline customers do encounter you online, they will be SO much more apt to like or +1 you there.
I hope that answers your question, and I hope you don't mind that I blogged it.