It’s A Brave New World
Forrester Research (an independent technology and market research company) says the sales of software to run corporate social networks will grow 61% a year and be a $6.4 billion business by 2016.
That’s a lot of growth and money being invested, but how are they using it and why?
- Businesses can put coupons, discounts, info on their services out to potential customers without the time, cost and hassle involved with going to print and distribution.
- Reduce marketing costs by tweeting or posting messages on Twitter and/or FaceBook.
- Businesses receive real-time feedback. Customers can share their experience, good or bad,immediately after receiving service from a company.
- Businesses can choose to take that real-time customer feedback and immediately make changes to their product, service, price, or customer support.
- Improve organic search results by putting compelling content out there on more than just your own website.
- Customers can look for superior customer service by looking at the very public thoughts of previous clients. This also ups the competitive landscape of service providers.
- FREE ADVERTISING. Access to social media is FREE.
These are just a few of the ways that businesses large and small are using social media today. This form of media has become just as important to your marketing strategy as printed brochures and radio ads. I continue to look forward to the evolution of this exciting medium and the influential mark it has and continues to make on the world of advertising and marketing.
Is Social Media Effective In Business?
When your advertising is comprised largely of just newspaper ads, flyers and direct mail you are limiting yourself to a specific geography. I am not knocking these forms of advertising because I believe they have their place. I am however speaking to the value of using social media to create a multi-faceted approach to marketing. With social media, in addition to the more targeted forms of advertising, you can increase your audience of potential customers into the thousands or even millions.
Let’s take a closer look
- Facebook is the largest online social network with 1.3 billion active monthly users. WOW!
- Twitter has 645 million active users. Another WOW!
- LinkedIn is the largest professional users networking site and it has more than 259 million active users.
- There is no better means of advertising than word-of-mouth. Social media sites are like word-of-mouth with a megaphone.
- Businesses who begin using social media see an increase in their own website traffic and over 30% of those say they’ve seen increased customer loyalty and heightened customer engagement.
- Social media is instant! You write it, you post it, you tweet it and voilà!, it’s out there! How groovy is that?
Tips For Using Social Media
- Social media is more of a conversation between people. This shouldn’t be a monologue.
- Ask questions to keep your audience engaged.
- It’s about engaging with other people and in return you build a reputation for yourself and the business.
- It’s best to post 3 times a week at a minimum. Twitter is most effective when you tweet daily.
- Manage just a handful of social media accounts. You don’t want to lose focus.
- Always stay positive and professional!
- Remember that everything you post is out there for all the world to see. Think first to avoid regret later.
You can find me on Twitter @pjfieldd and connect with me on: LinkedIn