The successes of Facebook, Twitter, and recently Pinterest, are evidence that there is something to social media.. something that can either prosper your business or leave you standing in your competitors’ dust.
I am a glass-half-full kind of lady, so I will spend this post explaining how and why social media is a prosperous marketing tool.
First and foremost, social media has its roots in the origin on the Internet. That’s right. The “newest” avenue of reaching your target market isn’t exactly the newest concept at all.
When the general public began using the Internet, it was mostly for social interaction. Think back on the old chat rooms and forums that were all the rage. People used the Internet to connect and share ideas, opinions, experiences, and more. This was back before e-commerce bombarded the World Wide Web.
Instead of relying on an encyclopedia to find out more about something, Internet users could connect with and gather information from primary sources– people who divulged information about their own experiences.
To sweeten the deal, the Internet allowed users to gather information from places far away. Foreign ideas, practices, beliefs, etc. were now available with a few clicks of the mouse.
This is what the idea of social media was built on.
The pioneers of e-commerce missed their opportunity to connect with their target audience. The few businesses with an online presence created static websites that didn’t take advantage of all the cues their target markets were giving. Although it was easy to find out how a certain audience felt, thought and behaved, that information was not put to use.
Don’t follow in their footsteps. In this day and age, you simply can’t afford to avoid social interaction.
Online businesses and e-marketers have been given a second chance at success with the emergence of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.
Consumers take to these sites and share their personal opinions and preferences now, more than ever.
Don’t you think you should be around to take a peek at what your target market wants? …what they need? …what they fear? …what they prefer?
If you don’t think so, your competitors surely do!
Search any online job board you can think for “social media manager.” Watch how many results you find. Businesses are taking social media marketing seriously– as they should. Among the several legitimate reasons to invest in social media are:
- cost-effective product/service marketing
- building relationships with customers
- faster customer service
- lead generation
No business in 2012 should be missing the opportunity to accomplish each of those objectives. If you are the savvy professional I think you are, you already have some form of social media presence in place. At this point, you just need to figure out how to up the ante.
If you have been avoiding social media thus far, possibly in fear that it is too complicated or time-consuming, I suggest you invest in a web copywriter or social media specialist to start building relationships with your customers online.
It’s not too late.
A March 2012 study conducted by CompTIA (an IT-industry nonprofit association) suggests that 61% of companies use social media to build relationships and enhance communication. Also, 41% of businesses plan to boost their social media marketing budgets.
Social media isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Don’t be like the ignorant e-marketers of old. Incorporate social media into your marketing strategy today.
What social networks do you use to interact with consumers?
Are you using social media to show what sets you apart from your competitors?
How have you used information gathered from social media to tailor your sales message?
Nikki Robinson is a freelance web copywriter and a member of American Writers & Artists Inc. Her background and experience includes business management, sales & marketing, telecommunications and legal writing. Contact her at Nikki@RobinsonWriting.com or visit RobinsonWriting.com for more info.