What is social media?
Social media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue. Social media take on many different forms, including Internet forums, web blogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, podcast, photographs, video, social bookmarking and many other platforms. Facebook, Google+, Twitter, WordPress, and LinkedIn are just a handful of example, although there are hundreds of social media sites.
Why should my company utilize social media?
Social media is taking over traditional marketing and advertising venues as a way to reach your current and potential clients. There are many statistics to support this fact, which you can view on our website. Because consumers do much more research before ever calling potential businesses, companies who wish to compete in this new marketing space need to embrace this widespread change through the development, implementation and continued client building via social media platforms.
The New Dynamic
You can’t control the message, who delivers it, or when and where they will share. Socialization is dynamic, fluid, evolving and filled with movement. Trying to put a finger on it to keep it constant is simply not possible. Embrace it. Learn to love and grow with the change and you will then be able to evolve with the ecosystem versus being left behind.
We will never know when and if a person will divide our services with their peers, whether it is on a business or personal level. We do know, however, that consumers trust their family, friends and peer critiques more than they trust a billboard, radio or TV ad. Social media challenges us to change our approach and thinking when it comes to lead generation and the passing of information.
There is no magic formula.
There is no “guru” that will ever be able to show you the social media cheaters recipe book or short cut to developing social relationships, fans on Facebook, community growth and a return on investment. As a company, there has to be a strategy and benchmark from which you can begin to analyze results and take steps to increase your effectiveness. Companies that have done this have seen huge returns. Some of them are below:
Gary Vaynerchuk of Cinderella Wine
- Spent $15,000 in Direct mail = 200 new customers
- $7500 in Billboard Advertising = 300 new customers
- $0 for Twitter account = 1800 new customers
- Quintupled sales with “Will It Blend” YouTube video
- Sold over $300 million worth of computers on Twitter
Emerson Salon a boutique salon in Seattle
- Connects with existing and potential customers through social media
- 75% of their customers are from Facebook, Twitter and their blog
Premiere Beauty Salon
- Offered 60% off through Groupon and turned beauty into a social business with: 500 new customers and 85% of customer now come through social media because the store uses Facebook and Twitter to promote offers
- Organic Tea doubled sales through coupons downloaded and shared on Facebook and Twitter with discussion of the how and why organic teas mattered. 250,000 coupons were downloaded and 2,830 tweets were recorded an hour.
Louis E. Page, Inc.
- Fencing supplier really took off when now-owner Duncan Page added a blog to the business website. Duncan himself was surprised to find an article about how to use woven wire fencing to build a horse paddock attracted more than 1,500 views alone. The result: traffic, media coverage, and an 850% increase in sales leads.
It’s about more than ROI.
How can you ask to measure something that you can’t define, as is the case with social distribution? Quit looking at only the numbers and focus on social business success. Set goals that are attainable, measurable and time bound. The real questions include the ability to make decisions based upon the learning. How is social media enabling you to become a better business? Are you improving customer satisfaction? Is brand equity increasing? Is brand loyalty improving? Are you building deeper relationships with your clients and partners? How are you using the insights learned via social listening and engagement to make improvements in your business?
One thing is certain, things are changing. Are you part of it?