Are you one of those who still don’t get the whole social-media-for-business thing? Or do you just wade in occasionally at water’s edge with a tweet here or a post there because your marketing director said, “We need to get into social media…!”
Frankly, it’s difficult to argue with all the data when you consider that…
- Facebook now has around 500 million users!
- Forrester Research estimates that companies will spend $935,000,000 on social media marketing this year! By 2012 they’ll spend $1,649,000,000. By 2014 they’ll spend $3,113,000,000!
- Web writer and social media advocate, Rebecca Matter, says, “Social media is now mainstream, and it’s growing fast. It’s where the action is, where the money is flowing, and most definitely where the future lies.”
Convinced or not about it’s value to your marketing approaches, perhaps the following will “tip” you over the edge to take some action…now!
User familiarity is increasing daily.
It’s not uncommon to hear the phrase “Facebook me” when requesting information from a friend or colleague. Just this week I told someone they could “message me on Facebook.” In addition to “call me” or “email me” it’s not uncommon for business to be conducted over a direct message via Twitter or Facebook.
According to Nick Usborne, online copywriter and experienced social media expert, “Many millions of users never leave Facebook. They never visit a traditional website. Besides connecting with friends, they use Facebook to browse, shop, and make purchases directly on a company’s Facebook page.”
It now makes sense that asking a client, patient, or prospect to “Like” your Facebook page is another vote for your services. It’s a much more portable referral source to share a Facebook page link than it is to fumble for a misplaced business card.
Imagine a significant number of “Likes” appearing to a potential client when they land on your website and are directed to your Facebook page. That’s a referral source any way you log it!
It’s how people are engaging.
Enagagement, as it’s often called in social media context, is another form of trust-building. We contact people to discover if they’re legit. We do business with those we come to trust.
Engagement over social media can give you a faster track to trust. Not to make light of the value of time-tested trust development but with the options available in your market niche can you afford not to have your expertise accessible to current and prospective clients?
You appear up to date.
These days, one of the first things many notice (and certainly what they look for) is evidence of social media on your website or marketing collateral. A Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube link tells them you’re current. And once they click over to your Facebook page or subscribe to your Twitter feed there’s a better chance they’ll keep you front-of-mind when they need your services.
Social-ability challenges traditional advertising.
Do you know where Ford launched its new Explorer? Not at a major car show. The launch was on Facebook!
Comcast doesn’t handle customer service the traditional way (over the phone). They do it through Twitter.
Thinking about printing and distributing flyers door-to-door? Think again and do what countless local retailers are doing through Groupon.
Major brands are taking notice too! Standards like Old Spice are no longer depending on old media for branding. They’re doing it through YouTube.
Nick Usborne confirms, “There are hundreds of social media sites now, and thousands of services created to monitor, analyze, and optimize the use of social media as a means to connect with new customers, engage existing customers, and even make direct sales.”
Social media will give your business-to-business marketing an advantage if you…
- Embrace it! Don’t ignore it.
- Learn to engage more than you promote.
- Use it as your annual marketing benchmark.