Social media has grown to be the inbound marketing tool and connector for businesses and individual users alike. It is a global tool to stay in touch, meet, greet, communicate, network and market. Looking at all of the social predictions for 2014 is a strong indicator of things to come as well as viewing the exponential growth experienced over the decades.
The statistics show that traditional media has taken a backseat to social media marketing and it will continue to explode, changing the way you do business and interact with your customers. Your consumers are online searching for information, longing to be educated, looking for solutions and sharing their brand experiences. You need to be online, listening and responding. If you don’t, your competition will.
- Facebook has over 1.19 active billion users per month
- 72% of online adults use social networking sites
- 9 billion photos are uploaded to Facebook every month
- 74% of Smartphone users use their phone for real-time location specific information
- Twitter adds 300 users per day
- 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals
- 43% of all marketers found a customer via LinkedIn and 52% of all marketers have found a customer via Facebook
Social media isn’t just tweeting and posting! Keep that in mind.
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It is an extension of your brand, your mission and your values. It is meant to support your company, reinforcing your reputation, products, service and commitment to your customers. Build relationships in and around your social channels, showcasing your desire to serve your audience. These relationships are the foundation of your brand’s reputation, success and bottom-line. Build the trust and see the return.
Nurture and cultivate your audience with real conversations and engagement, offering value and rich content. Don’t just push URLs and self-promote; get involved. Share. Ask questions.
While disseminating information is helpful, people buy from people and they want to get to know you. Humanize your brand and be personable. These relationships that you build will lead to increased brand advocacy. Make the time!!
Your relationships may not just be client based but colleagues, co-collaborators, business partners, vendors or friends. Enrich one another
2. Brand Advocates
Creating an online brand experience for your consumer is an opportunity to engage and interact on a more personal level than traditional forms of old age media. You are speaking WITH instead of AT them. These relationships can evolve into strong brand advocates to share your message, service and products. This word of mouth advertising and shouting from rooftops (social channels) is the greatest form of marketing your brand can hope for. Each consumer is connected and has a voice – they will share their testimonials and experiences with the world, so it is your job to make it a positive one. Pay attention to them, understand their pain points and give them viable solutions.
3. Global Communities
One of the greatest opportunities of social media marketing is to create your community, your network all over the world, not just in your backyard or down the street. You can interact with customers all over the world without ever needing to leave your office. You couldn’t get this from a newspaper and you don’t have to wait to respond to an editorial comment on page 15 of the paper (if you happen to catch it). Social is immediate and interactive. You are of course monitoring your brand and industry via alerts and other key search channels. Right?
It is this responsive communication that keeps the customers engaged and coming back for more. You build trust, authority and loyalty which again translates to generating brand advocates.
There are little to no geographical boundaries when it comes to socially marketing online. Your bandwidth far exceeds local advertising giving you the opportunity to reach and engage with millions of people across the open seas. Personally, I marvel at my connections and know that without social media, I never would have had the great fortune to connect with so many incredible clients and colleagues.
Relationships, brand advocates and global communities are of course just part of the short list of why we love social media. As you know, this is just the tip of the iceberg. It has become an integral part of our business and lifestyles; whether good or bad, it is here to stay.
- Embrace it.
- Understand it.
- Invest in it.
What are your top 3 reasons for using social media?