The explosion of Social Media has always fascinated me. Not so much from a Marketer’s or business perspective but to see the monumental shift in the way people communicate and conduct their everyday lives.
Business need to adopt Social Media into their Marketing strategies or run the risk of being left behind, not just from competitors but from connecting and engaging with customers. Social Media won’t solve all your Marketing dilemmas and must be integrated with a wider Marketing strategy to work, but I propose that your business will die if you don’t embrace it.
Communicate like your customers
Communication has vastly evolved since the introduction of mobile phones, the internet, computers and now the rise of smartphones & tablets. When I was a kid pen pals were common and you had to use a landline to communicate with friends and family. Now I don’t even have to talk to people to communicate.
Who are your customers and how do they lead their daily lives? Just look around you in any street in any town or city in the world, even in developing countries and you’ll see a set of thumbs clicking away. The way people communicate has evolved and businesses need to evolve to communicate in a manner which is familiar to ordinary people.
Low cost Marketing
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I’m a huge advocate of the fact that Social Media has helped to even the playing field in Marketing between large and small businesses. One negative of Social Media is that it requires sweat equity and drains your time, but use that time to your advantage.
Small businesses don’t have big budgets so utilise your time to gain a competitive advantage. Spend your time communicating and engaging your audience, something that big businesses with millions of customers really struggle to implement. Yes time = money, but far less than the big budgets required to compete with big brands.
Place an advert on TV, Radio or by Direct Mail and only the people who directly receive these Marketing messages are the initial recipients. A rule of thumb in publications is to multiply the volume of sales by 4 to calculate overall readership numbers. Word of mouth is required to increase reach on more traditional Marketing platforms, but doesn’t come close to the reach you can achieve via Social Media.
The exact message delivered on Social Media can be shared with people from all over the world in a matter of seconds, something that simply isn’t possible using traditional Marketing methods. No Chinese whispers, no misconstrued information, the exact same message to a global audience.
I’m a late adopter of technology and don’t do things to keep up with the crowd, but in business you cannot sit back and watch your competitors stealing a lead on your company. If you wait for your Marketing message to reach your customer in a mail drop or in a magazine or newspaper then it reaches your customer much slower. Do this and you could already have lost sales to competitors using Social Media who engage with people in real time.
Social Media is where people socialise, enter their world and do it quick otherwise your competitors will leave you in their dust.
Does your mum have a PC or smartphone? Do they have a Facebook account where they talk to old friends and family members abroad? –Yes!
Even the 50+ market are starting to adopt Social Media and are the fastest growing segment on Facebook, they soon convert to see what all the hype is about.
I recently conducted market research for competitors and spoke to mainly the 55+ market and almost all of the people (apart from the 75+ market) I spoke to said that they use Google to search for certain companies. The evolution of communication isn’t just limited to the younger generations.
Older generations will begin to die and a new generation of tech savvy consumers will arise, just don’t let your business die with them.