The emergence of social media has changed how we do business and market ourselves. It's just one more venue to add to your long list of marketing tools. And although it can be very overwhelming keeping up with everything required to be successful, social media cannot be ignored. If you do, you'll get lost in the crowd.
According to Razorfish VP Shiv Singh and Social Media expert Peter Drucker, the definition of Social Media Marketing is, "The purpose of a business is to SERVE a customer…who creates customers."
Why is social media so important to you and your business? Because more and more people are making purchases right from Social Media sites, and you want your business to be the one they’re buying from.
According to NetChunks, the Webmasters Magazine, "1 in 4 people have made a purchase via a brand's Facebook page."
"In October, 2009, Facebook had 97.37 million unique U.S. visitors. In October 2010 though, the world’s largest network garnered a whopping 151.13 million U.S. uniques. That’s a growth rate of 55.2% year-over-year," reports Mashable.
A survey of 3300 marketers in the latest 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report shows some of the hottest topics are Facebook and blogging, and 77% of marketers plan to increase their use of YouTube.
Social media expert, Dr. Hunter Madsen, of Yahoo Canada, doesn’t hold back when he said, "As a marketer, I you're absent from the social media and social networking scene, you are literally declaring yourself irrelevant."
The Marketing Paradigm Has Shifted
Nearly all consumers (97%) now use online media when researching products or services, according to BIA/Kelsey’s ongoing consumer tracking study. The misconception is that only young people use these technologies for shopping, when in fact, nearly all of the buying public now uses them. Marketing has shifted from a one-way broadcast to a multi-point conversation. In the past, communications were “broadcast” exclusively through mass marketing channels like radio, TV, newspapers, and even the door-to-door distribution of directories like the Yellow Pages.
The Internet itself has moved in this direction in recent years with the advent of social media. Companies marketed online by building websites and sending emails to subscribers—both “broadcast” activities in the sense that communication was one-way. Banner ads, news items, emails and other tactics drive prospects to Web sites where companies communicate their messages and influence behavior.
With social media, however, much of the communication is controlled by the prospects. Members can ask their community about a product, service, or company and get multiple opinions, recommendations, or referrals. Conversely, members freely discuss their experiences with their friends and followers. Online, the new “word-of-mouth” is social media like Facebook and Twitter, which have more than 700 million members, combined.
Are you prepared to step up your social media and internet marketing campaign and watch your company grow?