Let me start by giving you a little perspective: You see, I work for a company that offers social media consulting / management as part of our professional services division. It is my job to analyze what goes on in the world of social media, and to make sure that my clients are getting the best bang for their buck. It is also my job to know what their competition is doing on social media, and to strategize, so that my efforts are proactive, as it is much easier to let their competitors react to me! A good amount of my time is spent studying how and why things work in regards to social media, so that I can plan my next move. With that being said, I want to give you my perspective on why social media works, and why your business should be using it.
Social media is where everyone already is.
As a social media marketer, I’m simply just showing up to the party! Everyone is already there. I show up where the people are, and provide content that will in some way trigger a response, whether it be driving traffic back to a website, or opening up a dialog so that connections are made, and business relationships are established.
TV and Radio marketing/advertising depend on you being in the right place at the right time, or “a certain place at a certain time”. Your commercial is aired on this station at this time. If I get up to go fix a sandwich, or I pop in a cd to listen to on the way home, you’ve missed your opportunity, so you’ll have to catch me the next time. Oh, did I mention, I have 900 other channels I will likely be surfing the next time your commercial is aired, and will probably be listening to another cd or my ipod when I’m in the car.
Social media however is quite different. You see, there is only one Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, and any posts you made while I was watching TV or listening to the radio, will be there, readily available for me to see and read when I show up. I hope you are starting to see how powerful social media marketing is at this point.
The conversation will happen, whether you choose to be a part of it or not!
This is a big one! Write this one down and refer back to it often. (I have this printed out and hanging on the wall in my office.) Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., have opened up the internet to what it was supposed to be all along. Interaction, conversations, and conversions. It’s not just about reading and research anymore, it’s about connecting with people. The conversations are already taking place, you simply just need to show up and join in. Let me state it again: The conversation will happen whether you choose to be part of it or not, so why wouldn’t you participate? Do I need to explain how well word of mouth advertising works? I didn’t think so.
On the soapbox:
There are some big names on the internet that are considered to be social media experts, managers, and thought leaders. I follow several of them and they all share great social media content. The problem, in my opinion, is that they’ve become too big, and have lost touch with their people, you know the ones who comment, mention, re-tweet, etc., which would be people like me. However, the only time I hear a peep from any of them is when they have an agenda to push, or want to offer you a chance to score their latest e-book, video series, or a few eaves on Empire Avenue. Sorry, it ain’t gonna happen! You can be as good as you want to be, and have a million followers, but if you’re not making a personal connection with me, you’re not getting my business.
The fact is, I know they don’t need my business, so it works out, but the point is this: if you’re not an internet rock star, chances are, you’ll need to stay connected with your audience to produce the kind of business relationship, and or conversion that you’re looking for.
People, it’s all about people. Then you profit!