23 Apr Who’s Using Social Media? Your Customers!
It seems that each new “thing” often compels us, as “marketers”, to rethink our strategies. This is both good and not good because while it can help us look ahead, it can also keep us jumping from one thing to another and never make any progress at all – or may even make us lose ground that we already gained.
Yet, understanding trends is essential to business. Today the trend is social media. The bad news is that the average marketer is clueless how to use it to his or her advantage — and if you use it wrong, you’ll pay the price.
Social media is not something to ignore. It’s huge! And whether you decide to get into it or not, you’re not immune to it. It’s pretty safe to say that somewhere you or your offerings will be posted somewhere online some day and quite possibly more often than you would imagine… good or bad. You may choose not to be a part of the social media scene, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be.
What you need to begin thinking about is how social media affects you as a businessperson and what your strategy will be for engaging with it. The scale and speed of innovation in social media requires that you not only learn about it, but also start implementing it as soon as possible.
To truly understand Social Media and the effect it will have, take a look at what has happened to television. When the cable companies brought us hundreds of channels, the major networks lost a huge portion of their audience. “Niche” channels such as the History channel, the Science channel, Discovery, the Food Network, DIY, shopping channels, and many more, came out of nowhere and took substantial shares away from the major networks.
Today, there’s hardly a discernible “mainstream”. Our world is shifting toward millions of specialty niches instead of mass markets. The “hard-to-find” isn’t so hard to find online. And, of course people will gravitate toward these niches because they more closely satisfy their individual interests.
Social media offers the chance to attract more traffic and establish a larger presence online. You have the chance to become an authority voted on by the people – so be real! People buy from people, not sales letters.
Remember that social media is really an answer to the call of the people online. They don’t want pushy marketers invading their space. Everyone is rightfully jaded today. People online are rapidly maturing in the marketplace. Many are quite savvy now. Most have “been there done that”. Yes, there are still newbies, but it won’t take them long to catch on, especially with social media.
If your only goal is short-term profits, it will be evident in your social media marketing.
The really interesting thing about being involved in the social media arena is the loyalty and brand recognition it can bring. Social media transforms people from content readers into content publishers, rooted in conversations between people and peers. A sense of friendship develops because of the interaction. There’s an investment in the relationships that develops and becomes very strong.
When Social Media Marketing is done right, the market becomes connoisseurs of information within niches of interest to them (like yours – hint, hint). They contribute information and it equates to set them apart. They can become your word-of-mouth force because peers trust peers. The trendsetters, so to speak, are peers and others whose opinions are respected. You can become a trendsetter among trendsetters about your niche.
The goals of each Social Media Marketing program or campaign will differ for every business, but most will involve some form of building an idea or brand awareness, increasing visibility, encouraging brand feedback and dialogue — and thereby selling products or services.
Social Media Marketing can’t replace all internet marketing strategies. It must be used in conjunction with other forms of marketing. Placing “all your eggs in one basket” has never been a good plan. Don’t stop everything else you’re doing to go strictly in this direction. Use it as another avenue, as a way of reaching those you may not have ever reached otherwise.
To your wealth,
P.S. Got something to say? Talk to me below. I’d love to hear from you!