Social media… it’s all the rage today! It’s increasingly becoming a more integral part of people’s everyday lives, especially now that people can carry the world within their pockets with mobile phones which are Web enabled and have data packages. Since these day there are over two billion people — nearly one-third the whole world’s population — connected via social media marketing, it is becoming crucial, even critical, for businesses to take advantage of the huge potential given to them by social media. Those that fail to take advantage of this trend do this at their own peril!
Dejavu All Over Again!
Some say we’re seeing the repeat of trends we saw at the turn of the century… around again. Though the Internet as a communication tool began October 29, 1969, celebrating the initial communication between two distant computers, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in March of 1989, giving us the hyper-text markup language (HTML) that permits pages, links and browsers used all over the world to talk with each other. In the year 2000, the Web as we know it absolutely was a mere eleven years old. Businesses were beginning to realize that the Internet was becoming bigger and bigger and was moving beyond the military (its original user), academia and business, and increasingly into people’s homes (and now… even their pockets!) Online shopping was gradually gaining on brick and mortar retail, competing more and more for shoppers’ dollars. Businesses that took advantage of the trend became more successful, whereas the ones that didn’t suffered as their competitors beat them in the internet marketplace.
Good examples which have made the news recently include Borders Books and Blockbuster Video. Borders didn’t believe the Web would become as large as it has and was soon upstaged by Amazon, who began employing their online platform for books and now sell almost everything. Blockbuster Video, once seen in so many communities, has now closed so many of the brick and mortar stores since Netflix came on the scene. Had it not been for Dish Network stepping in, most Blockbuster stores might have had to close. Now their trying to win back Netflix customers angered over recent fee hikes. Blockbuster is hoping to stay viable and relevant with their newest program.
Return on Investment… Bang for Your Buck!
The main point is that we’re seeing a similar trend in operation today pertaining to social media. Business is just starting to “humanize” and get back to that “get-to-know-you” feel of hometown businesses where business owners and customers often actually connect on a personal basis. Social media is helping to create this personal feel on a bigger scale now, in the sense that people can stay digitally more connected than ever… even as they “cocoon” within their homes/offices and have less face-to-face communication.
While we can argue the ill social effects of this social trend, businesses can’t ignore it. By the very nature of what they do, those involved with network marketing, a.k.a. affiliate marketing or multi-level marketing, certainly can’t ignore it as a primary tool for building down lines and expanding their business beyond their warm market of family and friends, many of whom may or may not be thinking about a home-based business or work-at-home business opportunity, however quickly growing that trend is. The social media marketing explosion is getting more and more attention. Business leaders are discussing it, authors are authoring it, and some say it’s just the beginning.
Business trend experts like Gary Vaynerchuk, author of The Thank You Economy, claim that we’re seeing the “calm before the social media marketing storm” (see the web link to his MSNBC interview on YouTube at the conclusion of the “LinkedIn” discussion below. It will blow your mind what he knows and envisions about the power of social media marketing for business!). Many people available world haven’t yet jumped into social media. They’re sizing it down and calculating the return on investment.. cheapest panel. not realizing that the longer they wait, the more they stand to reduce from the enormous potential of being able to manage to get thier brand, product(s), and service(s) out facing potentially thousands of people in an incredibly cost effective way in comparison to traditional print and TV advertising media. Branding, name recognition, market share growth, customer loyalty, brand ambassadorship… are all important goals of business enhanced via social media.
But We Have a Website!
Individual entrepreneurs, companies large and small, organizations, network marketers, affiliate programs, even nonprofit organizations that genuinely believe that having an internet site is sufficient of an online presence today are sorely mistaken. Since so many current and potential customers and clients are engaged in social media marketing, they’re coming you may anticipate more and more that businesses and organizations they associate with is likewise able to engage together on social media marketing platforms. This worldwide recession we are in is making social media marketing platforms more important to remain relevant… to keep a presence, build customer loyalty, and just survive.
I’m Broke… I Have a Limited Budget!
Those on a restricted marketing budget will discover out that social media marketing marketing is quite cost-effective, with a good return on investment in comparison to traditional, non-trackable kinds of advertising. Having a member of staff devote even part of his/her time keeping social media marketing current is worth the effort and expense in the added, perceived value it will create, providing information about your products, services, news, sales, deals, etc., and potentially increasing your customer/client base tremendously in the process.
Blogging, as an example, is a simple way to create an outreach program for your brand, company, organization, etc., that will not only raise awareness of who you are and that which you do, but boost your credibility having an ever-growing, social-media-savvy public. They will have the ability to generally share both positives and negatives about their experience along with your products and/or service, particularly if you respond to them. They’ll develop more confidence in your brand, feel more connected for your requirements, and develop more loyalty. They’ll more likely end up being the willing ambassadors for your brand, product, or service that you would like them to be! Also… people who DO have an internet site, which will be normally used to supply information, take orders, etc., will likely see increased traffic on their sites which will result in increased sales… and an increase in your return on the investment you manufactured in your social media marketing campaigns. Best of all is that most social media marketing platforms can be found FOR FREE, or with little actual monetary investment relevant to other forms of traditional advertising, and with greater return on investment.
A Growing Trend… Better Jump On the Bandwagon!
Some estimate the number of social media marketing sites at 30,000 and growing by 300 new sites a month! So, to steer clear of the pitfalls of starting at the wrong place, the most effective places to begin are with the current top giants, like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. You would like your customers to access know you first. You wish to share useful information with them… information that’s educational, informative, entertaining, even funny… but valuable You don’t wish to accomplish outright selling of your goods and services in social media marketing, which will be more for engaging your customers or potential customers. You wish to lead your customers to your website, and that’s where you can do your selling!