Why Your Business Should Use Social Media

Ostriches by Josh*m, on Flickr

Ostriches by Josh*m, on Flickr

I confess. I am not an early adapter for most technology. And certainly that is true for social media. In my mind, there was no upside; only downside. At first blush, the content I saw was mundane and trivial at best, disturbing and intrusive at worst. It certainly wasn’t for me and definitely not for my business.

Sound familiar?

Apparently, I was not alone. Even as late as January of 2013, choosing to ignore the more than one billion registered users on Facebook alone, only 24 percent of small business had integrated social media in a structured way, according to a study by eMarketer. In the same study, Constant Contact  found that only 49 percent of small businesses consider social media marketing effective. No, seemingly, my business-managing peers are birds of a feather when it comes to matters of social media.

As for me, times they are a-changin’.

Now, gone with my fax, my Rolodex©, my paper maps, and my slimline phone, my aversion for social media is similarly in the rear-view mirror. My disregard has turned to near evangelism. Was I you? If you are, or shall we say, for example, a “friend” is still skeptical on social media’s place in your business, here then, are five points to ponder, weighing factors that opened my mind, and my receivables, to the undeniable benefits of a social media business strategy.

  1. Your customers use social media. Total usage of social media among U.S. adults rose to 72 percent in May 2013, up from 67 percent in December 2012, according a recent report from the Pew Research Center Twitter users alone doubled in calendar 2012. Anybody in those numbers buying your product?
  2. Your competition is social. And they are targeting your customers. They are investing marketing budgets on social media in a big way, driving a deluge of advertising dollars to the internet, and by association to social media. The world-wide advertising conglomerate Zenith Optimedia predicts that internet advertising will jump nearly 15 percent annually during the next three years…”thanks to the rapid rise in social media and online video advertising.” The firm expects internet advertising, in terms of dollars spent, to overtake newspaper advertising in 2013 and newspaper and magazine combined in 2015. Where are you investing your marketing resources?
  3. Social is more than just about customers. Social media is a powerful tool for recruiting top talent, discovering new markets, keeping up with industry trends, mining free information, brand building, driving traffic to your website and developing champions for your business. Would these elements help your business grow?
  4. Your champions talk. Word of mouth is still the best advertising. Social is word-of-mouth’s media. And it’s local. What better report than “hearing” your social media followers recommending your business to their followers in your trade area?
  5. You can listen. The strength of social media is your ability to follow your customers’ conversations and with a nimble plan, address opportunities while they’re hot. Immediate feedback, good or bad, enables your business to determine how best to build on the positive and address the negative. The question here is, do you have thick enough skin – and an open mind – to accept the very public reviews that social media evokes? If not, what are you doing in business?

Social networking site use by age group 2005-2012

Comments

  1. Jim McConvile says:

    Bpb.
    Congrats on launching your own firm! It seems as though you’re having nice success with your entrepreneurial efforts post-Disney.
    Continued success my friend!
    jim

Speak Your Mind

*