The explosive growth of the Internet has thrown down the gauntlet to the business world. It is here to stay and it is time to take online marketing for your business seriously. With this extensive growth, the explosion of social networking sites has caught even most of the tech savvy companies of corporate America off guard. With this new dynamic in play with the Internet, there’s a whole new world of opportunity to position yourself or your company for explosive growth along with the Internet and social media. To do so, you need to have a social media strategy for your business. Having a social media strategy for your business is not as difficult as you might think, and with a little effort, you can see big rewards.
Netizens – those people who are actively using the Internet and social networks like FaceBook, YouTube, Friendster, and Twitter – are reconstituting business as usual online. Where a company just a few years ago would use massive mailing campaigns and online advertising campaigns to capture leads that cost in excess of $50, per customer like that of the reported cost for AOL to get a single customer, social media is revolutionizing how companies grow their business.
Using the powerful connection factor represented in social media where people share viewpoints, information, opinions. and even personal life experience, business owners are seeing a prospect rich environment for building their businesses through warm contact and personal relationship marketing. All of this is in stark contrast to even four years ago when the internet was a simple venue for static information. It is now a socially charged live and dynamic forum and resource for individuals and businesses to build their personal and/or business or corporate brand identity.
The power of social media to reach all age groups, social, economic, and geographic groups is beyond any marketing and advertising think tank’s wildest imagination. The problem with social media for them however is that people no longer need marketing and advertising companies to come up with slick marketing strategies and advertising campaigns for them. Through the use of something as simple as a personal blog or posted video on YouTube, someone can be exposed to literally hundreds of thousands of visitors (potential prospects and/or customers) in a matter of a few days or weeks – for free! This is something that marketing and advertising companies have only dreamed of being possible in the past.
Social media allows for a venue that people can congregate and interact in real time, as well as through regular or periodic postings to their personal profiles within the social networking Website. By its very nature social media is intrinsically social and a non-threatening forum for like-minded individuals to connect. However, this sociability doesn’t fully describe the reality of people using social media beyond that of just socializing – that of using it in a proactive manner to connect with total strangers for the sake of marketing products, services, and opportunity to those they connect with. All the while, concurrent to this sort of online marketing tactic for new lead generation, those new contacts become a part of the personal and social life of those they befriend for business purposes where sharing of personal issues, viewpoints, opinions, beliefs and current events and personal news take place among several thousand people who would not normally have met or known about those ‘new friends’ that before connecting with them did not know them on any level of connection.
Social media will continue to blossom and evolve as social sites pop up and more and more people find yet even more people who share the same passions about the things in life that they do. And, because social media appeals to the core needs of most humans, i.e. that of being recognized, appreciated, and respected, where people continually give encouragement as ideas and thoughts and life experience are shared. This being the case, it is an imperative that anyone that is sincerely interested in promoting an organization, business, cause, or even their own personal brand must learn how to effectively leverage social media to their advantage.
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Build quality and not quantity. Let every relationship count for something beyond a head count on your social network.— David Ward