Develop a Social Media Strategy-Six Reasons Not to Hesitate Any Longer

Confused-Social-MediaThese days, there is a lot of hype about the power of social media in business regardless of industry. While some people jumped right in and started engaging with online communities to build their brands, others hesitated a bit before getting their feet wet. Still, some people remain skeptical and have yet to take the social media dive. Here are six reasons to cannonball into social media’s pool of opportunity.

1. More and more people are online more and more regularly. In this current economic downturn you need to find the ever-elusive customer. It is a fact that the average person is spending more time online. The number of people doing so also increases daily. You must find them and engage them. Traditional advertising just isn’t working the way it used to. Magazine and newspaper subscriptions are way down because websites are providing the news much more quickly and in a more affordable manner. TV and print advertisements have become expensive. The popularity of consumer review sites like yelp.com are changing the way people think and shop.

2. Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, and Youtube are now mainstream. The largest and most successful social media campaign was used to elect President Obama. This goes to show that a complete and focused approach to social media can move mountains. Manage your personal life and business fan page on Facebook. Maintain your professional network using Linked In. Take your company viral by building an aggressive Youtube channel. Find and engage online communities that share your interests on Twitter. These are a few of the most popular social networking sites. It has become absolutely critical to implement some, if not all of them to achieve a strong online presence.

3. Social Media will improve your relationship with customers. We all know that social media is a great PR and branding tool that allows companies to self-promote in a relatively inexpensive fashion, but IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU. Social Media offers a great way to learn more about your customers. Extending a “personal face” to your company encourages customer interaction and can result in customer loyalty. Listen to your customers, respond to their comments, and let your personality reveal itself through your conversations. Loyal customers will spread the word about a brand if they like the person or people who represent it.

4. Meet the Haters head-on! And don’t forget about disgruntled customers… Some companies argue that engaging in Social Media will open the door for naysayers and haters to rant negatively about the brand. This is a dangerous misconception—the doorway to knock a brand opens with the business! People are talking online whether or not you are listening. Some of them might not be saying nice things, and you can be sure others are listening to what they say. Consumer review websites like Yelp and Amazon are ever more popular, presenting hundreds of opinions about products and services. What if 77 out of 100 reviews for your product are negative? Social Media can and should be used as a customer service platform. A loyal customer is much more valuable than a once-in-your-lifetime customer, so it is important to address the issues that your customers are having. A complete Social Media strategy will incorporate a system to monitor your online reputation by scanning blogs, social networks, and comments for keywords related to your brand. Don’t let the Haters take the floor and keep it. Get out there and defend yourself and show your customer service savvy.

5. Social Media is here to stay. One of the biggest misconceptions about Social Media is the presumptuous assumption that its popularity is a fad. First of all, watch this video from Socialnomics.net. There is some controversy about some of the statistics and their context, but the video is well done and for the most part lends itself to Social Media’s permanence. Also, check out Marta Kagan’s presentation on slideshare: What the F**K is Social Media?. The point is that Social Media is here. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

6. Your competition is actively engaging your target audience using Social Media.

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