Not that long ago in business terms, social media had little or no part to play in any part of a business marketing mix and until about 5 years ago the use of social media was in main largely restricted to those people looking for additional ways outside of e-mail and phone calls to keep in contact with extended circles of friends and social contacts. Thus the term ‘social media’ was coined.
How very different the world is now !!
Yet despite exponential growth in both business orientated and personal use in the last few years, ( As of the time of writing in 2013 Facebook currently has an estimated 1.1 billion users, Twitter an estimated 500 million users), analysts believe that we are still at the beginning of a wave of continuing increase in the everyday use of social media – with new users wanting different and more immediate channels for their social news, entertainment and business to business information.
So it seems clear that the opportunities for social media marketing, when done correctly are still enormous and as part of your marketing mix can massively propel profits ,income, client engagement, loyalty and business longevity through your followers sense of involvement and connection with your business !
It would seem fair to say then that those companies or individuals who market any form of product or service THAT DON’T utilise an appropriate social media strategy as part of their approach will be missing out enormously and may ultimately lose out to their more capable and innovative competitors !!
The question that must be asked though is WHICH of the many platforms will bring most advantage to a business, as clearly not all social media platforms are of similar reach or will appeal to the same demographic mix of audience. In short then – not all Social Media sites are ‘equal’
A good example of this would be that Twitter can often work best for busy business owners who prefer posting quick messages with ‘real-time’ potential engagement, while Facebook allows for more lengthy messages and a different type of engagement with customers. The more recent Google+ may appeal more to the local business owner, or local business marketer, given its facility of, among other things, the ability to offer a local business directory function which allows interested consumers a very easy way of performing searches for local businesses or services.
Although social media sites other than Google+ allow a business owner to list their business details, most don’t offer the same type of options that Google Plus can offer.
A good strategy then for anyone looking to market themselves, their business or services via social media is to research the different functionality of some of the key social media sites, then decide which of these would best support their business needs and aims and once having made this decision then sign up for the most relevant and appropriate sites, but unless each site and its benefits and potential limitations are first understood the decision can be a little difficult.
Then once a decision has been reached as to which mix of social media providers to go for has been reached – remember the key mantra from the previous article of defining clear communication goals, being regular in your communication and taking a consistent approach at all times.
If all of these things are done -then there is every opportunity to see a significant increase in profit, customer loyalty and customer engagement all through the power and enormous reach of social media