What the heck is social media and what role does it play in my marketing? This is probably a question I wouldn't have received two years ago, but yet today it's the most common question that enters my inbox.
First off, let's talk about what social media is. Social media represents low-cost tools that are used to combine technology and social interaction with the use of words. These tools are typically internet or mobile based. A few that you have probably heard of include Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube.
Social media gives marketers a voice and a way to communicate with peers, customers and potential consumers. It personalizes the "brand" and helps you to spread your message in a relaxed and conversational way.
The downfall to social media, if you could call it that is that it must be a part of your everyday life in order to keep the momentum and attention you need for it to be successful.
If you think that social media is only for the small business owners that are trying out an experiment, I have to correct you. Here are just a few companies that have become involved in social media:
Dunkin Donuts - That's right they've found value in social media and have set up a microblogging Twitter account.
Barack Obama - In my examples, I can't leave out future President Barack Obama. He has been seen as a leader in the use of Twitter during the Presidential Election. He has over 170,000 followers and is following over 165,000. Personally I remember the "twitter buzz" during the Presidential Debates as well as the election.
As you can see we have adult beverage companies, exotic automobile manufacturers, pastry shops and our future President using social media tool, it's not to hard to figure out that there is something to it.
What role should it play in your marketing? As most of you know my view of marketing is it's a tool we use to inform consumers about our products, who we are and what we offer. Social media does that. Here is how:
As you can see social media carries with it a lot of value, but how do you do it right?
Success stories are abundant when it comes using social media from headhunters that find job applicants to new businesses that want to introduce a new product as well as already established Fortune 500 companies that want to strengthen their brand.
The role of social media in your marketing is to use it as a communication tool that makes you accessible to those interested in your product and makes you visible to those that don't know your product.
Use it as a tool that creates a personality behind your brand and creates relationships that you otherwise may never gain. This creates not only repeat-buyers, but customer loyalty. Fact is social media is so diversified that it can be used in whatever way best suits the interest and the needs of your business.