“Social Media, it turns out, isn’t about aggregating audiences so you can yell at them about the junk you want to sell. Social Media, in fact, is a basic human need, revealed digitally online. We want to be connected, to make a difference, to matter, to be missed. We want to belong, and yes, we want to be led”. Seth Godin, sethgodin.typepad.com
Few years ago, no one thought that social media platforms will become so popular as of today. Back then, there was a debate about the fact whether businesses can implement social media as part of their marketing strategies or not. Today, that debate was finally solved, because no business will be able to survive these days without the use of social media. However, before you spend time, effort and money, you need to understand why your business can’t survive without social media especially in today’s economy and mentality?
Many people think that social media is a trend which will end as soon as another one emerges, but believe me when I say that social media is here to stay. You know why? It’s because social media is a basic human need, revealed digitally online as Seth Godin have said. In order for us to keep up with today’s marketing requirements, we need to change our mentality or get buried by the ones who do.
Here are 7 reasons why your business can’t survive without social media:
1- It’s where most people are hanging out today
A basic marketing principal is to go where people are hanging out and market to them. Following this common sense, where do you think most people are hanging out these days? With Facebook having around 750 million active users (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook) (if Facebook was a country, it would be the 3rd most populous country in the world) and twitter going beyond the 200 million active users mark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter), there is no time to having second thoughts about social media anymore. It’s a matter of taking a step forward or getting stepped on.
2- The Dinosaurs are gone forever:
I know that you already know this, but old marketing mediums have died a long time ago. Most traditional mediums rely basically on putting a message out there in front of their potential customers, but this doesn’t work anymore, you know why? I know that most people got sick (as I did) with all of those shadow companies that try to sell you something every time they interact with you. Today’s people have developed immunity against those so-called companies and that’s why most companies that haven’t changed their strategies ended up disappearing. And like Ian Schafer (http://www.ianschafer.com/) said:
“Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Consumers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble.”
3- Customers want it personal:
A few years ago, all you needed to do is to create a product and put it in front as many people as you could (and that’s it). In our generation, most people want to talk and interact with real people. If you try to communicate with people using generic messages, then you could end up ruining you brand.
4- The best way to raise awareness and build tribes:
Most people think that they are required to raise awareness only if they represent an organization. As Seth Godin describes in his book (Tribes “we need you to lead us”), most people with similar interests are constantly searching for a person who can lead them toward achieving a specific goal. Today, you only got to drive people instead of forcing them toward you (the monopoly time has ended). Whether you are a business owner or a nonprofit organization leader, you need to build a tribe of passionate people who all have the same big crystal clear picture. Many people would argue with me on the fact that successful people like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs are just business owners or marketers, but I really believe that they are more than that, they are leaders.
“Engage rather than sell … Work as a co-creator, not a marketer.”
Tom H. C. Anderson
5- It’s the only way to boosting your brand visibility:
Through good social media management, you could increase your brand visibility very easily. While conventional sources could get you traffic, social media will get you fans, friends and followers who are interested in what you’re saying and offering. If you manage to become different from the crowd, then you’ll succeed at grabbing people’s interest. You also need to be active at managing your social media profiles especially if you want the maximum brand exposure.
6- Why you think big companies are joining the club:
I agree on the fact that it’s not good to go directly after a trend before knowing what it has to offer for you. Doing this could waste your time, effort and money for things that you don’t need. Social media as I stated before, isn’t a trend. It’s a tool that met an unmet need. The need to communicate, interact and share. If you have noticed lately, many giant as well as small businesses are all moving toward social media in order for them to not be left behind. Did you also notice in today’s commercials that everyone is trying to make people check their Facebook page and twitter profile to follow them? Many companies are devoting huge budgets only to social media, you know why? It’s only because they are making way more then what they are spending just from social media. In the last year, PR firm Burson-Marsteller released a study on the first 100 largest companies that were listed in Fortune 500. Almost 80% of these large companies were using at least one social media platform to interact and communicate with their customers. This is more than an obvious indicator that you need social media ASAP.
7- Gives you feedback:
The most important factor that no business can survive without is feedback. If you don’t get an accurate feedback from your active customers, then you’ll never know what they are interested in or searching for, and you could easily lose them if you don’t meet those needs.
Many companies still use surveys and polls to get feedback from their customers, but these are old-fashioned and inaccurate. In order for you to get feedback using those conventional methods, you need to annoy the user with surveys s(he) wasn’t prepared for. Today, social media is probably the best way ever to see what your customers are thinking and how they are reacting. Because the feedback you get from various social media platforms is only based on an emotional response (high quality), you end up getting honest feedback even without asking for it. If you didn’t realize this already, then I’m telling you that it’s not a one way message anymore, It’s like a dialogue where people with similar interests can interact and share things they like and dislike.
So don’t be left behind. Hire the right people to manage your social media profiles effectively.
“We’re still in the process of picking ourselves up off the floor after witnessing firsthand the fact that a 16-year-old YouTuber can deliver us 3 times the traffic in a couple of days that some excellent traditional media coverage has over 5 months.” Michael Fox