thumbnail logo“Tell me one good reason why I should use social media in my business,” is what I heard recently. And my response was “tell me why you don’t want to use it?”

Most people just don’t understand what social media is, how it is being used, who is using it, and how it could actually help businesses.

First, many feel it is a fad, something used only by the youngest generations.  Secondly, businesses can’t seem to grasp how social media could possibly help generate new business, and certainly many cannot fathom how it could help maintain current customers and clients.

Whether you are a company, a client or a potential new customer, here are three very basics reasons to consider using social media.

  1. Benefit from its low cost marketing approach
    1. Dell sells on Twitter—“In the last six months, Dell Outlet earned $1 million in sales from customers who came to the site from Twitter, after taking 18 months to earn its first $1 million.”[1]
    2. As a potential customer or a new client, use social media to see what is good and not so good about a company.
  2. Have conversations with customers, potential clients, and employees
    1. Talk, talk, talk, blah, blah, blah….it is happening so use it to your advantage. Promote new products and services, offer coupons exclusively to your community, even your employees.  Product improvement doesn’t require an expensive focus group anymore. Be out there, and hear what is being said.  You should be part of the conversation.
    2. Let a company or business know what you liked or didn’t like about their product or service.
  3. Build brand awareness, conduct e-commerce, track comments, respond to comments
    1. The line between customer service and marketing is becoming blurred because of social media. You can introduce new products, sell them, and get feedback quickly through your communities.  Remember, you can respond to negative comments and your honesty will serve you well. Social media is a two-way conversational approach to living in the 21st century.

Just last month, in May 2009, Compete estimated that Twitter had 19.7 million unique visitors, far short of MySpace and Facebook. But it is growing much faster than the more-established social networking sites—more than 1,000% over the previous year. [2]

US Unique Visitors to Facebook, MySpace and Twitter
May, 2009 (millions and % change*)
  Unique Visitors % Change*
Facebook 113.0 253.7%
MySpace 56.9 -5.6%
Twitter 19.7 1,043%
Note: *vs. same month of prior year
Source: Compete, Inc, as cited in company blog, June 9, 2009
                                                                                                                                    
www.eMarketer.com

 

The Power is Potent!

I find no better way to illustrate  the power of social media that using current events. This week social media use has been the most potent challenger to the embattled government of Iran as they are unable to censor and control the conversations regarding the recent election results. Iranians all over the world are blogging and posting everywhere.  This should give you a very vivid picture of the power of social media.

And I am certain there are studies showing how the Obama campaign used social media to their advantage and continue to use it to drive their agenda.

So image this…. I make a statement saying, “The Internet is just a fad!” Would you believe me? Well, certainly not today. What if I said it in 1980?

So here it is, 2009, and I don’t consider myself going out on a limb here by telling you, “Social media is here to stay.  Get use to it, explore its capabilities, and learn how to use it for your benefit.”

Eileen Weisman is a communication strategist.  Her company, The W Group can help you identify the best ways to improve you bottom line.

Eileen invites you to comment on her blogs.  Let’s get our own conversation going!  What social networks do you use for business?  Does your company take advantage of this new approach?

 


[1] New York Times, June 12, 2009

[2] Compete, June 9, 2009

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