It is shocking to me that I still hear potential clients questioning whether or not they really need social media. Those of us that work in the social media business admittedly live in a bubble where everyone loves Facebook and Twitter and thinks the world is a better place because of it. BUT, we also spend enough time working in these sites to see just how useful they are for businesses.
Social Media for Big and Small Business
A business doesn't have to be an industry giant to utilize social media to grow their business or make important contacts. Sure, bigger companies can run complicated campaigns using a combination of YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter that include Superbowl Commercial tie-ins. Yes, I'm talking about Old Spice and the "Old Spice Guy" Social Media Campaign. But just because you don't have those kind of resources doesn't mean you can't be involved in social media.
One of our newest clients, Scorely was featured in an article on a popular Florida State University sports fan site, Plant the Spear. I met one of the founders of this site on Twitter and we developed a relationship talking sports that led to our eventual in person meeting at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on New Years Eve 2010. I couldn't reach that many Florida State Fans that quickly on my own, I needed a connection to someone like Lauren to make it work. Using social media I was able to form a relationship that was built on a love of sports that led to a business meeting.
Three Reasons Why Social Media Works for Business
- Scalability – The hardest thing to achieve in business is scalability. Scalability is the ability for a company to achieve growth in a "graceful" manner. Never before has a marketing channel been as cost effective as a company grows. With Social Media Marketing you can make your engagement as complex as needed during each growth cycle. The barrier to entry is extremely low. The only cost needed is time. As your company grows your social media engagement can scale nicely alongside.
- Penetration of the Market Segment – The goal of any businesses marketing effort is to target the right customers and feed them your marketing messages. You have a product or service to sell and you want the right market segment to hear about it. Social Media makes this VERY easy. Twitter has a search function that allows businesses to "listen" to what consumers are saying about certain products or services, while Facebook allows businesses to market directly to consumers that might be interested in their products or services. No more guessing or mass mailings to find a few customers.
- Familiarity – Everyone listens to their friends. This is very true online. I don't have hard and fast numbers, but I would bet the farm on the fact that social media recommendations are given a tremendous weight in purchase decisions. People are familiar with Facebook and Twitter and see it as an extension of themselves. If they stumble onto your profile by way of a friend's recommendation they are probably more likely to make a purchase. It's as if you are the new corner store in their neighborhood that all of their friends rave about. Their familiarity with the location (Facebook/Twitter/etc.) and their friends referring them makes the sale easier.
eyespeak can help you get Started
When you put scalability, penetration, and familiarity together you are well on your way to turning your social media involvement into actual dollars. It works because these social networks operate much like the actual communities we live in. They have homes (profiles), neighborhoods (groups of friends that communicate together), schools (blogs), and stores (businesses that are engaged). Don't miss out on the opportunity to have your business in this community.
If you are interested in learning more about how to get your business into the Social Media community we would love to talk with you. If you would like something as simple as an overview of what kinds of people in social media might be interested in your business offerings or if you want to plunge in with both feet. Get in touch with us and we can work with you.
(Header Image by: akhafer)