Social media… it’s all of the rage today! It is increasingly becoming a more integral part of people’s everyday lives, especially now that folks can carry the world within their pockets with cellular phones which can be Web enabled and have data packages. Since there are now over two billion people — nearly one-third the whole world’s population — connected via social media marketing, it is becoming crucial, even critical, for businesses to make the most of the huge potential given in their mind by social media. Those that neglect to make the most of this trend achieve this at their very own peril!
Dejavu All Over Again!
Some say we’re seeing the repeat of trends we saw at the turn of the century… throughout again. Although Internet as a communication tool began October 29, 1969, celebrating the first communication between two distant computers, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in March of 1989, giving us the hyper-text markup language (HTML) that enables pages, links and browsers used all over the world to communicate with each other. In the entire year 2000, the Web as we all know it had been only eleven years old. Businesses were beginning to understand that the Internet was becoming bigger and bigger and was moving beyond the military (its original user), academia and business, and increasingly into people’s homes (and now… even their pockets!) Online shopping was gradually gaining on brick and mortar retail, competing more and more for shoppers’ dollars. Businesses that took advantage of the trend became more successful, whereas the ones that didn’t suffered as their competitors beat them in the web marketplace.
Good examples which have made the headlines recently include Borders Books and Blockbuster Video. Borders didn’t believe the Web would become as large as it has and was soon upstaged by Amazon, who began utilizing their online platform for books and now sell pretty much everything. Blockbuster Video, once noticed in so many communities, has now closed so many of these brick and mortar stores since Netflix came on the scene. Had it not been for Dish Network stepping in, most Blockbuster stores might have had to close. Now their wanting to win back Netflix customers angered over recent fee hikes. Blockbuster is hoping to stay viable and relevant making use of their newest program.
Return on Investment… Bang for Your Buck!
The key point is that we’re seeing an identical trend running a business today with regard to social media. Business is beginning to “humanize” and get back to that “get-to-know-you” feel of hometown businesses where business owners and customers often actually smm panel connect on a personal basis. Social media is helping to produce this personal feel on a bigger scale now, in the sense that folks can stay digitally more connected than ever… even as they “cocoon” within their homes/offices and have less face-to-face communication.
While we are able to argue the ill social effects of this social trend, businesses can’t ignore it. By the nature of what they do, those involved in network marketing, a.k.a. affiliate marketing or multi-level marketing, certainly can’t ignore it as a key tool for building down lines and expanding their business beyond their warm market of family and friends, lots of whom may or may possibly not be enthusiastic about a home-based business or work-at-home business opportunity, however quickly growing that trend is. The social media marketing explosion is getting more and more attention. Business leaders are discussing it, authors are currently talking about it, and some say it’s just the beginning.
Business trend experts like Gary Vaynerchuk, author of The Thank You Economy, say that we’re seeing the “calm before the social media marketing storm” (see the web link to his MSNBC interview on YouTube at the conclusion of the “LinkedIn” discussion below. It will blow the mind what this man knows and envisions about the energy of social media marketing for business!). Many people in the commercial world haven’t yet jumped into social media. They’re sizing it down and calculating the return on investment… not realizing that the longer they wait, the more they stand to reduce from the enormous potential of to be able to obtain brand, product(s), and service(s) out in front of potentially thousands of people in an extremely cheap way compared to traditional print and TV advertising media. Branding, name recognition, market share growth, customer loyalty, brand ambassadorship… are typical important goals of business enhanced via social media.
But We Have a Website!
Individual entrepreneurs, companies large and small, organizations, network marketers, affiliate programs, even nonprofit organizations that believe having a web site is enough of an online presence these days are sorely mistaken. Since so many current and potential customers and clients are engaged in social media marketing, they’re coming to anticipate more and more that businesses and organizations they keep company with may also be able to engage using them on social media marketing platforms. This worldwide recession we are in is making social media marketing platforms more important to remain relevant… to steadfastly keep up a presence, build customer loyalty, and just survive.
I’m Broke… I Have a Limited Budget!
Those on a restricted marketing budget will see out that social media marketing marketing is very cost-effective, with a great return on investment compared to traditional, non-trackable forms of advertising. Having a member of staff devote even part of his/her time keeping social media marketing updated is worth your time and effort and expense in the added, perceived value it will create, providing information about your products, services, news, sales, deals, etc., and potentially increasing your customer/client base tremendously in the process.
Blogging, like, is a simple way to produce an outreach program for the brand, company, organization, etc., that’ll not only raise awareness of who you’re and what you do, but raise your credibility with an ever-growing, social-media-savvy public. They will have a way to share both positives and negatives about their experience along with your products and/or service, especially if you react to them. They’ll develop more confidence in your brand, feel more connected for you, and develop more loyalty. They’ll much more likely become the willing ambassadors for the brand, product, or service that you would like them to be! Also… those that DO have a web site, which is normally used to offer information, take orders, etc., will in all probability see increased traffic on the sites which will result in increased sales… and a growth in your return on the investment you produced in your social media marketing campaigns. On top of that is that a lot of social media marketing platforms can be found FOR FREE, or with little actual monetary investment strongly related other designs of traditional advertising, and with greater return on investment.
A Growing Trend… Better Jump On the Bandwagon!
Some estimate how many social media marketing sites at 30,000 and growing by 300 new sites per month! So, to avoid the pitfalls of starting at the incorrect place, the best places to start are with the current top giants, like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. You need your visitors to access know you first. You wish to share useful information with them… information that’s educational, informative, entertaining, even funny… but valuable You don’t wish to accomplish outright selling of your goods and services in social media marketing, which is more for engaging your visitors or potential customers. You wish to lead your visitors to your website, and that’s where you can do your selling!