If you've avoided social media up until now, I'm not sorry to tell you it's time you give in and start reaping the benefits. Let's think of how difficult it was in the past for a consumer to find out more about a product or service. They could only go to a search engine like Google or yahoo and dig through numerous pages of search results. It was a tedious process and depending on what you were searching for you often came up very underwhelmed with outdated and stagnant content.
With the use of social media tools like twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn (just to name a few) you are able to quickly learn about anything from the latest album release of your favorite artist to the most recent strides to a cure for Type 1 diabetes. It's an exciting time. A time that every business, big or small, profit or non-profit should be participating in.
WIth it now being 2014, people are expecting your company to be active in these social streams. When consumers start searching for information on your company they don't just search on google and go to your website. They want to more, they want to make a connection with your company. If you are consistently tweeting and sharing great content you create a human connection with your brand. Consumers sales process has changed and it's an exciting time for your marketing to reflect that change.
Numbers Don't Lie or The Proof Is In The Pudding
Which ever way you look at it, the stats below is evidence that companies are embracing this change and excelling. Check it:
60% of companies have adopted some element of the inbound marketing methodology into their overall strategy. (Source: HubSpot)
27% of total U.S. internet time is spent on social networking sites. (Source: Experian)
74% of all marketers say Facebook is important to their lead generation strategies. (Source: HubSpot)
59% of Twitter users have visited B2B tech brand sites, compared to 40% for the average internet population. (Source: Compete and Twitter)
Why More Social Media Is Better Than One
Recently, a friend recommended a product for my four year old son who has type 1 diabetes, so where did I go first, but twitter, not their website. I already knew what the product did, so I wanted to find our more about the company today and what customers are sharing about the product. When I came across the company's twitter handle I was disappointed to find it had been vacant since 2010. It left me a little weary about the company and product. How up-to-date is this product if they aren't keeping track of their social media and do they care about keeping their customers informed? I searched by the #productname and found some great testimonials from customers, which was reassuring. I still wondered about the company. Since this product is for my son's health I wanted a deeper connection. I went to their Facebook page next and it was perfection. The posts and information they provided showed they cared about their customers well-being. The posts included tips for balancing T1D in daily life situations and stories about other people with diabetes. I quickly liked their Facebook page and I look forward to learning more about them and sharing these tips with my son.
Social media creates a community for your current customers and a place to warmly introduce leads to your company. Research your buyer personas, learn what social media tools they frequent and make sure you are active in ALL of those areas. It's a fun and creative time for companies, embrace it!