Social media… it’s all the rage today! It is increasingly becoming a more integral element of people’s everyday lives, especially now that people can carry the planet within their pockets with cell phones that are Web enabled and have data packages. Since nowadays there are over two billion people — nearly one-third the entire world’s population — connected via social media marketing, it is now crucial, even critical, for businesses to make the most of the huge potential given in their mind by social media. Those who don’t 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… all over again. Though the 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 permits pages, links and browsers used throughout the world to communicate with each other. In the season 2000, the Web as we realize it absolutely was a mere eleven years old. Businesses were beginning to realize 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 those that didn’t suffered as their competitors beat them in the internet marketplace.
Good examples that have made the news headlines recently include Borders Books and Blockbuster Video. Borders didn’t believe the Web would become as large as it’s and was soon upstaged by Amazon, who began employing their online platform for books and now sell nearly everything. Blockbuster Video, once seen in so many communities, has closed so many of their brick and mortar stores since Netflix came on the scene. Had it not been for Dish Network stepping in, most Blockbuster stores would have had to close. Now their attempting 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 in operation today with regard to social media. Business is just starting to “humanize” and return to that “get-to-know-you” feel of hometown businesses where business owners and customers often actually connect on a personal basis. Social media marketing is helping to create this personal feel on a much larger scale now, in the sense that people can stay digitally more connected than ever… even as they “cocoon” within their homes/offices and have less face-to-face communication.
While we can argue the ill social effects of that social trend, businesses can’t ignore it. By ab muscles nature of what they do, those involved with network marketing, a.k.a. affiliate marketing or multi-level marketing, certainly can’t ignore it as a principal tool for building down lines and expanding their business beyond their warm market of family and friends, many of whom may or may not be interested in a home-based business or work-at-home business opportunity, however quickly growing that trend is. The social media marketing explosion gets more and more attention. Business leaders are discussing it, authors are writing about it, and some say it’s just the beginning.
Business trend experts like Gary Vaynerchuk, author of The Thank You Economy, claim that we’re seeing the “calm prior to the social media marketing storm” (see the hyperlink to his MSNBC interview on YouTube at the end of the “LinkedIn” discussion below. It’ll blow your brain what he knows and envisions about the power of social media marketing for business!). Many people in the commercial world haven’t yet jumped into social media. They’re sizing it up and calculating the return on investment… not realizing that the longer they wait, the more they stand to lose out on the enormous potential of being able to get their brand, product(s), and service(s) out in front of potentially thousands of people in an extremely cost effective 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 genuinely believe that having a website is sufficient 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 Youtube Panel keep company with is likewise able to activate using them on social media marketing platforms. This worldwide recession we’re in is making social media marketing platforms more important to remain relevant… to maintain a presence, build customer loyalty, and just survive.
I’m Broke… I Have a Limited Budget!
Those on a limited 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 types of advertising. Having a member of staff devote even element of his/her time keeping social media marketing current is really worth the effort and expense in the added, perceived value it can provide, providing information regarding your products, services, news, sales, deals, etc., and potentially increasing your customer/client base tremendously in the process.
Blogging, for example, is an easy way to create an outreach program for your brand, company, organization, etc., that will not only raise awareness of who you are and that which you do, but raise your credibility having an ever-growing, social-media-savvy public. They will have the ability to generally share both positives and negatives about their experience along with your products and/or service, especially if you respond to them. They will develop more confidence in your brand, feel more connected to you, and develop more loyalty. They will more likely end up being the willing ambassadors for your brand, product, or service that you want them to be! Also… those who DO have a website, which can be normally used to offer information, take orders, etc., will likely see increased traffic on the sites which will result in increased sales… and a rise in your return on the investment you manufactured in your social media marketing campaigns. Best of all is that a lot of social media marketing platforms can be found FOR FREE, or with little actual monetary investment highly relevant to other types of traditional advertising, and with greater return on investment.
A Growing Trend… Better Jump On the Bandwagon!
Some estimate the amount of social media marketing sites at 30,000 and growing by 300 new sites monthly! So, to avoid the pitfalls of starting at the incorrect place, the best places to start are with the existing top giants, like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. You want your visitors to get at know you first. You intend to share useful information with them… information that is 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 can be more for engaging your visitors or potential customers. You intend to lead your visitors to your website, and that is where you is going to do your selling!