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Social media… it’s all the rage today! It is increasingly being a more integral section of people’s everyday lives, especially now that people can carry the world within their pockets with cell phones that are 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 own peril!
Dejavu All Over Again!
Some say we’re seeing the repeat of trends we saw at the turn of the century… around again. Although the Internet as a communication tool began October 29, 1969, celebrating the very 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 connect to each other. In the entire year 2000, the Web as we realize it had been 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 advantageous asset of the trend became more successful, whereas those that didn’t suffered as their competitors beat them in the web 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 huge as it’s 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 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. cheapest panel Blockbuster is hoping to remain viable and relevant with their newest program.
Return on Investment… Bang for Your Buck!
The key point is that we’re seeing a similar trend in business today regarding social media. Business is starting to “humanize” and return to that “get-to-know-you” feel of hometown businesses where business owners and customers often actually connect on your own basis. Social media is helping to create this personal feel on a bigger scale now, in the sense that people can stay digitally more connected than ever… whilst they “cocoon” within their homes/offices and have less face-to-face communication.
While we are able to argue the ill social effects of the social trend, businesses can’t ignore it. By the nature of what they do, those associated with 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, a lot 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 referring to it, authors are writing about it, and some say it’s just the beginning.
Business trend experts like Gary Vaynerchuk, writer of The Thank You Economy, say that we’re seeing the “calm ahead of the social media marketing storm” (see the web link to his MSNBC interview on YouTube at the end of the “LinkedIn” discussion below. It will blow your mind what he knows and envisions about the ability of social media marketing for business!). Many people available 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 lose from the enormous potential of being able to manage to get thier brand, product(s), and service(s) out in front of potentially millions of people in an extremely cheap way in comparison 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 that having an internet site is sufficient of an on the web 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 expect more and more that businesses and organizations they keep company with will also be able to interact together on social media marketing platforms. This worldwide recession we’re in is making social media marketing platforms more important to remain relevant… to keep 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 extremely cost-effective, with a great return on investment in comparison to traditional, non-trackable types of advertising. Having a member of staff devote even section of his/her time keeping social media marketing updated is well worth the effort and expense in the added, perceived value it will create, providing information regarding your products, services, news, sales, deals, etc., and potentially increasing your customer/client base tremendously in the process.
Blogging, as an example, is an easy way to create an outreach program for the brand, company, organization, etc., that’ll not only raise awareness of who you are and everything you do, but boost your credibility with an ever-growing, social-media-savvy public. They will have the ability to 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 much more likely become the willing ambassadors for the brand, product, or service you want them to be! Also… those who DO have an internet site, that will be normally used to provide information, take orders, etc., will most likely see increased traffic on their sites which will result in increased sales… and a rise in your return on the investment you made in your social media marketing campaigns. Additionally is that a lot of social media marketing platforms can be found FOR FREE, or with little actual monetary investment relevant to other styles 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 monthly! So, to avoid the pitfalls of starting at the incorrect place, the best places to begin are with the existing top giants, like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. You need your visitors to get at know you first. You wish to share useful information with them… information that’s educational, informative, entertaining, even funny… but valuable You don’t might like to do outright selling of your goods and services in social media marketing, that will be more for engaging your visitors or potential customers. You wish to lead your visitors to your website, and that’s where you is going to do your selling!