There’s much more to life that Facebook and twitter... in fact these two platforms represent just a tiny part of what social media is all about.
Imagine for a moment that social media platforms are like cocktail parties and you or your brand are guests. The concept of mingling and communication works in exactly the same way – social media has broken down the barriers to communication and now allows you to talk to prospects and customers like never before. Now we’ve made that clear, hopefully you’re now starting to get an understanding why so many people bang on about the importance of social media.
Here’s our top 5 reasons to embrace the good of social media as a business:
1. It’s free
OK, maybe that isn’t directly true... you need to pay for your broadband connection after all, but in essence it’s free to use many of these social mediums (some charge). It also takes time to engage in and this is where many businesses falter... social media marketing is a medium to long term strategy on the whole and you need to be committed to it. Twitter for instance is entirely free and possibly the fastest way to build a list of prospects, but it doesn’t stop there – you need to keep them entertained and informed and that takes valuable time. The platforms are ready to use... so what you waiting for – start with twitter.
2. It's where your peers are
There are so many deals waiting to be done out there. Whether it’s aligning your brand with another, a JV or perhaps even finding someone to bounce an idea off – social media lends itself perfectly to connecting you with other people just as passionate about a particular industry. Start by looking on twitter and sending a direct message to someone of interest, retweeting their messages or even go to the lengths of making positive comments about articles they may write on their blogs. Anyone who’s anyone is joining the social media revolution so don’t get left behind.
3. It's the best way to get publicity
From experience I have found that most journalists are using social media to communicate and listen to buzz. Twitter, especially, is a great way to communicate directly with journalists and pitch exclusives and breaking news. Prominent blogs are also a fantastic new resource worth sharing your news with. You’ll need to know how to speak to bloggers in the first instance (no, sending a plain ‘round robin’ release just doesn’t work), but if you make friends with them and respect their work you’ll find a link from their site and a steady flow of web traffic is worth a lot – and you haven’t spent a bean!
4. It helps you make more sales
Whenever you are communicating through a social medium you are helping to build a little more awareness about yourself, especially if you have something truly interesting or exclusive to report. Coming back to my ‘medium – long term strategy’, the more online publicity you get, inbound links you attract, journalists/bloggers you bond with etc... the more web traffic you get and therefore more likely to increase sales – simple eh!
5. It’s the future
No business wants to get left behind right? Every single day that passes the more your competition promote across social media. This wave of social media marketing is here to stay... and if you don’t jump on board now you are severely hampering your chances of longevity online – which is where more business is going.
So where next?
Before you go blindly winging your way into the social mediasphere, a word of warning if you will:
Plan your attack!!!
You can waste hours on social media marketing to no positive effect, therefore allocate some marketing budget to dip your toe and get some assistance if you are not 100% sure of how to approach the medium. Also beware of cowboys. There are lots of agencies springing up claiming they know the score when it comes to social media, many of whom are PR or SEO agencies who are scared of being left in the cold – get some references!