85 % of social media users believe that a company should go further than just having a presence on social site.
Social media is a broad term that describes various different online media platforms that collectively represent the evolution of the World Wide Web from a static, one-way communication channel to a dynamic, fully interactive one.
Some of the more popular types of platforms are:
- Social networking sites
- Social bookmarking sites
- Online review sites
- Media sharing sites
Global adoption and consumption of social websites has been nothing short of phenomenal:
- Facebook has more than 400 million active users, fifty percent of whom log in every day
- YouTube video views are in excess of two billion every single day, which is nearly double the prime-time audience of all three major US TV networks combined
- Twitter users post more than 50 million tweets per day, a dramatic increase - to say the least - from 2007 when they were averaging 5,000 per day
And although social media may have grown out of the basic human need to connect, share, and interact, it has evolved - very rapidly - into a new way for businesses to engage their customers and potential customers.
People Want to be Marketed to Through Social Channels
And people want businesses to have a presence in the social media space. According to a Cone Business in Social Media study of Americans who use social media:
- 93% of users believe a company should have a presence in social media
- 85% of users believe that a company should go further than just having a presence on the social web and should interact with its customers
When asked about specific types of interactions, Americans who use social sites believe:
- 43% believe that companies should use social networks to solve my problems
- 41% believe that companies should solicit feedback on their products and services
- 37% believe that companies should develop new ways for consumers to interact with their brand
- 25% believe that companies should market to consumers
Remarkable, isn't it? One in every four Americans want to be marketed to through social web channels. When was the last time you heard anyone say that they wanted to be marketed to?
But...You've Got to Get it Right
You need to have a strategy. It needs to integrate various high-value social media channels together, and your social media strategy needs to integrate with your other online and offline marketing efforts.
Your strategy needs to focus on a simple series of steps when it comes to the conversations that are taking place - about the products and services your business sells, about your brand, and about your competition - in social web channels:
- Step one - listen to the conversation
- Step two - join the conversation
- Step three - lead the conversation
That's how you leverage the viral nature of social web and capitalize on the new word-of-mouth: word of web.
One final word of caution: don't go it alone - at least not in the beginning. The window of opportunity is still open for you to be able to build communities of loyal fans around your business before your competition does. But that window is closing fast as more and more local businesses jump into social media.
So make sure you engage someone who has experience in putting together - and executing - social media start-up strategies for local businesses.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dawson_Barber
Do you want to learn more about how social media can affect you and your business? Call me to set up a free social media consultation.