Social media tools: powerful …highly effective ... and yes unavoidable!
Marketing has changed, gone are the gatekeepers. Still think you are in control of your message? To a certain point you are, but so are your customers and your potential fans. Your message of providing a phenomenal product or indispensable service is your task to communicate but wouldn’t you rather have your evangelists spread your message, vision and mission?
The world is changing; people trust their friend’s opinions about brands far beyond what they’ll believe in an advertisement. It’s a two-way conversation where everyone has a voice and wants to be heard. As long as they’re sharing, let’s give them something to talk about.
Are you resistant to using social media? Maybe you are attracted to the idea of using social media for personal and business branding, yet you feel that you do not have the time, first to learn to use all of these new internet-based tools, and then to keep them in play with any measure of consistency. If you are a sole proprietor, solo-preneur or a small business owner, you already make up your entire management, labor, accounting, billing, advertising, marketing, and custodial staff (as well as any other chore your business requires), so how can you possibly take on an additional task?
Where will you find the time to learn and implement social media strategies, especially since social media doesn’t feel like any type of marketing you have ever done before nor is it clear how it could possibly contribute to your bottom line?
Whatever your arguments against using social media marketing, once you genuinely understand the application and power of the tools, you will realize that the arguments in favor of using it greatly outweigh those against. Very simply put, social media is inexpensive, targeted, and fresh. It is a great leveler of the playing field, enabling businesses of all sizes to interact with the marketplace, turning consumers into customers, and customers into lifelong clients. And perhaps most importantly, social media marketing tools provide you with consumer feedback of a nature and with an immediacy that until now, the business world has never experienced.
Your competitors either are involved in social media campaigns or soon will be, and your clients and potential clients are already there (waiting for you). Even if you have no internet presence and you are not participating in social media marketing on any level, your brand is presently being defined by this marketing stratagem. Shouldn’t you be part of the conversation, better yet, initiate it?
Please keep in mind that whether or not you show up:
- Consumers are defining your brand by speaking out about your business specifically or your industry in general. What they say may be complimentary and positive or it may be off base and brutally destructive.
- Your competitors who are already using social media are responding to consumer feedback. They are also passively defining your brand, by proactively defining their own.
- Your absence sends a message to your marketplace, proclaiming, “I am not paying attention to what you consumers think,” or “I am too outdated to be part of this.”
Work out a plan
In the current business economy, there is little room for error. Your one and only choice, if you are ever going to transition from overworked to overpaid is to become the top-of-the-mind, go-to authority of whatever it is you do. You must be recognized in your field or niche and in today’s world, this requires you to put the strategies of social media marketing to work for you.
Social media is designed to be user-friendly for the masses (including you). You can put it in play for your business with amazing ease and simplicity. Hands down, it is cheaper than whatever marketing you are already doing (although it is not a replacement for other types of marketing in which you may be involved, and which you will need to continue).
Are you using social media as part of your marketing mix? We'd like to hear from you and invite you to share your ideas, tips and strategies.