Is there any question that Social Media is a real part of our culture? The concepts of sharing, tagging and liking are not unfamiliar to anyone who has even a cursory connection to the Internet. And for a large group, it is clearly a big part of their daily existence, not just a novelty for kids.
Research indicates (Pew Internet) that 62% of men and 71% of women internet users under 50 use social networking sites. It means that there is a conversation that is already taking place with a substantial group of people. How can any business not want to be in on what a majority of their potential customers are saying? Best business strategies leverage what is, not what might be.
Where do people turn to for information today? The Internet! Best source of (usually) unbiased advice is to do a search and find a plethora of pages of prepared pondering. If you take the time to join in the conversation you become a trusted source of information, tips, history and caution on your field of expertise. Your view needs to be heard. Express it where people will actually see it.
But there’s more than just talking. In a conversation – if you are thoughtful – you listen as well as talk. Social Media is a great listening tool. People express themselves freely when logged in under a cryptic pseudonym no longer identifiable to the community. Free to voice their complaint or perspective. It pays to know what your customer is thinking. And there are tools available to make it easier. If you identify a problem many experience that you can solve, you have just targeted a special group of interested potential customers. One-to-one ratio of need to solution!
Finally, there’s the residual benefit of directing those you meet through Social Media to your website. This kind of interaction from one source of Internet presence to another does have a positive effect on the search engines. Strategic use of this interplay has an upward spiraling result which makes your site, your business, easier to find to those looking for your expertise, your product.
Source: Karen Swim, Say Yes to Status Updates: 5 Reasons Why Social Media is for Your Business
Check out Manta’s latest survey of small business owners which answers, among other questions, “How many people are dedicated to social media activities at your company?” 53% – 1 person; 21% – 2-5 people; 4% – everyone; 20% – no one.