Social media… it’s all of the rage today! It is increasingly learning to be a more integral element of people’s everyday lives, especially now that folks can hold the world within their pockets with cellular phones which can be Web enabled and have data packages. Since nowadays there are over two billion people — nearly one-third the whole world’s population — connected via social networking, it has become crucial, even critical, for businesses to take advantage of the huge potential given in their mind by social media. Those that neglect to take advantage of this trend do so at their very own peril!
Dejavu All Over Again!
Some say we’re seeing the repeat of trends we saw at the turn of the century… all over again. Although the Internet as a communication tool began October 29, 1969, celebrating the initial 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 allows pages, links and browsers used all around the world to communicate with 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 advantage of the trend became more successful, whereas the ones that didn’t suffered as their competitors beat them in the online marketplace.
Good examples that have made the news 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 using their online platform for books and now sell pretty much everything. Blockbuster Video, once observed in so many communities, has 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 might have had to close. Now their wanting to win back Netflix customers angered over recent fee hikes. Blockbuster is hoping to keep viable and relevant using their newest program.
Return on Investment… Bang for Your Buck!
The main point is that we’re seeing an identical trend in operation today regarding social media. Business is beginning to “humanize” and get back to that “get-to-know-you” feel of hometown businesses where business owners and customers often actually connect on a personal basis. Social media marketing is helping to generate this personal feel on a bigger scale now, in the sense that folks can stay digitally more connected than ever… even as they “cocoon” within their homes/offices and have less face-to-face communication.
While we could argue the ill social effects of this social trend, businesses can’t ignore it. By the nature of what they do, those involved in 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 might not be interested in a home-based business or work-at-home business opportunity, however quickly growing that trend is. The social networking explosion is getting more and more attention. Business leaders are speaking about 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, claim that we’re seeing the “calm prior to the social networking storm” (see the hyperlink to his MSNBC interview on YouTube at the end of the “LinkedIn” discussion below. It’ll blow the mind what this guy knows and envisions about the power of social networking for business!). Lots of people in the commercial world haven’t yet jumped into social media. They’re sizing it up and calculating the return on investment… not realizing that the longer they wait, the more they stand to lose on the enormous potential of to be able to obtain brand, product(s), and service(s) out facing potentially millions of people in an incredibly inexpensive way in comparison to traditional print and TV advertising media. Branding, name recognition, market share growth, customer loyalty, brand ambassadorship… are 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 having a site is enough of an on the web presence today are sorely mistaken. Since so many current and potential customers and clients are engaged in social networking, they’re coming to anticipate more and more that businesses and organizations they associate with will also be able to interact with them on social networking platforms. This worldwide recession we are in is making social networking platforms more important to remain relevant… to keep up a presence, build customer loyalty, and just survive.
I’m Broke… I Have a Limited Budget!
Those on a limited marketing budget will discover out that social networking marketing is extremely cost-effective, with a great return on investment in comparison to traditional, smm reseller panel non-trackable forms of advertising. Having a worker devote even element of his/her time keeping social networking up to date is worth the effort and expense in the added, perceived value it will create, providing information about your products, services, news, sales, deals, etc., and potentially increasing your customer/client base tremendously in the process.
Blogging, for instance, is a simple way to generate an outreach program for the brand, company, organization, etc., that won’t only raise awareness of who you’re and everything you do, but increase your credibility with an ever-growing, social-media-savvy public. They will be able to generally share both positives and negatives about their experience along with your products and/or service, particularly if you react to them. They will develop more confidence in your brand, feel more connected to you, and develop more loyalty. They will more likely end up being the willing ambassadors for the brand, product, or service you want them to be! Also… people who DO have a site, that will be normally used to offer information, take orders, etc., will in all probability see increased traffic on the sites which will result in increased sales… and a rise in your return on the investment you manufactured in your social networking campaigns. Additionally is that a lot of social networking platforms are available FOR FREE, or with little actual monetary investment highly relevant to other kinds of traditional advertising, and with greater return on investment.
A Growing Trend… Better Jump On the Bandwagon!
Some estimate the number of social networking sites at 30,000 and growing by 300 new sites a month! So, to steer clear of the pitfalls of starting at the incorrect place, the best places to begin are with the current top giants, like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. You need your web visitors to get to know you first. You intend to share useful information with them… information that’s educational, informative, entertaining, even funny… but valuable You don’t wish to accomplish outright selling of your goods and services in social networking, that will be more for engaging your web visitors or potential customers. You intend to lead your web visitors to your website, and that’s where you can do your selling!