Why should your business or organization be using social media?


Why should your business or organization be using social media?

Here's why:

Suppose you are in the market for a new widget. My company makes and sells widgets that exactly meet your qualifications. You have been doing your homework when you see an ad my company has just put out. My ad is informative, entertaining, and seems to solve your widget issues.

But then someone you know gives you a testimonial about their experience using one of my competitor's widgets. The experience was positive and that person highly recommended the other widget.

Which would you choose?

... Really? .... But, wait! Let me explain, I spent a LOT of money on my ad.

... What? But, wait! You don't understand. MY AD WON AN AWARD!!!!

... Are you kidding me? You barely know that person who gave you a referral. In fact you've never met that person face to face. You can't seriously mean you are going to go with this person's referral over my EXPENSIVE, AWARD WINNING ad!

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And so it goes. People are naturally inclined to believe and trust personal referrals and testimonials over even the very best advertisements.

Does this explain why companies like Pepsi are choosing to reduce their advertising budgets in favor of redirecting that money to social media marketing. Pepsi chose not to advertise in the 2010 Super Bowl in favor of using social media marketing.

This is revolutionary. When was the last time you didn't see a Pepsi ad in the Super Bowl?

Does this mean that advertising is dead? Of course not, but companies are finding that creating word of mouth online via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other platforms is much more powerful than advertising alone.

Personal testimonials are simply more trustworthy in the minds of most consumers and even corporate buyers.

But here's a big caveat: If you choose to start using social media to market your products or services, don't just slap old-school advertising tactics on new media. Don't use Twitter and Facebook to pump out and endless stream of marketing messages.

That strategy doesn't work.

Businesses that are truly successful with social media marketing understand that these platforms are 10% broadcasting channels and 90% listening tools. These marketers are successful because they learn to listen and respond, engage in conversations, ask questions and listen to the answers they get back.

In other words, they have conversations online.

It doesn't matter that these conversations are with one individual at a time because other users are able to see that the companies are listening and responding.

Furthermore, the individuals who are engaged with are more likely to share that experience with their friends and contacts online.

Want to learn more about how to engage in conversation marketing? Be sure to download a free copy of my ebook, 101 Ways to Promote Your Brand With Social Media Marketing. If you like it, be sure to forward a copy to someone else you think could benefit from it.

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----------------------------------------------------COPYRIGHT © 2009, Charles Brown Add to OnlywireAdd to Technorati Favorites

4 comments:

July 9, 2010 at 12:17 AM innovative market strategies said...

Online business is the current trend nowadays and it strengthened the need to make use of social media as a new marketing strategy. Social internet marketing can make your site and your business known not just in your own locality but worldwide. And it would not just be business that you are actually establishing but relationships as a whole.

July 14, 2010 at 8:23 PM Jeffrey said...

Last week, I started blogging about my friend's new coffee shop. I was amazed how people reacted positively in my blog site. Truly, using social media as a marketing strategy is helpful in giving information and attracting leads. My friend has recently launched her new website and according to the survey that I made in my blog, people find her site useful and innovative. Thanks to the highly-skilled architect (website developer) that she hired who worked on the web architecture and design, her coffee shop business is going according to her business plan.

July 15, 2010 at 9:34 AM Charles Brown said...

Both of you make the excellent point that social media is a faster, more cost effective way to reach a target audience. It really is about building relationships, especially with people who can spread your message for you.

As the article points out, people find friend to friend recommendations much more persuasive than mass advertising. Good job to both of you.

July 28, 2010 at 12:11 AM Jeffrey said...

Thanks Charles!