When I meet with a potential client they will sometimes pose the question, “Why should I use social media marketing?” I turn the question around and tell them to take out the word “social.” The question then becomes, “Why should I use marketing?” When it’s posed in that way, business owners can see that it’s all marketing.Break down the terminology of social media and you have the “social” aspect. Since the beginning of time, humans have been driven to surround themselves with and be included in groups of like minded individuals. “Media” in this realm is the way in which we use our connections with the humans with which we are seeking interaction. Regardless of whether you’re connecting with them through drums, photographs, telephones, video, computers or text messaging, you choose the medium.
When you fuse the terms social and media, it’s all about how we (business owners) can utilize the technologies to the best advantage for our businesses by building connections, forging relationships and converting contacts to clients. Social media is a new set of tools in our arsenal, a new technology, that provides us a way to more efficiently and effectively connect and build relationships. Today’s social media marketing is taking the place for direct mail, billboards and telephone marketing. Overall, though you will find that social media is much more effective than those other methods of marketing aka connecting.
Why Should You Use Social Media?
Social media is so effective because it is a two way conversation. Social media takes away the need for the business owner or individual to climb upon a pedestal and pontificate. Through proper word choice (our marketing message) we can push the psychological hot buttons of our potential clients and turn a prospect into a customer.
Because of social media, marketing has seen a “Fundamental Shift in Power” – a shift from shouting your message from a literal rooftop to the two-way communication. The shift also means we can no longer control the corporate message; consumers simply don’t trust them. Consumers are looking for information and to work with people they know, like and trust; they want to do business with someone who has educated them, shares news with them, offers product reviews from users and the consumer wants to be able to share his or her experience about your company with others. Social media paves the way for these two way communications.
I liken “bad” social media marketing to a networking event, walking up to a group of strangers, interrupting their conversation and shouting, “Here I am. This is what I do and this is why you should buy from me.”
No one wants to hear that and you will only serve to alienate potential clients. “Good” social media marketing involves your walking into the same room, to the same group, but this time you spend your time listening to the conversations. You wait until you understand what the group is talking about and then you contribute valuable information to the conversation. You wait to become part of the group before you tell them who you are and what you do; chances are someone in the group will ask you those questions and you can jump in with your answers.
What Social Media Platforms Are Right For Me?
There are myriad places in which you can interact and get involved in social media marketing – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogging, YouTube, etc. regardless of where you build your platform, you want to jump start it by starting a conversation.
Only by taking time to build relationships through social media can you build trust. Once you have built trust you will see an increase in sales and greater word of mouth “advertising” for your goods or services.
What will you do to get the conversation started?
– Author of The Social Media Bible & The Fusion Marketing Bible
lon safko, author, speaker, keynote, training, social media bible, fusion marketing bible