Most businesses do not have the expertise, time or resources to deploy the assets needed to manage their social community. It’s vital to adopt social media and online brand strategies as a significant part of your overall marketing plan.
Online social media is the tool that allows marketing professionals to do what they have forever tried to do with traditional media – interact with the consumer. But while it may take 7-10 impressions for us to recognize a product as something we might buy – nothing influences our purchase decisions more than a recommendation by a friend.
And that’s what Social Media is all about. We are doing more than “interacting” with consumers. We are building relationships. Creating brand advocates. Loyalists – who will talk about our brands and tell their friends. Those conversations with “friends” might be face-to-face, but most likely they will take place online, in mass communication, on Facebook (to their 600 friends), on Twitter (to their 2,000 followers), and on their blog (which is heavily indexed in Google for keywords search results).
They will read interesting content (that we push out to them). They will interact with our widgets and quizzes (that we place in front of them). They will watch our videos on YouTube (that we email them). They will engage with our brand. And they will share all of these experiences with their friends.
In a world where immediate reactions by consumers, results in near immediate responses by a brand, there exists tremendous marketing opportunities. Consumers are finally being heard and they are starting to recognize their potential impact on how products and services are represented in the marketplace. With social media, we can leverage this relationship and turn consumers into our ultimate sales force.