What’s the Big Deal About Social Media?

social mediaBelieve it or not, I still get asked the following questions on a regular basis:

“What’s the big deal about social media?  What’s the value of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+? Do I need to get online?”  To which I have to reply  ARE YOU FRIGGIN KIDDING ME?!!?!  O.K., now that I’ve gotten that out of the way – let me calmly make some points that many of us who “live on line” take for granted.

1) Social media is not a fad.  It’s not going away.  I would say it’s safe to say almost every Fortune 500 company has an employee or several dedicated to their online presence and inbound marketing using social media and social networking.

2) Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ can be valuable tools for getting you or your company in front of potentially millions of people depending on your ability to create unique content people want to see.  This has been proven time and again by viral videos on YouTube, tweets on Twitter, and Facebook posts.

3) Anyone who thinks they don’t need to get online doesn’t realize a growing portion of the population no longer uses the phone book or yellow pages to find necessary phone numbers when looking up the number of their local plumber.  Why should they when they can go online to various websites that not only give them phone numbers of local contractors, restaurants, dog groomers and more, but they also get reviews from people who have used their services.  You can’t get that from a phone book!  Many businesses even offer special discounts to their fans on Facebook or followers on Twitter, or even text their customers on their mobile phones!  What better way to keep your existing customers than to stay in touch with social media?

If you ARE new to the whole social media world, I have one piece of advice for you if you don’t learn anything else.  Remember to keep the “social” in social media.  Social media is NOT a push medium like e-mail, radio, or television.  If you treat social media like it IS a push medium, your followers or fans will hide you from their stream or just unfollow you.

Do you have a question why you should use social media or why you should get online that I haven’t answered?   If so, please post it here or on my Facebook fan page and I’ll be happy to answer it for you.   If you, like me are one of those who spend hours and hours online each day and have more to add, please do!  All comments are welcome! 🙂

 

8 Replies to “What’s the Big Deal About Social Media?”

  1. You are absolutely right, Knikkolette. The fact that many people only use the internet to search for their services means those who choose not to get involved in internet marketing and social media will have less and less of a chance to be found.

    I occasionally talk to people with service businesses like painting and plumbing who make the case that their business building happens exclusively through direct marketing and word of mouth referrals. But with people turning to their mobile devices as a hub for everything they do, even those service businesses will eventually need to incorporate some digital marketing strategies to survive.

    1. You are so right Jayna, it seems the service industries such as plumbers, contractors, etc… are the last ones to hop on board the social media train. They will soon learn, their competitors who learn to capitalize this medium first are the ones who will benefit!

      1. Hey Knikkolette, I think the big missed opportunity is to get into discussion about plumbing and what people want and then build those relationships. Service industries can connect on local levels and build influence by sharing expertise and lock in loyal customers of the future.

        1. Ross, you are so right! There are so many service industries that are not taking advantage of social media, plumbing, construction, electricity, etc…

          Thanks so much for taking the time to post on my site. 🙂

  2. You bring up some very valid points Knikkolette; let’s hope some of the naysayers, who still believe social media is just a fad, will read it.

    I just had a meeting this past week with an SEO company here in Australia and we’re in the process of creating some social media strategy packages for their clients. They are at a stage now where they’re telling their clients – if you’re not using social media in your business – to many people – you don’t exist.

    So, a social media strategy is a must for any business serious about building their business. And, the longer they take to get on board, the longer it will take for them to create a solid presence.

    Thanks again for sharing Knikkolette.

    1. You are so right Annemarie! I go to a networking group where only 10% of the members have a Facebook fan page and do any type of social networking at all! They still think the only thing people do on Facebook is play Farmville and the only thing people do on Twitter is tweet about what they’re eating or if they’re waiting in line at the grocery store! We really need to educate these people what really happens online!

  3. This strikes a chord with me Knikkolette because I run into business owners who clearly wish this “social media thing” would go away because they don’t have the time or inclination to do it. It definitely isn’t a fad nor is it going away – because it works!

    Properly engaging with your customers and prospective customers takes time and intent – just the way it always has. It’s just that there are new tools to take it to a whole new level.

    Keep fighting the good fight!

    1. Thanks so much for your response Rich! You hit the nail on the head – engaging with your customers. Back in the day of our parents and our grandparents, the small shop owners built relationships with their customers. In my opinion, THAT’S what we need to go back to, to set ourselves apart from our competition.

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