Staying relevant in a changing digital environment
How many times have you contacted a company with feedback, only to have your ideas dismissed or even worse – ignored entirely?
Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence when faced with traditional forms of marketing. Take for example formats such as television commercials, billboards, and magazine ads. These marketing tactics are faceless, inhibited by a single-direction approach of message transmission. You see the advertisement, buy the product, and repeat. This cycle of influence becomes stagnant, with the only introduction of new ideas coming from focus groups and empirical research.
But marketing is never a static entity. The rules of the game are constantly changing, and one must adapt in order to keep up.
What do I have to gain when I use social media?
Introducing our saving grace: Social Media. In the past few years, the horizon has been proliferated with an endless array of social media networking utilities. These outlets offer us unlimited potential in connecting with our audiences and understanding their needs.
Social media marketing is the new standard in consumer outreach. By connecting with your consumer base via Facebook, Twitter or other social media outlets, you are speaking with them one-on-one. Traditional research is carefully conducted, but it can’t show you everything. By speaking with your consumers, you can see what is in demand. Previously undiscovered trends and new products will reveal themselves to you via the very people who you are trying to market to!
Social media marketing is the neighborhood block party. You are allowing your consumer base an opportunity to have stake in the company’s decisions. These feelings of investment create a community between the company and the consumers. By inducting the customer into your community, you are unofficially hiring them as a marketing partner. This investment will produce more returns than any one-time purchase. Anytime this partner interacts with your company social media outlets, word will spread amongst their peer group. Once their connections get a hold of this information, their peer groups will be tapped. Through this process of pay-it-forward, you will have reached an exponential web of potential consumers.
Social media marketing is a wonderful networking tool. By maintaining good social media contact with your consumer base, you will build repertoire amongst your networks. And this allows for the most powerful channel of advertising – word of mouth. In this day-and-age, we are bombarded with endless advertisements aimed at separating us from our paychecks. But why should I give your company my hard-earned money? Because someone you know told you to. They have already taken the time to sift through the advertisement barrage, tested the product, and found satisfactory result. And thus is the power of word-of-mouth.
Don’t get me wrong, social media has been around for a while. Most people are regular users of outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. But in the right hands, these tools can be used to garner maximum exposure, network with existing and potential consumers, and conduct some good old fashioned PR.
For a company not to utilize this wealth of potential is to give up on company growth. Most of these social media outlets are free to operate, user-friendly, and have more functions than you could ever dream of.
Social media is the future of the marketing industry, and it is here to stay. So either get acquainted, or get used to 2nd place.