Just a few years ago, Social Media was a nascent medium on the Internet. But it has since become one of the most prolific ways people communicate, and not just for connecting with friends or finding long-lost classmates.
People use social media to spread the word about services and products that they find and like. Are you going to your favorite restaurant and want to let friends know about it? Pull out your smartphone and “check-in” through Facebook. It’s word-of-mouth promotion magnified by the dozens, hundreds or even thousands.
Social Media Networking has become a vital tool for businesses that want to establish an online presence. Independent businesses to corporations are now using this medium. The term “social media marketing plan” is now a common part of day-to-day business transactions.
The Significance of Social Media Networking
The Internet has become the No. 1 source where people search for services and products, and Social Media and Content Publishing are some of the top tools local businesses are using to connect with potential customers.
Consider these facts from Nielsen:
- Social networks and blogs are the No. 1 Internet destination, where American’s spend 23% of their time online
- 53% of active online adult users follow a brand
- Social media users are more active and influential offline (meaning they spread the word about what they find online)
According to a survey by Zoomerang, the 3 most important reasons small businesses leverage social media are:
- Connecting with customers
More than Just a Web site
- You can now use varying platforms to give your business a brand. This will help people distinguish your business from the rest of the businesses online.
- There are various formats wherein a business can share valuable content. The most common formats used nowadays are articles, blog posts, even videos. (comScore shows that there has been a 43 % growth in video consumption in the past year) These are powerful tools that can reach out to thousands of customers at a given time.
- Numbers have shown dollars spent in e-commerce continues to grow. In 2011, $256 billion was spent in e-commerce, an increase of 12 % from the year 2010. This is the amount that has been spent for online purchases in the U.S. alone! And the trend is seen to be going up annually.
- Just take a look at the leading industries today and you will realize that these are the ones that have invested their time, energy and money on social media networking: manufacturers of consumer electronics; computer hardware; books and magazines; flowers and other gifts; watches and jewelry.
- A huge part of social media networking plan is to maintain loyal clientele and gain new ones. comScore has presented that the number of unique visitors per Web site each year continues to climb. This just proves that putting your energies into social media networking will surely payoff.
In essence, fan sites and business pages are not just cute pages to look into. These are powerful tools that can reach millions of homes and can help build your business.
The social media content that you decide to share to the online world will greatly determine the success or failure of your business. You would want more people to like and trust you so don’t bombard potential customers with a sales pitch at every turn. Make sure you publish well-written, unique content that readers will want to share through their networks.
Let the buying public realize that you’re there to provide their needs. Be patient when you’re setting up your pages. Let your potential clients learn about your company first and help them appreciate that you’re willing to walk the second mile for them.
Social media has made the world a much smaller place where you can do business with someone from across the globe. So learn to use this tool efficiently.