In the first article in this series, we looked at how social media has become a mass medium. Here, we look at what this means for marketing your business, and the real opportunities it provides to communicate with your customers – and potential customers.
Social media is differentiated from traditional media in that it is controlled democratically rather than by a company or organisation so there’s no need to wonder whether a particular platform is of interest because it wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t. Although most social media aspire to becoming popular there is still space for the isolated and unpopular.
In the world of traditional media, both online and offline, the content is curated: commissioned, created, edited and sold by the media owner in order to appeal to the majority because the more popular the media, the bigger the revenues from sales of the content and advertising. Most social media platforms either already sell advertising or aspire to do so, however, in the same way that magazines showcase commercial products and services within their editorial content, social media can be used by companies and organisations to promote themselves through the use of engaging content.
Social media offers an interesting marketing proposition, because it harnesses the word of mouth recommendation of the social media user to endorse a service or product. Unlike advertising this is not paid for. It allows the company or organisation to express their brand personality; it’s less formal, less structured and less of a hard sell. It offers the opportunity to develop a longer term relationship with customers and potential customers, to converse with them, and to offer added value. The payback to the company or organisation is greater customer loyalty, new customers from recommendations, and the opportunity to find out what their customers think about how their products and services could be developed or improved.
More and more customers expect to be able to communicate with the companies and organisations they buy from through social media so it is something that every company and organisation should consider. Although there are a few automated systems which can deliver social media content on behalf of the advertiser they do not really replace an individuals’ ability to craft something unique to be in the moment and to be relevant engaging and socially active. Getting a social media campaign right takes time that you may feel you don’t have. We can help.
We recently canvassed #kinglynnhour tweeters and discovered that 90% of them have got business which they can directly attribute to tweeting. See the full results from the survey here. Can your business afford not to be socially ready?