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Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Businesses and Personal Brands

November 7, 2009

Someone asked me the other day. Why do I need to utilize social media marketing in my business?  My response was, “it is a huge part of marketing your business!”  In all honesty, I continue to wonder why people are still asking this question!A lot of times, when people are interested in something they go online to read reviews  and brand ambassadors’ communications before making a decision.

By now, you have read tirelessly about what is social media.  You might get different responses, but I am going to sum it up into one basic definition. Social Media marketing (or new media marketing) is a quickly emerging avenue for individuals and businesses to engage in two-way communications with their audiences. When individuals begin to market themselves using social media, it is called personal branding. Personal branding can also expand to the offline realm as well. Businesses that engage in social media marketing are simply utilizing another method of expanding their market and discovering newly-defined targets and quality leads.

As the conversation continued, I discovered some common arguments  made by those who are either resistant to get on board, or by those who simply cannot grasp the concept.  Most notable is the argument, ‘what is the ROI of social media?’  When I hear this question, I normally respond by asking, ‘when you create a commercial on your local television channel, what is the ROI?’  They usually proceed by stumbling over an answer, and end by telling me the number of potential viewers that might have seen the commercial.

Is mass marketing dead? No, but it just suffered a stroke! With innovation of Tivo, I don’t have to look at commercials anymore!  In stark contrast to mass marketing tactics, I believe social media is more targeted and trackable-especially with the web market research and analytics. What is even more powerful is when businesses integrate new media with traditional marketing.  For example, at the end of commercial, you prompt the audience to text to a specific number. So what are the benefits of engagement? I see Five major benefits to engaging in social media marketing.

Increased number of clients.
You must be diligent and concise in your communications to attract the attention of new clients and keep your business top-of-mind with customers and potential customers. If you are constantly sending out  well-written, attractive communications, they will eventually check your business with the online community of bloggers and reviewers. If they are impressed, they will buy from you!

Increased number of referrals.

Referrals can come from from a number of sources. In new media marketing, referrals can come from past clients who blog or tweet positively about your business, people who subscribe to your communications, and anyone else who have seen your business mentioned discussed positively multiple times.

Connection and mentorships with top experts.
Not only should you connect with your customers, but you can connect with the experts in your industry to monitor trends, forecasts, and constantly look for new opportunities to expand business.

Connection with customers and creating brand ambassadors.
When you connect with your customers, you build trust and loyalty. Regularly engaging with your customers will allow you to spot issues and discover new product ideas or uses.   When you are able to answer a question for them that no one has answered or can answer, or  if you are able to help them trouble shoot technical problems, it means a lot!

Job leads
Recruiters and human resource departments are now going beyond the basic resume to determine if a candidate is right for a position. Individuals should be careful what they post and continually monitor what other’s post about them.  Your personal brand must be consistent across all platforms that one utilizes. It would be a great travesty if a recruiter is about to contact you to offer you a $100,000 Chief Marketing Officer position, and they see pictures of you chugging away using some alcoholic apparatus in a toga on multiple occasions.

Speaking engagements.
Once you position yourself as an expert in your industry, people will look to you as a knowledgeable person. They will desire your mentorship. As you increase your influence, this will bring more clients to your business.

 

Now is the time to jump on board an already moving train.  Consumers are using the social web to make buying decisions. Journalists and news organizations are using it to learn new stories and communicate. Businesses are utilizing it to gain a competitive advantage through this cost effective means of communication. Now is the time to jump on board!

 

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