Social media… it’s all of the rage today! It is increasingly being a more integral section of people’s everyday lives, especially now that folks can hold the planet within their pockets with cell phones which can be Web enabled and have data packages. Since nowadays there are over two billion people — nearly one-third the entire world’s population — connected via social networking, it is now crucial, even critical, for businesses to make the most of the huge potential given in their mind by social media. People who don’t make the most of this trend achieve this at their own peril!
Dejavu All Over Again!
Some say we’re seeing the repeat of trends we saw at the turn of the century… around again. Though the Internet as a communication tool began October 29, 1969, celebrating the very first communication between two distant computers, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in March of 1989, giving us the hyper-text markup language (HTML) that permits pages, links and browsers used throughout the world to talk with each other. In the entire year 2000, the Web as we know it was a mere eleven years old. Businesses were beginning to understand that the Internet was becoming bigger and bigger and was moving beyond the military (its original user), academia and business, and increasingly into people’s homes (and now… even their pockets!) Online shopping was gradually gaining on brick and mortar retail, competing more and more for shoppers’ dollars. Businesses that took advantage of the trend became more successful, whereas the ones that didn’t suffered as their competitors beat them in the internet marketplace.
Good examples that have made the headlines recently include Borders Books and Blockbuster Video. Borders didn’t believe the Web would become as huge as it has and was soon upstaged by Amazon, who began utilizing their online platform for books and now sell more or less everything. Blockbuster Video, once observed in so many communities, has now closed so many of these brick and mortar stores since Netflix came on the scene. Had it not been for Dish Network stepping in, most Blockbuster stores could have had to close. Now their trying to win back Netflix customers angered over recent fee hikes. Blockbuster is hoping to remain viable and relevant with their newest program.
Return on Investment… Bang for Your Buck!
The key point is that we’re seeing an identical trend running a business today regarding social media. Business is just starting to “humanize” and get back to that “get-to-know-you” feel of hometown businesses where business owners and customers often actually connect on a personal basis. Social networking is helping to generate this personal feel on a bigger scale now, in the sense that folks can stay digitally more connected than ever… even while they “cocoon” within their homes/offices and have less face-to-face communication.
While we are able to argue the ill social effects of the social trend, businesses can’t ignore it. By the nature of what they do, those involved in network marketing, a.k.a. affiliate marketing or multi-level marketing, certainly can’t ignore it as a key tool for building down lines and expanding their business beyond their warm market of family and friends, lots of whom may or might not be thinking about a home-based business or work-at-home business opportunity, however quickly growing that trend is. The social networking explosion is getting more and more attention. Business leaders are referring to it, authors are currently talking about it, and some say it’s just the beginning.
Business trend experts like Gary Vaynerchuk, author of The Thank You Economy, say that we’re seeing the “calm before the social networking storm” (see the hyperlink to his MSNBC interview on YouTube at the conclusion of the “LinkedIn” discussion below. It’ll blow the mind what this man knows and envisions about the power of social networking for business!). cheap panel Many individuals in the business world haven’t yet jumped into social media. They’re sizing it up and calculating the return on investment… not realizing that the longer they wait, the more they stand to reduce on the enormous potential of to be able to obtain brand, product(s), and service(s) out before potentially thousands of people in an extremely cheap way in comparison to traditional print and TV advertising media. Branding, name recognition, market share growth, customer loyalty, brand ambassadorship… are all important goals of business enhanced via social media.
But We Have a Website!
Individual entrepreneurs, companies large and small, organizations, network marketers, affiliate programs, even nonprofit organizations that genuinely believe that having a site will do of an on line presence today are sorely mistaken. Since so many current and potential customers and clients are engaged in social networking, they’re coming you may anticipate more and more that businesses and organizations they associate with is likewise able to activate using them on social networking platforms. This worldwide recession we’re in is making social networking platforms more important to remain relevant… to keep up a presence, build customer loyalty, and just survive.
I’m Broke… I Have a Limited Budget!
Those on a limited marketing budget will discover out that social networking marketing is very cost-effective, with a good return on investment in comparison to traditional, non-trackable forms of advertising. Having an employee devote even section of his/her time keeping social networking up to date is really worth the time and effort and expense in the added, perceived value it can provide, providing information regarding your products, services, news, sales, deals, etc., and potentially increasing your customer/client base tremendously in the process.
Blogging, for instance, is a good way to generate an outreach program for the brand, company, organization, etc., that will not only raise awareness of who you are and what you do, but raise your credibility by having an ever-growing, social-media-savvy public. They will be able to share both positives and negatives about their experience along with your products and/or service, especially if you react to them. They will develop more confidence in your brand, feel more connected for your requirements, and develop more loyalty. They will much more likely become the willing ambassadors for the brand, product, or service that you would like them to be! Also… those who DO have a site, which is normally used to supply information, take orders, etc., will in all probability see increased traffic on their sites which will result in increased sales… and a rise in your return on the investment you made in your social networking campaigns. On top of that is that most social networking platforms can be found FOR FREE, or with little actual monetary investment strongly related other designs of traditional advertising, and with greater return on investment.
A Growing Trend… Better Jump On the Bandwagon!
Some estimate the amount of social networking sites at 30,000 and growing by 300 new sites per month! So, to prevent the pitfalls of starting at the wrong place, the best places to begin are with the present top giants, like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. You need your web visitors to access know you first. You want to share useful information with them… information that is educational, informative, entertaining, even funny… but valuable You don’t might like to do outright selling of one’s goods and services in social networking, which is more for engaging your web visitors or potential customers. You want to lead your web visitors to your website, and that is where you is going to do your selling!