Even as Gen Y increasingly moves from email and surfing to social networking, podcasting and instant messaging, don’t for a moment be mistaken that social media is for individuals. A March 2009 survey of 900 marketers by small business online community, PartnerUp showed that 88% of respondents used social media for marketing. 81% of this group cited “generating exposure” as the biggest benefit of social media marketing. Not surprisingly, the survey was conducted via e-mail and social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.
B2B marketing that once depended on elaborate market studies, surveys, test marketing campaigns and image audits are now realizing the immense potential of social media and how it can offer great insights into consumer perceptions. Having an online community discuss your brand and its related offerings is a great and inexpensive way to gain increased exposure. You can drum roll on about your new launch or fantastic products and services, but a little “Tweet” can deliver far-reaching and much more credible results.
Reaching out with Social Media
Integration is the key to successful marketing!
Creating or participating in online community discussions, nurturing an industry forum or blog, generating videos relevant to your brand are all ways of reaching out to your target audience. However, random attempts at social media won’t necessarily have the same cascading effect of a strategically developed marketing campaign. Going beyond outreach is the quintessential step of integration – integrating your social media efforts with all your other offline and online marketing strategies. That’s what makes for measurable and increasingly profitable results.
Register now for the WSI’s forthcoming Webinar on “Social Media Marketing” and learn how your overall marketing efforts can stand to gain with the infusion of social media marketing.
Leverage Online Communities
…you’ll find a wealth of customer intelligence!
Following your company or brand’s social media tracks is like getting an inside view of your customer’s mind. The customer perceptions, conversations, behaviors and experiences all related via social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and various other blogs, etc., are as invaluable as market intelligence reports. Best of all, it’s all in real time! So you know what your customers are thinking and feeling, as it happens. Positive or negative, consumer feedback is always the best way to know what to do next in your business and how. As a business owner, there can be no greater advantage than being able to gauge reactions and dive right into marketing to enhance the same.
Don’t be overwhelmed by all the talk about online community building and social media marketing. Yes, it’s not easy to get it done right on your own, but you can with the support of a good internet consultancy like WSI Thames.